IOM appeals for $13.1 mln to assist Saudi returnees

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Addis Ababa, December 7 (WIC) – International Organization for Migration (IOM) Ethiopia office is appealing for USD 13.1 million to address the needs of returning Ethiopian migrants from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The number of the returning migrants is increasing rapidly and is projected to reach 150,000. So far, the ministry of foreign affairs has said 109,000 Ethiopians have been repatriated. Out of these IOM provided direct assistance to over 90,000 individuals, the organization said in a statement sent to WIC stressing the need to provide round the clock assistance to the returnees.

“The funds will help to maintain and increase the assistance that IOM is currently providing which includes: transportation, post-arrival medical and psychosocial first aid, provision of meals, water and high energy biscuits, temporary accommodation for migrants who arrive at night, as well as accommodation and transportation for unaccompanied minors,” said IOM, which also is distributing shoes and other non-food items to the extremely vulnerable returnees.
Assisted by IOM, the government of Ethiopia is managing this influx taking the lead in arranging for the returns.
IOM has already received USD 2.5 million through the Humanitarian Response Fund and Central Emergency Response Fund, leaving the gap of USD 13.1 million. IOM estimates the cost per beneficiary at 130 dollars.
In-kind contributions from UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, IRC, ICR, Ethiopian Red Cross Society and other partners are being used to assist the arriving migrants. The donations range from water and sanitation kits, dignity kits, to ambulances, medicine, water tanks, blankets, tents, high energy biscuits and mobile toilets among others.

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