[Dehai-WN] Migrant-rights.org: IOM requests funding to repatriate Ethiopian migrants in Yemen

From: Berhane Habtemariam <Berhane.Habtemariam_at_gmx.de_at_dehai.org>
Date: Thu, 29 Dec 2011 11:26:36 +0100

IOM requests funding to repatriate Ethiopian migrants in Yemen

December 29th, 2011

 <http://www.migrant-rights.org/category/gulf/> Gulf

Thousands of Ethiopian migrants face inhabitable conditions in the Northern
Yemeni city of Hadra. Living in open spaces, the migrants have no access to
food, water, or sanitation facilities. The International Organization for
Migration (IOM) has successfully repatriated over 6,000 migrants this year,
but no longer has resources to aid the remaining Ethiopians. The IOM is
ants-Stranded-in-Northern-Yemen-135934568.html> requesting aid from the
international community to continue their mission.

Each year, tens of thousands of Ethiopians make the arduous journey across
the Gulf of Aden in the hopes of finding work in Saudi Arabia, which borders
Northern Yemen. This year alone, over 45,000 Ethiopians arrived in Yemen and
over 18,300 of these migrants were registered on the Saudi-Yemen border.
Many undocumented migrants were returned from Saudi Arabia, which has
implemented increasingly strict border policies.

In August, the IOM requested $2.5 million to complete its Yemen mission. In
addition to repatriating migrants, the IOM also provides vital humanitarian
aid. Some migrants require treatment for injuries sustained from torture
imparted by smugglers, while others have been caught up in Yemen's conflict;
migrants have been assaulted and accused of lending mercenary services to
the opposing side, though most are in no condition to provide such
physically demanding services. The IOM estimates that at least 30 migrants
have died in the past month alone, though the actual number is likely much

IOM Spokesperson Jemini Pandya describes the grueling difficulties these
migrants face:

"Their exhausting ordeal, their exposure to the elements without adequate
nutrition and sanitation and their exposure to violence means that many
migrants are suffering from diseases and illnesses, from snake bites and are
showing signs of mistreatment from smugglers and traffickers. And these
include severe burns, broken limbs, gunshot wounds and other physical and
sexual assaults."

Dozens of migrants protested in front of the IOM departure center in August,
pleading to be returned home. With emergency funding from Saudi Arabia and
Japan, the IOM will be able to repatriate around 800 migrants in the next
week. The <http://www.sudantribune.com/IOM-urges-donors-to-assist,41087>
Ethiopian government has also contributed to the IOM's efforts, but the
organization continues to work with a chronically under-funded budget. The
IOM has released
ce/lang/en?entryId=30611> several statements over the past year requesting
aid for this particular effort.

The IOM's Chief of Mission in Yemen explains the critical nature of the

"This is an extremely difficult situation. Many of the migrants are in
danger from violence and intimidation from smugglers. We've had bodies of
migrants thrown into the IOM compound - killed by smugglers or in accidents
for which the perpetrators are rarely held accountable. Their anger and
frustration is understandable. They want to go home. IOM wants to be able to
do more to help and evacuate them from the country, but we simply don't have
the money to carry out an operation of this scale."



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