IOM and 47 Partners Appeal for USD 84 Million to Support Over 1 million Migrants from the Horn of Africa

Through the Migrant Response Plan (MRP), IOM and partners address the challenges faced by migrants, returnees, and host communities in the region. Pictured are a group of migrants who were stranded in the Djibouti desert. Photo: Ⓒ Alexander Bee/IOM 2022 

Nairobi, Kenya – The governments of Ethiopia, Somalia, Djibouti, and Yemen, IOM as the coordinator of the MRP and 48 partners comprising UN agencies and NGOs are appealing for $84 million US dollars to provide lifesaving humanitarian assistance, protection interventions and development support, to 1 million migrants and host communities on the route from the Horn of Africa to Yemen and the Gulf, known as the ‘Eastern Route’. 

Every year, over 250,000 migrants including young men, women, and children leave their countries in the Horn of Africa for the Gulf nations in search of better livelihood opportunities. Recent trends indicate an increase in movement of young women and children who in 2022 accounted for 32% of those moving along the route. According to IOM, over 45,000 migrants are currently stranded on the Eastern Route.  

The devastating effects of climate change, conflicts and overall, poor socio-economic conditions remain the key drivers of migration.  Migrants undertake this treacherous journey to reach Djibouti, in the hope of crossing the Gulf of Aden to reach the shores of Yemen, then travel up through the country to its border with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and further into other Gulf States. 

Many of the migrants on the route face extreme dangers such as dehydration and hunger. They take extraordinary risks to reach their destinations, while being exposed to various forms of violence, exploitation and abuse which often results in tragic consequences. In 2022, The Missing Migrants Project recorded 89 migrant deaths or disappearances along the Eastern Route due to hazardous transportation, illness, harsh environmental conditions, drowning at sea, violence, accidental death and mixed or unknown causes. Many more deaths go unreported. 

If the appeal funds are met through the multi-agency Regional Migrant Response Plan for the Horn of Africa and Yemen framework, IOM and  partners will adopt a whole of system approach in addressing the humanitarian, protection, resilience and development needs of migrants and host communities in the target countries.  

“The Eastern Route between the Horn of Africa and the Gulf States via Yemen is one of the busiest, most complex, and dangerous migratory routes in the world. This appeal is crucial to providing life-saving assistance for migrants on the route, and long-term sustainable solutions to both migrants and host communities, while addressing the root causes of the crisis.” – Mohammed Abidker, Regional Director, IOM East & Horn of Africa. 

MRP partners have been responding to the needs, risks, and vulnerabilities of migrants on the ‘Eastern Route since 2018 by providing life-saving assistance, including medical support, food, and non-food items, as well as protection interventions including family tracing and reunification, provision of safe shelter, legal counselling, MHPSS and return and reintegration support for migrants who want to return home. 

Since the start of the MRP approximately 1 million migrants have been assisted including host communities. Despite ongoing efforts, the needs along this route remain vast. This new appeal for funds highlights the enormous needs requiring an estimated 84.2 million dollars. The appeal will be launched by the Director-General of IOM, Antonio Vitorino on 14 February 2023 in Nairobi, Kenya. 


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