East And Horn of Africa — A Region on the Move – 2019 Mobility Overview in the East and Horn of Africa and the Arab Peninsula

This year’s A Region on the Move report aims to provide an overview of the main population movement trends in the East and Horn of Africa region (EHoA) in 2019. Home to an estimated population of 322 million, of which 42 per cent are under the age of 15, the region hosted 6.5 million international migrants at mid-year 2019. With more than six million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and more than three million refugees and asylum-seekers recorded by the end of the year, countries in the region continue to experience significant levels of internal and crossborder mobility, including intra- and extra-regional movements. Migration in the region is still triggered by a combination of persistent insecurity and conflict, harsh climatic conditions, public heath emergencies alongside socio-economic drivers and more traditional seasonal and livelihood factors. In 2019, the region observed a growing trend in intercommunal clashes, particularly in Ethiopia, Somalia and South Sudan, in addition to abnormal climatic events such as a severe drought, devastating floods and a critical desert locust invasion, all of which affected the EHoA in its entirety. Meanwhile, multiple countries reinforced their preparedness efforts to counter the risk of cross-border transmissions of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) from the neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo. Similar to previous years, most migration trends captured through flow monitoring were motivated by economic reasons in 2019. The region continues to be characterized by large movements towards the Arab Peninsula – along the Eastern Route – with 138,213 migrant crossings to Yemen from the Horn of Africa, notwithstanding the 120,825 returns of Ethiopian nationals led by the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2019 alone. Comparatively, the number of arrivals of EHoA migrants registered across European arrival points in Greece, Italy and Spain fell from 4,624 in 2018 to 3,452 in 2019. 


DTM Regional Office Nairobi, DTMRONairobi@iom.int