The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and 27 partner organizations have launched an urgent appeal for $112m to assist over 1.4 million migrants and host communities in the Horn of Africa, Yemen, and southern Africa.

“The past years have shown us the power of collaboration,” said Rana Jaber, IOM’s regional director for East and Horn of Africa. “With this funding, we can continue saving lives, providing protection, and offering sustainable solutions for vulnerable populations.”

The appeal targets migrants fleeing conflict, insecurity, and climate change who often embark on perilous journeys through the Eastern and Southern Africa routes. These routes, notorious for their dangers, saw 400,000 movements on the Eastern route and 80,000 on the Southern route in 2023 alone.

Migrants face starvation, health risks, and exploitation on these journeys. Many require urgent medical attention, food, water, shelter, and psychosocial support. The communities hosting them also need assistance to address the root causes of irregular migration.

Tragically, at least 698 people, including women and children, lost their lives on the Eastern route in 2023, attempting to cross the Gulf of Aden from Djibouti to Yemen. This div likely underestimates the true toll, as many tragedies go unreported.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) emphasizes the particular vulnerability of children on the move. “We must prioritize children and adolescents in migration policies,” said Lieke van de Wiel, UNICEF’s deputy regional director for Eastern and Southern Africa. “Their rights must be at the core of systems crucial for children, such as education, protection, and healthcare.”

The $112m appeal aims to:

  • Provide lifesaving assistance, including food, water, and medical care.
  • Offer protection from exploitation and violence.
  • Support host communities with resources and infrastructure.
  • Facilitate sustainable solutions for migrants, such as skills training and job opportunities.

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