The UN’s migration agency is aiming to help repatriate at least 6,750 Ethiopian migrants from war-weary Yemen in the coming months. The organ appealed for $7.5 million to assist the migrants’ return.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Tuesday that it has transferred more than 600 migrants, including 60 unaccompanied children, to Ethiopia on three flights since the start of 2022.
More flights were planned between the southern Yemeni port city of Aden and the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, it added.
“Migrants transiting through or stranded in Yemen are some of those most affected by the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country,” said Christa Rottensteiner, the IOM’s chief of mission in Yemen.
Yemen’s civil conflict has not prevented migrants from entering the country, desperate to make their way to neighboring Saudi Arabia to find jobs as domestic workers and builders.
Last year, around 27,700 migrants set off on the arduous journey from the Horn of Africa to Yemen, according to the IOM.
Yemen has been engulfed in civil strife since 2014, when the Iranian-backed Houthi forces took the capital, Sanaa, and much of northern Yemen, forcing the internationally recognized government to flee to the south, to Aden, then to exile in Saudi Arabia.
A Saudi-led coalition entered the war the following year in an attempt to restore the internationally recognized Yemeni government to power.