(MENAFN - Arab News) Ethiopia has received close to 140,000 citizens from Saudi Arabia, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Wednesday.
Thousands are continuing to arrive daily from the KIngdom, where a seven-month amnesty period for undocumented workers expired in November.
"Ethiopia and IOM are now looking at an additional 35,000 migrants expected to arrive from Riyadh, Jeddah and new arrivals from Madinah," the IOM said in a statement.
The organization said the massive influx of returnees, which began on Nov. 13, has severely strained resources, and appealed for financial support to continue providing "humanitarian assistance" to thousands of people.
Ethiopia initially expected around 30,000 citizens to return home, but now expects 150,000 will fly back.
The country now faces the difficult task of reintegrating tens of thousands of people, many of whom have returned with no savings.
Each year, large numbers of Ethiopians travel to the Middle East seeking work. Last year, 200,000 women sought work overseas, according to Ethiopia's Ministry of Labour.
Ethiopia has one of the fastest growing economies in Africa, but the majority of the population earns less than two dollars a day.
Unemployment in Ethiopia's cities is around 20 percent, according to the IOM.