Turning a Migration Crisis into an Economic Opportunity: supporting the reintegration of KSA migrants

The ILO and the Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs (MOLSA) launched a new EU-funded project to support the reintegration of Ethiopian Returnees from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Press release | 24 July 2015
ADDIS ABABA (ILO News) – The International Labour Organization (ILO) in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs (MOLSA) launched a new EURO 5 million program entitled “Support the Reintegration of Returnees in Ethiopia” and funded by the European Union.

H.E Ato Abdulfatah Abdullahi, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs of Ethiopia, Mr George Okutho, Director of the ILO Country Office for Ethiopia and Somalia as well as senior representatives from European Union Delegation in Ethiopia formally launched the project on 24 July 2015 at Elilly Hotel, in Addis Ababa.

” The success of our citizens would be guaranteed if they rejected the culture of migration and focused instead on taking advantage of local job and economic opportunities that are increasingly being created,” said the minister. On his part, Mr. Okutho in his keynote address stated that “the various forms of assistance to the returnees will primarily be geared towards their full recovery and successful economic and social reintegration.”

The overall aim of the project is to improve labour migration governance and enabling returnees to engage in productive employment and decent work. The specific objective of this project is to provide individualised and rights based reintegration assistance to returnees with a particular focus on vulnerable women and girls.

The forced repatriation of 163,018 Ethiopian migrants in 2013/2014 from the kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), combined with a significant of reported cases of abuse and mistreatment of migrants drew considerable attention to the plight of Ethiopian migrant workers. This project is part of a broader programme on improving labour migration management in Ethiopia, which aims at supporting the efforts of the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) and of stakeholders from Civil Society in improving migration management and reintegration.

The project will be implemented in close collaboration with key partners including the Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs, Anti-Trafficking Taskforce/Council, Regional Bureaus of Labour and Social Affairs, Regional Bureau of Women, Youth and Children Affairs, Technical and Vocational Training Collages, Federal and Regional Micro & Small Enterprise Development Agencies, Micro Finance’s and various civil society organizations.

For more detailed information, please contact: ILO Country Office for Ethiopia and Somalia | Aida Awel | +2515444165 |