Appeal for USD 112 Million for Migrants along the Eastern and Southern Africa Routes

An Ethiopian migrant takes a break and a moment of reprieve to wash his face with water from a pond in Alat Ela, Djibouti. Photo: IOM 2020/Alexander Bee

Geneva/ Nairobi, 23 February – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and 27 partners are appealing for USD 112 million to provide urgent humanitarian and development assistance to over 1.4 million migrants and host communities in the Horn of Africa, Yemen, and Southern Africa.

The Eastern route from the Horn of Africa to Yemen and 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. In 2023, nearly 400,000 movements were recorded across the Eastern route while an additional 80,000 movements were recorded on the Southern route, particularly to South Africa.

“The past years have shown us what we can achieve when we work together,” said Rana Jaber, IOM Regional Director for the East and Horn of Africa. “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,” she added. 

Migrants in the region leave home in search of better job opportunities, and in some cases to escape conflict, insecurity, and the adverse effects of climate change. On their journeys, many face life-threatening dangers including starvation, health risks and exploitation – at the hands of human traffickers and other criminals. Migrants are often left in dire need of medical attention, food, water, shelter and psycho-social support.

The communities along these routes, which provide shelter and assistance, require support in addressing the push factors of irregular migration. They need access to basic social services, help to mitigate the impact of climate change, and information on the perils 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 the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2023. This number could be higher considering some tragedies often go unnoticed. In November 2023, a shipwreck off the shores of Yemen left 64 migrants missing, presumed dead at sea. 

Children on the move are particularly vulnerable and must be put at the heart of work on migration, according to 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 UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Deputy Regional Director, Lieke van de Wiel. 

In 2023, the Regional Migrant Response Plan (MRP) assisted 200,000 migrants and host communities by providing lifesaving assistance, addressing protection needs and helping migrants integrate into communities.  With migration flows expected to increase in 2024, continued funding is crucial. 

The appeal is being channeled through the MRP Framework for the Horn of Africa to Yemen and Southern Africa.   


For more information, please contact: 

Eva Sibanda,