Towards the end of Ramadan 50 people - including migrants and others - sat down for iftar at the Migration Response Centre (MRC) in Mogadishu, Somalia.

Iftar is the evening meal with which Muslims end their daily Ramadan fast at sunset. The special event on 28 April was arranged by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with the aim of reinforcing understanding on migration issues and also to instill a sense of solidarity and compassion for migrants.

MRCs are located on key migration routes towards North Africa and Europe, the Arabian Peninsula, and South Africa. The centres are making it possible for governments, IOM, and other partners to work jointly in providing support to migrants who find themselves in difficult and sometimes life-threatening situations. The assistance offered ranges from medical and psychological support, shelter, food, hygiene items, clothing and information for assisted voluntary return and reintegration.

Some of these centres in the region are supported by the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa (the EU-IOM Joint Initiative), alongside other donors.

The MRC in Mogadishu was established in 2020 to support the country’s status as a source, transit location and destination for migrants, including returning nationals.

Among those who attended the special Iftar event were returnees, MRC staff, representatives from the Banadir Regional Administration, as well as youth, women and others from the local community. 

As the event got underway, Sheikh Mohamed, a religious leader from the host community, highlighted the significance of the holy month of Ramadan to both community members and returnees.

“This month anchors us in values, virtues, sound habits, and principles that come to our aid during times of crisis and vulnerability. The returnees need more assistance as they are the most vulnerable,” he said. 

Fuad Ade, a member of the case management team at IOM, spoke on the achievements made under the EU-IOM Joint initiative.

“Although this comprehensive programme provides a wide range of assistance to returnees, strengthening social ties between community members and returnees is the central focus at this time of the year.” 

To date the EU-IOM Joint Initiative has facilitated the return and reintegration of more than 1,000 Somalis and also provided assisted voluntary return assistance to more than 1,400 Ethiopian migrants who were stranded in Somalia. 

 About the EU-IOM Joint Initiative

To date the EU-IOM Joint Initiative has facilitated the return of more than 1,000 Somali youth as well as economic reintegration for more than 900 returnees. It has also provided Assisted Voluntary Return to more than 1,400 Ethiopian migrants who were stranded in Somalia.

For More information, please contact Wilson Johwa, email: or Claudia Barrios, email: