Understanding Return Migration from the Gulf to East Africa During Crisis: Youth and Gender Dimensions

Adrian Kitimbo

The COVID-19 pandemic prompted unprecedented reverse migration, forcing millions of migrants to return to their countries of origin. Due to loss of employment and income, fear of getting infected with COVID-19 or a desire to be with their families during the pandemic, many migrants - including youth migrants from East Africa who were living in the Gulf and who are the focus of this chapter - returned or were repatriated to their countries.

This chapter is part of the "Research Handbook on Migration, Gender, and COVID-19" and explores the gender and youth dimensions of return from GCC States to the East Africa subregion, focusing on three countries: Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia. While analysing the aspects above, it quickly became evident that there are major data gaps on migrant returns, including when it comes to disaggregated data by age and gender.

This reality makes it difficult to clearly explore the various ways in which migrant youth returnees were affected by the pandemic, while also limiting the needed targeted policy and programmatic interventions.

 Research Handbook on Migration, Gender, and COVID-19