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Emergency Operations in Sierra Leone as Government, UN Agencies Respond to Floods

PBN News Germany - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 11:19

Freetown – More than 300 people have died with hundreds more still missing following severe mudslides and floods in Sierra Leone’s capital, according to the Office of National Security (ONS). Two districts have been affected: Freetown (eastern and western outskirts) and Bo district.

Inter-agency rapid assessments conducted by five different teams including IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in 16 communities on Tuesday (15/08) are indicating that around 1,100 households are directly affected (approximately 4,000 people). These are still preliminary figures to be confirmed by further assessments.

“The Disaster Management Department of ONS is in charge of the overall coordination and response, with military and police involved in rescue operations in affected areas,” said Langumba Keili, the director of ONS. “The death toll is expected to continue to rise over the next few days and weeks, as emergency teams search through the debris and mud.”

Communications and electricity have been disrupted, and extensive damage has been done to roads, infrastructure and houses. The full extent of the damage is still being assessed. Further mudslides from Sugar Loaf Mountain, at the base of which Freetown sits, due to forecasted heavy rains could lead to further disasters.

“Access to safe water and health services, as well as widespread displacement are expected to be immediate concerns for thousands of people,” said Sanusi Savage, IOM  Sierra Leone Chief of Mission. “We will do everything to reach affected communities and give aid to vulnerable people. The longer we wait to respond, the higher the risk of epidemic disease outbreaks or Acute Watery Diarrhoea are due to contaminated water sources.”

IOM, as a member of the UN Country Team, and humanitarian partners, including the Red Cross, have mobilized and are supporting ONS. After learning of the mudslide and the floods, IOM immediately committed to enhancing its emergency relief in the country including through the use of funds from the Government of Japan. The activities planned with this funding are emergency assistance to the people affected by the mudslide and the floods and through distributions of core relief items, including emergency shelter kits. IOM and ONS have agreed upon a standard shelter and kitchen set to be distributed to families whose houses were destroyed by the floods. IOM is deploying an Information Management expert on Sunday (20/08) to support the Government in data collection, coordination and analysis. 

Prior to the floods, IOM had been supporting national authorities and local organizations in Sierra Leone through capacity building in disaster preparedness, displacement management and data collection.

The Government and humanitarian partners are registering survivors, and those who have lost family members. Red Cross volunteers are also digging for missing persons and supporting distraught families. The World Food Programme is distributing food. The Ministry of Health and Sanitation requested a series of health items to be delivered at the Central Medical Store in Freetown in order to respond to the urgent medical needs, which IOM has started to send. IOM has distributed gloves, aprons, face masks, gowns, chlorine, and liquid soap, among others.

The Sierra Leonean Government leads the response and is working with international organizations to fill in the gap in available resources. The Government has clearly indicated to partners that it will need urgent support and assistance in responding to the disaster to avert further human suffering. Currently, a public health preparedness plan is being developed by the Government and health partners in order to adequately respond to potential outbreaks of cholera and other water-borne diseases. There is also a plan being developed to train community health workers on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and water-borne disease surveillance.

The Governments of China, Ireland, UK, Guinea, Nigeria, Liberia, Belgium, Switzerland and Israel, as well as the European Union have made pledges to the inter-agency response. IOM is in discussions with donors to continue an immediate expansion of its humanitarian operations in Sierra Leone as part of the inter-agency response to the floods.

Read more about the effects of previous floods in Sierra Leone here.

For more information, please contact IOM Sierra Leone. Muluken Awlachew, Email: mawlachew@iom.int, Tel: +232 99 60 6002. Or Sylvester Deane, Email: sdeane@iom.int, Tel: +232 99 60 6004

Language English Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 - 16:27Image: Region-Country: Sierra LeoneThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsMigration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Families displaced by recent mudslide and the floods in Sierra Leone. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

More than 300 people have died with hundreds more still missing following severe mudslides and floods in Sierra Leone’s capital. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

More than 300 people have died with hundreds more still missing following severe mudslides and floods in Sierra Leone’s capital. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

Over 38,000 Migrants Assisted with Voluntary Return by UN Migration Agency in First Half of 2017

PBN News Germany - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 11:18

Geneva – Some 19,088 migrants have returned home voluntarily with assistance from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, from 1 April to 30 June 2017, according to the IOM AVRR quarterly bulletin published today (18/08). These migrants have returned from 81 host and transit countries to 136 countries and territories of origin.

This brings the number of migrants assisted to return home voluntarily to 38,019* since the beginning of 2017. The bulletin produced by IOM’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) Unit shows an overall decrease of assisted voluntary returns in the first semester of 2017, as compared to the same period in 2016.

This reflects fewer beneficiaries returning from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. Such a decrease can be explained by a combination of factors including lower influx of migrant arrivals and lower numbers of asylum applications. Other influential factors include changes in national migration and asylum policies, such as restrictions on eligibility criteria for assisted voluntary return. The bulletin also highlights that one third of migrants assisted by IOM during the last quarter were female and nearly one quarter were children.

Number of AVRR beneficiaries per month 1 January–30 June 2017. UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

“Figures presented in the bulletin mirror a situation that is going back to normal for AVRR globally, after the unprecedented, high volumes of assisted voluntary returns from Europe in 2016,”  remarked Nicola Graviano, Senior AVRR Specialist at IOM’s Migrant Assistance Division (MAD) in IOM Headquarters in Geneva. At the same time, the bulletin’s data points to an increase in assisted voluntary returns from countries such as Niger or Djibouti, which are usually considered as transit countries for migrants en route to the EEA or the Gulf countries. “Our colleagues in the field have noticed a general increase in the number of migrants in vulnerable situations among the returnees, who require specific attention and tailored assistance,” concluded Graviano.

From 1 January until 30 June 2017, the EEA and Switzerland was the region from where most migrants returned (73 per cent), while South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia remained the region with the largest number of returnees (39 per cent). Migrants assisted by IOM mainly returned from Germany (16,645), Greece (2,924) and Niger (2,795). The main countries of origin were Albania (4,421), Iraq (4,006) and Ethiopia (2,330).

* Periodic data is provisional and should therefore be considered as an estimation. AVRR global data is reviewed and finalized on an annual basis.

To access IOM’s AVRR Bulletin 2017/II, please click here.

To access IOM’s AVRR 2016 Key Highlights report, please click here.

For further information about IOM’s AVRR programmes, please click here.

For more information, please contact IOM HQ in Geneva:
Nazanine Nozarian, Tel: +41 22 717 9314, Email: nnozarian@iom.int or Jorge Galindo, Tel: +41 22 717 9205, Email: jgalindo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 - 16:26Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Steps Up Life-saving Support in Uganda as South Sudanese Refugees Hit 1 Million

PBN News Germany - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 11:18

Kampala – The number of South Sudanese fleeing to Uganda has surpassed 1 million. IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has intensified its efforts to help refugees and the communities hosting them in coordination with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Since the crisis erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, nearly 4 million people have been displaced from their homes due to insecurity and rising humanitarian needs.

Since April, IOM has been implementing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects in the country’s West Nile region. This response targets Zone 4 of the Bidibidi settlement in the Yumbe district and the Palorinya settlement in the Moyo district. IOM’s projects are assisting both refugees and Ugandans who live side by side in the settlements and share resources and common services. Bidibidi, which is home to an estimated 276,000 refugees is now considered Africa’s largest refugee settlement. The Palorinya settlement hosts 176,000 refugees.  

These life-saving interventions are funded by the European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO), and the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

Since mid-2016, increasing instability and conflict throughout Central Equatoria, which borders Uganda, has led to the displacement of thousands of civilians to displacement camps, remote areas and across the border. On Thursday (17/08), UNHCR formally announced that Uganda was hosting at least 1 million South Sudanese refugees fleeing war and its effects in the world’s youngest nation. Some 1,800 South Sudanese crossed the border every day into Uganda over the past 12 months, according to UNHCR.

The influx has put a strain on services such as water, healthcare and education in Uganda. In June 2017, the UN and the Uganda Government hosted the Solidarity Summit on Refugees with Secretary General António Guterres urging the international community to support Uganda’s exemplary refugee protection model.

The EU has committed over EUR 2.2 million to support IOM's humanitarian operations in the country through July 2018.

 IOM’s interventions are aimed at improving the reach, safety and sustainability of water supplies, as well as supporting construction of sanitation and hygiene facilities and promoting their usage. A major challenge is that more than 60 per cent of water is supplied by trucking, which is expensive and unsustainable. Access to sanitation and hygiene reaches 30.6 per cent of the population in Zone 4 of the Bidibidi settlement and only 6 per cent for the entire Palorinya settlement.

 In the two settlements, IOM will motorize three production wells and build piped systems to deliver water to at least 31,000 people, support community water management structures and distribute thousands of jerry-cans for storing drinking water. The sanitation interventions will involve construction of at least 34 institutional latrine blocks and 7,600 household latrines, including for people with special needs. A sludge fecal treatment system, garbage collection points and incinerators will also be set up. Placenta pits and bathing shelters will be built at selected health centres.

Among other activities, IOM will also carry out awareness-creation campaigns and train refugees in hygienic practices and in manufacturing soap, sanitary pads and briquettes.

“The situation in the refugee settlements remains dire, not least because the flow of refugees into Uganda continues. Just one third of the high-yield boreholes that can be motorized to end overreliance on trucking have been adapted, so we still have a long way to go to provide sustainable safe water,” said Ali Abdi, IOM Uganda Chief of Mission. “And with the coverage of minimum acceptable sanitation and hygiene standards lower than 10 per cent in sites such as Palorinya, WASH services for the South Sudanese refugees couldn’t be more urgent,” said Abdi.
For more information, please contact Richard Mulindwa-Kavuma, IOM Uganda, Tel: +256 772 709 917 and +256 700 646 403, Email: rmkavuma@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 - 16:25Image: Region-Country: UgandaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

South Sudanese refugee children in a reception centre within Palorinya settlement in northwestern Uganda. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Trucks queuing up for water at Oluba well in Bidibidi settlement.  IOM will motorize this well and pump water into the settlement. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 119,069 in 2017; 2,410 Deaths

PBN News Germany - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 11:15

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 119,069 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 16 August, with almost 83 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 266,423 arrivals across the region through 16 August 2016.

IOM Spain reports this week total migrant and refugee sea arrivals had reached 8,385 by 9 August, not counting the 600 or more migrants rescued at sea earlier this week. The official number – 8,385 – is greater than all sea arrivals recorded during 2016, when the full year count totalled 8,162 (see chart below).

Estimated sea arrivals to Spain since 1 June 2017 are approaching 6,000, with over half of those (3,181) just in the month of June. Last year’s busiest month for sea arrivals off Spain was November when 1,855 arrivals were recorded.

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported today (18/08) that on 16 August, 107 migrants (including six women) were rescued off Al Khums by the Libyan Coast Guard. So far in 2017, 12,945 migrants have been rescued in Libyan waters.

IOM Rome reported Thursday, 17 August, that according to official figures of the Italian Ministry of Interior, 97,458 migrants have arrived by sea to Italy this year, which is a 4.03 per cent drop from the same period in 2016. IOM Rome spokesperson, Flavio Di Giacomo, noted that August arrivals thus far, at 2,245 migrants and refugees, are running at under 10 per cent of 2016 and 2015 August arrivals, despite being past the month’s midway point (see chart below).

IOM Athens reported Thursday 458 arrivals in the past seven days (10–16 August), including 334 on Monday, 14 August, arriving on the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos and Chilos. On two separate days, 13 August and 16 August, IOM reported no arrivals by sea off Greece. For the year so far, a total of 12,725 migrants and refugees have landed in Greece, compared with 162,015 for the same period last year.

Just 21 deaths have been recorded so far by IOM this August in the region, a sharp drop from the 689 recorded in August 2015 and 62 last year. The latest count for Mediterranean Sea fatalities is 2,410. That figure lags by almost 800 behind the number of deaths (3,208) recorded at this time last year. Nonetheless, 2017 marks the fourth consecutive year migrant deaths in the Mediterranean Sea have exceeded 2,400.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 3,493 fatalities in 2017 through 16 August (see chart below). The Mediterranean region continues to account for well over half of all fatalities worldwide.

Among the new deaths reported by the MMP team since Tuesday are two bodies recovered in Az Zawiyah, Libya, two deaths on the US/Mexico border (1 drowning in Rio Bravo and 1 body recovered in Brooks County, Texas) and three deaths on the Syrian/Turkish border. 

In this last location, MMP has reported a total of 41 fatalities since 1 June, comprising seven in August, 17 in July and 17 in June. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group that monitors deaths at the Turkish/Syrian border, reported these numbers but has collected few details. MMP has confirmed that at least ten of the victims were men, as well as one adult and three minors. The rest is unknown. Most of the incidents took place in Idlib province with the cause of death recorded as gunshot wounds.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/170818_Mediterranean_Update.pdf

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int
For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 - 16:24Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingHumanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

Italian Coast Guard rescues migrants and refugees bound for Italy. Photo: Francesco Malavolta / UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency launches Regional Research on Haitian Migration

PBN News Germany - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 11:14

Buenos Aires - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Institute of Public Policies on Human Rights of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) launched this week (15/08) an assessment on Haitian migration to  MERCOSUR Member and Associate countries, with field work in Brazil (San Pablo), Chile (Santiago) and Argentina (Buenos Aires).

The study used institutional and normative survey questionnaires on Haitian migrants in each of MERCOSUR countries. Additionally, the field work included qualitative interviews focused on the conditions and strategies of reception and assistance to Haitian migrants in San Pablo, Santiago de Chile and Buenos Aires.

Haitian migration flows between 2014 and 2016 to Brazil and Chile and to a lesser extent towards Argentina, have different characteristics compared to Haitian migration that entered between 2010 and 2014. Between 2014 and 2016, Haitian migration flows were mainly composed by direct and indirect relatives of migrants already settled in those countries.

According to the study, Brazil is the country with the highest number of Haitians. By the end of 2016, 67,000 residencies had been granted, including temporary and permanent. In Chile, there were almost 18,000 residencies by the end of 2015, while in Argentina, the number was less than 1,200.

As regards social rights, there is no robust correlation between regular migratory access measures and effective access to health, education, housing and work. However, in Argentina, Brazil and Chile, there is evidence of an acceptable level of guarantee of access to social rights, in particular to education and health. Additionally, in Brazil, the regularization of migrants has significantly contributed to the access to the formal labor market.

The study includes public policy recommendations at two levels of action: 1) entry and visa policies and 2) mechanisms of integration in the destination country.

Explained Matteo Mandrile, the IOM Regional Project Development Officer who coordinated the study: "The dynamism of Haitian diaspora requires designing and implementing integrated public policies of mobility and integration, especially considering that Haitian migrants in South America have settled in, but at the same time part of them continue to move at the intra-regional level.”

This study, funded by the IOM Development Fund and the Government of Brazil, is part of a series of projects that IOM has been implementing in South America in relation to Haitian migration, including a study on Haitian migration to Brazil conducted by IOM in 2014, which analyzed the main migration routes to Brazil, and a research in 2016 on the labor insertion of Haitians in the Southern region and the Federal District of Brazil.

Download the study here: https://bit.ly/2uQr2OH
For further information, please contact Juliana Quintero or Matteo Mandrile at the IOM Regional Office in Buenos Aires, Tel. + (54) 11 52192033, Emails: juquintero@iom.int; mmandrile@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 - 16:23Image: Region-Country: ArgentinaThemes: Migration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

IOM China Facilitates Guangdong Visit for European Consular Officials

PBN News Germany - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 11:14

Guangdong Province — IOM, the UN Migration Agency, facilitated a field visit this week (16-18 August) to the Guangdong provincial cities of Zhuhai and Shenzhen for a delegation of consular officials from European Union embassies in Beijing.

Zhuhai and Shenzhen, in Guangdong’s Pearl River Delta region, see significant migratory flows as both are close to the Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of Macao and Hong Kong.

The visit, organized within the framework of the EU–China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility Support project aimed to enhance the visitors’ understanding of migration management policies and systems in the region, which are designed to facilitate mobility while combating irregular migration.

The delegation, which included officials from the embassies of Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovenia and Slovakia, was welcomed by local officials from China’s Bureau of Exit and Entry Administration, and visited various exit and entry ports. 

Guangdong province has historically been a hub of migration and mobility, and the Pearl River Delta region exemplifies China’s renewed efforts to facilitate the movement of goods and people. The region is also an important global trade centre within the framework of the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, which aims to improve infrastructure across the participating countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

For more information, please contact Etienne Micallef at IOM Beijing, Tel. +86 13 811 209 875, Email: emicallef@iom.int  

Language English Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 - 16:22Image: Region-Country: ChinaThemes: OthersDefault: Multimedia: 

People queue to use e-gates to exit mainland China at Gongbei port in Zhuhai. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, USAID Build Protective Environments for Returnees to El Salvador

PBN News Germany - Fri, 08/18/2017 - 11:14

San Salvador – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and local authorities have begun the construction of a communal house as well as several spaces for sports and recreation for returned migrants in the municipalities of San Miguel and Usulután.

The Agencies have also carried out construction projects in Zacatecoluca. All these actions benefit 78 communities and more than 9,000 families within the three municipalities, and are aimed at contributing to social cohesion, community development and the reintegration processes of returnees. According to official sources, from January to June 2017, the municipalities with the largest number of returnees were San Salvador (2,413), San Miguel (1,722) and Usulután (1,467). San Miguel and Usulután were selected for these projects based on migration flows data registered within its territories, as well as their link with the plan “El Salvador Seguro”.

Many returnees suffer from growing discrimination in El Salvador. Upon arrival, they are often associated with organized crime and delinquency. This makes it difficult for them to reintegrate into their home communities, and it may cause recidivism into irregular migration.

The inauguration event was headed by Jorge Peraza, IOM Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras; Adam Schmidt, USAID Director in El Salvador; Trevor Hublin, leader of USAID Regional Team in the Democracy and Governance Office; Miguel Ángel Pereira, Mayor of San Miguel; and Salvador Lovo, interim Mayor of Usulután.

“We are convinced that the challenges resulting from stigmatization and discrimination experienced by neglected populations must be consistently addressed from various perspectives. We have to generate well-ordered environments within these communities to ensure that migrants can build up networks which will help them to be reintegrated, this is why it is a priority for us,” said Peraza. “In this manner, we will also contribute to gain visibility in all positive contributions made by returnees in their communities of origin, transit and destination,” added Peraza.

“With this project, we will have more options for every sport activity, more options for returnees to join groups, more options for reintegrating young people, better infrastructure for training and for protection from sun exposure, all of this is great!” said Alejandra Mendoza, a 12-year-old student at the Municipal Basketball Initiation School of Usulután.

As a part of IOM’s Strategy of Return and Reintegration in Communities, the implementation of the infrastructural improvements includes community participation through focus groups with special emphasis on young people and women. The strategy also includes the fight against stigmatization towards returnees and the prevention of irregular migration and social violence.

The inauguration took place as part of IOM’s Return and Reintegration Programme in the Northern Triangle of Central America, funded by USAID and coordinated by municipal authorities, community organizations and local leaders. 

For more information please contact José Miguel Gómez at IOM El Salvador, Tel: +503 2521-0511, Email: miggomez@iom.int  or Alba Miriam Amaya at IOM office for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Tel: +503 2521-0511, Email: aamaya@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 - 16:21Image: Region-Country: El SalvadorThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

The UN Migration Agency's (IOM) return and reintegration programme in the Northern Triangle includes the construction of community houses and other spaces for sports and recreation in San Miguel and Usulután, El Salvador. Photo: Alba Amaya / UN Migration Agency (IOM)

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) holds activities related to return and reintegration projects in the Northern Triangle of Central America. Photo: Alba Amaya / UN Migration Agency (IOM)

“With this project we will have more options for every sport activity, more options for reintegrating young people,” says Alejandra Mendoza, a 12-year-old beneficiary of the UN Migration Agency (IOM) return and reintegration programme in Central America. Photo: Alba Amaya / UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Categories: PBN

Libyan Authorities Meet with UN Agencies to Discuss Migrant Health

PBN News Germany - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 03:38

Tunis – On 15 August, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, organized a round table on Migrants Health in Libya as part of the regional project, ‘Promoting health and wellbeing among migrants in Morocco, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen.’ This project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.

There are estimated to be more than 1.3 million people without access to healthcare throughout Libya. With large numbers of migrants, some estimates say close to 1 million, and internally displaced persons, 226,164, the health system is facing significant challenges in providing essential health services and in monitoring the health of migrants, displaced persons and host communities.

IOM is working closely with the Libyan authorities and partners in promoting medical assistance and health interventions including in detention centres, at main migrant disembarkation points for Europe and as part of voluntary humanitarian returns.
The round table discussion advanced the development of Libyan authorities’ policies on national and migrant health. The event was attended by the Deputy Ministry of Health and the General Director of the National Centres for Disease Control (NCDC) in Libya among other officials from the health, immigration, security and social affairs sectors. Presentations and discussions at the round table were led by IOM, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Population Fund and Ministry of Public Health representative from Thailand.

“IOM will continue technical support and collaboration with the Government of Libya in advancing the migration health agenda, in partnership with WHO to address the health needs of internally displaced persons, returnees, and migrants and host community,” said Othman Belbeisi, IOM Libya Chief of Mission. Belbeisi also referred to IOM Director General William Lacy Swing’s recent visit to Tripoli earlier in August, where he had emphasized IOM’s response in Libya as of paramount importance to the Organization.

In light of the priorities established during the 70th World Health Assembly and the recommendations put forth in the 2017 Colombo Statement to promote the health of migrants globally, as well as ongoing advocacy to ensure that migration health is adequately addressed in the global compacts for refugees and migration, such multisectoral dialogue is key to developing and mainstreaming migration into national health policies in Libya.

“This round table and capacity building workshop further reiterate IOM’s ongoing work in providing medical and humanitarian assistance to migrants and mainstreaming migration health across IOM’s overall engagement in Libya,” said Dr. Poonam Dhavan, IOM Migration Health Programme Coordinator based in the Organization’s headquarters, following her presentation on migration health programmes in Libya.

Sessions during the round table included a joint discussion moderated by IOM and WHO on actionable health commitments for Libya. Dr. Phusit Prakongsai from the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand presented a case study of Thailand’s steps for migrant inclusive health policies. The roundtable is set to be followed by a training bringing together other officials from the national and regional level in order to strengthen the operational capacities relating to migrants health in Libya.

For more information, please contact Dr. Arif Syed at IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29289550, Email: ahsyed@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 09:29Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration HealthUNDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Libya convened a migrant health policy round table attended by Libyan authorities, UN and other partners on 15 August 2017. Photo: UN Migration Agency 2017

Categories: PBN

Estonian PM Visits IOM’s Turkish Hub for Operations in Southern Turkey, Northern Syria During Country’s EU Presidency

PBN News Germany - Wed, 08/16/2017 - 03:34

Gaziantep – Yesterday (15/08), Jüri Ratas, Prime Minister of Estonia, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, visited the IOM, UN Migration Agency, offices in Gaziantep. Turkey’s southern city, close to the Syrian border, is the hub for IOM’s emergency response operations in southern Turkey and northern Syria.

Prime Minister Ratas toured IOM’s office in Gaziantep where IOM programmes provide life-saving assistance, protection services and help build resilience of Syrian refugees as well as internally displaced in northern Syria.  IOM assistance to refugees and internally displaced Syrians include emergency and livelihood support, vocational trainings and psychosocial support.

IOM’s emergency response has provided humanitarian assistance to nearly two million Syrians living in Turkey and northern Syria.  By procuring items locally, IOM is working to support both the refugee and the community hosting them.

Prime Minister Ratas also met with Syrians visiting IOM’s Family Assistance Programme (FAP). This programme has helped over 170,000 people in Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon complete the family reunification visa paperwork and reunite with family members, who already have refugee status in Germany. FAP is one way IOM works to provide safe and dignified options to migrants and refugees hoping to reach Europe.  Women and children constitute 83 per cent of people assisted by FAP.

“Millions of people have been devastated by the Syrian crisis. The international community must develop long-term strategies to help the millions of people in need. This requires strong coordination between donors and host governments, but also more lasting solutions like the family assistance and resettlement programmes, which offer refugees the opportunity to rebuild what war destroyed,” said Rex Alamban, Head of IOM office in Gaziantep. 

Now in its seventh year, the crisis in Syria has displaced over 10 million people within and out of Syria.  With over 71,000 people internally displaced in July alone, Syria now contains over 6 million internally displaced people.  Nearly a half million individuals (471,885) inside Syria are without adequate shelter.

Turkey hosts the world’s largest refugee population with over 3.1 million Syrians living under temporary protection there. IOM’s programmes currently have an operational budget of USD 140 million in Turkey. However, IOM issued an appeal earlier this year to help fund its support to Syrian refugees in the countries neighbouring Syria. It is still underfunded by 90 per cent overall.

For more information, please contact Abby Dwommoh at IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 312 454 3048, Email: MediaIOMTurkey@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 09:29Image: Region-Country: TurkeyThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (centre) visits IOM Turkey’s offices in Gaziantep on 15 August 217. Photo: UN Migration Agency 2017

PM Ratas listens to IOM presentations on emergency operations in Turkey.

Prime Minister Ratas observes IOM providing assistance to Syrian man to complete family reunification visa.

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Races to Assist in Wake of Sierra Leone Tragedy

PBN News Germany - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 11:33

Geneva – After learning Monday of devastating floods that left hundreds dead in the West African nation of Sierra Leone, IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, immediately released USD 150,000 in emergency, first-response aid relief.

“IOM is ready to work with Sierra Leone’s government in any capacity it can, to respond to this terrible event,” said Director General William Lacy Swing Tuesday morning from IOM headquarters in Geneva.

West Africa Regional IOM chief Richard Danziger, speaking from Dakar, Senegal, said IOM was joining Sierra Leone authorities and the UN country team Tuesday doing damage assessment in the impacted region near the capital, Freetown.

Hundreds of citizens are reported dead with many more missing after mudslides and floods tore through several communities; search teams expect to discover more remains in the coming days and weeks.

Access to potable water and widespread homelessness are expected to be immediate concerns for thousands of people in the capital, whose population exceeds one million.

Flooding has caused havoc in Sierra Leone in the recent past. IOM this month inaugurated a water treatment facility located about 50 kilometers outside Freetown to provide safe drinking water to the population resettled at Mile 6 in the aftermath of the flash floods that ravaged Freetown in September 2015. Find more details here.

For more information, please contact:
Sanusi Savage at IOM Freetown, Tel: +232 99606066, Email: ssavage@iom.int or Tijs Magagi Hoornaert at IOM Dakar, Tel: +221785891456, Email: tmhoornaert@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 17:23Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsMigration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Hundreds are reported dead with many more missing after mudslides and floods tore through several communities in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Photo: UNICEF 2017

Emergency services on their way to the scene of a deadly mud slide in Freetown. Photo: UNICEF 2017

Categories: PBN

More Survivors, Remains of Deceased Migrants Found by UN Migration Agency on Yemen Beach

PBN News Germany - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 11:23

Aden – Over the past three days, staff from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, have found more survivors, as well as the remains of more victims, from last week’s tragic incidents. On 9 and 10 August, a total of 280 migrants headed towards the Gulf countries were forced from two boats off the coast of Yemen’s Shabwa Governorate.

On Wednesday, 9 August, when 120 people were forced from a boat [read more here], the remains of 29 individuals (12 Ethiopian males, 12 Ethiopian females and five Somali males) were found by IOM staff on the same day. The number of people still missing has reduced from 22 to six, all of whom are Ethiopian males. Through contact or from other survivors’ reports, IOM was able to account for a majority of the missing. This makes 35 people presumed dead from the first incident. IOM provided urgent medical care, as well as food and water, to 27 survivors, 22 of whom were Ethiopian males, and the remainder, five Somali males. Eighty-five people in total survived this incident. However, many others had left the beach before IOM arrived to assist.

On Thursday, 10 August, a further 160 people were forced from a second boat [read more here], again off the coast of Yemen’s Shabwa Governorate but in a different location from the first tragedy and closer to the shore. On the day of this incident, IOM found six bodies on the beach. On 11 August, IOM and local people found another four and on 12 August, another two. The current total number of confirmed dead from the second incident is 12 (eight Ethiopian males and four Ethiopian females). In the immediate aftermath of the smugglers’ actions during the second incident, 13 people were missing. Only six people remain missing and so, 18 are now presumed dead.

IOM assisted 57 survivors on 10 August. Thirteen of the survivors, whom IOM had helped, returned to the beach the following day realizing that they were too weak to make the trek through the desert to Yemen’s land borders. On 13 August, IOM located five more survivors and assisted them with medical support, food and water. In total, IOM aided 65 people who survived the second incident – 62 Ethiopian males and three Ethiopian females. Some 142 people survived the second incident and, as on the previous day, people left the beach before IOM arrived.

Of the 280 people forced into Yemen’s rough seas on both mornings, 226 people survived, 42 are confirmed dead and 12 are still missing. The total number of presumed dead is currently 54.

The surviving Ethiopian and Somali migrants left IOM’s care and are most likely making their way to Yemen’s borders with the Gulf countries, a journey which takes a week or more depending on the route. The migration routes through Yemen are constantly changing due to the security situation in the country.

IOM will continue to patrol Yemen’s beaches to provide assistance to migrants in distress and to search for the migrants still missing.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM HQ in Geneva, Tel: +41794035365, Email: oheadon@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 17:17Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingHumanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff assist Somali, Ethiopian migrants who were forced into the sea by smugglers. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

Thousands of Displaced Iraqis Living with Psychological Toll of Conflict

PBN News Germany - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 11:16

Mosul – Weeks after the retaking of Mosul city, many internally displaced persons (IDPs) are exhibiting signs of stress and anxiety. As the psychological toll of what many had endured over the last three years kicks in, children in particular have been scarred by the violence of life under ISIL. They will need long-term psychological support.

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has been offering support to IDPs since November 2016 – virtually since the start of the Mosul crisis – by providing integrated psychosocial services to 24,399 internally displaced Iraqis. IOM’s outreach ranges from individual counselling to structured play. Emotional support comes in the form of sporting activities, as well as from guided group discussions and specialized consultations.

With support from the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and the Government of Canada, IOM’s Mental Health and Psychosocial Support programme (MHPSS) now has seven centres catering to IDPs from Mosul and its surrounding areas, between the Qayarah Airstrip and Haj Ali emergency sites, and the Hasansham U3, Nergizilya 1 and Chamakor camps.

IOM’s MHPSS began operating in Iraq in October 2014, when the Organization first established its Psychosocial and Recreational Centre in Erbil. This was followed by the addition of five centers in IDP camps in Dohuk, and the deployment of four mobile teams in the Baghdad, Karbala, Najaf, and Babylon Governorates. Those teams provide services to IDPs camps and host communities.

During nearly three years of operations, IOM MHPSS in Iraq has reached over 50,000 beneficiaries and provided roughly 150,000 different psychosocial support activities. In fact, the average beneficiary can engage in three different types of activities, such as individual counselling, a language course and an arts and crafts workshop, over a period of up to 12 months.

Some months ago, Yunis came to IOM’s MHPSS Center at the Haj Ali emergency site. He was at a critical point in his life: he felt his world was falling apart and his marriage was on the verge of breaking down. Not only had he been displaced twice prior to arriving at IOM’s emergency site, but he had also lost all his possessions. His home was destroyed shortly after ISIL took over the area in 2014 and his small juice shop went out of business – it was the family’s sole source of income.

Unable to lactate due to stress, Yunis’ wife, Umm Ibrahim was unable to breastfeed her baby, Doha. With no money coming in, Yunis was unable to afford the formula milk needed to feed the little baby.

As a last resort, he borrowed money and bought a cow, believing it would provide Doha with essential fresh milk. But the milk was not pasteurized and little Doha soon became very sick with severe diarrhoea and dehydration. 

In an act of desperation, he and his wife sought help from an ISIL-run hospital. But, as Yunis recounts, they refused to help the infant. With the baby in his arms, Yunis begged various pharmacies for an IV to rehydrate his baby.

Yunis carried the little one in his arms while praying. “I felt her die in my arms,” he said. “Her eyes went white as her soul left her and she stopped breathing and her little arm slumped to her side.”

Yunis’ breakdown began there and then. He felt useless, as if he had failed his family and he was riddled with guilt about the death of his four-month-old baby.

When he finally arrived at IOM’s Haj Ali emergency site in Qayara, the toll of events caught up with him and for three days he sat crying and howling in the tent, unable to sleep. Then one morning he went to the medical centre seeking drugs. He was immediately referred to IOM’s MHPSS centre on the site and was taken in charge by one of the psychosocial staff.

The Iraqi father of four, who originally comes from Tal-Afar, told aid workers he was feeling suicidal. Counselling sessions and an integrated psychosocial support were provided to Yunis. He was also hired as a labourer in the camp and began to earn some money.

“I felt better… IOM helped, they restored my confidence and self-esteem and allowed me healing time and provided the necessary support,” he said.

“I now engage with my children, I am no longer angry at them… we play, laugh and joke around,” he continued.

For Yunis, much has changed since he first visited IOM’s MHPSS Center at Haj Ali emergency site. Today he sells sweets at the camp, which helps him provide for his family.

With Mosul finally retaken by the Iraqi forces, Yunis is now more confident that Tal-Afar will follow suit and that he will eventually return to his home where he dreams of reopening his juice shop and rebuilding his house.

Doha’s death is no longer a source of guilt, but now both he and his wife say they feel her presence around them, “like an angel flying between us all.”

IOM staff at MHPSS centres note that many of the IDPs seeking help display symptoms of acute stress such as hyper vigilance, anxiety, depression, anger, memory loss, psychosomatic symptoms and a lack of appetite.

Amongst the many children IOM works with, those from Mosul tend to display symptoms of developmental regression, exhibited by episodes of bed-wetting, severe anxiety, apathy and quickness to get angry or cry.

In cases such as those of Yunis’, IOM concentrates on containment and preventative measures to help the IDPs establish a sense of safety and normalcy. The goal is to empower individuals to see themselves as survivors rather than victims, facilitating acceptance of the new conditions, and to activate resilient strategies to cope with past, present and future challenges.

IOM Iraq Chief of Mission, Thomas Lothar Weiss, said: “Psychosocial services are an essential aspect of assistance to displaced Iraqis, who have experienced unimaginable horrors and pain. Now that Mosul has been retaken, and many IDPs have reached safety, part of the healing process involves assisting individuals to process their grief and loss, and empowering them to take steps to recovery.”

Weiss added, “IOM MHPSS services have assisted thousands of Iraqis affected by the current conflict in the healing process. Hence, IOM will continue to provide these vital services in the immediate stabilization efforts in Mosul, as we consider mental health wellbeing a critical component of the peace building process.”

IOM Iraq has been leading the Mosul MHPSS sub-cluster working group since its inception in November 2016, ensuring coordination among the various humanitarian organizations and institutional counterparts in Ninewa Governorate.

For more information, please contact IOM Iraq: Hala Jaber, Tel: +964 751 740 1654, Email: hjaberbent@iom.int; Sandra Black, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: sblack@iom.int.

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 17:07Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration HealthMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

Children enjoy psychosocial support activities and games. Many of these children came from the Mosul corridor.  Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

You can find more photos and videos here

As the psychological toll of what many had endured over the last three years kicks in, children in particular have been scarred by the violence of life under ISIL. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

You can find more photos and videos here

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Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 118,227 in 2017; 2,408 Deaths

PBN News Germany - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 11:07

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 118,227 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 13 August, with almost 83 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 265,640 arrivals across the region through 13 August 2016.

IOM Rome reported on Monday, 14 August, that, according to official figures of the Italian Ministry of Interior, 97,293 migrants have arrived by sea to Italy this year, which is a 4.15 per cent drop from the same period in 2016. IOM Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo noted that August arrivals thus far, at just over 2,000 migrants and refugees, are running at under 10 per cent of 2016 and 2015 August arrivals, despite being nearly at the month’s midway point (see chart below).

IOM Libya reported Monday (14 August) the recovery of the remains of two migrants on 7 August near Azzawya, Libya. That information came too late to include in the latest fatality figures from the region, which are at 2,408 in the chart above. Although this figure lags by almost 800 the number of deaths (3,203) recorded at this time last year, it nonetheless marks the fourth consecutive year migrant deaths in the Mediterranean Sea have exceeded 2,400.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 3,487 fatalities in 2017 through 13 August (see chart below). The Mediterranean region continues to account for well over half of all fatalities worldwide. Among the new deaths reported by the MMP team since last week are two migrants, one lost in a drowning in Río Bravo and the other in a vehicle accident in Europe.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/170815_Mediterranean_Update.pdf

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe

Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 16:58Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

Italian Coast Guard rescues migrants and refugees bound for Italy. File photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) / Francesco Malavolta 2014

Italian Coast Guard rescues migrants and refugees bound for Italy. File photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) / Francesco Malavolta 2014

Categories: PBN

Vulnerable Migrants, Conflict-affected Yemenis to Benefit from Enhanced Humanitarian Support

PBN News Germany - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 10:58

Sana’a – Today (15/08), IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and partners are announcing three new major interagency humanitarian programmes in Yemen targeting 255,354 people, including stranded vulnerable migrants and conflict-affected people. 

More than two years of conflict has devastated Yemen leaving 18.8 million people in need of assistance and protection, including 10.3 million who are in acute need of live-saving support. The protracted conflict is rapidly pushing the country towards social, economic and institutional collapse.

As of 15 August, 1,980,510 people are displaced within the country, 7 per cent of Yemen's total population. Some 946,044 people have returned to their areas of origin, 84 per cent of whom returned to 33 districts, out of 333. 

Acute protection and assistance challenges have been identified by IOM and partners in Aden, Lahj, Taiz, Sa’ada and Sana’a Governorates, including increased cases of human trafficking. Some 101,680 Yemenis affected by the enduring conflict in those areas, including internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and host community members, will receive medical assistance, including cholera treatment, from IOM and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). Through this programme, 3,600 children will be vaccinated.  

Over 30,000 Yemeni children, their families and members of host communities will receive psychosocial support. This programme will provide reintegration support to children. Children affected by or vulnerable to gender-based violence or human trafficking will also be supported through the programme.

Government authorities estimate that the total population of refugees, asylum seekers (300,000–400,000) and migrants in Yemen could reach as high as 1.7 million to 2 million people. Often unaware of the extreme dangers facing them and sold false ideas by smugglers, an estimated 10,000 migrants enter war-torn Yemen each month with the hopes of reaching the Gulf countries. Since the start of this year, IOM estimates that around 55,000 migrants left the Horn of Africa, mostly from Ethiopia and to a lesser extend Somalia, to come to Yemen. The majority of arrivals are in dire need of basic humanitarian assistance and protection.

IOM will be partnering with the Danish Refugee Council, NRC, Handicap International and Intersos to implement a large programme providing 96,275 vulnerable migrants with emergency support. Over the next three years, vital assistance will be provided to sick and injured migrants, migrants with special needs, victims of human trafficking and migrants in detention.   

The enhanced humanitarian programming will cover Lahj, Taiz, Aden, Abyan, Shabwah, Sana’a, Al Hudaydah, Sa’ada, Hajjah, and Al Jawf Governorates. Assistance projects will be developed in locations along the south and western coast where migrants arrive in Yemen, as well as along migration routes through the country. Some 57,399 Yemenis living on the route will be provided with water, sanitation and hygiene support. These host communities will also be targeted with campaigns on migrants’ rights aiming to mitigate possible conflict with migrants due to competition over increasingly scarce resources.

Local authorities, such as ministerial officials, border and prison authorities, the coast guard, health authorities and representatives of countries of origin, transit and destination, will also receive training in effective and dignified migration management. 

IOM will expand its displacement tracking to monitor movement and the needs of people throughout the whole country. The Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) will monitor internal displacements, returnees and migrants’ movements, and locations.

To be implemented in partnership with the Government of Yemen, civil society organizations and other UN agencies, the three programmes aim to identify and reduce the vulnerabilities of conflict-affected displaced people, host communities and migrants in Yemen, as well as reducing their morbidity, mortality and suffering. 

These new programmes are funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.

For more information, please contact Saba Malme at IOM Yemen, Tel: + 967 736 800 329, Email: smalme@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 16:53Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

At the Al Sab’een Hospital in Sana’a, Yemen, a doctor checks on a girl suffering from cholera. Photo: UNICEF/Fuad

IOM teams assist vulnerable internally displaced (IDP) households with shelter and non-food relief items in Aden and Abyan governorates. File photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2015

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UN Migration Agency, Japan Hand Over New Water Purification Facility in Sierra Leone

PBN News Germany - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 10:53
Language English

Freetown – IOM, the UN Migration Agency and the Government of Japan last week (10/08) handed over the first water purification facility in Sierra Leone to the resettled community of Mile 6, Koya Rural.

The facility, located about 50 kilometers outside Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital, will provide safe drinking water to the population resettled at Mile 6 in the aftermath of the flash floods that ravaged Freetown in September 2015.

Those floods caused widespread property damage and displaced thousands from their homes.

In Sierra Leone, “40 per cent of 30,000 hand pumps and boreholes are not functioning due to lack of maintenance and spare parts,” an official of the Sierra Leonean Ministry of Water Resources explained.

The plant would improve the inhabitants’ well-being by addressing the problem of inadequate sanitary facility. Hitherto, the inhabitants have relied on using water fetched from unprotected wells and running streams located miles away from their settlement.

Prior to being launched in Sierra Leone, the water purification plant had been tested for feasibility in Tanzania and successfully introduced by IOM in Somalia. The water plant uses the same component, Poly Glu, to convert dirty and polluted water to safe and good quality water for human consumption. Poly Glu is a ‘coagulant’ that attracts the dirt and takes it to the bottom. As a result, the clean drinkable water will be on top. The plant is simple, safe and effective to utilize for small-scale treatment of drinking water. The water produced using this system has been certified as safe for drinking by the Sierra Leone Ministry of Water Resources.

Commenting on the sustainability of the project, Sanusi Savage, IOM Sierra Leone Head of Office, said, “Water is life. From this moment on, I would like to encourage the leadership of this community to take ownership of this facility and sustain it for the sake of our children.”

Margaret S. Kargbo, Deputy Chairperson of the Western Area Rural District Council, highlighted the importance of women’s leadership for maintaining the water treatment facility because of their strategic role at home as well as in the community.

The plants are part of the project, Strengthening Disaster Preparedness and Response in Sierra Leone. IOM installed the water plants in collaboration with the Office of National Security (ONS), through funding provided by the Government of Japan. The four other water plants are scheduled to be operational within six months.

For more information, please contact:
Sanusi Savage, IOM Freetown, Tel: +232 99606066, Email: ssavage@iom.int or Brima Bendu, Tel: +232 76530884, Email: bbendu@iom.int or Yuki Daizumoto, Tel: +232 99606066, Email: ydaizumoto@iom.int  

Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 16:49Image: Region-Country: Sierra LeoneThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsMigration HealthMigration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentDefault: 
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Proposes New Integrated Approach to Reintegration of Migrants

PBN News Germany - Tue, 08/15/2017 - 10:48

Geneva - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, published today (15/08) a paper outlining a new approach to support sustainable reintegration of migrants following their return home. The Integrated Approach towards Reintegration in the Context of Return recognizes the complexity of factors that affect returning migrants at the individual, community and structural levels.

Each year, IOM assists migrants in their voluntary return process. In 2016 alone, 98,403 returnees received support from IOM. The integrated approach proposes that facilitating sustainable reintegration should include supporting returning migrants in reaching not only economic self-sufficiency back home, but also social stability within their communities and psychosocial well-being so that they can better help returning migrants cope with possible (re)migration drivers. The integrated approach offers recommendations for policy and programmatic interventions. It also calls on all relevant stakeholders in the areas of migration management, development cooperation and humanitarian assistance to work together.

“Return is at times mistakenly oversimplified. While some migrants go back to welcoming and reintegrate in a smooth manner, many present vulnerabilities and face challenges they cannot overcome on their own,” said Nicola Graviano, Senior Specialist at IOM’s Migrant Assistance Division (MAD) in IOM Headquarters in Geneva. “The coordinated efforts of actors with different mandates and priorities are necessary to ensure that individual needs are addressed and that communities and countries of return have the capacities to provide an environment conducive to successful reintegration,” added Graviano.

Through the paper outlining the approach, IOM intends to contribute to the debate surrounding the topics of return and reintegration, and to broaden the scope of its interventions in these areas. The paper presents thematic expertise on one of the core themes of the 2018 Global Compact for Migration.

To read, ‘Towards the Integrated Approach to Reintegration in Context of Return’, please click here.

For more information on IOM’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programmes, please click here.

For more information, please contact IOM HQ in Geneva:
Karolina Krelinova, Tel: +41 22 717 9585, Email: kkrelinova@iom.int or Jorge Galindo, Tel: +41 22 717 95205, Email: jgalindo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 16:41Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationMigration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

German Chancellor Meets Heads of UN Migration and Refugee Agencies to Discuss Migration

PBN News Germany - Mon, 08/14/2017 - 11:50

Berlin – German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, on Friday (11/8), met with William Lacy Swing, United Nations Migration Agency (IOM) Director General and Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Berlin to discuss international migration. The conversation mainly focused on the situation for migrants in Libya.

“Each time I am in Germany, I am impressed with the responsible manner in which the Federal Republic is managing the migration challenge,” said Director General Swing. “Germany’s migrant and refugee policy approach is something of which the German people can rightfully be proud, especially as it stands in stark contrast to so many others. Germany continues to be very generous and flexible in support for humanitarian and life-saving activities in Libya.”

The meeting comes at a crucial time when there are different migratory flows moving through and towards Libya, driven by underdevelopment, state fragility, marginalization and security threats in West Africa, East Africa and the Middle East. The migration situation is compounded by political insecurity and conflict in Libya, which is further exacerbating existing vulnerabilities of all affected communities in the country, including Libyans themselves. Fostering a stable environment to bring about a much-needed holistic approach to migration governance is now a priority. 

Although there have been some improvements in the situation in Libya over the past few months, the security situation in the country still remains dire, with only marginal improvements, for all of its residents – Libyans and migrants and refugees.

All three parties to the meeting welcomed Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj’s, the Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya and Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord of Libya, call promise of efforts to achieve peace and reconciliation. They also underscored the critical importance of the international community returning to Libya as their presence, in itself, would serve as a stabilizing element.

IOM has 200 staff in all parts of Libya, supporting migrants and the Government in a comprehensive manner. IOM in April launched a three-year Action Plan for Libya with two key objectives. The first is to provide evidence based humanitarian assistance and protection to both displaced Libyans and migrants. The second objective is to stabilize Libyan communities, as well as to build Libyan capacities in migration management. IOM has also assisted more than 6000 migrants to return home voluntarily from Tripoli (with a target of 12,000 to 15,000 this year) and some 3,000 from its way station at Agadez in neighbouring Niger.

For more information, please contact Sabine Lehmann at IOM Germany, Tel. +49 30 278 778 17 Email: slehmann@iom.int or Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Monday, August 14, 2017 - 17:30Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

From left: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and UN Migration Agency (IOM) Director General William Lacy Swing meeting in Berlin on 11 August 2017, to discuss international migration. Photo: Federal Government of Germany / Jesco Denzel 2017

Categories: PBN

Trauma Experienced by West African Migrants Highlighted in UN Migration Agency Report

PBN News Germany - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 10:27
Language English

Niamey – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has released a new report, via its Niger office, profiling migrants passing through its transit centres in West Africa.

The report, funded by the European Union, is based on more than 6,000 voluntary testimonies collected in 2016 from the migrants IOM assisted at its five transit centres across Niger and on analysis by the IOM Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) in Berlin.

The report reveals widespread misinformation (or lack of information) about what awaits migrants on their journeys and the living conditions in countries of temporary residence, particularly Libya.

In Niger, IOM offers migrants information about the potential risks of irregular migration through its community mobilizers and EU-funded orientation offices in Agadez, Arlit and Dirkou.

One of the main highlights of the report are the risks that many of these migrants who embark on this route face during their journeys through the desert and their stay in Algeria, Libya or Niger. More than 60 per cent of the migrants who resided in either Libya or Algeria testified to having been subject to various types of violent or abusive treatments. Physical violence as well as different types of threats and psychological abuse were the types of ill treatment most frequently reported by migrants.

The report aims to contribute to a better understanding of recent migration trends and experiences from West and Central Africa to North Africa. This information will improve IOM’s programme and policy responses to protect migrants in vulnerable situations and address the challenges of irregular migration and migrant smuggling.

The full report, 2016 Migrant Profiling Report, can be accessed here. The questions were designed around socio-demographic information, vulnerability status, migratory intentions, migratory journey and economic opportunities.

Most of the migrants were West African nationals who arrived in IOM transit centres, having resided in Algeria or Libya, largely with the intention of returning to their countries of origin.

In terms of socio-demographic profiles, 93 per cent of the migrants were male, while 72 per cent of the migrants were between 18–29 years old. Almost half of the migrants assisted across the four transit centres in 2016 came from Guinea (24 per cent) and Senegal (21 per cent).

The majority of women assisted came from Niger (36 per cent) and Nigeria (27 per cent) and most of them had been residing in Niger before arriving at IOM’s transit centres.

The interviews bring evidence of the lack of economic opportunities for many West and Central African migrants. Almost 90 per cent of the migrants interviewed reported they left their countries of origin in search of better livelihood opportunities and, contrary to the 2014 trend when most of the profiled migrants had no education, 60 per cent of the migrants interviewed across the four transit centres declared they had received some type of formal education.

Among those who experienced abuse, more than one in three in Libya or Algeria were subject to violent treatment, and more than one in three in Niger said they faced a number of threats and psychological violence. Other common types of abuses were food deprivation, confiscation of salary, confiscation of money, or restriction of movement.

“Migrants take this journey in the hope of finding a better life and to support their families back home,” IOM Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism (MRRM) Programme Manager, Alberto Preato, declared. “We must put ourselves in their shoes and imagine how the lack of opportunities back home is pushing them to take tremendous risks, and how difficult it is to make their way back,” he stressed.

The number of migrants assisted in 2016 was the highest recorded in three years, a three-fold increase compared to 2014. This is not only an indication of IOM’s efforts to expand its assistance activities in the country, but also may be an indication that return flows, particularly from Libya, are on the rise, due to the exacerbation of violence and the greater dangers faced by migrants residing in the country.

Although the report highlights the harsh realities of this route, it also shows that after what they experienced, 68 per cent of the migrants who had taken this route had no intention of continuing their migratory journeys.

All migrants profiled in the report were assisted by IOM Niger in 2016 through the assisted voluntary return and reintegration programme.

Several migrant testimonies are available to read here and here.

For more information, please contact Alberto Preato at IOM Niger, Tel: +227 8053 5933, Email: apreato@iom.int.

Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 - 15:48Image: Region-Country: NigerDefault: Multimedia: 

Dirkou Transit Centre, Agadez Region, Niger. Photo: Monica Chiriac / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

Mosul Crisis: Population Movement Analysis Report Published - IOM

PBN News Germany - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 10:26

Erbil – The IOM Iraq Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) has published its latest in-depth report: Mosul Crisis: Population Movement Analysis, tabulating the chronological population movements – especially displacement and returns – that have occurred in northern Iraq since the beginning of the Mosul military operations to 29 June.

The report, published this week, contextualizes an overview of the displacement history preceding the military operations and then the dislocation and return movements of Iraqis during the Mosul crisis.

Based on the DTM cumulatively, 1,084,134 individuals (180,689 families) have been displaced from both East and West Mosul as of 10 August 2017.
Of these people displaced by Mosul operations, at least 839,490 individuals (139,915 families) continue to be displaced, while some 244,644 by now have returned to their place of origin.

“Iraqis in Mosul witnessed extreme violence, lived under unbearable conditions and were forced to flee their homes, leaving their communities behind,” IOM Iraq Chief of Mission, Thomas Lothar Weiss, said this week. “While military operations have ceased, the Mosul Crisis continues to affect hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, who have not yet been able to return to their areas.”

He added: “We hope that this Mosul population movements analysis will facilitate better understanding of the scope of the crisis, and the scale of humanitarian assistance and infrastructure rehabilitation that is needed to prepare communities for return.”

The analysis in this report is based on data collection exercises conducted by IOM Iraq DTM through its Emergency Tracking methodology (ET), from October 2016 to the end of June 2017.

Three phases of displacement were identified to facilitate this analysis: an initial phase (17 October to 1 November 2016), when hostilities mainly impacted the rural areas around Mosul; East Mosul displacement (1 November 2016 and 25 February 2017); and West Mosul displacement (25 February to end of June 2017). An analysis of the return movement trends across these three phases also is provided. 

At the time the Mosul military operations started on 17 October 2016, Iraq had been in conflict for almost three years. ISIL occupied territories in Anbar Governorate at the end of 2013, rapidly expanding to Ninewa and Salah al-Din, followed by Kirkuk and Diyala Governorates. The city of Mosul and Ninewa Governorate had been under ISIL’s control since as early as June 2014.

In October 2016, the DTM had identified 3.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Iraq at that time, of whom 1.2 million were originally from Ninewa Governorate including approximately 600,000 individuals who had been displaced between June and July 2014 when ISIL captured the city of Mosul and significant portions of Ninewa.

At the beginning of the operations in West Mosul, 223,968 individuals from East Mosul had been forced to leave their homes: of these, more than 161,718 were still in displacement by 23 February, while 62,250 had returned by the same date. Over 60 per cent of those IDPs came from the city of Mosul itself with the remainder from several rural areas around the city having not yet returned to retaken areas.

By 24 January Iraq’s Prime Minister publicly announced all neighbourhoods in East Mosul had been retaken. During the following weeks, displacement from the east side of the city continued. Security remained precarious, while many houses did not have running water, electricity or heating in the middle of the winter.

Returns to the city of Mosul were reported as of the second half of December 2016 and increased moderately until mid-January 2017, intensifying more rapidly after the Iraqi Prime Minister declared East Mosul retaken.

On 19 February 2017, the Iraqi Government announced the launch of military operations to retake West Mosul.

The first weeks concentrated around sparsely populated areas, but on 23 February when the clashes reached inhabited neighbourhoods, displacement began to be recorded

West Mosul neighbourhoods were more densely populated and their urban, crowded setting proved more challenging for military actions, whereas a significant number of East Mosul residents were able to remain in their homes despite the difficult conditions.

From January 2017, as soon as access to East Mosul was granted, the DTM initiated a close collaboration with local authorities in East Mosul and supported the establishment of a joint information collection system that gathers data on IDPs displaced within the city of Mosul. DTM staff were seconded to local authorities to conduct joint field visits and collect direct information – at the neighbourhood level – on IDPs who fled West Mosul.

While until the beginning of the West Mosul offensive most IDPs who displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas were hosted in camps, the scenario was different during the West Mosul operations that brought a noticeable shift to out-of-camp settings.

As of 29 June, DTM estimated that 797,508 IDPs were identified after 23 February when the offensive on West Mosul began.

The governorate hosting almost the total number of IDPs from the Mosul operations remains Ninewa, with 95 per cent (800,868 individuals), the majority of whom continue to be hosted in the city of Mosul itself, mostly in East Mosul city.

“In cooperation with our humanitarian partners, the Government of Iraq and donors, IOM Iraq will continue to provide lifesaving humanitarian assistance to civilians displaced from Mosul,” IOM’s Weiss said.

IOM’s DTM actively monitors displacement across Iraq. These DTM products and information about DTM methodology can be found on the DTM portal: iraqdtm.iom.int

The Mosul Crisis population movement analysis report is available at this link:
http://iomiraq.us10.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=3e0b28a713df5a494bfed23b2&id=9523daa9d9&e=d5b0503a33

The latest DTM Emergency Tracking figures on displacement from Mosul are available at:
http://iraqdtm.iom.int/EmergencyTracking.aspx

For more information, please contact IOM Iraq:
Hala Jaber, Tel: +964 751 740 1654, Email: hjaberbent@iom.int
Sandra Black, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: sblack@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 - 15:47Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

Emergency site established by IOM at Qayara Airstrip in Mosul. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 117,795 and 2,408 Deaths in 2017

PBN News Germany - Fri, 08/11/2017 - 10:26

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 117,795 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 9 August, with almost 83 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 264,381 arrivals across the region through 9 August 2016.

 

IOM Rome reported Thursday that according to official figures of the Italian MOI, 96,861 migrants have arrived by sea to Italy this year, which is a 3.46 per cent drop from the same period in 2016 (see chart below).

        

IOM Libya reported Thursday that on 9 August 143 migrants (including 18 women and two children), a majority from Nigeria, Senegal, Mali and Guinea Conakry, were rescued at sea off Azzawyah by the Libyan Coast Guard. IOM press officer Christine Petré added her office is still waiting for data from reports surfacing regarding a rescue operation Thursday. So far in 2017, she added, 12,838 migrants have been rescued in Libyan waters.

IOM Athens reported Thursday that 478 migrants and refugees arrived at various Greek locations (Samos, Lesvos, Chios, Rhodes, Megisti) during the three days (7-9 August). According to the Hellenic Coast Guard, during the reporting period there were two incidents off the islands of Chios and Rhodes that required search and rescue operations; the Hellenic Coast Guard managed to rescue the 80 migrants to the respective islands.

The total number of arrivals by sea to Greece as of 9 August, is 12,191. This compares with 161,232 at this time last year.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported the total number of new sea arrivals to Spain has risen to 8,385; adding that as to arrivals by land, there were these recent crossings through the border point in El Tarajal, Ceuta: 74 people on 31 July and 187 people on 7 August.

Deaths off Spain through 9 August are at 121 men, women and children, compared with 97 during the same period last year. For all of 2016, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reported 128 deaths in Spanish waters of migrants seeking to enter Europe by sea. There was one death off the coast of Ceuta this week.

This latest fatality in the region brings the total for the Mediterranean in 2017 to 2,408. Although this figure trails the number of deaths (3,194) recorded at this time last year, it nonetheless marks the fourth consecutive year migrant deaths in the Mediterranean Sea have exceeded 2,400.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 3,501 fatalities in 2017 through 9 August, which is nearly 100 deaths since IOM’s report of 2 August (see chart below). The Mediterranean region continues to account for well over half of all fatalities worldwide; however, IOM reported a surge in deaths this week in the Horn of Africa region where over the last two days MMP has reported 70 fatalities in the Gulf of Aden in two incidents.

Additionally, there were seven deaths this past week at the Syrian/Turkish border.


 

The latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration,iom,int/docs/MMP/170811_Mediterranean_Update.pdf
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 - 15:46Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

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