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IOM Appeal for 112 mln USD to Help Migrants in Africa


NAIROBI: The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN migration agency, and 27 partners on Friday appealed for 112 million U.S. dollars to provide urgent help to over 1.4 million migrants and host communities in the Horn of Africa, Yemen and southern Africa.

The IOM said the funds will be used to provide humanitarian and development assistance to migrants leaving home in search of better job opportunities, and in some cases to escape conflict, insecurity and the adverse effects of climate change.

“The past years have shown us what we can achieve when we work together,” Rana Jaber, IOM regional director for the East and Horn of Africa, said in a statement issued in Nairobi, the capital of Kenya.

According to the IOM, the eastern route from the Horn of Africa to Yemen and the Gulf States, and the southern route from the Horn of Africa through Kenya and Tanzania to southern Africa, are among the most dangerous, complex, and under-reported migratory routes in the world.

About 400,000 movements were recorded across the eastern route in 2023 while an additional 80,000 movements were recorded on the southern route, particularly to South Africa, the IOM said.

“We are confident that we can accomplish even more in 2024, continuing to save lives and provide protection, offering access to sustainable solutions and enhancing the resilience of populations,” Jaber said.

On their journeys, many migrants face life-threatening dangers including starvation, health risks and exploitation at the hands of human traffickers and other criminals. They are also often left in dire need of medical attention, food, water, shelter and psycho-social support, according to the IOM.

It said the communities along these routes, which provide shelter and assistance, require support in addressing the push factors of irregular migration.

According to IOM’s Missing Migrants Project, at least 698 people, including women and children, died on the eastern route, crossing the Gulf of Aden from Djibouti to Yemen in the hope of reaching Saudi Arabia in 2023.

This number, the IOM said, could be higher considering some tragedies often go unnoticed. In November 2023, a shipwreck off the shores of Yemen left 64 migrants missing and presumed dead at sea.

Children on the move are particularly vulnerable and must be put at the heart of work on migration, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

“For migration policies to succeed, we must prioritize children and adolescents, centering their rights at the core of migration policies and systems that are crucial for children, such as education, child protection, social protection, and health,” said Lieke van de Wiel, deputy regional director of UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office. 

Source – Xinhua