Regional Mixed Migration Committee for Horn of Africa and Yemen Meets in Djibouti
The meeting, which will be hosted by Djibouti and organized by IOM, follows an earlier event held in Addis Ababa in December 2011 and will include member government delegations from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somaliland, Puntland and Yemen.
Egypt, Eritrea and Saudi Arabia will also attend as observer states, together with representatives from the donor community, IGAD, the AU, UNHCR and NGOs.
The meeting aims to improve collaboration between governments in the Horn of Africa and Yemen, and their international partners, to improve the condition of migrants, save lives and more effectively manage migration in the region.
Participants will review progress on 2011 recommendations relating to rescue at sea, smuggling and trafficking, and the role of Migration Response Centers (MRCs) operating in the region. They will also assess the situation of migrant health and examine ways to extend medical services to migrants.
The Horn of Africa has unique migration challenges. Every month thousands of irregular migrants and asylum seekers attempt to cross borders to escape conflict, drought and economic difficulties. In the process, many regularly perish or disappear.
In the first seven months of 2012, 63,800 migrants arrived in Yemen from the Horn of Africa - a 30% increase from the same period in 2011. If the trend continues, 2012 may be the highest number of migrant arrivals yet recorded.
Migrants make the journey from their places of origin in the Horn of Africa through Puntland and Somaliland to Djibouti and across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen and the Gulf States.