Helping Ethiopian Migrants Arriving from Saudi Arabia

Ethiopia, Africa and Middle East
Date Publish: 
07 Jan 2014
On 14 November 2013, the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, officially requested IOM to provide post-arrival and reintegration assistance to Ethiopian returnees from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). Due to changes in the KSA’s foreign workers legislation and the subsequent crackdown on irregular migrants, tens of thousands of Ethiopian migrants have been brought to Ethiopia in what is known as the most colossal airlift the world has ever witnessed.
Many irregular migrants were held in detention centres primarily in Riyadh and Jeddah before they were sent back to Ethiopia with limited access to public utilities, inadequate supply of meals, and a general lack of privacy. Many of those detained and returned to Ethiopia arrive in need of medical support and with little of their personal belongings. IOM, in coordination with other aid agencies, is providing critically-needed humanitarian support and assistance to the returnees.

© IOM 2013 (Photo by Mary Sanyu-Osire)