ENA June 2/2020 The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has reaffirmed its commitment to support the Government of Ethiopia in the fight against COVID-19.
Ethiopia continues receiving many migrants returning from both neighboring countries and the Middle East in compliance with the United Nations resolution to mass returning migrants during pandemic.
As a designated lead agency for supporting the Government of Ethiopia in the management of migrant returnees, IOM has continued to support the government in coordinating support for quarantine facilities in Addis Ababa and regions.
IOM Ethiopia Chief of Mission, Maureen Achieng told ENA that IOM provides support for the government to ensure the safety, orderly and dignified management of the return of Ethiopian migrants to their country.
The organization is supporting the Government of Ethiopia in order to make sure that returnee migrants receive medical care, food, shelter and other assistance during quarantine and return to their villages.
“The Government of Ethiopia has really done good job until now in coping with the spread of COVID-19. As UN community in Ethiopia, we want to continue providing the needed support to the government. Managing these return movements very carefully is important,” she stated.
The chief further said her organization will intensify its efforts to back the government in ensuring that migration out of Ethiopia is a choice, and it takes legal regular channels not irregular channels.
IOM Communication Officer in Ethiopia, Alemayehu Seifeselassie said on this part more than 14,000 undocumented Ethiopian migrants have returned to their country since the outbreak of Coronavirus.
The returnees are mainly from Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Kenya, and Lebanon.
According to him, the organization has trained more than 390 quarantine facility staff, including cleaners, security force, health workers and IOM staff in general, in COVID-19 awareness, alongside educating the ways of utilizing personal protective equipment, waste disposal and proper cleaning and disinfecting procedures.
Since early April, 2020, IOM has provided direct assistance for over 5,700 migrant returnees quarantined in Addis Ababa, Semera, Moyale, Dire Dawa, Togwachale, Dollo Ado and Jijiga, the communication officer added.
Alemayehu further pointed out that “IOM works with different partners and donors and tries to provide returnees with livelihood opportunities that can help to prevent second migration. In this regard, we have been working over the past years to step up our efforts to give more livelihood opportunities. We have been doing awareness and also calling for support.”