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Ethiopian Migrants Awaiting Safe Passage Home Fly from Sana'a to Addis Ababa

International Organization for Migration (IOM) Download logo

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), with the authorities in Sana’a and Government of Ethiopia, successfully transported 79 Ethiopian migrants, including 19 women and 14 children from Sana’a, Yemen to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia today (03/08) in its first Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) flight from Sana’a Yemen since 2019.

“IOM stands ready and willing to continue this collaborative return effort , in line with international protocols and standards, and hopes this movement is the first of many from Sana’a,” said Carmela Godeau , IOM’s Regional Director.  

Today’s flight comes four days after the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons which aims to combat all forms of exploitation around the world.  Migrants in Yemen face grave risks to their safety and dignity and are routinely impacted by smuggling and trafficking. They also face many barriers to accessing essential services and support.

IOM’s VHR programme is one way the Organization assists migrants in the country and prevents them from falling victim to further abuse and harm.

 “Greater efforts are urgently needed to ensure that all migrants in Yemen who wish to come home have the opportunity to do so in dignity and in a voluntary manner,” said Maureen Achieng, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Ethiopia and Representative to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.

Prior to departure, IOM carries out medical and protection screenings to ensure that returnees are fit to travel and provides essential humanitarian items to those in need. 

In coordination with the Ethiopian government and civil society organizations, IOM has set up a reception centre in Addis Ababa where the migrants will be provided with assistance and protection services including mental health and psychosocial support. The migrants will also receive cash and onward transportation assistance to help them reach their communities of origin.

The Organization also supports family tracing and the reunification of unaccompanied migrant children. Across the Horn of Africa and Yemen, IOM provides life-saving support to migrants through health care, food, and water

Today’s voluntary return flight from Sana’a to Addis Ababa is funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), the humanitarian bureau of the U.S. State Department and the German government. Post-arrival assistance in Addis Ababa is supported by the European Commission's Directorate-General for EU Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), and also supported by the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Ethiopia Humanitarian Fund.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Organization for Migration (IOM).

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