Ethiopia Partnership Eases Vulnerable Returnee Access to Legal Identity Documents

Since January 2023, IOM has assisted over 8,800 Ethiopian migrants voluntarily return. Photo IOM/ Muse Mohammed  

Addis Ababa – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has signed (7/11) a cooperation agreement with the Office of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia’s National Identification Program (NIDP) to facilitate access to identification documents for vulnerable migrant returnees, displaced persons and affected communities as a prerequisite for global mobility and development.   

Through the new cooperation agreement, IOM and the National ID Program will collaborate on crucial areas, including identity governance, data protection, and inclusion initiatives to guarantee NIDP's accessibility, enrollment, verification, and authentication processes. The agreement also permits collaboration in the registration of internally displaced persons and migrant returnees, as well as in simplifying labour migration procedures.   

“Vulnerable people have difficulty accessing basic socio-economic rights and necessities due to the absence of legal identification,”  said Abibatou Wane, IOM Ethiopia Chief of Mission. “This partnership enhances access to national digital ID for migrants, Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), and affected communities.”   

In collaboration with the NIDP, Ethiopian Disaster Risk Management Commission (EDRMC) and Ministry of Women and Social Affairs, IOM has over the past few weeks facilitated the registration of more than 1,000 vulnerable Ethiopian returnees from Djibouti, Lebanon, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and Yemen. The IDs will help them to reintegrate into their communities and access essential services.  IOM Ethiopia has assisted over 8,800 migrant returnees through Assisted Voluntary and Reintegration and Voluntary Humanitarian Return (AVR/VHR) programmes since January 2023.  More than 1,300 returnees from the KSA have received post-arrival assistance since mid-October.    

“The NIDP plans to provide digital IDs to 90 million citizens and residents by 2026 including migrant returnees, IDPs, and other vulnerable groups for better access to necessary services,” said program Executive Director Yodahe “We are working towards making identity-enhanced mobility work.”  

IOM is also collaborating with other government agencies to enhance migrant protection and strengthen Integrated Border Governance, including registration and post-arrival support for migrant returnees, document verification, and support to Immigration and Citizenship Service (ICS) offices at airports and border crossing points.   

Through the cooperation agreement, IOM continues to formally commit to ensuring that no one is left behind in the journey towards a more inclusive and equitable society.  


For more information contact:   

Rahel Negussie,   

Adam Sahilu,   

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals