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IOM, Malawi, Mozambique Discuss Community-Based Reintegration for Returnees from South Africa

PBN News Germany - Tue, 07/16/2019 - 10:37

Blantyre, Malawi – “My children are being supported through my projects of poultry, brick construction, and farming. Each project supports the other and, in this way, money is readily available,” says Cryford Nyangulu, a Malawian who returned to his native town of Mzuzu, from South Africa in October 2018.  

Cryford is one of 281 Malawians who have, since June 2018, voluntarily returned from South Africa through IOM’s Pilot Action on Voluntary Return and Sustainable, Community-Based Reintegration initiative. The European Union funded project has also assisted the voluntary return and individual reintegration of 182 Mozambicans over the same period.  

In an effort to expand the beneficial reach of the reintegration initiative from “individual” returnees, to a more “community-based” approach, IOM convened key senior officials from Malawi, Mozambique, and South Africa, from 9-12 July 2019, in Blantyre, Malawi, to exchange experience and ideas on ways to collectively assist Malawian and Mozambican voluntary returnees from South Africa, and achieve community-based growth.  

“The reintegration process is now moving toward a community initiative. Within that structure, we will support the Governments of Malawi and Mozambique in working with local leaderships, to ensure that the driving factors of migration are addressed, thus strengthening citizens’ desire to stay, instead of getting involved in cyclical secular migration,” said Mpilo Nkomo, IOM Head of Office in Malawi.  

The workshop formulated recommendations that include strengthening the reintegration support to those who returned so far and focus on community-based reintegration through participatory approach at the community level.  

Delegates were also able to interact with current reintegrated beneficiaries in Malawi, thus further taking stock of the project’s progress. “It is good for us to see such concrete results of the project. It further helps to encourage Malawians and Mozambicans in South Africa engage in the initiative and return to their places of origin and rebuild their lives with their families, and help their communities grow,” said Armando Pedro Muiuane Junior, National Director of the National Institute of Mozambicans Abroad.  

Millions of Malawians and Mozambicans reside in South Africa, after having migrated in search of opportunities to financially support their families back home, only to often face challenging realities in the destination country. IOM’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme provides them with counselling in South Africa, before facilitating their voluntary return to Malawi and Mozambique, and supporting their reintegration.  

The initiative is implemented in collaboration with the consulates of and Governments of South Africa, Malawi, and Mozambique.  

Watch the workshop recap video here and a reintegration story here

For more information, please contact: Abibo Ngandu, IOM Regional Media Officer, Tel.: +277 124 49291 Email: angandu@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 16, 2019 - 16:35Image: Region-Country: MalawiThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Senior officials from Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa interact with a reintegrated Malawian who now owns a furniture and hardware shop in Blantyre. 

Senior officials, civil society partners and IOM AVRR team pose for a group photo in Blantyre, Malawi. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Agencies Assist Thousands as Non-Stop Rain, Winds Pound Rohingya Refugee Sites in Bangladesh

PBN News Germany - Mon, 07/15/2019 - 11:15

Cox’s Bazar – United Nations (UN) agencies have been working around the clock to repair damage, temporarily relocate affected refugees and activate disaster response plans following eight days of unrelenting rain and wind - the most severe weather since the massive Rohingya refugee influx of 2017. Cox’s Bazar lies in a coastal area especially prone to extreme weather, including cyclones.    

Between 4 and 12 July, 709mm of rain fell in parts of the Kutupalong refugee settlement, out of a July average of about 1040mm for Cox’s Bazar. A combination of landslides, floods and wind has damaged or destroyed hundreds of structures and temporarily displaced thousands of refugees. About 5 percent of the nearly one million residents in Cox’s Bazar were directly impacted.  Although small in percentage terms, its effect on already vulnerable refugees has been significant.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and World Food Programme (WFP) have dispatched staff, partners and refugee volunteers to relocate vulnerable people to safety, provide extra emergency food aid and repair damaged buildings, roads and slope reinforcements.

Under the overall leadership of the Government of Bangladesh, UN agencies and partners have been working year-round with refugees to prepare for the monsoon and cyclone seasons. This includes a large-scale programme to upgrade shelters and infrastructure, distribute and pre-position emergency supplies, and train the community in reducing the risk of disaster.

UN agencies have also focused on training refugees as first-responders through Disaster Management Units under the Cyclone Preparedness Programme and have extended similar support to Bangladeshi host communities.

The refugees and local communities play a central role in mitigating and responding to the effects of the monsoon through awareness-raising, pre-emptive hazard identification and disaster risk reduction work in the camps. While this has significantly reduced the overall monsoon impact, recent developments demonstrate that more resourcing is needed to continue to strengthen capacity.

Efforts throughout 2018 and early 2019 have dramatically improved conditions in the refugee sites and aid organizations are well-equipped to respond. But this is still an emergency affecting vulnerable families living in a difficult, hazard-prone terrain, that requires ongoing support from the international community and constant work by humanitarian actors.

“The current storm system appears to have weakened. But we are only halfway through the 2019 monsoon season and the response to adverse weather conditions has already begun to exceed all that was needed in 2018. With only one-third of funding requirements met for this year, the response to the Rohingya crisis requires substantially more commitment both financially and politically from the international community,” said IOM Deputy Head of Mission for Bangladesh Manuel Marques Pereira.

“With the physical foundations for emergency response in place from 2018, our strategy rests on placing refugee communities at the centre of the response, rooted in trained refugee volunteers’ own capacities, self-reliance, and ability to raise awareness and act as first responders,” said Marin Din Kajdomcaj, UNHCR Head of Operations and Sub-Office in Cox’s Bazar.

“Together with the Bangladesh government, sister UN agencies, and partners, the monsoon response to date has demonstrated that this community-centric approach, underpinned by critical infrastructure improvements and multi-functional Emergency Response Teams, is functioning rapidly and well to keep refugees healthy and safe.”

“WFP has already provided significantly more rapid response food assistance due to the rains than we did for the entire month of July 2018, indicating the impact this monsoon has already had,” added Richard Ragan, WFP Representative to Bangladesh.

“Engineering teams have also been busier this year, responding to multiple landslides and racing to repair slopes. A tremendous amount of engineering work has been done over the past 18 months which has mitigated the impact of this rainfall event. But there is near constant work that needs to be done to make the camps safer and this requires ongoing resourcing and manpower.”

  

For more information, please contact:

IOM: George McLeod: Tel. +880 18 7070 8078, Email: gmclead@iom.int

UNHCR: Areez Rahman: Tel: +88  17 0657 2715

WFP: Gemma Snowdon: Tel. +880 17 1301 2875

Language English Posted: Monday, July 15, 2019 - 17:11Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Rohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Monsoon-related damage to homes and infrastructure in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps in 2019 could far exceed that of 2018. Photo: IOM/Mashrif Abdullah 

Monsoon-related damage to homes and infrastructure in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps in 2019 could far exceed that of 2018. Photo: IOM/Mashrif Abdullah

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Outraged By Somalia Terrorist Attack

PBN News Germany - Mon, 07/15/2019 - 03:32

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has expressed its shock and outrage at Friday’s terrorist attack that claimed the lives of at least 26 people, one of whom worked under the auspices of the UN agency.

In addition to those killed, an estimated 40 people were injured in the seige on Asasey Hotel in the port city of Kismayo, where a high-level political meeting was taking place to discuss pending regional elections.

Islamist group al-Shabab has claimed the attack, described as its worst in Kismayo since the group was forced out in 2012.

IOM director-general António Vitorino said the organization is outraged by the brutal and unprovoked attack and stands with the friends and family of Abdifatah Mohamed. “Our deepest sympathies go to them,” he said in a statement.

Abdifatah was a victim in the attack – which began on Friday evening and ended on Saturday – along with prominent local journalist Hodan Nalayeh and her husband Farid, together with local politicians, Kenyans, Tanzanians, Americans, a Briton and a Canadian.

One of Abdifatah’s IOM contractor colleagues, who was also present, was injured in the attack.

The assault on Asasey which lasted for about 14 hours started when a suicide bomber rammed a car containing explosives into the hotel compound. Gunmen then stormed the building.

Dyane Epstein, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Somalia who worked with Abdifatah for nearly two years, said he made an immense contribution to peace and stabilization in Somalia. “Abdifatah meant a lot to all of us and was amongst the best and brightest.”

Contact Dyane Epstein, IOM Somalia Chief of Mission

Email: depstein@iom.int

Mobile (Somalia): +252 612 777712

Mobile (Nairobi)/WhatsApp: +254 706 949792

Language English Posted: Monday, July 15, 2019 - 09:29Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: IOMDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

“International Approach to Refugees and Migrants in Libya Must Change”: IOM Director General António Vitorino and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/12/2019 - 10:46

Geneva –  On 3 July, more than 50 migrants and refugees lost their lives in an airstrike on the Tajoura Detention Centre in the east of Libya’s capital Tripoli. This week we appealed to the European Union and African Union to prevent such a tragedy from being repeated. The international community should consider the protection of the human rights of migrants and refugees a core element of its engagement in Libya.  

As a priority, we ask that 5,600 refugees and migrants currently held in centres across Libya be freed in an orderly manner and their protection guaranteed or that they be evacuated to other countries from where accelerated resettlement is needed. For this, countries must step forward with more evacuation and resettlement places. In addition, migrants wishing to return to their countries of origin should continue to be able to do so. Extra resources are equally essential.  

Detention of those disembarked in Libya after being rescued at sea has to stop. Practical alternatives exist: people should be allowed to live in the community or in open centres and corresponding registration duties should be established. Semi-open safe centres can be established similar to UNHCR’s Gathering and Departure Facility.

As of yesterday (11/07), the Tajoura Detention Centre itself is closed, and some 400 attack survivors have been moved to the Gathering and Departure Facility. That centre is now badly overcrowded and work is ongoing to secure the evacuation of these people, particularly the most vulnerable, from Libya. However, many other refugees and migrants remain in detention elsewhere in Libya where suffering and risk of human rights abuses continue. A safe, managed process of release, with proper information on available assistance, is essential for all.

For the approximately 50,000 registered refugees and asylum-seekers currently living elsewhere in Libya, as well as for the estimated 800,000 migrants, more help is required so that living conditions are improved, human rights are better protected, and fewer people end up being driven into the hands of smugglers and human traffickers.

Every effort should be taken to prevent people rescued on the Mediterranean from being disembarked in Libya, which cannot be considered a safe port. In the past European State vessels conducting search and rescue operations saved thousands of lives, including through disembarkations in safe ports. They should resume this vital work and temporary disembarkation schemes should urgently be established to share responsibilities within Europe. NGO boats have played a similarly crucial role on the Mediterranean and must not be penalized for saving lives at sea. Commercial vessels must not be directed to bring rescued passengers back to Libya.  

Any assistance and responsibilities assigned to relevant Libyan entities should be made conditional on no one being arbitrarily detained after they have been rescued and guarantees of human rights standards being upheld. Without such guarantees, support should be halted. 

Another tragedy like Tajoura cannot be allowed to happen again. The protection of human lives must be the overriding priority. 

IOM 
In Geneva: Leonard Doyle at +41792857123 or Joel Millman at +41791038720 
In Libya: Safa Msehli at +21622241842, Email: smsehli@iom.int  

UNHCR  
In Geneva: Charlie Yaxley: +41 79 580 8702, Email: yaxley@unhcr.org 

Language English Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 - 16:44Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Refugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

EU, IOM Support Veterans’ Reintegration in Ukraine

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/12/2019 - 10:43

Kyiv – According to official data, there are about 370,000 veterans of the conflict in Ukraine, many of whom encounter significant challenges attempting to reintegrate into civilian life. As found by a World Bank study, about one-third of the veterans who had a job before mobilization are now unemployed, partially due to negative perceptions of veterans among employers, challenges with post-traumatic stress disorder, disabilities, and general mistrust.  

“My whole mindset had changed, so after I was demobilized in early 2018 I decided not to get back to my old profession of a cash-in-transit guard and tried to find new goals in my life,” said Pavlo, a veteran of the conflict in eastern Ukraine, while warming up before an IOM-organized football match in Kyiv on 10 July.  

Pavlo has been trying to tackle these challenges himself and support other veterans and their families: upon return he engaged in civic activism, and this year applied for the EU-funded vocational training grant from IOM. “With IOM’s support I’ve already started massage therapist courses. These skills will allow me to help other people, other veterans, and  have big plans for the development of my own business,” said Pavlo.  

“Veterans have already shown by their actions that they are willing to defend their country. With support to overcome the challenges they face, this positive energy can be harnessed to bring good for all of society,” said Ambassador Hugues Mingarelli, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine. “That is why the EU believes that providing assistance to veterans and their families is such an important contribution to Ukraine’s safe and secure development,” he added, opening the IOM-organized football match. 

The game, conducted in the format of a match for human rights, brought together 20 players – veterans, activists of non-governmental organizations and community initiative groups, as well as representatives of international organizations. Participants played without referees, chose the captains themselves, composed the first and second teams. The support of women, people with disabilities and less experienced players was encouraged.  

“Over the past 25 years, the International Organization for Migration has become one of the global leaders in supporting former combatants and the communities to which they return with reintegration programmes implemented in over 30 countries. IOM’s experience shows that active involvement of veterans into community life is a guarantee of consolidation and stabilization of the society, and today we share this experience with Ukraine,” said Dr. Lore Szlapak, Officer in Charge at IOM Ukraine.  

IOM’s engagement with veterans builds upon its crisis response programming. Since 2014, IOM has assisted over 400,000 internally displaced and conflict-affected persons with humanitarian, livelihoods and social cohesion support in response to the annexation of Crimea and military actions in the east of Ukraine. 

The EU-funded veteran reintegration project has been implemented by IOM since January 2019 in three pilot regions – Kyiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Lviv. The project includes social cohesion activities, provision of qualified psychological assistance, as well as career development and self-employment support. About 400 veterans who pass the competitive selection will be provided with up to EUR 400 for vocational courses, re-qualification or advanced training. As many veterans will receive grants of up to EUR 1,000 for business development.  

Watch a video about the initiative here.

For more information please contact Varvara Zhluktenko, IOM Ukraine, Tel: +38 044 568 5015 and +38 067 447 97 92, Email: vzhluktenko@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 - 16:41Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Disarmament, Demobilization and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

20 players including veterans, activists of non-governmental organizations and community initiative groups, as well as representatives of international organizations came together to play a friendly football match.

Dr. Lore Szlapak, Officer in Charge at IOM Ukraine (fourth from the left), Ambassador Hugues Mingarelli, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine (fifth from the right), and Hryhorii Halahan, First Deputy Minister for the Veterans of Ukraine (fourth from the right), with the participants of the friendly football match to support veterans

Ambassador Hugues Mingarelli, Head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, kicks off to start the game

Action packed friendly football match for the veterans

IOM Supports Veterans Reintegration in Ukraine

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Innovative Schemes to Facilitate Integration of Resettled Refugees in European Union

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/12/2019 - 10:40

Brussels – Refugees resettling to the European Union (EU) bring diverse skills, and the majority want to find work and improve their language skills, according to a new report launched today (12/07) in Brussels at the closing event of an International Organization for Migration (IOM) project, to improve the integration of resettled refugees.   

Launched in 2018, the project Linking Pre-departure and Post-arrival Support to Facilitate the Socio-economic Integration for Resettled Refugees in the EU (or ‘LINK IT’) was an innovative multi-country initiative that ran over 18 months to provide resettled refugees with the building blocks to start their new life in Europe. 

“Social and economic integration, especially with regard to skills profiling, begins even before leaving for the country of resettlement, and the refugees themselves play an essential role in the process”, said Geertrui Lanneau, Senior Regional Labour Migration and Human Development Specialist for IOM’s Regional Office in Brussels. 

Collecting data for more than 1,000 Syrian refugees, the LINK IT skills profiling tool collected information on education history, work experience, personal skills, digital skills, lingual abilities, aspirations, and other relevant health/caring considerations.  

At the closing event, project partners, national authorities, and representatives from EU and international agencies shared best practices and presented findings from the project report.   

“For years, refugees have told us that the language barrier and a lack of skills recognition were two of the most common barriers to labour market integration,” said Dipti Pardeshi, IOM UK Chief of Mission.  “In the LINK IT project, IOM analysed self-reported skills and qualifications by refugees to have a better understanding of who is resettling.  This can help governments improve policies and the support for refugees to successfully enter the job market and contribute to the economy.” 

Funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF), the LINK IT project aimed to improve social and economic integration by linking pre-departure support for Syrian refugees living in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey with post-arrival support when resettling in four European countries (Germany, Portugal, Romania and the United Kingdom). This included the development and piloting of a pre-departure skills profiling tool, tailored post-arrival support and products for resettled refugees and information sessions for receiving host communities. 

Project partners were the International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC), the British Refugee Council (RC), Asociatia Serviciul Iezuitilor Pentru Refugiatii Din Romania (JRS Romania), Caritasverband Fur Die Diozese Hildesheim E.V (Caritas Friedland) and Conselho Português Para Os Refugiados CPR (CPR). 

“Through LINK IT, we’ve been able to collaborate across four countries, each with quite different experiences in resettlement,” said Petra Hueck, Head of ICMC Europe. “Still, many of the challenges – for both refugees and host communities – are similar when it comes to linking pre-departure and post-arrival phases, preparing host communities, labour market intervention, and so on. Through this project, we’ve been able to develop tools and interventions that address some of those key challenges,” she concluded.  

Please click here for more information on IOM’s LINK IT project. You can also watch the video here

For further information, please contact Abby Dwommoh at IOM UK, Tel: +44 (0) 20 7811 6060, Email: adwommoh@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 - 16:37Image: Region-Country: BelgiumThemes: ResettlementDefault: Multimedia: 

A husband and wife both complete LINK IT questionaires in Amman March 2019. Photo: IOM/Abby Dwommoh

A Syrian couple are excited to board their flight to resettle to the UK in Amman March 2019. Photo: IOM/Abby Dwommoh

At a child CO in Amman, this Syrian child is excited to resettle to the UK_March 2019. Photo: IOM/Abby Dwommoh

At UKCO in Amman, Syrian refugees are learning about life in the UK March 2019. Photo: IOM/Abby Dwommoh

Syrian couple and their children prepare to resettle in UK. Photo: IOM/Abby Dwommoh

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Humanitarian Actors Establish First Anti-Trafficking Task Force in North-East Nigeria

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/12/2019 - 10:36

Maiduguri – In a bid to better respond to trafficking in persons in Borno State, north-east Nigeria, where 7.1 million people need humanitarian assistance, twenty organizations are joining forces in a new Anti-Trafficking Task Force (ATTF) in humanitarian action. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), jointly with Heartland Alliance International and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) launched the Task Force on 9 July in Maiduguri, the capital of Borno. The Task Force will advocate for the inclusion of anti-trafficking measures in the regional humanitarian response and will operate under the Protection Sector Working Group (PSWG). 

Humanitarian actors face many obstacles in uncovering violations, identifying victims and quantifying the overall scale of Trafficking in Persons (TiP). Victims of trafficking rarely self-identify or self-report, for fear of stigmatization or lack of access to reporting mechanisms. A fear of repercussions also often deters people who witness trafficking. 

The ongoing conflict and displacement exacerbate the risk of trafficking, especially for female and child-headed households, unaccompanied and separated children and youth. These groups are at high risk of gender-based violence, abduction and recruitment in armed groups. 

More than 130,000 people have displaced in north-east Nigeria since January 2019 in north-east Nigeria, increasing the population of already stretched camps. As thousands of people lack shelter, they are forced to sleep in the open air in overcrowded camps which further increases their vulnerability to protection risks and exploitation. 

“Prevention and response to trafficking in persons are frequently overlooked or not addressed in a comprehensive manner in humanitarian settings. Anti-trafficking measures save lives and should be incorporated in all interventions in areas of conflict,” said Memory Mwale, IOM Nigeria Counter-Trafficking Project Officer, reiterating the Organization’s commitment to tackling this issue alongside the Government of Nigeria.  

The ATTF will be co-chaired by the National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and Social Development. Its 20 member organizations include government, UN agencies, international NGOs and civil society. IOM, together with UNHCR and Heartland Alliance International, will provide technical support. Last year, IOM joined a technical working group on national awareness raising to combat TiP chaired by NAPTIP.  

IOM has a long-standing cooperation with the Borno State government in the response to combat TiP. The IOM Counter-Trafficking Unit strengthens the capacity of stakeholders to provide protection and assistance to identified victims as well as to mitigate and prevent trafficking through raising awareness and mainstreaming anti-trafficking measures into humanitarian interventions. IOM interventions in this area ensure that victims can access essential services including shelter, mental health and psychosocial support, among others. Victims of trafficking are also provided with small-scale livelihood support to rebuild their lives and provide a means of subsistence for their families. 

“The ATTF will foster a collaborative and multi-sectoral effort among the Borno state government institutions, CSOs, INGOs, the relevant UN agencies and affected populations to work together to provide comprehensive services to identify victims of trafficking and respond effectively to trafficking in persons,” said Mafa Mitika, the Zonal Commander for NAPTIP in the north east, at the first meeting of the Task Force. 

For more information, please contact Jorge Galindo, IOM Nigeria, Tel: +234 803 645 2973, Email: jgalindo@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 - 16:34Image: Region-Country: NigeriaThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

At the Bakassi IDP Camp in Maiduguri, staff and community members attend a stage play about human trafficking. Photo: IOM/Paulina Odame

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Korean Aid Workers Learn to Cope with Gender-Based Violence

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/12/2019 - 10:34

Seoul – The United Nations estimates suggest that a third of women worldwide have experienced sexual violence at some point during their lives. In crisis settings, where people are often displaced and daily life suffers dislocation, gender-based violence (GBV) is even more commonplace, posing complex human rights and public health challenges for aid workers. 

Displacement, family separation, a lack of livelihood options, collapse of community values and militarization are just some of the elements that contribute to heightened risks of GBV, particularly in camps, according to International Organization for Migration (IOM) emergency specialists training Korean aid workers in Seoul this week. 

The two-day Advanced Workshop on Gender-Based Violence Programming in Crises was jointly organized by IOM and a Korean NGO – Good Neighbors.  A group of 34 humanitarian practitioners took part in the event, which was designed to share information about GBV programming and best practices. Delegates also developed hands-on skills in GBV-sensitive project design, data collection and monitoring. 

In September 2018 IOM launched its first Institutional Framework for Addressing GBV in Crises (GBViC) that details lessons learned and good practices in addressing GBV in IOM crisis operations worldwide. These include major interventions in South Sudan, Bangladesh and Nigeria. 

“Increased awareness of the magnitude and pervasiveness of GBV has led to more interest in GBV-specific programming among Korean aid workers. In light of this, the government recently launched an initiative on “Action with Women and Peace,” which aims to address GBV and assist victims in conflict-affected areas,” said Mihyung Park, Head of IOM’s office in the Republic of Korea (ROK.) 

“This workshop was about helping us to understand how gender factors affect peoples’ lives during crises. It also showed us how to build well-designed GBV response projects in areas including women and girls’ participation, building women and girl friendly spaces, and provision of psychosocial support and health services,” she added. 

Trainers described IOM’s establishment of women and girl-friendly spaces in Bangladesh’s crowded Rohingya refugee camps as an illustration of successful GBV programming. They also discussed referral systems in health and psychosocial services for GBV survivors worldwide. 

The workshop was organized as part of IOM ROK’s capacity-building project for Korean humanitarian actors, funded by USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA.) Since 2015, IOM ROK has organized a wide range of humanitarian trainings. 

For more information, please contact Miah Park, Tel: +82 70 4820 2781, Email: mipark@iom.int or Jumi KIM, Tel: +82 70 4820 0292, Email: jukim@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 - 16:32Image: Region-Country: Republic of KoreaThemes: Gender and MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Korean aid workers learn to cope with gender-based violence in crises. Photo: IOM

Through a role play, participants were enabled to apply their acquired knowledge and skills in a survivor-centered approach as a part of GBV-response projects. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Scales Up Distribution of Emergency Materials as Rohingya Camps are Battered by Wind, Rain

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/12/2019 - 10:32

Cox’s Bazar – Unrelenting rain and winds are continuing to batter the Rohingya refugee camps of southern Bangladesh, displacing thousands of people, damaging homes and infrastructure, and increasing the risk of waterborne illnesses. The severe monsoon rains, which have pounded Cox’s Bazar since July 4th are the worst weather the district has experienced for over a year.   

“The rain and wind are causing misery on the ground and our teams are working day and night to provide emergency services and relocations to affected people. While we are grappling with the immediate effects of the storms, we still have to remain focused on long-term disaster management," said IOM Bangladesh Deputy Chief of Mission Manuel Pereira. 

“IOM supported nearly 6,000 people with emergency items and trained 570 in emergency response on 9-10 July 2019. But we recognize that this storm system is having a major impact on people in the camps and we are only half way through the monsoon season,” he added. 

In the past couple of days, IOM teams have distributed 5,079 plastic tarpaulins to families impacted by the storms. A total of 152 mm of precipitation was recorded in the Kutupalong mega-camp in a 24 hour period.  

IOM and its humanitarian partners are continuing to monitor weather and assist affected communities as needed. With rains continuing this morning, IOM engineers are concerned about worsening damage to paths, bridges and drainage systems, if weather conditions do not improve. 

As of last night, 998 individuals and 912 households had been impacted by severe weather in recent days.  

IOM teams reported six landslides, eight wind storms and a total 174 people displaced. 

The Inter Sector Coordination Group – the coordinating body for aid agencies operating in Cox’s Bazar – says that monsoon-related damage this year could be far worse than in 2018. It reports that over 45,000 individuals have been affected since the end of April due to weather-related incidents, compared to 55,000 affected during the whole of last year’s monsoon season. 

5,600 individuals have already been displaced, compared to 6,200 individuals in the 2018 monsoon. 

In the first 10 days of July 2019, 22,000 people were affected by the monsoon compared to 19,000 in the whole of July 2018. 

For more information please contact George McLeod at IOM Cox’s Bazar, Tel: +880 18 7071 8078, Email: gmcleod@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 - 16:31Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Rohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Monsoon-related damage to homes and infrastructure in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps in 2019 could far exceed that of 2018. Photo: IOM/Mashrif Abdullah

Monsoon-related damage to homes and infrastructure in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps in 2019 could far exceed that of 2018. Photo: IOM/Mashrif Abdullah

Monsoon-related damage to homes and infrastructure in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps in 2019 could far exceed that of 2018. Photo: IOM/Mashrif Abdullah

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Missions to Senegal Visit Kolda, Home to Many Returning Migrants

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/12/2019 - 10:30

Dakar – The Kolda region in southern Senegal is the main area of return for 31 per cent of the 4,090 Senegalese stranded in Libya and Niger and who were assisted for voluntary return to Senegal between May 2017 and May 2019, under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrants Protection and Reintegration

On 2-4 July, the Heads of the UN System Agencies in Senegal (IOM, UN Women, UNICEF, UNDP, UNV, UNFPA, UNHCR, WFP, FAO and UNIC), and Senegalese Government representatives conducted a joint field visit in the Kolda region to observe the progress made in the implementation of various projects in the region including those linked to the reintegration of returned migrants in Kolda. 

Through the EU-IOM Joint Initiative, some of the returned migrants received reintegration assistance to set up income-generating activities and regained their place in their communities after the stressful experience of irregular migration.  

Migrant reintegration begins with counselling. In Senegal, 48 facilitators were recruited and trained to facilitate counselling sessions, the first step in the reintegration process for the returned migrants.  

So far, 727 returned migrants have participated in counselling sessions throughout the country, 256 of them in the Kolda region.  

“These sessions are the opportunity for returned migrants to consider the entrepreneurial and professional development opportunities they could capitalize on as part of their reintegration,” explained Bakary Doumbia, Chief of Mission of IOM Senegal. 

The counselling sessions help identify the specific needs of the returned migrants, adapt the assistance and create conditions for their sustainable reintegration. Migrants who have opted for entrepreneurship thus benefit from the support of facilitators in the development of their projects, which factors in local needs and the availability of technical support. 

“I am satisfied with and grateful for this training,” said Mouhamadou Boïro, a returned migrant who attended one of the sessions. “Reintegration restores our dignity and gives us hope. In addition, the support we receive considerably reduces the prejudices of those around me and my own feelings of failure,” he added. 

During the joint visit, Doumbia handed over reintegration kits adapted to the areas of activity chosen by migrants such as agricultural equipment, sewing machines, and various tools for cereal and dairy product processing. During the joint visit, IOM’s Bakary Doumbia handed over reintegration kits adapted to the areas of activity chosen by migrants such as agricultural equipment, sewing machines, and various tools for cereal and dairy product processing. 

Funded by the European Union through its Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and launched in May 2017, the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration aims to enhance migration management in Senegal, through assisted voluntary return and reintegration of Senegalese migrants.  

In Senegal, the project is implemented by IOM in partnership with the Directorate General of Support to Senegalese Abroad (DGASE), and in collaboration with the project Migrant Protection and Reintegration in Senegal (Protection et réintégration des migrants au Sénégal), implemented by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID). 

Through this collaboration, regional workshops for joint sharing and information were conducted in Tambacounda, Kolda and Sédhiou, the main Senegalese regions of return.  

For more information, please contact Khady Ngom at IOM Senegal, Email: kngom@iom.int or visit www.migrationjointinitiative.org 

Language English Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 - 16:28Image: Region-Country: SenegalThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Handover of reintegration materials by the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Senegal. Photo: IOM

Handover of reintegration materials by the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System in Senegal. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Partners with Burundi to Combat Human Trafficking

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/12/2019 - 10:28

Bujumbura – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in partnership with the Government of Burundi, this week (10/07) launched a project to strengthen government capacity to combat trafficking in persons (TiP). 

The precarious security situation in Burundi has created an opportunity for human traffickers who often target the most vulnerable. An estimated 346,000 Burundians remain in neighboring countries as refugees while 130,000 Burundians are internally displaced. though as refugees returned, these figures decreased. Refugees returning from neighboring countries and the internally displaced remain vulnerable and desperate. 

The project, known as Burundi Counter-Trafficking 2019-2022, will reinforce the government’s efforts to combat human trafficking and other cross-border crimes. The USD 3 million project, funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, will run for three years.  

Burundi is a source country for trafficked persons, according to the US Trafficking in Persons Report. Adults and children can be coerced into forced labour, domestic servitude, prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation throughout the region and elsewhere in the world.  

This new partnership will serve as a coordination mechanism for government ministries and link them to the national police and civil society to implement anti-trafficking measures. Activities under the new project will include strengthening the national referral system for protection and providing reintegration assistance to trafficking victims. 

While actively engaging border communities, the project will help build the capacity of security agencies to effectively reduce and prevent human trafficking and cross-border crime, raise awareness on the basic rights of populations and create standard operating procedures for law enforcement stakeholders on handling TiP cases. 

The ad hoc committee appointed by the Office of the First Vice-President of the Republic of Burundi presented the Integrated Work Plan Against Trafficking in Persons 2019-2020 during the launch of the project. The Work Plan follows the adoption of the 2014 law to prevent and combat human trafficking. 

During the project launch ceremony, the First Vice-President of Burundi, Gaston Sindimwo said, “We are aware that human trafficking cannot be fought effectively without an integrated approach based on respect for human rights and taking into account the national, regional and global nature of the phenomenon.” 

“A joint action by all stakeholders at the national level as outlined in the Plan, which is our focus today, is aimed at continually improving our collective perception of the issues related to trafficking in persons and combining our efforts to maximize our effectiveness,” he continued. 

Caecilia Wijgers, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Burundi, said: “Trafficking in persons is a subject that requires all of us to find a solution for these tragic cases, where ordinary people find themselves one day in a nightmare when they believed they would start a promising phase of their lives. We appreciate that IOM’s programme has an integrated approach, as it is a problem for which we must work together across various disciplines.” 

AJ Morgen, IOM Burundi Chief of Mission said: “This three-year project will not only help combat trafficking and other cross-border crimes, such as migrant smuggling, but also improve the human security of communities affected by human trafficking and provide appropriate support to victims of trafficking.”  

“Today’s launch is a milestone event for all, as it represents the basis for cooperation between different actors that will continue to be strengthened during the implementation of this project,” Morgen added.  

The launch ceremony in Bujumbura was also attended by the Minister of Human Rights, Social Affairs and Gender, Martin Nivyabandi; the UN Resident Coordinator in Burundi, Dr. Garry Conille, a representative of the Mayor of Bujumbura, Christophe Kinshasa, representatives of various Ministries, local authorities, governors, civil society and members of the ad hoc commission.  

IOM strives to improve collaboration and co-ordination between all stakeholders while supporting safe, orderly and dignified migration in Burundi.   

For more information please contact: Sébastien Reclaru at IOM Burundi, Tel: +257 75400662, Email: sreclaru@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 - 16:26Image: Region-Country: BurundiThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

(From left to right) IOM Burundi Chief of Mission, AJ Morgen; First Vice-President of Burundi, Gaston Sindimwo and Ambassador of the Netherlands to Burundi, Caecilia Wijgers.

Group photo of participants attending the project launch in Bujumbura. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Key Lessons, Good Practices Captured at EU, ACP Migration Programme Close

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/12/2019 - 10:26

Brussels – Deepened engagement on migration between national and regional authorities in the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) regions emerged as one of the most promising practices in the concluding analysis of a five-year, European Union-funded programme implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). 

“We have seen how regional and inter-regional peer-to-peer meetings boosted regional and South-South cooperation. They enabled all involved to share experiences and good practices around remittances, trafficking in human beings and smuggling of migrants, visas and cooperation on mobility,” said Jill Helke, IOM Director of International Cooperation and Partnerships. 

“At the same time, ACP governments, non-state actors and regional organizations expressed a variety of needs during the programme and this led to a better understanding of the migration priorities in each region,” she added.   

These and other good practices and key lessons learned were presented at the ACP-EU Migration Action programme closing event in Brussels yesterday (11/07) with over 90 stakeholders of the ACP-EU Dialogue on Migration and Development, representatives from ACP and EU Member States, the ACP Secretariat and the European Commission, think tanks, IOM and other UN agencies.  

“With our EU development assistance, we help partner countries improve capacity to ensure well-managed migration, so that they are better positioned to address the migration challenges they face. We also help boost the development opportunities deriving from migration, by working on lowering remittance prices and engaging with the diaspora,” said Camilla Hagström, Acting Head of Unit at the European Commission’s DG for International Cooperation and Development.    

“The ACP-EU Migration Action programme has served as a valuable tool to support concrete actions in these regions. We will keep working alongside our partner countries on migration governance, fully in line with Agenda 2030 and the European Consensus on Development. Of course, this will involve drawing on the lessons learnt from the programme itself,” she continued.  

The programme provided technical assistance, supported local projects and knowledge production on migration for ACP countries and regional organizations. 

“The demand-driven requests enabled tailored technical assistance interventions. They helped develop a more complete understanding of ACP regions and country-specific needs and enhanced ownership of the process and of the results on the part of the requesting entities,” said ACP Assistant Secretary General, Ambassador Léonard-Emile Ognimba.  

Through the programme, IOM also organized three peer-to-peer regional thematic meetings in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific and offered financial support to 15 non-State actors for grass-root level projects. To harness the knowledge generated by the programme, it produced five thematic publications on visas, remittances, trafficking in human beings/smuggling of migrants, readmission, and good practices.   

The programme, launched in 2014, was funded from the 10th European Development Fund and supported by the ACP Secretariat and the EU.  

For more information on the programme, please visit its website: www.acpeumigrationaction.iom.int and follow it on Twitter: @ACP_EU_Action and Facebook: facebook.com/acpeuaction 

Watch this video for further details about the ACP-EU Migration Action programme. 

For more information please contact: Vasiliki Polychronopoulou at IOM’s Regional Office in Brussels, Tel: +32 (0)2 287 78 17, Email: polychronop@iom.int and acpeumigrationaction@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 - 16:22Image: Region-Country: BelgiumThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM, EU, Africa, Caribbean and Pacific representatives in Brussels for the 'ACP-EU Migration Action' closing event. Photo: IOM 

IOM, EU, Africa, Caribbean and Pacific representatives in Brussels for the 'ACP-EU Migration Action' closing event. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 31,649 in 2019; Deaths Reach 682

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/12/2019 - 10:13

Geneva – IOM reports that 31,649 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 10 July, roughly a 35 per cent decrease from the 48,612 arriving during the same period last year.   

Arrivals this year to Spain and Greece are each over 10,000 individuals (25,800 combined) accounting for almost 82 per cent of the region’s total, with the balance arriving in much smaller numbers to Italy, Malta and Cyprus. Arrivals to Greece are only slightly ahead of last year’s totals from this time last year. Arrivals to Spain are lower.   

Deaths recorded on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through 120 days of 2019 are at 682 individualsor fewer than half the 1,423 deaths confirmed during the same period in 2018 (see chart below) 

 

IOM Italy 

According to IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo, who was citing official Ministry of Interior figures, 3,165 migrants have arrived by sea to Italy in 2019. During the same period this year 3,969 migrants or refugees have been returned from the Central Mediterranean route back to sibya, or about 500 more than all the irregular sea arrivals to Italy since 1 January.  

As a comparison to recent years, 3,165 arrivals to Italy through six months is extraordinary, Di Giacomo said, explaining that from January 2014 through June of last year practically every month saw at last 3,165 arrivals, that is, when individual months routinely received as many irregular migrants arriving by sea to Italy than have arrived during all of 2019 thus far. Over the course of those years – approximately 60 months – monthly totals exceeded 20,000 arrivals at least 14 times (see chart below).

IOM Spain 

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported on Thursday sea arrivals to Spain, through 10 July have reached 11,016 men, women and children (see chart below).  

This represents a decrease of 35 per cent compared to the same period last year (5,886 fewer individuals).  Spanish authorities have rescued a total of 541 individuals in the first ten days of July. All rescues took place around the Alborán Sea and the Strait of Gibraltar. Authorities reported no new arrivals registered on the Western African Route (to the Canary Islands). 

While monthly arrivals to Spain are lower this year over all (see chart below), fatalities on the Western Mediterranean route remain high – with 203 deaths reported through a little more than six months of this year, compared to 294 at this time in 2018. 

 

IOM Greece 

IOM Greece’s Christine Nikolaidou reported on Thursday (11/07) that since Friday (05/07), the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported at least eight (14) incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Kos, Rhodes, Samothraki and Farmakonisi. The HCG rescued a total of 402 migrants and transferred them to those respective ports.  

Those arrivals, plus another 385 at various islands and ports brings to14,784 the total number of irregular migrants and refugees IOM has recorded by sea to Greece this year (see chart below). 

Missing Migrants Project 

2019 is the sixth year of IOM’s efforts to systematically record deaths on migration routes worldwide through its Missing Migrants Project.  

Since the beginning of 2014, the project has recorded the deaths of 32,354 individuals, including 1,397 in 2019 (see chart below), although due to the challenges of collecting information about these people and the contexts of their deaths, the true number of lives lost during migration is likely much higher. Missing Migrants Project records should only be viewed as indicative of the risks associated with migration, rather than representative of the true number of deaths across time or geography.   

This week, the Missing Migrants Project team recorded the death of 27 migrants: 16 men, six women and four whose sex is unknown. More than half of these deaths (15) were recorded along the US-Mexico border, while eight others were documented in the Caribbean, two in Central America and one in South America – that is, all but one of the 27 who died did so in the Western Hemisphere, the lone exception being one death in Europe. 

In the European case, a migrant man, thought to be from Eritrea, died after jumping from a truck  on 6 July in the Netherlands. Dutch police were alerted to people hanging from a moving vehicle while on the highway. Local press reported that this was after police officers stopped the truck to check it. According to the police, there were seven other men and women migrants inside the truck. After arresting the driver of the vehicle, the local authorities started an investigation to determine if this was a case of human smuggling. 

On the US-Mexico border, the US Border Patrol reported the death of a middle-aged Nicaraguan man, who died on 5 July, soon after he was rushed to a hospital in Tucson, Arizona. The man had been travelling with a group of 36 Central American migrants, who surrendered to Border Patrol agents shortly after crossing the border.  

Additionally, the Pima County Office of the Medical Examiner, also in Arizona, reported nine cases of migrant deaths during the month of June, including the recovery of the skeletal remains of six people, the death of a male migrant due to hanging, the death of a female migrant due to malnutrition and the harsh conditions of the journey, and one case of hypothermia.  

In the Caribbean, a van in which 16 Haitian migrants and one man from the Dominican Republic were travelling on 8 July fell into an irrigation canal near Navarrete, a municipality in north-western Dominican Republic. As a result, five men and four women drowned in the canal. Four survivors fled the scene of the accident, and three others were taken to a local hospital. It seems that the driver lost control of the six-passenger van after trying to avoid a military road check.  

In total, at least 449 people have lost their lives in the Americas in 2019, compared with 282 recorded through this point in 2018.  

Total US-Mexico border deaths in 2019 are at 197, with more than half (118) of the victims unidentified without any information available as to their age or nationality. MMP has confirmed a total of 57 drownings on the Texas-Mexico border (compared to 51 at this time in 2018), which is about 30 per cent of the region’s total. In barely half of those, or 29 cases, is the nationality of the victim known.   

The known drowning victims came from Mexico (25), El Salvador (15), Guatemala (15), Honduras (13), Ecuador (5), Nicaragua (2) plus one each from Colombia, Haiti, India and Ukraine.

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrants’ deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.   

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, click here. Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project

See contacts here.

 

Language English Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 - 16:02Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Joint Libya Statement: IOM Director General António Vitorino and UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi - International Approach to Refugees and Migrants in Libya Must Change

PBN News Germany - Fri, 07/12/2019 - 03:38

Geneva – On 3 July, more than 50 migrants and refugees lost their lives in an airstrike on the Tajoura Detention Centre in the east of Libya’s capital Tripoli. This week we appealed to the European Union and African Union to prevent such a tragedy from being repeated. The international community should consider the protection of the human rights of migrants and refugees a core element of its engagement in Libya.
 
As a priority, we ask that 5,600 refugees and migrants currently held in centres across Libya be freed in an orderly manner and their protection guaranteed or that they be evacuated to other countries from where accelerated resettlement is needed. For this, countries must step forward with more evacuation and resettlement places. In addition, migrants wishing to return to their countries of origin should continue to be able to do so. Extra resources are equally essential. 
 
Detention of those disembarked in Libya after being rescued at sea has to stop. Practical alternatives exist: people should be allowed to live in the community or in open centres and corresponding registration duties should be established. Semi-open safe centres can be established similar to UNHCR’s Gathering and Departure Facility.
 
As of yesterday, the Tajoura Detention Centre itself is closed, and some 400 attack survivors have been moved to the Gathering and Departure Facility. That centre is now badly overcrowded and work is ongoing to secure the evacuation of these people, particularly the most vulnerable, from Libya. However, many other refugees and migrants remain in detention elsewhere in Libya where suffering and risk of human rights abuses continue. A safe, managed process of release, with proper information on available assistance, is essential for all.
 
For the approximately 50,000 registered refugees and asylum-seekers currently living elsewhere in Libya, as well as for the estimated 800,000 migrants, more help is required so that living conditions are improved, human rights are better protected, and fewer people end up being driven into the hands of smugglers and human traffickers.
 
Every effort should be taken to prevent people rescued on the Mediterranean from being disembarked in Libya, which cannot be considered a safe port. In the past European State vessels conducting search and rescue operations saved thousands of lives, including through disembarkations in safe ports. They should resume this vital work and temporary disembarkation schemes should urgently be established to share responsibilities within Europe. NGO boats have played a similarly crucial role on the Mediterranean and must not be penalized for saving lives at sea. Commercial vessels must not be directed to bring rescued passengers back to Libya. 
 
Any assistance and responsibilities assigned to relevant Libyan entities should be made conditional on no one being arbitrarily detained after they have been rescued and guarantees of human rights standards being upheld. Without such guarantees, support should be halted. 
 
Another tragedy like Tajoura cannot be allowed to happen again. The protection of human lives must be the overriding priority.
 

IOM
In Geneva: Leonard Doyle at +41792857123 or Joel Millman at +41791038720
In Libya: Safa Msehli at +21622241842, Email: smsehli@iom.int 

UNHCR 
In Geneva: Charlie Yaxley  +41 79 580 8702, Email: yaxley@unhcr.org

Language English Posted: Friday, July 12, 2019 - 09:36Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: migrants in vulnerable situationsDefault: Multimedia: 

A hangar at Tripoli's Tajoura Detention Centre destroyed in the 3 July airstrike. Photo: IOM/Mahmoud Rajab

 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Bangladesh’s Rohingya Camps Hit by 7th Day of Wind, Rain - IOM Scales Up Distribution of Emergency Shelter

PBN News Germany - Thu, 07/11/2019 - 09:13

Cox’s Bazar – Unrelenting rain and winds are continuing to batter the Rohingya refugee camps of southern Bangladesh, displacing thousands of people, damaging homes and infrastructure, and increasing the risk of waterborne illnesses. The severe monsoon rains, which have pounded Cox’s Bazar since July 4th are the worst weather the district has experienced for over a year.  

“The rain and wind are causing misery on the ground and our teams are working day and night to provide emergency services and relocations to affected people. While we are grappling with the immediate effects of the storms, we still have to remain focused on long-term disaster management, said IOM Bangladesh Deputy Chief of Mission Manuel Pereira.

“IOM supported nearly 6,000 people with emergency items and trained 570 in emergency response on 9-10 July 2019. But we recognize that this storm system is having a major impact on people in the camps and we are only half way through the monsoon season,” he added.

In the past 48 hours, IOM teams have distributed 5,079 plastic tarpaulins to families impacted by the storms. A total of 152 mm of precipitation was recorded in the Kutupalong mega-camp over the past 24 hours. 

IOM and its humanitarian partners are continuing to monitor weather and assist affected communities as needed. With rains continuing this morning, IOM engineers are concerned about worsening damage to paths, bridges and drainage systems, if weather conditions do not improve.

As of last night, 998 individuals and 912 households had been impacted by severe weather over the previous 24 hours. IOM teams reported six landslides, eight wind storms and a total 174 people displaced.

ISCG – the coordinating body for aid agencies operating in Cox’s Bazar – says that monsoon-related damage this year could be far worse than in 2018. It reports:

Over 45,000 individuals have been affected since the end of April due to weather-related incidents, compared to 55,000 affected during the whole of last year’s monsoon season.

5,600 individuals have already been displaced, compared to 6,200 individuals in the 2018 monsoon.

In the first 10 days of July 2019, 22,000 people were affected by the monsoon compared to 19,000 in the whole of July 2018.

For more information please contact George McLeod at IOM Cox’s Bazar, Tel: +880 18 7071 8078, Email: gmcleod@iom.int

Language English Posted: Thursday, July 11, 2019 - 15:11Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Monsoon-related damage to homes and infrastructure in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps in 2019 could far exceed that of 2018. Photo: IOM/Mashrif Abdullah 

Monsoon-related damage to homes and infrastructure in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps in 2019 could far exceed that of 2018. Photo: IOM/Mashrif Abdullah 

Monsoon-related damage to homes and infrastructure in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camps in 2019 could far exceed that of 2018. Photo: IOM/Mashrif Abdullah 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, UNCTAD Strengthen Efforts to Maximize Migration Benefits

PBN News Germany - Wed, 07/10/2019 - 10:30

Increased cooperation expected in areas addressing migration and development, such as investment, enterprise development and entrepreneurship

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) are strengthening their cooperation to address issues related to the nexus between migration, trade and development.

The heads of the two organizations signed a memorandum of understanding at the UN’s European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on 10 July to increase joint programming.

Their joint work will support countries to ensure effective, efficient and responsible migration governance, border management, entrepreneurship, as well as the safe, orderly and regular migration and mobility of people.

“Developing country governments are seeking to establish a healthy balance between maximizing development benefits from migration and ensuring good governance and effective border management, security and control,” IOM Director-General António Vitorino said.

 “Migration can contribute significantly to inclusive prosperity if properly aligned with policy instruments in areas of investment, finance and trade,” UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi said.

“It takes national and international effort to unlock the positive power of migration,” Dr Kituyi said.

Mr. Vitorino added: “Facilitating legitimate cross-border mobility alongside cross-border trade of goods and services, contributes to much-needed socio-economic sustainable development, and realizing this balance.”

IOM and UNCTAD had earlier joined forces, together with UNHCR, to develop a policy guide on entrepreneurship for migrants and refugees, currently being rolled out in different countries.

New avenues of cooperation

The agreement opens new avenues for cooperation in additional and complementary areas.

It offers a new data exchange service solution to countries that are using or planning to use the customs and border IT support solutions offered by the two UN organizations – UNCTAD’s customs management system, ASYCUDA, and IOM’s border management information system, MIDAS. The solution aims at enhancing coordinated/integrated border management and analyses. 

Under the agreement, UNCTAD and IOM will support countries to strengthen international and intra-state cooperation between their national development, trade, customs and border agencies.

In addition, increased cooperation is expected in various areas addressing migration and development, such as investment, enterprise development and entrepreneurship.

Others include capacity development for countries and partners to harness the development potential of migration, integrated/coordinated border management, cooperation to better support states implementing tools for advance passenger information and enhanced facilitation and risk management.

For further information please contact, Joel Millman, IOM Geneva, Tel.: +41 79 103 8720, Email: Jmillman@iom.int

Language English Posted: Wednesday, July 10, 2019 - 16:21Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMMigration and DevelopmentUNDefault: Multimedia: 

Photo: Florian Forster/IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Experts Gather on Environmental Migration, Climate-Resilient Reintegration of Returning Migrants

PBN News Germany - Tue, 07/09/2019 - 11:00

Rabat – In West Africa, environmental challenges are widely believed to drive migration from rural areas, where livelihoods are largely dependent on natural resources (agriculture, mining and fisheries).  

Simultaneously, these challenges impact the sustainability of reintegration for returned migrants, limiting their livelihood options and the availability of natural resources, such as water and land, and food.  

Given the urgent need to address the environmental challenges faced by communities of origin in West Africa, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) organized a workshop on 3-4 July 2019 in Rabat, Morocco, bringing together 45 experts, policymakers and academics from North and Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe to discuss opportunities for integrating environmental dimensions into reintegration activities.  

"The livelihoods in some regions in the world rely essentially on natural resources, and when these resources are affected by desertification or drought, it is the economy that experiences the direct effects, which can lead to migration. By addressing these factors, not only can we tackle the root causes of migration, but we can also ensure the sustainable reintegration of returnees,” explained Daria Mokhnacheva, Programme Officer at the Migration, Environment and Climate Change (MECC) Division at IOM’s Headquarters.  

The workshop was generously supported by the Government of France, the IOM Development Fund, and organized in partnership with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS). 

Morocco is a country with complex migratory and environmental dynamics and challenges related to water scarcity and job creation, especially in rural areas. During the second day of the workshop, participants visited Swani Tiqa, an agroecological farm created and run by former members of the Moroccan diaspora in Shoul’s Valley, near Rabat. 

“What is important is to create jobs for local populations. And this kind of projects allows them to have a guaranteed and fixed income and thus to be able to flourish in their environment to avoid the drama of departure,” said Touriya Tarouj, owner of Swani Tiqa. Her experience is currently being studied by IOM Morocco, along with other similar initiatives, in the framework of a project on “Diaspora’s Engagement into Development of Agroecology in Morocco,” supported by the IOM Development Fund.  

The visit also provided an opportunity for an exchange of experience between Tarouj and the owners of a similar agroecological initiative in Senegal, who were attending the workshop. Bellal and Aminata Sow, former members of the Senegalese diaspora, are running Sow Ranch, an agroecological farm in Kolda, which is one of the most important regions of return migration in Senegal. Of the 79 returned migrants from Kolda interviewed by IOM in December 2018, 26 (32.9%) indicated they left their homes because of the degradation of natural resources and 15 (19%) because of natural disasters. Sow Ranch is currently partnering with IOM to host returned migrants and train them on agroecological practices. 

This partnership has been established in the framework of IOM’s project on “Mainstreaming environmental dimensions into reintegration support to reduce the effects of climate change on migration in West Africa” funded by the Government of France, as part of which the workshop was organized. Within this project, IOM supports the reintegration of returning migrants through the creation of job opportunities in sectors contributing to climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, and to reducing forced migration resulting from the negative impacts of environmental and climate change. 

During the workshop, participants generated recommendations for global guidelines on environmentally sustainable and climate-resilient reintegration of returned migrants, which IOM is currently developing. The participants also identified “green projects” such as recycling, waste collection, agroecology farming, rain water harvesting, among others, aiming at adapting to climate change and mitigating environmental degradation.  

The forthcoming global guidelines will provide practical, non-binding guidance to policymakers and practitioners to promote migrant reintegration as an opportunity for addressing the impact of climate change and other environmental challenges in countries to which migrants return, while contributing to sustainable reintegration of returnees.  

The project, a contribution by the Government of France and IOM to the work of the Platform on Disaster Displacement, is an innovative response to international policy commitments to address the environmental drivers of migration, such as those made in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change at the COP21 and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) in 2018. It also addresses the international commitments made by the European Union and African States at the Valletta Summit on migration (2015), to “improve cooperation on return and sustainable reintegration.” 

For more information, please contact Hind Aïssaoui Bennani, at IOM’s Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Tel: +221 33 869 62 00, Email: (haissaoui@iom.int

Or visit https://environmentalmigration.iom.int/ 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 16:57Image: Region-Country: MoroccoThemes: Migration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Experts, policymakers and academics from North and Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe took part in the workshop to discuss opportunities for integrating environmental dimensions into reintegration activities. Photo: IOM

Workshop participants visit the agroecological Swani Tiqa farm. Photo: IOM

In this arid zone of Salé, in north-western Morocco, the drip irrigation system is used by the agroecological Swani Tiqa farm to water the plants. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Burundi: Japan, IOM Ramp Up Disease Prevention, Disaster Response and Reintegration Efforts

PBN News Germany - Tue, 07/09/2019 - 10:55

Bujumbura – In poor countries like Burundi, seasonal rains often lead to displacement—due to floods and landslides that impact subsistence farmers and small-scale traders, many of whom are vulnerable are vulnerable to losing farmland and their livelihoods in a matter of minutes. When such misfortune is accompanied by an epidemic, outbreak of disease or some other public health emergency, contagion can spread quickly once those displaced are on the move. 

In fact, in Burundi IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix estimates that natural disasters account for nearly 77 per cent of all displacement cases. A landlocked country located between the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and the United Republic of Tanzania, Burundi’s porous borders require additional infrastructure and equipment, including those meant for border health surveillance.  

The declaration of an Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo—coupled with the risk of cross-border disease transmission—presents the potential here for a “perfect storm” of misery: a full-fledged epidemic in the region entering a vacuum of effective health surveillance and screening at Burundi’s points of entry. Nine of Burundi’s 18 provinces border neighboring countries. 

At the same time, an upsurge of Burundian refugees returning from Tanzania has also meant stretching public resources ever further to accommodate a growing population. By June, for example Burundi had received over 71,000 Burundian returnees, more than half (45,000) coming just in 2018. 

To mitigate these challenges, this month the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Government of Japan have launched a one-year integrated project. Its title is long, but it covers the essentials: “Enhancing Integrated Capacity and Assistance to Crisis Affected Populations on Disease Outbreaks, Natural Disasters and Returns in Burundi.”   

Its intent is basic: to bolster national and local efforts to respond to potential disease outbreaks and natural disasters by strengthening border management and successfully reintegrating displaced populations.  

Japan’s donation of US$1 million towards the project is meant to enhance capacity of national authorities and local communities which will help both prevent and respond quickly to potential disease outbreaks at borders. The funding will help provide emergency shelter repair kits, rental assistance, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) support to the displaced as well as host communities. These initiatives will be complemented with protection and community stabilization activities to enhance social cohesion and to reduce cases of conflict over resources.  

The project’s launch, held at the Gatumba border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, was attended by the Ambassador of Japan to Burundi, His Excellency Takayuki Miyashita, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Isidore Ntirampeba, Governor of Bujumbura Rural province, Nadine Gacuti, UN Resident Coordinator in Burundi, Dr. Garry Conille, Chief of Mission of IOM Burundi, AJ Morgen, local authorities, governors and representatives of implementing partners, Terra Renaissance and the Burundi Red Cross.  

Isidore Ntirampeba, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said “The Burundi Government, through the National Platform, has the institutional, organizational and technical capacity in the field of risk prevention and disaster management of all kinds. Nevertheless, these capacities need to be supported in their efforts to find the path of sustainable development, while improving skills to proactively manage risk and build resilience for future crises. 

This project, he continued, “will enable the government to fight effectively against epidemics, including the Ebola epidemic which has struck the DRC, as well as cholera. The project will also help people who are victims of natural disasters. This is a support to the National Platform.” 

In his address, His Excellency Ambassador Takayuki Miyashita, stressed “The Government of Japan focuses on development cooperation to protect and empower individuals, especially those liable to be vulnerable, to realize human security. This project is the first project for which a Japanese NGO is collaborating with IOM in Burundi. We thank IOM Burundi and its partners for carrying out this important project.” 

This project is part of a regional initiative funded by the Government of Japan (USD 15.6 million) to support IOM programmes in Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda and Lesotho. 

For more information, please contact: 
Kaori Kawakami at IOM Burundi, Tel: 75 400 772, Email: kaokawakami@iom.int 
Mai Makizono at the Embassy of Japan in Rwanda, Tel: +250 252 500 884, Email: mai.makizono@mofa.go.jp  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 16:53Image: Region-Country: BurundiThemes: Migration HealthMigration and Climate ChangeDefault: Multimedia: 

His Excellency Ambassador Miyashita of Japan presents donated health equipment to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Isidore Ntirampeba, during the launch ceremony in Gatumba, Burundi.

Speakers at the IOM Burundi project launch in Gatumba, Burundi included (top row, from left to right) AJ Morgen, Chief of Mission at IOM Burundi, Dr. Garry Conille, UN Resident Coordinator in Burundi, (bottom row, from left to right) Isidore Ntirampeba, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Takayuki Miyashita, Japanese Ambassador to Burundi, and Nadine Gacuti, Governor of Bujumbura Rural province, Burundi.

Speakers at the IOM Burundi project launch in Gatumba, Burundi (from left to right): ) His Excellency Takayuki Miyashita, Japanese Ambassador to Burundi, Isidore Ntirampeba, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, AJ Morgen, Chief of Mission at IOM Burundi, and Nadine Gacuti, Governor of Bujumbura Rural province, Burundi.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mozambique: Resettling and Rebuilding After Cyclones Idai and Kenneth

PBN News Germany - Tue, 07/09/2019 - 10:53

Ndeja Camp, Sofala Province – A season has passed since Category-4 Cyclone Idai devastated and displaced an estimated 1.85 million individuals across Mozambique’s coastal Sofala province and into Central Mozambique. In that time, technical experts of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have supported the Government’s humanitarian response by providing Shelter, Camp Management, Health, Protection and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) services in the districts of Sofala, Manica, Tete and Zambezia. 

From the city of Beira, the Government’s Disaster Management Agency (INGC) has received operational support from IOM, notably in Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) activities, and through the distribution of Non-Food Items (NFIs) and shelter kits to resettled communities, funded by ECHO, USAID, Italy, UKAID, CERF, Japan, Ireland and Switzerland.  

On 27 June 2019, the CCCM and Shelter clusters, for which IOM serves as lead and co-lead with the IFRC respectively, visited a new temporary site in Ndeja, to support the distribution of 71 shelter kits containing blankets, plastic sheets, tarps and toolkits for newly relocated families to construct a basic make-shift shelter. 

Christina Armando, a newly resettled resident of Ndeja, was among the affected population who received a shelter kit. “We lost everything: the house, food stocks, animals, clothing and all of our belongings. I came alone to Ndeja from Muda once the government allocated us with new land,” she said, standing beside the plot of land she spent the morning clearing in anticipation of the arrival of the shelter kits.   

Originally from Tete, Christina was living in Muda when cyclone Idai swept in, destroying her family’s home. Christina’s two children and husband remain in Muda, and she hopes to have them join her in Ndeja soon. “I feel better now knowing we will have a roof over our heads to protect us at night,” she explained. “We are able to forget what happened and instead look forward.”  

João Ernesto Cuapatira, also a newly resettled resident of Ndeja, shared a similar story. 

“We came here yesterday from Castanheira, not far from Muda,” he explained, motioning to the South. “Before we came to Ndeja, we were sleeping beside the water, as the roof that remained from what used to be our house was slanted and provided little shelter. We thought we could stay there to rebuild and replant our crops, but the land in Castanheira was too low and the water refused to drain after the cyclone. We realized it would not be possible to stay.” 

Content with his recently allocated land and eager to set up his shelter using his kit, João said, “We are optimistic for a new start and being able to build a new shelter for ourselves so that we can then focus on replanting crops. The land here is higher and dryer than in Muda, better for maize cultivation.” 

As of 11 June, the families of João and Christina are just two of over 983 households that have been relocated across four resettlement sites by the government, with technical support from IOM.  

IOM has continued to provide support to humanitarian partners by identifying and assessing the needs of individuals and households using the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), in addition to coordinating and supporting relevant Health and Protection activities.  

As of June 2019, over 51,317 individuals (11,711 households) have been tracked using DTM across 50 sites, disseminating information with 990 recipients from over 177 organizations to improve coordination and response.  

According to IOM’s Beira-based DTM officer Chris Zapp, “DTM allows us to have a daily monitoring tool on individuals and households so that partners can use this information for distributions and other service provision activities that rely on household numbers. It also allows us to have multi-sectorial site assessments, which offers an in-depth look at the needs and vulnerabilities of each, built with clusters and other partners on WASH, Food Security, Shelter, Protection and Community Engagement.” 

Additionally, IOM is supporting improvements to health and protections services.  

“We are assisting the government with social protection; we have about 40 activists on the ground across the affected districts to identify vulnerable protection cases and refer these cases accordingly to available services and the referral mechanism already in place, conduct awareness raising sessions, workshops and trainings,” said Beira Protection Coordinator Neischa Macaringue. “As of July, we have six trainings occurring on various issues, including trafficking in persons, camp management, child protection and gender-based violence, in addition to supporting the presence of women and girl friendly spaces and the protection tents.” 

IOM will continue to co-ordinate response activities, identify and support other relevant partnerships for the implementations of these projects with the aim of ensuring stable, voluntary and dignified resettlements and returns for persons displaced by Cyclone Idai to their places of origin. 

For more information, please contact Katharina Schnoering at IOM Mozambique, Tel: +258 863 511 806, Email: kschnoering@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 16:50Image: Region-Country: MozambiqueThemes: Community StabilizationResettlementDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM CCCM and Shelter clusters begin distributing shelter kits to families in Ndeja. Photo: IOM

João and his wife Maria in front of their soon-to-be-cleared plot of land with their newly received shelter kit. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Chad Conducts National Consultation on Global Compact for Migration

PBN News Germany - Tue, 07/09/2019 - 10:50

N’Djamena – Earlier this month (3-4 July), Chad’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the support of IOM, hosted the country’s first national consultation on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, marking a significant step in the implementation of this compact for the country.  

Over the course of two days, nearly 50 representatives of the Government, civil society and UN agencies worked together to better understand the compact and develop a roadmap to implement it in Chad.  

IOM’s Deputy Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Sophie Nonnenmacher and Laurent Guittey, Project Manager of IOM Côte d'Ivoire, facilitated a series of interactive sessions focused on the key elements of the Global Compact for Migration and its goals, as well as the compact’s link to the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Also, on the agenda: Migration Dynamics in Chad, the current institutional framework on migration management in Chad and priorities of the African Union for the implementation of the compact. 

Through a series of group discussions, participants identified eight priority areas, among which were establishing an inter-ministerial coordination framework for migration management; improving migrants’ access to basic social services; and strengthening actions to protect vulnerable migrants, namely victims of trafficking. Continuing efforts to engage the Chadian diaspora to support the development of Chad were also discussed.   

During the final ceremony, IOM Chad’s Chief of Mission, Anne Kathrin Schaefer, emphasized: “The work we have done these last two days is just the beginning; the path laid in front of us is where the real work begins.” 

Proposals and recommendations – such as the creation of a UN network for migration in Chad and a network of journalists specializing in migration in collaboration with Chad’s Ministry of Communication –were submitted by the participants to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for consideration. Naloum Bouroumdou, the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed his hope that “these recommendations will be transmitted to the council of ministers for adaptation. I hope this workshop will not be the last.”  

IOM in Chad looks forward to continuing its efforts to support the Government of Chad on their path to implementing the Global Compact for Migration.  

For more information, please contact Anne Kathrin Schaefer at IOM Chad, Email: aschaefer@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 9, 2019 - 16:48Image: Region-Country: ChadThemes: Global Compact on MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Chief of Mission Anne Kathrin Schaefer sharing words during the closing ceremony alongside the Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chad. Photo: IOM

Participants during a group work session, working together to identify priority areas of the Global Compact for Chad. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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