Addis Ababa (HAN) September 15. 2020. Public Diplomacy and Regional Stability Initiatives News. Monitoring Regional Issues. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia would like to announce that among the 720 Ethiopian migrants registered at the Ethiopian consulate in Lebanon, 650 of them who volunteered to return are repatriated, quarantined, and started the reintegration process in June 2020 and the Ethiopian government fully covered their costs.
On the upcoming Monday, we are expecting 408 returnees from Lebanon. Among these, 243 migrants have self-financed their cost of return and for the remaining 165 citizens generous individuals and groups have covered costs of return while Ethiopian Airlines offered a substantial discount for its tickets. The Ministry would like to take this opportunity to thank Ethiopian Airlines and the contributors for purchasing tickets including “Egna Legna” that purchased 81 tickets, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church with 40 tickets, the Catholic Church in Lebanon 13 as well as Zekarias and Cherinet Group, 40 tickets.
The Ministry has sent its new Consul General in July 2020 who has been doing tremendous work in mobilizing resources and human capital as well as coordinating a three month plan to help our citizens there. One of the successes is the work that he has done with the Lebanese government in identifying employers of migrants who are left out at the Embassy and negotiate unpaid salary and purchase of return ticket. This is a good effort that brings closure to the pending cases that sometimes end with a favourable outcome and other times call for an expedite move to the next step.
The three-month plan includes involving volunteers and temporary local employees and securing funds for contingencies. We have a pilot project for reintegration which we will upscale once it is implemented. Various donors and organizations are interested in extending hands. We have witnessed that the psychosocial assistance given in Beirut has a tremendous effect on the repatriation and integration process.
Participating in a meeting that was initiated by the African Union to discuss the situation of African Diaspora of low skilled workers in Lebanon on August 25, we both underscored the urgent need for resource mobilization. This meeting was a big success in advocating international resource mobilization.
The Government of Ethiopia would like to affirm that it is committed to doing its level best to assist its citizens in need.