Wednesday, June 12, 2024

More than 9,000 returnees in quarantine

Gov’t to send cash handouts for citizens in the Middle East

While boarders remain closed to curtail the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, as many as 9,400 deported and repatriated Ethiopians are receiving basic safety materials and health services across make-shift facilities.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) some 9,400 Ethiopians are receiving help while under quarantine. However, the number of returnees has kept growing as Middle Eastern countries have kept on deporting Ethiopians, in recent weeks. The IOM said migrants who have been sent back to Ethiopia from Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Somalia, Sudan and other countries, are put in makeshift facilities including in dormitories of Universities. 

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“The return of migrants during this crisis threatens already stretched capacities in Ethiopia and to this end, IOM is responding to the direct needs of returnees, ensuring facilities are run efficiently, and bolstering the national response, in line with government needs,” IOM’s Chief of Mission to Ethiopia, Maureen Achieng said.

Despite efforts and pledges of the government to persuade those countries that are sending back Ethiopian migrants, scores of Ethiopians have either forcedly or voluntarily been sent back.

In addition to assisting immigrating Ethiopians, the government is collaborating with IOM and other UN agencies, to send handout cashes to migrants stranded and facing hardships in the Middle East.

 Amsalu Tizazu, acting spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told The Reporter that citizens under serious conditions in Saudi Arabia, specifically residing in Riyadh and Jeddah, and those in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and in Lebanon, are about to receive some handouts.

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“With funds to be pulled from the Intentional Labor Organization (ILO), the government is processing to send USD 49,000 to Lebanon, USD 96,000 for Saudi Arabia and UAE each,  so that Ethiopian migrants could at least have access to food and some essential supplies,” Amsalu said. The number of migrants receiving the cash handouts is not specified.

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