International Organisation for Migration (IOM) says $99 million is required for the first year of a four-year plan to address the dire humanitarian challenges migrants in the Horn of Africa and Yemen face.
IOM, regional governments, and 38 humanitarian and development organisations have launched an appeal for the money in aid for 563,128 migrants.
The UN agency said in a statement that many of those that need urgent help have been stranded along the route from the Horn of Africa to Yemen.
IOM noted that every year, tens of thousands of migrants in the region leave countries like Ethiopia and Somalia, and others, in search of work and job opportunities to escape poverty, the effects of climate change, violent conflict and discrimination.
‘Many undertake journeys fraught with dangerous risks and face life-threatening situations en route’, the statement read.
‘They lack access to food, water, shelter, and medical care. Every year migrants die of starvation and dehydration along the way.
‘Many others are exposed to human rights violations including arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, and sexual and gender-based violence.
‘In addition to facing stigma, discrimination, and xenophobia, migrants continuously face various forms of exploitation by traffickers and smugglers.
‘Nearly 700 migrants are currently stranded and in need of help in Djibouti, and over 900 more in Somalia’.
According to IOM, the four-year plan, known as the ‘Regional Migrant Response Plan 2021–2024′ (MRP), will increase migrants’ chances of being able to return home and successfully reintegrated into their communities.
‘Once met, funding raised will assist local communities in affected countries, also impacted by the emergency’, it added.
‘Support will also be given to communities of origin to address the drivers of ‘irregular’ migration, strengthen the capacity of governments in the region to provide humanitarian support, and further improve the coordination of humanitarian organisations, as well as improved migration management on the route’.
Thousands of Africans who migrate due to many reasons, including political instability, have died while attempting to make the dangerous crossing.
According to IOM, which launched a $84 million appeal to respond to the needs of migrants in East Africa and Yemen in August 2020, thousands of migrants are believed to be stranded in Yemen and many face ‘extreme danger, exploitation and abuse in both Djibouti and Yemen’.
In 2019, IOM said roughly 138,000 people made the journey in 2019, compared with 37,500 in 2020 – evidence of the impact of movement restrictions prompted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Photo source: IOM