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Migration Response Centres (MRCs) East and Horn of Africa (January 2019)

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A total of 1,008 migrants were registered at MRCs across the region in January. The largest number of migrants was registered in Obock (612), followed by Bosasso (158),
Semera (144), Hargeisa (67) and Metema (27). About 17% of registrees in January were minors. The largest number of children were registered in Obock (95) and Hargeisa (47). While all 47 minors in Hargeisa were accompanied, most minors in Obock (85) were unaccompanied. All minors registered in Semera (15) and Bosasso (16) were also unaccompanied. A majority of minors in Hargeisa (42) were below the age of 14, while most minors in Obock (66) were older than 15. Nonetheless, 23 of the unaccompanied minors registered in Obock were between 12 and 14 years of age. Of the 150 minors between the ages of 6 and 17, 70% had received no form of education at the point of interview and only 8% had completed primary school.

Of all the individuals registered across MRCs in January, 99% were of Ethiopian nationality, most commonly from the Oromia (67%), Amhara (25%) and Tigray (5%) regions.
With the exception of Hargeisa where the majority of registrees were minors, migrants registered across MRCs were predominantly 18-29 years old. The MRC Hargeisa attracts larger numbers of families compared to other MRCs in the region, due to its location in an area where many migrant families have settled. Of the registered migrants, 97% reported never having attempted a migration journey before. While over 71% of registered men were traveling alone, the majority of females (56%) were traveling in a group.

A majority of registrees reported migrating for economic reasons (86%), while 5% left their communities of origin due to natural disaster. Most registrees reporting that they left their habitual residence due to natural disaster were from the Oromia (96%) region in Ethiopia. Oromia was hit by drought and flash floods in the first half of 2018. While 86% of male migrants were headed along the Eastern Route to Saudi Arabia, only 68% of female migrants were traveling towards the Gulf. Another 16% of female migrants reported that their intended destination was Somalia. Around 7% of migrants were returning home to their country of birth, almost all of whom were male (55 of the 56 migrants). All returnees were Ethiopian. The largest number of returnees were tracked at IOM's MRC in Bosasso (50), while another 6 were registered in Obock.

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