The number of African women migrating from the continent through the Horn of Africa to the Gulf States has doubled over the past two years, reaching over 100,000 in 2022, according to the UN.
“Although the majority of those taking the Eastern Route are men, the number of women has doubled over the past two years, from 53,000 in 2021 to 106,700 in 2022,” the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) of the United Nations said on Monday.
The organisation noted that many of those women and girls suffer from abuse and harassment during their risky endeavour, with some getting trapped into forced marriages and falling victim to human traffickers.
The IOM said it cannot help everyone in need, as it lacks funding.
“But as the risk of trafficking and exploitation rises, the funding to assist vulnerable migrants and victims is decreasing, which is felt by migrants, including women and girls, along the Eastern Route,” the report read.
Even those who manage to reach their final destination like Yemen or Saudi Arabia still remain in a dire situation, the organisation said.
“IOM estimates there are 43,000 migrants trapped in Yemen, living in precarious conditions and at risk of getting caught in the ongoing conflict,” the IOM said.
Since the start of 2022, the IOM has helped over 5,700 people to return home safely from Yemen and provided some sort of assistance to about 300,000 vulnerable migrants in Yemen, Somalia, and Djibouti.
In 2023, the migration agency helped 5,631 migrants to return home.
The IOM has a plea open for $58.5 million through its Migrant Response Plan for the Horn of Africa and Yemen 2023 to continue providing assistance in the region.