Somali refugees at a refugee camp in Dolo Ado, Ethiopia | Photo: EPA/CAROLA FRENTZEN
Somali refugees at a refugee camp in Dolo Ado, Ethiopia | Photo: EPA/CAROLA FRENTZEN

154 Somali refugees were sent to Germany from Ethiopia last week. The resettlement was made possible through a program run by the German and Ethiopian governments, the UN migration agency, and the UN refugee agency.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Ethiopia carried out its first international charter flight carrying the Somali refugees to be resettled in Germany last week.

In a statement, IOM said the group, which departed on October 15, had been residing in the Jijiga and Dolo Ado refugee camps in southern Ethiopia and included 63 males and 91 females, 47 of whom are minors. 

Another 220 refugees to depart in November 

Since March, IOM has supported the German Resettlement Program in their efforts to resettle 500 refugees from Ethiopia to Germany. These efforts are closely coordinated with the Ethiopian Government's Agency for Refugees and Returnee Affairs (ARRA), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the German government. 

An additional 220 refugees are set to depart for Germany on another IOM-chartered flight in mid-November. The majority of these people have already undergone the necessary interviews and health assessments. 

"It is important that we facilitate the smooth resettlement of refugees by providing safe transportation," said Milun Jovanovic, operations officer with IOM Ethiopia. "We are happy that refugees enjoyed this facilitated charter flight from departure to destination, with no hassles faced." 

Relocations to over 16 countries 

For the past 15 years, IOM Ethiopia has been involved in relocating refugees to more than 16 countries through resettlement, family reunification and humanitarian admission programmes. Among the countries these refugees now live in are the USA, Canada, Australia, Norway and several European Union nations.

In 2019 alone, IOM has assisted 4,000 refugees to resettle to new countries together with UNHCR. The organization facilitates case selection and processing, health assessments, movement from camps and departure logistics. IOM teams also conduct pre-departure orientation to ease refugee integration.

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