Migration Response Centres (MRCs) East and Horn of Africa (01 January – 31 May 2020)

A total of 220 migrants were registered at MRCs across the region in May, a 19% decrease compared to April. Only four out of seven MRCs recorded registrations during this month. The largest number of migrants were registered in Bosasso (169), followed by Hargeisa (30), Obock (13) and Metema (8). No migrants were registered in Dire Dawa, Togochale and Semera. With the growing number of COVID-19 cases and stricter travel restrictions in the region, registrations at the MRC in Obock further decreased between April and May, with only 13 new arrivals in May, just under than half of the migrants registered in April (23). In the context of COVID-19 prevention, the admission of new migrants at the MRC in Obock was reduced to admitting the most vulnerable migrants only, namely women, children and sick migrants. Similarly, registrations at the MRC in Metema further decreased by 80% due to COVID-19 related mobility restrictions in the area and the continued closure of the EthiopiaSudan border. Migrant registrations at the MRC in Bosasso remained stable over the past month. Assisted Voluntary Return (AVR) requests submitted by migrants increased by 63% between April (35) and May (57). However, due to the suspension of AVR services amidst the current COVID-19 context, no migrant was returned to Ethiopia and 135 migrants continue waiting for AVR assistance. The MRC in Hargeisa, which registered no migrants in April, registered 30 new migrants in May. In contrast to April, more female adults (45%) were registered in May than male adults (32%), while 23% of registrations were children. A total of 28 registered children visited the MRC in Bosasso, followed by Hargeisa (17), Metema (3) and Obock (2). While all children registered at the MRC in Hargeisa and Metema were accompanied, all children tracked in Bosasso and Obock were unaccompanied. All children under the age of five were accompanied. All registered migrants were Ethiopian nationals, most commonly from the Oromia (50%), Amhara (28%), Harari (7%) and Tigray (7%) regions. All registrees in Obock, and most registrees in Bosasso (65%) reported that their intended final destination was the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (57% overall). Majority of registrees in Metema (63%) were headed towards other Gulf countries (2% overall). Only 38% of registrees in Metema and 35% of registrees in Bosasso were planning to head back to their country of origin (28% overall; this represents an almost 60% increase compared to April). Most migrants reported migrating for economic reasons (62%) or cited educational reasons (28%), while less than 1% reported migrating for health reasons.

Source: International Organization for Migration

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