In March 2017, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) announced that all irregular migrants should leave the country during an amnesty period, or face fines, detention and deportation. At the time, the Government of Ethiopia estimated that the new decree would affect approximately 500,000 Ethiopians.
Most returnees are from poor agricultural areas, where a booming population and youth bulge, the resultant scarcity of farmland and extremely limited employment opportunities contribute to wide-spread multi-dimensional poverty. With regular channels blocked for most, irregular migration is one of the few coping mechanisms available to migrants and their families.
- International Organization for Migration
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