IOM’s presence in Ethiopia goes back to 1995 when it initially implemented the Return of Qualified African Nationals (RQAN) project. The objective of this project was to compensate for the shortage of qualified human resource in developing countries like Ethiopia and thereby assist national development.
In 2005, IOM took a bold step to designate the mission in Ethiopia as Special Liaison Mission (IOM/SLM) with liaison functions to the African Union (AU), United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).
Since 1995, IOM has been contributing to the efforts of the Government of Ethiopia to manage migration effectively through a wide variety of projects and programmes. IOM in Ethiopia has also been involved in the resettlement of refugees and the movement of various migrant groups for family reunification and other opportunities to various countries throughout the world. Furthermore, IOM has expanded the focus of its activities to include Counter-Trafficking, Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR), Migration and Development, Labour Migration, and Migration Health.