To Integrate Migrant Returnees, IOM Enlists Support from Implementing Partners in Ethiopia

Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration, EUTF

Addis Ababa – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is partnering with nine local NGOs in Ethiopia to facilitate the reintegration of migrant returnees in four of the country’s nine regional states.  

Ethiopia, with a population of over 100 million, is a major migrant-sending country in the Horn of Africa.  

The partnerships in Amhara, Oromia, Tigray and Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR) are being established under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa (the EU-IOM Joint Initiative). 

The programme facilitates orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration management through the development of rights-based and development-focused procedures and processes on protection and sustainable reintegration. It is backed by the EU Trust Fund, covers and has been set up in close cooperation with a total of 26 African countries.  

In the last two years, the EU-IOM Joint Initiative has provided support to more than 4,500 migrant returnees in Ethiopia.  

Over 1,300 migrant returnees and vulnerable children are expected to be assisted by the implementing partners in 2019. The partners are the Beza Posterity Development Association; AGAR Ethiopia; Facilitator for Change; Forum on Sustainable Child Empowerment; Hunde Oromo Grassroots Development Initiative and Haramaya University. 

Also joining are the Good Samaritan Association; the Mary Joy Development Association; the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus Development and Social Service Commission North Central Ethiopia Synod Branch Office.  

Through these tie-ups, returnees will receive tailor-made assistance, including vocational and technical skills trainings, job placements, in-kind support for income generating activities and linkages with financial institutions as well as other services like shelter, medical and psychosocial support. 

In addition, it is envisaged that vulnerable children in the target areas will be able to access protection mechanisms and other relevant services including education, health and legal support. Community-based child protection systems will also be strengthened, and their accessibility improved. 

Sara Basha, the coordinator of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative in Ethiopia, described reintegration as a very complex, multi-sectoral and expensive process requiring close partnerships with key stakeholders, namely, government and non-government actors.  

She says establishing and strengthening partnerships is among the key strategies of the programme. “By engaging local NGOs, the programme is able to increase its capacity to reach out to as many returnees as possible and provide reintegration assistance.” 

Partnership consultations kicked off in April 2019, following a meeting arranged by IOM to introduce the parties to relevant government stakeholders.  

IOM has moved to strengthen linkages with the private sector, academic institutions and local community structures to ensure the implementation of suitable reintegration activities.  

Basha added: “In all the locations, the implementation partners work closely with the local government and the local community. This is expected to strengthen the programme’s follow-up and monitoring system and enhance local ownership of the programme.”  

For more information, please contact Helina Mengistu at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251 11 557 1550 (Ext 109), Email: 

  • At the official launch of one of the partnerships in Kombolcha, Amhara Region, Ethiopia on 29 May.

  • At the official launch of one of the partnerships in Kombolcha, Amhara Region, Ethiopia on 29 May.