IOM, Governments and Partners Appeal for USD 67 Million to Assist Vulnerable Migrants Across the Horn of Africa and Yemen

Ethiopian migrants, evacuated from Hodaidah, Yemen, are received in IOM Djibouti's Loyada Migration Response Center. Photo: IOM

Nairobi – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), regional governments in the Horn of Africa, and 40 humanitarian and development organizations are appealing for USD 67 million to provide life-saving assistance to nearly half a million vulnerable migrants in the Horn of Africa and Yemen, many of whom are stranded along the Eastern Route and in dire need of urgent humanitarian assistance.  

These funds will go towards addressing the humanitarian and protection needs facing migrants and local communities in the second year of the four-year appeal.

Every year, tens of thousands of migrants in the region leave countries like Ethiopia, Somalia and others in search of work to escape poverty, the effects of climate change, conflict and discrimination. Many hope to find job opportunities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They take dangerous journeys through the Horn of Africa, across the Gulf of Aden to conflict-affected Yemen where they face life-threatening situations and are at grave risk of exploitation.

Many have lost their lives along the way due to lack of food, water, shelter and medical care while others are exposed to human rights violations including arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, and sexual and gender-based violence. In addition to being subject to stigma, discrimination and xenophobia, migrants continuously face exploitation by traffickers and smugglers.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened these conditions. Border closures and increased travel restrictions have forced migrants to pay more money to smugglers to take more dangerous and often much longer routes. And, the adverse effects of climate change threaten to displace more in countries like Somalia.

Migrants traveling through conflict-affected Yemen are at high risk of becoming stranded and lack access to services to meet their basic needs. As of December 2021, an estimated 41,000 migrants were stranded along the Eastern Route, living in situations of heightened vulnerability, and at risk of exploitation, mostly in Yemen, Somalia, and Djibouti. This figure is likely to increase in 2022. 

With the funds received in 2021, MRP partners reached 375,000 individuals with life-saving assistance. Migrant flows along the Eastern Route are expected to reach pre-COVID-19 levels in 2022, with over 750,000 people projected to be in dire need of aid, additional resources are critical to continue responding and meeting their needs.

Since its inception, the MRP has enabled partners to address the array of challenges faced by migrants, refugees and host communities in the region in a coherent, integrated manner. Though much has been achieved, the deteriorating economic situation and heightened vulnerability of migrants along the Eastern Route have exacerbated already significant needs.

“The complexity of the challenges calls for collaborative efforts to ensure that migrants are afforded humane and dignified treatment,” said IOM Director General António  Vitorino. “The MRP is an important framework for joint coordination, advocacy, capacity building and fundraising.”

Funds from this appeal will increase migrants’ chances of returning home and their successful reintegration into their communities. Support will also be extended to communities of origin to address the drivers of irregular migration, strengthen the capacity of governments in the region to provide humanitarian support, further improve the coordination of humanitarian organizations and strengthen migration management on the route.

“The MRP complements the efforts of the Somali government to provide assistance to migrants in vulnerable situations and communities hosting them,” noted Hon. Ambassador Gamal Mohamed Hassan, Minister of Planning, Investment and Economic Development, Federal Government of Somalia.

His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Al Adeel, the Deputy Minister of Expatriate Affairs, Republic of Yemen, called on the international community to expand its work to face emerging challenges, including putting an end to organized crime that targets migrants along the Eastern Route.

“Migration governance in Ethiopia will serve as a powerful instrument for advancing national development as well as protecting the human rights of migrants, while also advancing African regional and continental integration and development,” underscored Ethiopia’s State Minister for Legal and Justice Services in the Ministry of Justice, Ato Alemante Agidew.

Colonel Abdoulkader Ibrahim Gona, Head of the National Coordination Mechanism, Republic of Djibouti, pointed to recent progress made to safely manage migratory flows, such as the inauguration of Djibouti’s National Migration Coordination Office and the launch of its National Strategy for Migration.

“The plan illustrates perfectly well why it is essential to combine life-saving humanitarian interventions with long-term action to help protect vulnerable migrants both during their displacement and when they return home,” said the Deputy Director General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), Michael Koehler.

His Excellency Eng. Ahmed Al Baiz, KSRelief Assistant Supervisor General for Operations and Programs, reiterated the need to address the drivers of irregular migration through economic growth, development of infrastructure and employment creation.

Senior Regional Refugee Coordinator for the United States Government, Elizabeth Bailey, emphasized the US support for migration management in the Horn of Africa and Yemen, noting that migration management is a shared responsibility.

IOM's Global Crisis Response Platform provides an overview of IOM's planned activities and funding requirements to respond to the evolving needs and aspirations of those impacted by, or at risk of, crisis and displacement.


For more information, please contact: Yvonne Ndege, Regional Communications Officer and Spokesperson, East and Horn of Africa in Nairobi, Email:, Tel:  +254797735977

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