Over 25,500 migrant Ethiopians return home in four months amid COVID-19 pandemic: IOM

IOM and Norwegian Refugee Council Give Assistance to COVID-19 Returnees in Ethiopia/ IMO
IOM and Norwegian Refugee Council Give Assistance to COVID-19 Returnees in Ethiopia/ IOM

More than 25,500 Ethiopian migrants have been repatriated home during the past four months, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) revealed on Friday.

“Between April 1 and August 13, Ethiopia received over 25,500 returnees, 6,173 from Djibouti, 5,982 from Somalia, 5,082 from Sudan, 3,162 from Saudi Arabia, 1,060 from Kenya, 1,024 from Kuwait, 650 from Lebanon, and some more from other countries,” the UN migration agency said in its latest COVID-19 response update for Ethiopia issued on Friday.

Noting that some 546 new returnee migrant Ethiopians were registered in the last week across the East African country during the last week, the IOM also stressed that some 1,830 are currently in quarantine facilities amid the spread of COVID-19 in Ethiopia.

The IOM also noted that is providing direct assistance to returnee migrants in quarantine facilities, including registration, food, water and onward transportation assistance.

The IOM, among other things, provides personal protective equipment such as face masks, gloves and sanitizers to quarantine facility staff in major migrant-receiving areas in Ethiopia.

It also distributes non-food items in quarantine facilities in the capital Addis Ababa and across various regional states, including soaps, dignity kits, medications, kitchen sets, clothes, bedsheets and mattresses.

Noting COVID-19 screening for 2,601 individuals in quarantine facilities and government health posts, the IOM also stressed that more than 69,400 individuals reached with hygiene awareness this week.

As of Friday morning, Ethiopia’s confirmed COVID-19 cases reached 26,204 as the death toll due to illnesses related to the COVID-19 pandemic rose to 479, according to the Ethiopian Ministry of Health.