Child migrant returnees at Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa. [File photo]

UN Migration Agency Assist 600 Vulnerable Ethiopian Children

ADDIS ABEBA – Six hundred vulnerable children in Ethiopia are the target of a new partnership between the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Save the Children.

Over the next 18 months, 600 children – 400 migrant returnees and 200 other vulnerable children – will be earmarked for assistance in eight sub-regions in East Hararghe, Oromia and Amhara’s North Wollo Zones.

This is the fourth such partnership under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration targeting minors in migration-prone regional states in Ethiopia.

IOM already is collaborating with three other local organizations to reach vulnerable children: the Mary Joy Development Association, Facilitator for Change and the Forum on Sustainable Child Empowerment.

Ultimately some 900 children will be reached through these four partnerships, according to IOM.

Unaccompanied children are among those traversing key migration routes in search of opportunities in other countries, with Saudi Arabia, Europe and South Africa being key destinations favored by Ethiopians.

Children on the move are a particularly vulnerable group, with the Horn of Africa experiencing significant numbers. Ethiopia, which is Africa’s second-most populous country (after Nigeria), accounts for the largest migrant movements in a region which also incorporates Djibouti, Eritrea, Somalia and Sudan.

Nearly 1,600 children – an average of almost one every day – were reported dead or missing worldwide between 2014 and 2018, although many more go unrecorded, according to IOM data.

Photo Caption: Child migrant returnees at Bole International Airport, Addis Ababa.