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Published On: Tue, Jan 12th, 2016

Somaliland:IOM Responds to Fatal Shipwreck

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IOMBy APO on January 12, 2016

Some 36 migrants died when a ship carrying at least 106 Ethiopian and Somali migrants sank off the coast of the Somaliland autonomous region in northern Somalia on Friday, according to IOM Somalia.

IOM, in partnership with the Migrant Response Center (MRC) in Somaliland, is supporting local authorities to provide food, water, and medicine for the survivors. It also provided trucks to move the migrants from Harasho, where they landed, to the capital of Sanaag, Erigavo, to receive medical attention.

According to staff from the MRC, the survivors were all dehydrated and emaciated and many needed urgent medical attention. Those who were in critical condition were referred to a local hospital, where they are being treated by an IOM supported medical team.

When the migrants are fit to travel, IOM, in close cooperation with UNHCR, DRC and government partners, will move them first to the UNHCR-managed Berbera reception centre, where they will stay overnight, be registered and screened to determine their protection needs.

Today (12/1) 62 migrants will travel to Berbera. The remaining eight will remain under the care of doctors at Erigavo Hospital until they are fit to travel. They will then travel on to Hargeisa, where they will be supported through the Migrant Response Centre and the Ethiopian Community Centre. Migrants who choose to return home may then be offered IOM assisted voluntary return.

Every year, thousands of people die in the waters off the coast of Africa while trying to reach Yemen in order to escape conflict-ridden situations and poor economic prospects at home. Yemen serves as a gateway to the rich Gulf countries in the Middle East.

Somalis, Eritreans and Ethiopians make up for most of the migrants who look to cross the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea trying to reach Yemen and beyond in precarious boats, often controlled by unscrupulous human traffickers.

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