Over 15,000 Ethiopian returnees, many of whom are vulnerable women and children languishing at quarantine sites, have received critical emergency assistance as the country continues to curb the spread of Covid-19.
The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) through a press statement said it is working alongside the Ethiopian government to provide hygiene kits and other essential items to returning migrants.
“In the past four months, more than 22,500 migrants have returned to the country due to a lack of opportunities brought on by Covid-19”, the statement said.
“Close to 16,600 have returned mainly via land crossings from transit countries such as Somalia, Djibouti, and Sudan, where many stay looking for work before making the perilous journey east to the Arab Peninsula, or north to Europe via North Africa”
According to NRC, 62,000 bars and bottles of soap, 10,000 blankets, 5,000 sleeping mats, 5,000 washing basins and 50,000 cooking items have been provided to desperate people including mothers, pregnant women and unaccompanied minors.
Most of them have been sheltering in over 30 quarantines sites in Shire, Metema, Dire Dawa, Jigjiga, and Semera – five regional towns, where many of the migrants enter the country by foot or by bus.