41 Vulnerable Ethiopian Migrants Return Home to Ethiopia

Cairo, 14 February 2019 - Upon the referral of the Embassy of Ethiopia and in coordination with the Government of Egypt, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) supported the return of 41 vulnerable Ethiopian irregular migrants, who were in governmental custody in Egypt. This initiative is funded by the European Commission and Italian Ministry of the Interior in the framework of the Regional Development and Protection Programme for North Africa – RDPP NA.

DG Vitorino spoke earlier this month in Addis Ababa at the 32nd African Union (AU) Heads of State and Government Summit, praising AU-EU-UN efforts to address mixed migration challenges; accompanied by Ms. Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the EU Commission, he also visited IOM Ethiopia’s Assisted Voluntary Return Transit Centre, where the 41 returnees from Egypt are being provided counselling and support for their reintegration assistance.

The return operation was closely coordinated with the Egyptian Ministry of Interior, who facilitated the administrative process and necessary approvals for the movement, and the Ethiopian Embassy in Cairo. At the invitation of the Egyptian Ministry of Interior, IOM migrant protection assistants met with the potential Ethiopian returnees in Cairo to ascertain their willingness to return and to process all administrative aspects related to their return. In addition to the 41 Ethiopian nationals in government custody, an additional 14 individuals were returned on the same flight and through the assistance of the RDPP NA Programme.

The movement took place on 14 February, with the migrants being escorted by IOM to Addis Ababa, where they were received and assisted by IOM staff. The 55 returnees are now being supported by IOM in designing their socio-economic reintegration plan in view of implementing income-generating activities in their respective communities of origin.

The return of 41 vulnerable migrants back to Ethiopia through the IOM AVRR programme represents a good example of the programme’s scope to secure a safe, humane and dignified return of migrants, by prioritizing the most vulnerable, and support the sustainable return to the community of origin, also through the effective collaboration with the different partners that take part in the procedure”, says Laurent De Boeck, IOM Chief of Mission to the Arab Republic of Egypt.

This activity is in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), namely Goal 1: No Poverty, Goal 8: Good jobs and Economic Growth, and Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities.

For more information, please contact Omar Awwad at IOM Egypt, Tel: +2 02 2736 5140/1, Email: oawwad@iom.int