Ethiopians Abroad Rally to Help Compatriots Expelled from Saudi Arabia
GENEVA, Switzerland, May 16, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Ethiopian community in Finland has donated over EUR 7,700 towards IOM's relief efforts to help destitute Ethiopians expelled from Saudi Arabia.
The donation from the Finnish Ethiopian community follows similar initiatives by US-based Ethiopian associations and individuals who have also offered support for IOM's humanitarian aid to returnees.
“This new contribution is a good example of solidarity among Ethiopians across the world and an indication of how the diaspora can spread the word across networks to help their nationals back home,” says IOM Chief of Mission in Addis Ababa Josiah Ogina.
By donating to IOM's humanitarian relief operation in January 2014, the Global Alliance for the Rights of Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia said it hoped to send a message to the Ethiopian diaspora worldwide to encourage them to support Ethiopian nationals returning from Saudi Arabia.
The private donations will help needy Ethiopian returnees with vital medical assistance, food, transport, psycho-social aid, blankets and other essentials.
By early May 2014, a total of over 163,000 Ethiopian returnees had arrived home from Saudi Arabia and been processed at Addis Ababa's Bole International Airport. IOM assisted 153,126 or 93 per cent of the returnees.
A third of the returnees have been women. Five percent were children, including 521 unaccompanied minors, who were assisted by IOM. The vast majority of the returnees (84 per cent) were between the ages of 18 and 30.