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  • Writer's pictureBy Reporter

IOM launches $84m appeal to assist migrants affected by COVID-19

Migrants are participating in sensitization activities on the risks of irregular migration in Fantehero, Obock region, Djibouti | Photo Credit : Alexander Bee/IOM

By Reporter

Aug.6, 2020 – The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) has launched an 84 million dollars appeal with partners across the horn of Africa and Yemen to assist migrants affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The IOM in a statement made available to the Humanitarian Post on Thursday said it launched the appeal alongside partners from 27 humanitarian and development organisations and governments.

The 84 million USD appeal seeks to provide life-saving assistance to hundreds of migrants and host community members affected by COVID-19 in the Horn thousands of African of Africa and Yemen.

According to IOM, the migrants have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, chiefly by the closure of hundreds of air, land and sea border crossings which prevented many from moving to destination countries or returning home.

The IOM said “The Regional Migrant Response Plan for the Horn of Africa and Yemen (2020 RMRP Appeal) launched this week (5 August) will provide urgent aid to thousands of migrants stranded.

“And, in some instances, trapped on the dangerous migratory corridor — known as the Eastern Route — in countries across the Horn of Africa and Yemen.” The UN Migration Agency said that eighty-seven per cent of migrants on the route come from Ethiopia while others hail from Somalia.

The IOM stated that many migrants remain in dangerous conditions with little access to food, water and medical care.

This it noted is particularly true in Yemen, where an estimated 14,500 migrants are stranded, many are at risk of detention and exploitation by traffickers and smugglers, in addition to stigma and xenophobia. IOM noted that the RMRP provides a framework for governments and humanitarian and development organizations to coordinate protection of migrants on the Eastern Route.

The framework will also help in mobilizing resources to build the capacity of governments to respond to the crisis, IOM added. “The plan aims to assist over 235,000 migrants and host community members, including some 160,000 migrants still trying to return home to Ethiopia and Somalia.

“As well as another 105,000 migrants expected to need assistance over the year in Yemen.”

The IOM also predicts that over the course of this year at least 75,000 migrants will try to return home to the Horn of Africa. Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Regional Director for East & Horn of Africa said the precarious situations that vulnerable migrants across the Eastern Route find themselves in are clear.

“The RMRP offers a real solution to the ongoing crisis.

It will also serve to assist those affected to return to safety and reintegrate back home, whilst supporting government capacity to respond to the situation in a humane way,” Abdiker added.

The IOM’s Global Crisis Response Platform provides an overview of IOM’s plans and funding requirements to respond to the evolving needs and aspirations of those impacted by, or at risk of, crisis and displacement in 2020 and beyond.

The Platform is regularly updated as crises evolve and new situations emerge.

Among the many partners include the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Save the Children, among others.

RMRP partners are focusing their attention on alleviating the precarious conditions faced by migrants stranded in Yemen in particular

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