Dispatch from Ghardaïa: Meeting Bintu at the ‘Door to the Desert’

The buses left Algiers almost a day ago. Although the buses are comfortable, it has been a long day on the road for everyone. 

It is late June, and the convoy has arrived in Ghardaïa, northern-central Algeria – the door to the desert. As a member of an official delegation, I have come to visit and collect information about the transit facility in Ghardaïa, and the services provided to the migrants headed south.  There is media attention on this official visit. 

"Summer is here: Time to buy coal."

Katya is a single mother of two from Toretsk, Donetsk Region in Ukraine. Her very modest house is located only five kilometres from the contact line separating the two sides involved in the conflict; it was bought several years ago for a little more than USD 230 – an amount that Katya says took her a long time to save. After the conflict started in 2014, Toretsk was almost completely cut off from the main road system, leading to soaring prices for food and commodities — at least 20 per cent higher than elsewhere.

Ethiopian Migrant Returnees Get a New Lease on Life, Through Business Training and Reintegration Support

When 25-year-old Maru dropped out of school in the tenth grade he knew that he could not survive on loans from his relatives. He decided to leave Ethiopia in January 2017 to find work in South Africa, but he never made it there. He went through Kenya and Tanzania in transit, before being arrested and held in Malawi for eight months.