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UN Migration Agency in Iraq Assists Newly Displaced from Hawija Operations

PBN News Germany - Mon, 09/25/2017 - 06:37
Language English

Erbil – Military operations to retake Hawija district and surrounding areas, which began on 21 September, have already displaced more than 2,400 individuals from Hawija, Kirkuk governorate and Shirqat, Salah al-Din governorate. The majority have displaced to Ninewa governorate, including 1,700 individuals who have been bussed by Iraqi authorities to IOM’s Haj Ali emergency site 60 km south of Mosul.

Most of these recently displaced people arrived to a secure area after fleeing their towns and villages, many walking five to 10 hours through desert lands, leaving them dehydrated and exhausted.

The majority of the IDPs arriving at Haj Ali are children, women and older people. As the military operations continue, thousands of additional families are expected to be displaced and in need of assistance.

Upon arrival, families are assigned a tent and given two kits: a Rapid Response Mechanism kit (food, water and a hygiene kit) by a local NGO; and an NFI kit from IOM, including mattresses, bedding, kitchen set, fan, light, plastic mats, gas cooker, and more. An IOM doctor is present at registration to identify urgent health needs.

Amal, 24, from Tal al-Wared village in Hawija district, along with a group of family members, arrived in Haj Ali site on Friday, September 22. While visiting IOM’s health center for medical checkups, she said “Life in Hawija was very difficult, there were shortages of food and basic supplies. I am very concerned about my 16 relatives who were not able to leave the area with us. We are still waiting to hear from them.”

Dr. Ahmed Basheer of IOM at Haj Ali site was among a group of first responders to provide emergency medical care for newly displaced people.

“Many of these people are weak and tired because they have walked for long hours without food and water before reaching the security forces,” said Dr. Basheer.  “As we check their health when they arrive, many have acute dehydration and may easily faint due to hypotension.”

Abo Ali, a young man from Hawija said, “I was a student in the College of Education. I left college soon after ISIL came to Hawija and worked as a shepherd and farmer to support my family. During that time there were many restrictions, residents could not go out, even in our own areas.”

“The shelling started one month ago. My mother insisted that my wife, cousin and I leave the area, but she had to stay behind with my brother because she can’t walk well. We left our village at night and walked for five hours from Tal Al-Wared towards the security forces. I hope our areas will be retaken soon so we can go back. I am so worried about my mother; I haven’t been able to reach her for several days,” said Abo Ali.

A total of 1,000 tent plots have been prepared at Haj Ali emergency site for IDP families expected to flee from Hawija operations. A total of 750 non-food item kits have been prepositioned, provided by the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).

According to IOM Iraq Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), the displacement of 2,400 individuals from Hawija and Shirqat within the last few days is in addition to more than 102,700 individuals who have been displaced from Hawija district between early August 2016 and 21 September 2017. Together most of these IDPs have displaced to Salah al-Din governorate (over 52,600), Kirkuk governorate (over 44,300), Ninewa governorate (5,600) and Erbil governorate (2,200).

 For more information please contact IOM Iraq:

Sandra Black, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: or
Raber Aziz, Tel: +964 750 465 9204, Email:

Posted: Monday, September 25, 2017 - 12:35Image: Region-Country: IraqDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, UN Peacekeeping Sign Agreement to Enhance Cooperation

PBN News Germany - Sat, 09/23/2017 - 15:02

New York – The UN Migration Agency Director General William Lacy Swing and the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix today (23/09) signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The agreement provides a framework for enhancing cooperation across areas of strategic importance such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration; security sector reform; support to civil affairs activities; and protection of civilians.

“IOM works with UN peacekeeping in many operational contexts and on a wide variety of topics. We are excited by the opportunity to formalize our partnership and to expand our joint work in the field,” said Director General Swing.

Under-Secretary-General Lacroix commented that “IOM is an important part of the international community’s efforts to address some of today’s most pressing issues. We look forward to enhanced cooperation as we work together for peace and stability.”

Both IOM and DPKO believe in the increasing need for agencies and organizations to collaborate on global issues affecting many of the world’s vulnerable populations. Institutional partnerships have to become more efficient and collaborative to maximize limited resources, promote efficiencies and jointly address the full range of today’s massive human security challenges.

For more information, please contact:

IOM: Lanna Walsh, New York, Tel: + 1 929 920 1127, Email:

DPKO: Nick Birnback, New York, Tel: + 1 929 301 0761, Email:

Language English Posted: Saturday, September 23, 2017 - 21:01Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Disarmament, Demobilization and ReintegrationDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Director General, Bangladesh PM Discuss Humanitarian Aid for People Fleeing Myanmar at UN General Assembly

PBN News Germany - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:50

New York – On Wednesday (20/09), the UN Migration Agency’s Director General William Lacy Swing and Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina met during the UN General Assembly in New York to discuss humanitarian aid for the thousands fleeing violence in Myanmar.

Bangladesh, already host to approximately 300,000, had welcomed 74,000 after an incident in October 2016 and a further 429,000 people, who are seeking safety from an outbreak of violence in Rakhine State, Myanmar, on 25 August.

Since 2013, IOM, the UN Migration Agency has been mandated by the Government of Bangladesh to lead the humanitarian response in Cox’s Bazar. Together with the Government and humanitarian partners, IOM is responding to the needs of the most vulnerable new arrivals, while still providing assistance to the Rohingya population, who had been living in Bangladesh prior to this latest outbreak of violence. During the meeting, Prime Minister Hasina reiterated her Government’s full support for IOM’s role in coordinating the response, through the Inter Sector Coordination Group.  

Informal settlements and spontaneous sites, which have emerged over the last few weeks as unprecedented numbers of people arrived, are hosting the largest numbers of displaced people with almost no services available. Emergency response in these settlements is being scaled up to meet their health, safety, and security needs, but the needs far outstrip the capacity currently in country.  Women and children are the majority of those fleeing, they bear the brunt of the conflict and the humanitarian response is being tailored to their specific needs.

The Prime Minister noted that access to safe and dignified shelter, health and education are top priorities in her Government’s support for new arrivals. Through partnership with the Government, IOM is providing emergency shelter, water, sanitation, and other core relief items, which are vital as heavy rains continue.

IOM is also conducting site planning for the new temporary displacement site on the land allocated by the Government near the Kutupalong Makeshift Settlement, as well as allocating and building up site management capacity in existing makeshift and new spontaneous sites. 

The Government has allocated 400 million Taka (about USD 4.8 million) to the construction of access and internal roads and drainage by the military. Since the end of August, over 242 emergency latrines have been installed by IOM throughout the sites to improve sanitation. Due to the lack of groundwater, IOM continues delivering 72,000 litres of safe water daily to targeted sites.

The Government of Bangladesh has mobilized medical outreach workers to provide health care, the armed forces to shuttle goods from the Chittagong airport to Cox's Bazar and local administration staff to provide readymade meals to up to 100,000 people a day, among other humanitarian support.

Over the past three weeks, IOM has provided emergency and primary healthcare services to over 18,000 new arrivals and 9,500 others from the Rohingya and host populations. Sixty-four babies have been delivered and IOM has provided referral services to another 226 patients. These services were provided through 12 IOM teams operating from Government health facilities in Ukhiya and Teknaf, as well as three IOM mobile medical teams, which provide basic and primary healthcare services in three spontaneous settlements.

A clinic located near Kutupalong Makeshift Settlement and the new site has started seeing patients, while final construction is being completed. IOM and the World Health Organization, with partners, will conduct an immunization campaign targeting 150,000 children in the coming days. WHO has already deployed immunization and surveillance support.

“The needs are enormous and Prime Minister Hasina, her Government and the people of Bangladesh have been greatly generous in their response to not only this humanitarian emergency but going back generations as people have been crossing into the country from Myanmar for decades,” said Director General Swing following his meeting with the Prime Minister. “The new land allocated by the Government to new arrivals will go a long way in fighting dangerous overcrowding, which makes people, who have already gone through enough, vulnerable to disease, gender-based violence, mental strain and much more. I understand the Prime Minister has advised all relevant ministries and agencies to work closely with the humanitarian community to help reach all Rohingyas with aid as quick as possible.”

IOM has been putting measures in place to counter gender based violence and human trafficking, while also working with extremely vulnerable individuals to ensure that they get appropriate help, including psychosocial and medical services. Frontline responders have been trained on the identification and handling of vulnerable cases in need of protection. To provide safe spaces to people in need across the displacement sites, an agreement with a partner NGO has been signed. 440 Dignity Kits, which contain hygiene and sanitary items, as well as other items explicitly tailored towards the needs of women and girls, have also been distributed among the new arrivals. Emergency Information Service centres have been made operational in displacement sites in Shamlapur, Balukhali, Leda, Kutupalong, Moiner Ghona, and Unchiprang. Emergency lifesaving information are being disseminated through these centres.

This bilaterial meeting came a day after the pair had participated in a high level meeting, convened by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, on the worsening crisis in Northern Rakhine State, Myanmar. With increasing unmet needs of the now over 800,000 Rohingyas in Bangladesh, IOM appeals to UN Member States at the General Assembly to support the inter-agency emergency response.

The details of IOM’s current appeal can be viewed here.

For more information, please contact:
Peppi Siddiq in Dhaka, Tel: +8801755568894, Email:
Chris Lom in Cox’s Bazar, Tel. +8801733335221, Email:
Olivia Headon in Geneva, Tel: +41794035365, Email:
Leonard Doyle in New York, Tel: +41792857123, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 16:37Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff providing emergency and primary healthcare services to the Rohingya and host populations. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017


IOM staff responding to the needs of the most vulnerable new arrivals in Bangladesh. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017


Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Deputy Director General Outlines Benefits of Global Compact for Migration at High-Level Event in Vienna

PBN News Germany - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:50

Vienna – IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson was in Vienna yesterday (21/09), speaking at an event organized by the Austrian Foreign Ministry on the Global Compact for Migration.

The high-level meeting brought together representatives from the Western Balkans as well as several neighbouring EU countries.

Ambassador Thompson remarked on the importance of the discussion to the region, singling out the large-scale migration in 2015. “Large numbers of people arrived at your borders in need and received fast and effective assistance,” she said.

“Among them were vulnerable migrants, including unaccompanied children and victims of trafficking. Many of them did not qualify for international protection, but required and continue to receive assistance.”

Promising delegates IOM’s “full and enduring support,” Ambassador Thompson urged them to work for the successful fruition of the Global Compact for Migration: “We simply cannot and must not fail. We must and we can change the toxic narrative on migration and unlock its ability to fulfil human potential.”

Her sentiments were echoed by Elizabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, Director General for Legal and Consular Affairs at the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, hosting the event.

“What we share here is the experience of 2015 which triggered the biggest migration flow since the end of the Second World War,” she noted. “We also share what it means not to be properly prepared, so it makes sense to talk about it.”

The meeting took place at the same time as the United Nations General assembly and one year, almost to the day, since IOM joined the United Nations and the UN Declaration on Refugees and Migrants was signed.

Ellen Hansen, Senior Policy Advisor with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees acknowledged this, and spoke of the need for two strong Global Compacts, one each for Migration and Refugees.

She stressed that the compacts would have a positive impact in many areas, notably on national asylum system. In concord with Ambassador Thompson’s earlier sentiments, she noted that the compacts would also expand regular migration pathways, improve human rights of migrants and refugees, help identify victims of trafficking and counter xenophobia.

Apart from representatives from the Western Balkans, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia and Bulgaria, the event was also attended by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the International Centre for Migration Policy Development, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, International Anti-Corruption Agency and several other Vienna-based organizations.

For further information, please contact Joe Lowry at the IOM Regional Office in Vienna, Tel: +43660 3776404, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 16:36Image: Region-Country: AustriaThemes: Capacity BuildingGlobal CompactGlobal Compact on MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

From left: Elizabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, Director General for Legal and Consular Affairs at the Austrian Federal Ministry for Europe, Integration and Foreign Affairs, IOM Deputy Director Ambassador Laura Thompson, Ellen Hansen, Senior Policy Advisor with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and Argentina Szabados, Director of IOM’s office for Southeastern and Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Photo: Joe Lowry / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson addresses the high level event hosted by the Austrian Foreign Ministry in Vienna yesterday (21/09). Photo Joe Lowry/UN Migration Agency 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Appeals for Over USD 3 Million to Assist Burundian Refugees Return Home from Tanzania

PBN News Germany - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:48

Kigoma – Approximately 12,000 Burundian refugees in Tanzania have asked the Government of Tanzania and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency for assistance to get home. Close to 280,000 refugees fled into Tanzania from Burundi following an upsurge in violence in 2015, of whom nearly 80 per cent are women and children. Now, some see the areas from where they originated as safe and want to return.

On 31 August, the Governments of Tanzania and Burundi and UNHCR signed an agreement on the Voluntary Repatriation of Burundian Refugees in Tanzania, which initiated the return process. Only refugees who have been fully briefed on the situation within their country in order to make an informed decision and then voluntarily sign up will return to Burundi through the programme. 

IOM, the UN Migration Agency’s team in Tanzania carried out two cross-border assessment missions to Burundi on 27-29 August and 5-6 September respectively. The missions’ objectives were to assess the transit centres set up by humanitarian agencies and the Burundian Government to receive the returning refugees before they move onto their areas of origin. The missions also assessed the road conditions on both sides of the border as the refugees will be travelling by bus.

On 7 September 2017 following the two missions, IOM safely transported the first group of 301 refugees and their belongings to the Gisuru and Ruyigi Transit Centres in Burundi. Before leaving, IOM medical teams carried out fit-to-travel medical screenings and provided the convoy with operation and medical escorts. To date (21 September 2017), five IOM convoys have transported 1,666 refugees back to Burundi with safety and dignity.

The second phase of the return assistance is expected to start in November and to end by December 2017. It will not be possible to continue the repatriation exercise without international support. USD 450,000 is needed to transport those who have voluntarily registered to return home from Tanzania.

A further USD 3.265 million is needed for assistance once they have arrived in Burundi, including transport, shelter, core relief items and reintegration activities supporting social cohesion, community capacity to absorb returnees, and socioeconomic development of vulnerable persons.

Community dialogue sessions with members of the host communities will be held in areas, to where more people have returned. The dialogue sessions will include some job training and cash-for-work projects.

The appeal in Burundi would support an estimated 1,400 people including returnees and host community members in five provinces: Kirundo, Makamba, Muyinga, Rutana, and Ruyigi.  

View the detailed appeal here.

“Coordinating transport and reintegration support on this scale inherently has its challenges; however, the biggest challenge we and our partners are facing at the moment is a funding shortage. Without international support, we will not be able to help the remainder of those who have volunteered to go back home,” said Dr. Qasim Sufi, IOM Chief of Mission to Tanzania. “We are appealing for funds so that IOM can continue the transportation of those who have voluntarily registered to return home with safety and dignity and so that they can build a meaningful life there.”

For more information, please contact IOM Kigoma:
Jamal Mohamud, Tel: +255626130824, Email: 
Son Ha Dinh, Tel: +255682006852, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 16:35Image: Region-Country: United Republic of TanzaniaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM assisting Burundian refugee families onto buses in Nduta for their return to Burundi. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Steps up Response as Hurricane Maria Increases Needs in Storm-Battered Caribbean Islands

PBN News Germany - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:46

San Jose – Just two weeks after Hurricane Irma overwhelmed several Caribbean islands, Hurricane Maria has multiplied humanitarian needs in the region. Since 20 September, IOM surge team members have been present in Dominica, Sint Maarten, Antigua and Barbados conducting assessments on the needs of affected populations, and supporting local authorities and humanitarian actors to implement preparedness and response activities.

On 18 and 19 September, Hurricane Maria left a trail of destruction as it smashed into Dominica with 160 mph winds. Early reports suggest that Dominica is one of the most severely affected countries. Although the exact scale of the damage and needs have not been identified, the Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, declared there was widespread devastation in the country, with 15 people killed and over 73,000 islanders affected. PM Skerrit has appealed for help through the media.

On 20 September, IOM deployed its surge team to Dominica to conduct initial assessments on damages, along with UNDAC and other key humanitarian personnel with the support of the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS).

In Sint Maarten, prior to the arrival of Hurricane Maria, IOM camp management experts advised the government to disseminate early messages to the public and supported the coordination efforts related to pre-positioning core relief items, including food and water, across all evacuation centres in the island.

The centres can accommodate a total of 2,140 people. Ten of the centres were pre-stocked with food and water with a capacity for sheltering 1,800 people. These sites were manned by volunteers from Red Cross and K1 Britannia Foundation trained by IOM as well as the Dutch Marine personnel to provide security and logistics assistance.

As the storm effects diminish in Sint Maarten, people are returning home. Pre-positioned tarpaulins are being handed out to returning families along with food rations and bottled water as the roofs in most houses were damaged either partially or totally. Shelter repair assistance is needed urgently. IOM and other organizations will advise the local government on avenues and options for the transition from shelter to housing based on the context and destruction levels. The total of damaged and destroyed houses is not fully assessed yet but several hundred are expected to be still living in hosting arrangements.

Additionally, Sint Maarten has many irregular migrants – mostly Dominicans and some
Haitians – many of whom were residing in self-constructed huts. After most of the huts were destroyed by Hurricane Irma, their whereabouts are unknown. IOM is in discussions with the Red Cross and Emergency Support Function (ESF7) in charge of shelter to identify an adequate type of assistance tailored to their needs, such as improved access to assistance including cash-based interventions (CBIs) and options for durable solutions.

In Antigua, the Department of Environment requires 250 sets of tents, toolkits and hygiene kits. In response, IOM is closely coordinating with WFP and Shelter Box to bring the items to the island on 21 September if weather conditions allow. IOM has also trained shelter managers on the codes of conduct and identified additional needs for training security guards onsite.

Additionally, IOM continues to seek logistical support to mobilize to Antigua pre-positioned contingency stocks – 500 shelter box tents, 500 toolkits and 5,000 hygiene kits – from warehouses in Haiti.

IOM has deployed an expert in Gender-Based Violence (GBV) to Antigua to provide protection support wherever needed. IOM and the Family and Social Services Division of the Ministry of Social Transformation have started to conduct site assessments and safety audits in collective centres where distribution of core relief items take place.

Additionally, IOM, together with UNICEF, has provided support to the Directorate of Gender Affairs by facilitating training for shelter managers on preventing child abuse and assisting people with special needs.

As part of the UN-coordinated Regional Response Plan for the Caribbean Region after Hurricanes Irma and José, IOM is appealing for a total of USD 4.95 million to provide humanitarian relief, manage human mobility and facilitate a fast resilience-focused recovery in the form of technical expertise and knowledge transfer to government authorities. Humanitarian needs are expected to increase in the region, given Hurricane Maria’s latest impact.

For further information please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Email:, Tel: +506 2212-5300

Language English Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 16:34Image: Region-Country: Costa RicaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Early reports suggest that Dominica is one of the most severely affected countries by the Hurricane. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Early reports suggest that Dominica is one of the most severely affected countries by the Hurricane. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Supports Displaced Iraqis in Critical Shelters Improving their Living Conditions

PBN News Germany - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:43

Erbil – As the displacement of more than 3.2 million people continues in Iraq, the UN Migration Agency is improving the housing conditions of vulnerable displaced persons living outside camps such as in critical shelter arrangements.

Currently, across Iraq, 12 per cent of internally displaced persons (IDPs) are in critical shelters, while 24 per cent are in camps, 49 per cent in private settings, and the housing situation of 14 per cent is unknown. Of the IDPs in critical shelters (413,000 displaced individuals) there are more than 206,000 in unfinished buildings, 100,000 in informal settlements, 86,000 in religious buildings and 11,000 in school buildings.
In the past year, since September 2016, IOM Iraq’s Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) team has assisted nearly 1,500 families (9,000 individuals) living in 135 displacement sites outside formal camps. Activities are carried out across the governorates of Anbar, Baghdad, Erbil, Kirkuk and Salah al-Din in cooperation with the Government of Iraq, Kurdistan Regional Government and local authorities.

IOM’s CCCM programme in Iraq includes the rehabilitation and construction support for informal sites, training in site management skills, and providing guidance to affected communities to set up adequate structures. CCCM maintenance activities include fixing windows and doors, rewiring electricity, erecting partitions for privacy, and rehabilitating latrines. These repairs and structures improve living conditions for the vulnerable populations in these sites, which range in size from five to 50 families.

“Our building was in a poor state, with rudimentary conditions. The IOM team fixed the roof, floor and electric system, and added a water tank and latrine,” said Abu Ahmed, who had been displaced twice in the past two years along with his wife and three children, and finally settled in Baghdad.

“They guided us to nominate site leaders and set up committees of youth and women and for maintenance focal points – who can address and refer concerns,” he added. Abu Ahmed and his family fled first from Talafar and then from Sinjar; they now live in an unfinished building with six other families in Al-Madaen, Al Wihda, Baghdad.

Families living in critical shelter sites receive hygiene kits, fire extinguishers, basic medical equipment and fans; the beneficiaries are also provided with vocational training and tools to maintain and enhance their shelters. 

Site residents are offered opportunities for on-the-job trainings in electricity wiring, piping, repairing water and sanitation infrastructure and garbage disposal. They are also offered a range of trainings in site management skills including registration and reception of new arrivals, identification of special needs for medical care or other referrals, as well as site care and maintenance.

“Attending sessions about firefighting, life skills, health issues, first aid and safety help us to improve our living conditions and equip us to face challenges,” said Ibrahim, a 20-year-old who was twice uprooted by ISIL along with his parents and younger brother, from Abu Ghraib and then Tikrit, before settling in an unfinished building with five other families in Al-Yusufiya, Baghdad governorate.

“Since we were displaced, our family has not had the money to pay for our education; my brother and I appreciate these learning opportunities,” added Ibrahim.

IOM’s CCCM team in Anbar provides similar services in 15 of the governorate’s formal camps, responding to the needs nearly 4,500 displaced families as well as protracted internally displaced persons.

CCCM activities at eight of the 15 sites in Anbar, reaching nearly 1,880 families, and in 55 of the 135 displacement sites, are funded by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). IOM Iraq CCCM activities are also funded by the US Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), UK Department for International Development (DFID), European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) and the Government of Canada.

Video on CCCM in Erbil site produced by Raber Aziz:

For more information please contact IOM Iraq:
Sandra Black, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: or

Raber Aziz, Tel: +964 750 465 9204, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 16:33Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsShelterAnalysis: 

For the last four years, brothers Haytham and Jalal and their families lived in a small two-room house made of cinder blocks and mud, with collapsing walls and a shaky roof, on a farm on the outskirts of Erbil. Their living conditions were harsh, but they feel more secure than in the situation they suffered in Babylon.

“We fled long before the emergence of ISIL in Iraq. The militias threatened, abducted and killed people. We stayed in Babylon despite the odds, until they captured my brother, beheaded him and threatened to do the same with us. We packed up and fled, leaving behind our houses and everything that we couldn’t carry,” said Haytham. 

Six families, from Babylon and Salah al-Din governorates, now live on this farm and take care of it in return for accommodations and a modest monthly salary.

IOM Camp Management staff was alerted to the family’s situation, and identified the need for maintenance works and additional rooms. 

Before improvements, Haytham explained, “I have seven children, and my brother has three. There isn’t enough space for all of us. Besides, the house leaks when it rains; you can see holes in the roof and it is almost collapsing. However, our biggest problem in this mud house is scorpions, not the collapsing roof. I think we have broken the record of the most scorpion-stung family. We have been stung so many times that we are becoming famous at Rizgary emergency hospital in Erbil. My wife has been stung at least three times and my eldest daughter twice. I was stung only once, but all my other children have been stung once or twice at least.” 

IOM provided the bricks and mortar to construct a new house and installed a new latrine. IOM engineers worked with the family to provide technical guidance, while involving the adult family members throughout the construction and maintenance process.  

“This new house gives us more space. And because it is made of good material, we will be done with scorpions. My family and I thank IOM for the help they provided,” said Haytham.

Default: Multimedia: 

The UN Migration Agency is improving the housing conditions of vulnerable displaced persons living outside camps by providing rehabilitation and construction support for informal sites, training in site management skills, and providing guidance to affected communities to set up adequate structures. Photo: Raber Aziz / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

The UN Migration Agency is improving the housing conditions of vulnerable displaced persons living outside camps by providing rehabilitation and construction support for informal sites, training in site management skills, and providing guidance to affected communities to set up adequate structures. Photo: Raber Aziz / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 133,640; 2,556 Deaths in 2017

PBN News Germany - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:43

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 133,640 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 20 September, with over 75 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 300,767 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.


IOM Rome reported on Thursday 21 September that, according to official figures of the Italian Ministry of Interior, 102,942 migrants have arrived by sea this year, which is around 21 per cent fewer than arrived by this same time last year (see chart below).

IOM’s Flavio di Giacomo cited reports that Libyan authorities have confirmed a shipwreck has occurred off the Libyan coast, causing the death of an estimated 100 migrants. The total number of fatalities for the moment has not been confirmed by IOM; therefore, no fatalities data has been included in today’s tables.


IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported late Thursday that on 20 September, 40 migrants were rescued off Zuwara by the Libyan Coast Guard. Among the rescued migrants were five women and one child. The migrants come from Guinea Bissau, Mali and Senegal.  Three of the migrants were transferred to Zuwara hospital.

She added the remains of seven migrants were found in connection with this rescue operation. So far this year, 16,567 migrants have been rescued in Libyan waters.

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia on Thursday (21 September) reported that according to the Hellenic Coast Guard, there were at least five incidents off the islands of Lesvos, Samos and Chios this week that required search and rescue operations. The Hellenic Coast Guard managed to rescue 216 migrants and transferred them to the respective islands.
Namia further reported that migrant arrivals to the Greek islands total 3,310 for the first 19 days of September, putting this month on track to be 2017’s busiest on the Eastern Mediterranean Sea route. In August, migrants and refugees entering Greece by sea in August reached 3,665 – a number likely to be surpassed in coming days.
Thus far a total of 18,380 migrants this year have entered Greece by sea, which remains only about 10 per cent of last year’s total arrivals and just 2 per cent of 2015’s surge. (See chart below.) 


1 Jan – 31 Dec 2014

1 Jan – 31 Dec 2015

1 Jan – 31 Dec

1 Jan – 12 Sep






Ana Dodevska of IOM Spain reported Thursday (21 September) official data from Spain’s Ministry of Interior indicates that as of 11 September, the total number of arrivals by sea to Spain was 11,162 with another 4,311 arriving by land. That represents an increase of 88.1 per cent from the previous year. Adding new sea arrivals of 338 between the dates of 12 and 21 September brings the unofficial total of sea arrivals this year to 11,500, which compares to 8,162 through all of last year.

Deaths of migrants in Spanish waters this year total 138 men, women and children, ten more than were recorded through all of last year.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded 4,002 migrant fatalities in 2017 as of 20 September. This marks the fourth straight year MMP has recorded at least 4,000 migrant fatalities worldwide. The 4,000+ benchmark was reached last year on 3 June and on 27 August in 2015. In 2014 the mark was reached on 2 October.

Since last week, MMP recorded eight fatalities on the Haiti/Dominican Republic border: eight Haitian migrants drowned when crossing a river. So far, only two bodies have been recovered, while six migrants remain missing. In the Central Mediterranean, more than 100 migrants are feared dead in a recent shipwreck off the coast of Sabrata, Libya: this incident is not included yet in the figures below.

Additionally, MMP received survey data from the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat’s Mixed Migration Monitoring Mechanism Initiative (4Mi) for the period June-August 2017. The 4mi project interviews migrants in transit from West and East Africa and includes questions on deaths witnessed during their journey. According to findings from the 4Mi surveys, MMP recorded 122 deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa, 14 in the Horn of Africa, and 77 in North Africa between June and August 2017.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration,iom,int/docs/MMP/170922_Mediterranean_Update.pdf 
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit:
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at:
For more information, please contact:

Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email:
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email:
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70; E-mail:
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 16:32Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, EU, Jordan Launch EUR 5,280,000 Border Management Project

PBN News Germany - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:42

Amman – The UN Migration Agency (IOM), the European Union (EU) and the Jordanian Armed Forces this week (19/09) launched a project supporting border management in Jordan. The project funded by the EU Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace will support the Jordanian authorities in improving security and facilitating humanitarian assistance at the north-eastern border with Syria.

Jordan plays a key role in enforcing and maintaining security in the region. Its border with Syria is 378 kilometers long, comprised of mostly desert and rough terrain. The crisis in Syria has increased the pressure on the infrastructure and human resources at the border, especially in light of the generosity of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in receiving refugees and facilitating humanitarian assistance across the borders to Syrians in need.

Since 2013, through EU support, IOM has deployed 82 vehicles to transport Syrian refugees from the border, giving preference to vulnerable cases, including those needing medical attention. Seventy out of these 82 vehicles have been donated to the Jordanian Armed Forces to be used in the humanitarian operations at the border, while seven vehicles will support the activities of the Ministry of Health and the last remaining five were donated to an NGO supporting education.

IOM had deployed these vehicles to support the humanitarian assistance at the borders and contributed to various health and registration campaigns, in coordination with all the UN agencies working at the border. To boost the humanitarian efforts of the Jordanian border authorities, IOM has provided trainings on humanitarian laws and principles to officers and staff deployed at the borders.

Through this new EU-funded project, IOM will provide technical support to the Jordanian border authorities by establishing border posts, allowing them to respond to humanitarian and security challenges at the north-eastern border with Syria in a timely manner. Capacity building, training and roundtable discussions will be organized to tackle the immediate and long-term concerns and challenges resulting from the crisis. In addition, the project will fund a series of roundtable discussions to support the debate in Jordan around the international Global Compact on Migration and support the national consultation around the same. 

"The European Union is committed to support the Jordanian Armed Forces to provide humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people at the Berm while at the same time maintaining their primary task of protecting the borders of Jordan,” said Andrea Fontana, Ambassador of the EU to Jordan.

“Jordan’s Partnership with the European Union and the United Nations/IOM has proved to be instrumental in sustaining the Jordan’s Armed Forces-Arab Army humanitarian role and helps the JAF to provide assistance to the Syrians across the borders. As JAF is appreciative for the IOM support, we look forward to continue and increase the level of cooperation with both the EU and the UN organizations to alleviate some of the pressure on the infrastructure and human resources on the borders,” said Mahmoud Freihat, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

“The balance between security and humanitarian assistance is a priority and a necessity,” said Enrico Ponziani, Chief of Mission of IOM in Jordan. “Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, the EU and IOM have partnered to support the Government of Jordan in maintaining international humanitarian standards related to border management. This new EU funding is essential to continue the fruitful cooperation established through these years,” said Ponziani.

The launching of the project took place at the Jordan Armed Forces Hotel in Amman, under the patronage of Lieutenant General Mahmoud Freihat, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in the presence of Jordanian Armed Forces high-ranking officers, the Ambassadors of Member States of the EU and representatives of several UN agencies.

For more information, please contact: Laura Sisniega, IOM Amman, Email:

Goncalo Guedes, EEAS-AMMAN, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 16:31Image: Region-Country: JordanThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Stakeholders from the UN Migration Agency (IOM), the European Union (EU) and the Jordanian Armed Forces pose for a photo during the launch of a border management in Jordan. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

South Sudanese Refugees Relocated to Camps since September 2016 Top 100,000

PBN News Germany - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:41

Addis Ababa – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and IOM, the UN Migration Agency yesterday (21/09) announced that they had assisted the Government of Ethiopia in relocating to camps, more than 100,000 South Sudanese refugees who had, since September 2016, fled renewed conflict in the world’s youngest nation.

Since the eruption of the brutal conflict in South Sudan in December 2013, Ethiopia has received some 330,000 refugees, including more than 115,000 since the renewed violence in September 2016. Of these, some 30,000 arrived in July in Maiwut, Mathiang and Pagak in Upper Nile Region bordering Gambella.

“The sheer scale of the refugee influx which started in September 2016 quickly filled the existing camps in the Gambella Region to capacity and forced the Government and UNHCR to open a new camp at Nguenyyiel in October 2016,” said Clementine Nkweta-Salami, UNHCR Representative in Ethiopia.

“Six months down the line, Ngunyyiel was again full with nearly 60,000 refugees and we had to open another refugee camp in the adjacent region of Benishangul-Gumuz, more than 800km away.” The new camp, Gure-Shembola, now shelters 3,122 refugees who were transported from Gambella in a three-day road trip.

Most of the new arrivals are women and children, including 20,510 children who have either been separated from their parents or travelled alone. They were received in the different entry points by the government refugee agency (ARRA) and UNHCR and were accorded protection and humanitarian assistance before IOM relocated them to the camps.

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is the sole humanitarian actor providing emergency transport for refugees starting from the border entry points all the way to the refugee camps in Ethiopia. “With the dry season fast approaching, we are at a critical point as regards new arrivals from South Sudan given that the months of September to December have tended to see the highest numbers of crossings,” says Maureen Achieng, IOM Chief of Mission and Representative to the AU, IGAD and UNECA.

Prior to travel, IOM conducts pre-departure medical screening to ensure refugees are fit for the journey to camps or to refer them for further medical attention from health partners.

Medical and operational escorts assist persons with special needs during the relocation movements including pregnant and lactating women, individuals with chronic medical conditions and unaccompanied children.

Upon arrival in camps, refugees undergo additional registration to ensure access to the different services provided by the Ethiopian government and other partners including food, water, shelter as well as education, health and sanitation facilities.

Ethiopia maintains its open-door policy towards refugees and continues to receive new arrivals from several of its neighbours, notably from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, Sudan and Yemen. Sheltering more than 852,000 refugees, including more than 388,000 from South Sudan, Ethiopia hosts the second largest refugee population in Africa, next to Uganda.

IOM Ethiopia, which appealed for USD 4 million for the transportation of refugees from August until the end of the year, has so far received USD 1 million from the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM).

For more information, please contact Alemayehu Seifeselassie at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251 11  6611117 (Ext. 455), Mobile: +251 91 163 9082, Email: or Kisut Gebre Egziabher at UNHCR Ethiopia, Tel+251 116170590, Mobile: +251-911208901, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 16:30Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff explains to South Sudanese refugees the process of relocating to another refugee camp. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

IOM staff conducts predeparture medical screening before the South Sudanese refugees relocate to another refugee camp. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, Japan Support Somalia’s Drought Committees’ Efforts to Improve Humanitarian Response

PBN News Germany - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:40

Mogadishu – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, with the support of the Government of Japan, donated office equipment to Somalia’s newly formed Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management on 20 September. The donation forms part of IOM’s support to the Federal and State level Drought Committees, which will include training and staff secondments.

“We are truly grateful to the Government of Japan for their support of Somalia’s endeavour to better assist the drought-affected people, as well as this opportunity to further our collaboration with IOM,” said Elmi Omar Elmi Aynsane, the Deputy Minister for Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management, speaking at the handover ceremony. “I am happy to be in the same room with representatives from the state level Drought Committees and to have the opportunity to discuss key issues of benefit to the people and the country.”

“IOM has worked closely with disaster management-mandated institutions at the federal level and state level to identify coordination gaps and potential areas of support, laying the foundation for fruitful and sustained collaboration with the Federal Government,” said Jennifer Pro, IOM Somalia’s Drought Response Coordinator.

Somalia has been gripped by a severe drought since 2016 due to consecutive below average rainy seasons.  More than 900,000 Somalis are estimated to have been internally displaced as a result of the drought, many of whom rely entirely on humanitarian assistance for their daily life support. These recently displaced people together with another 1.1 million in protracted displacement, live mainly with host communities or in IDP settlements, often in deplorable conditions, with limited access to basic services and security, and are exposed to protection risks.

IOM has scaled up its life-saving humanitarian response to drought-affected people through the provision of essential primary healthcare and WASH services. Additionally, IOM has focused on strengthening the federal and state level emergency coordination mechanisms to better identify and serve those in need of humanitarian assistance.

While much work has been done to provide the much-needed humanitarian assistance to save lives and livelihoods and avert famine, the needs across Somalia remain of serious concern. Displaced populations will continue to require support as they make their way back home or form new communities and find durable solutions.

IOM will continue to support the Somalia Drought Committees to better respond to communities in need.

For more information, please contact Yuko Tomita, IOM Somalia, Tel: + 254 715 990 600, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 16:29Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

The IOM mobile health response team registering internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Bali Hiile. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, China’s Ministry of Public Security Study Latest Trends in Document Fraud

PBN News Germany - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:39

Guangzhou – IOM, the UN Migration Agency and the Bureau of Exit and Entry Administration of China’s Ministry of Public Security yesterday (21/9) jointly organized a technical training on combating document fraud for 58 Chinese officials in Guangzhou.

Experts from The Netherlands, Norway, Germany and China discussed the latest trends in document fraud with participants, sharing knowledge, best practices and technical skills used to detect document and identity fraud.

“Given the fast pace at which the fraudulent document industry adapts and invents new instruments in this sphere, IOM encourages inter-government collaboration and information sharing as the best way to curb this transnational crime and ultimately facilitate safe, orderly and humane migration,” said IOM China Chief of Mission Pär Liljert.

The training was one of a series of capacity building efforts and exchanges under the framework of EU-China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility Support Project, which is funded by the Partnership Instrument of the European Union.

For further information please contact Etienne Micallef at the IOM Office in China. Tel. +861381120 9875, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 16:28Image: Region-Country: ChinaThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Chinese officials study how to identify fraudulent documents. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Partners Hold Side-event at UNGA to Promote Migrant Health

PBN News Germany - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:38

New York – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and the Governments of Argentina, Ecuador, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland and Thailand will today (22/09) hold a side event on Promoting Migrant Health – Striving for Peace and Decent Life for All on the side-lines of the United Nations General Assembly.

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Thailand and Portugal, as well as Ecuador’s Vice Minister of Human Mobility, will provide keynote addresses. IOM’s Director General, William Lacy Swing, and WHO’s Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, will speak on a panel with the Secretary General of IFRC, Elhadj As Sy, along with other government representatives from Argentina, Italy and Thailand.

This side event aims to advance understanding and support towards mainstreaming health into the global migration and development agenda, including in the Global Compact on Migration (GCM) towards the achievement of relevant Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It also presents the opportunity for multi-sectoral dialogue and debate on how to promote refugee and migrant health, and facilitate the sharing of current perspectives and good practices.

“The theme for this side event closely reflects IOM’s vision, namely that being and staying healthy is a fundamental precondition for migrants to strive for peace, a decent life for themselves and their families, and to contribute substantially to the social and economic development of the communities in which they live,” said Ambassador Swing.

The DGs from IOM and WHO will also mention the important joint elaboration of Proposed Health Components to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in response to the Special Representative of the Secretary-General’s request for inputs to the UN Secretary-General’s report for the GCM.

Led by WHO and IOM, this joint effort was done in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the World Bank, the International Labour Office (ILO), the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants (PICUM), the World Medical Association (WMA) and IFRC.

 “The GCM is expected to provide a unifying framework of common principles, commitments and understandings amongst Member States on all aspects of international migration, including the humanitarian, development and human rights-related dimensions. Health must be there,” said Ambassador Swing.

Watch this important event live, at 10 am, New York time (UTC-4) at or

For more information, please contact Jacqueline Weekers at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 7179355, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 16:27Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration HealthUNDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Southeast Asian Governments Discuss the Protection of Migrants Caught in Crisis

PBN News Germany - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 10:38

Manila – IOM, the UN Migration Agency and the Philippines Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO), earlier this week (18-20/09) held a three-day workshop in Manila, during which six ASEAN countries shared experiences, discussed key steps and messages for crisis preparedness, emergency response, post-crisis action. The workshop concluded with field visits to the CFO and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

The event, the Regional Roundtable on Reducing Migrant Vulnerabilities in Times of Crisis in Southeast Asia under the Migrants in Countries in Crisis (MICIC) Initiative, was organized to facilitate a discussion on migrant inclusion in disaster management systems in Southeast Asia. The MICIC Initiative is an intergovernmental consultative undertaking created to address the impact of crises – conflicts and natural disasters – on migrants.

The Philippines-hosted event was attended by delegations from Thailand, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar who reflected on their experiences and explored new ways to better provide support and protection to vulnerable migrants in countries experiencing crisis.

Undersecretary Claro Arellano, Legal, Legislative and International Affairs, Department of Labor and Employment, in his opening message said, “Workers who are well-informed are well protected. And countries in Southeast Asia can foster strong collaboration to ensure that our workers are not only saved in times of crisis but in maintaining posture of readiness, alertness, and preparedness.”

Atty. Raul Dado, Executive Director, Office of the Undersecretary for Migrant Workers Affairs, Department of Foreign Affairs, emphasized the importance of planning and preparing for a crisis in countries of destination to solve problems of crisis and to be inspired and enriched by these experiences towards assisting victims.

IOM Philippines Chief of Mission Marco Boasso, in his message to the delegates, noted the significance and timeliness of the event. “The Southeast Asia region is highly dynamic in terms of mobile people with about 18.8 million documented as living or working overseas, from individual to collective cross-border sub-regional flows.”

Boasso added, “In the first six months of 2017 alone, there have been 60 disaster/emergency incidents which affected almost 22 million individuals and the cost of reported damages amounted to USD 18.6 million. For the past decade (between 2005-2015), the region had been struck by more than 1,600 disasters, affecting over 1.4 billion people.”

The use of social media as a vital tool in engaging the migrant diaspora was affirmed and advocated by the countries present. On the use of social media, Rupert Ambil from the social news network Rappler said, “It ensures the flow of critical and actionable information to those who need it before, during, and after disasters and connects those who need help directly with those who can truly help.” 

Alex Dougan, from IOM HQ presented MigApp, which is an application developed to provide migrants with migration-related information to allow migrants to make informed decisions, at the same time provide data to feed into future migration-related programming and studies that will help IOM to proactively respond to emerging issues.

During the conference, participants also recognized that effective crisis response requires innovative partnerships. Participants acknowledged the critical role of the broad array of actors –in civil society and the private sector, in delivering assistance that ensures the safety, dignity and well-being of migrants.

The need to leverage the collective power and resiliency of migrants in the development of crisis preparedness and response measures was emphasized throughout the roundtable event. Everyone agreed that States and other actors must develop a comprehensive policy and strategy that works towards migrant-inclusive solutions that are empowering for migrants, and recognizing their resilience before, during and in the aftermath of crises.

“The Civil Defence Volunteers are based in their community and are on stand-by to be summoned at any time. Now there are approximately two million volunteers nationwide,” said Saharat Wongsakulwiwat from Thailand’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation in advancing the potential of mainstreaming migrant workers in the DRR process.

Speaking on behalf of the CFO, Officer-in-Charge Maria Regina Angela Galias underscored the invaluable contributions of the participants in changing the migration narrative into a more positive tone. “The focus of our work and advocacies should be on people – not just numbers, targets, and statistics; because it is our obligation, because it is urgent, because it cannot be just business as usual,” she said. “This is our shared responsibility as one region under the ASEAN.”

Launched in 2014 at the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) in Stockholm, the MICIC Initiative is co-chaired by the Philippines and the United States, and supported by a Working Group comprised of the governments of Australia, Bangladesh, Costa Rica and Ethiopia, the European Commission, IOM, UNHCR, ICMPD, Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of International Migration, and the Office of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for International Migration.

The event was funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) of the US State Department.

For more information, please contact:
Ma. Christina Marfil, IOM Philippines, Email:
Regina Galias, Commission on Filipinos Overseas, Email

Language English Posted: Friday, September 22, 2017 - 16:26Image: Region-Country: PhilippinesThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants of the three-day Regional Roundtable on Reducing Migrant Vulnerabilities in Times of Crisis in Southeast Asia workshop under the Migrants in Countries in Crisis (MICIC) Initiative organized by the UN Migration Agency and the Philippines Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO). Photo: Ray Leyesa / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

IOM Philippines Chief of Mission Marco Boasso addresses the participants of the three-day Regional Roundtable on Reducing Migrant Vulnerabilities in Times of Crisis in Southeast Asia workshop under the Migrants in Countries in Crisis (MICIC) Initiative. Photo: Ray Leyesa / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Saudi Arabia's KSRelief, UN Migration Agency Airlift Aid to Bangladesh as Thousands Continue to Flee Violence in Myanmar

PBN News Germany - Thu, 09/21/2017 - 08:57
Language English

Bangladesh - As a result of the close cooperation between the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Works (KSRelief) and IOM, the UN Migration Agency, to urgently respond to the needs of Rohingya in Bangladesh, the King Salman Centre has provided aid in the form of 100 tons of food, shelter and core relief items (tents, sleeping mats, blankets and food baskets). IOM has chartered a Boeing 747 to transport the aid to Bangladesh. The plane will arrive in Chittagong, Bangladesh, at 2 am on Friday (22/09).

The aid is directed to an estimated 420,000 Rohingya, who have fled violence in the northern state of Rakhine in Myanmar and have arrived in the Cox-Bazar region of Bangladesh since 25 August.

IOM Bangladesh, which will take delivery of the aid, will organize a convoy of some 20 trucks to move it from Chittagong airport to an IOM warehouse in Cox's Bazar district.

From there it will be distributed by IOM and NGO implementing partners to some of the thousands of people who have arrived from Myanmar with nothing and are now camped out and living rough on the side of the road or in muddy fields around the giant makeshift settlements of Kutupalong and Balukhali.

"Many of these families are still living in the open without adequate shelter, food or clean water. This airlift, which we hope will be the first of many, will provide some 850 families with tents, mats and bedding to protect them from the daily downpours and extreme heat,” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Director of Operations and Emergencies. "We are delighted that KSRelief, which in the past has partnered with IOM in Myanmar, Somalia and other conflict zones, has again chosen to step in and work with us to help these desperate people.”

The KSRelief delegation headed by the Director of Urgent Aid Department, which also includes two senior assistants and media personnel, will fly to the Bangladesh to attend the arrival and distribution of the relief materials. They will also assess the situation in Cox's Bazar to inform further support from KSRelief.  

Of the estimated over 420,000 people, who have arrived in Bangladesh over the past three weeks, over half (an estimated 225,000) are still living in spontaneous camp sites with little access to aid, including shelter, food, clean water and sanitation.

The Government of Bangladesh is working closely with IOM and other agencies to establish a new 2,000 acre site, where it will be easier for new arrivals to access aid and basic services. Site planners and engineers are already working on access roads and layout of the site.

IOM is coordinating the emergency response as a whole through the Inter Sector Coordination Group. It is also leading the shelter/non-food item and camp management sector of the emergency response, and is working with partners to ramp up procurement, ensuring that vulnerable people arriving in the site get the shelter that they need.

IOM has 62,500 tarpaulins under procurement and scheduled for delivery in the next two weeks. Sector partners are procuring another 90,000. The sector, which is initially distributing one tarpaulin per family, has delivered some 20,000 tarpaulins to date, providing basic shelter for around 100,000 people. Distribution is now running at about 2,000 tarpaulins per day.

IOM, which is also helping the government to coordinate the response in the health sector, also has 12 medical teams operating from government health facilities in the two Cox's Bazar sub-districts of Ukhiya and Teknaf, where the Rohingya population outside the two UNHCR-run refugee camps now totals an estimated over 800,000 people, two thirds of whom have arrived since 25 August. Three IOM mobile health teams have also started providing basic and primary healthcare services in three spontaneous settlements in the area.

In addition to primary health care and referrals, the teams focus on sexual and reproductive health, and maternal and child health. They also provide mental health and psychosocial services to about 120 people each day. They say that all of these services will need to be massively expanded to cope with the influx of new arrivals.

Over the past three weeks, IOM teams have provided emergency and primary healthcare services to around 15,000 new arrivals and 9,500 others from the Rohingya and host populations. They assisted 64 child deliveries and provided referral services to another 226 patients.

For more information please contact IOM Bangladesh:
Peppi Siddiq in Dhaka, Tel: +8801755568894, Email:
Chris Lom in Cox's Bazar, Tel: +8801733335221, Email:

Posted: Thursday, September 21, 2017 - 14:54Image: Region-Country: BangladeshDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Marks One Year Anniversary of Joining UN by Paving Road for Migration Issues at 72nd UN General Assembly

PBN News Germany - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 01:54

New York – Yesterday (19/09) marked the opening of the 72nd session of the UN General Assembly General Debate, a forum for world leaders to engage in diplomatic talks and tackle the most pressing global challenges. Running through 25 September, the theme of this year’s session is Focusing on People – Striving for Peace and a Decent Life for All on a Sustainable Planet.

The high-level meeting will address issues including extreme poverty, climate change, modern slavery, and the migrant and refugee crisis. Peter Thomson of Fiji, President of the UN General Assembly, said that this is a “year of firsts,” as the UNGA will see the negotiation of the first intergovernmental compact on migration and the signing of the first agreement on the elimination of nuclear weapons.

This year marks the first anniversary of IOM, the UN Migration Agency becoming a related agency of the UN. Shortly after joining the UN last September and following the adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, IOM was tasked with spearheading a new Global Compact on Migration that will help member states better manage migration and lead to safer, more regular migration, fostering better national policies and cross-border management.

Today (20/09), IOM’s Director General William Lacy Swing will address high-level officials at a side event, The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants – One Year On convened by the Special Representative to the Secretary General on International Migration and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees on progress made over the past year.

IOM will play a highly visible role throughout the week with Director General Swing addressing world leaders on topics including the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar, humanitarian issues in South Sudan, Iraq, the Lake Chad Basin, and intersections between migration and violent extremism.

IOM, together with the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Walk Free Foundation and Alliance 87, will launch the Modern Slavery and Child Labour Global Estimates report today to present new data that reveals that the UN Sustainable Development Goals will not be achieved unless efforts to fight modern slavery and child labour are dramatically increased.

For more information please contact: Leonard Doyle, Tel: +41792857123, Email: or Lanna Walsh, Tel: +1929 9201127, Email

Language English Posted: Wednesday, September 20, 2017 - 07:48Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Director General William Lacy Swing (seated left) and UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon at the signing ceremony at the UN HQ, New York last year. Photo: UN Photo / Rick Bajornas 2016

The Walk Free Foundation interviews IOM Director General Swing on how data can help in the fight against modern slavery and child labor. UN Headquarters, New York. Photo: Lanna Walsh / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Ending Modern Slavery

PBN News Germany - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 12:34

By William Lacy Swing, Director General of the United Nations migration agency, the International Organization for Migration (IOM)

NEW YORK—Two centuries ago, right here in this city soon to emerge as the world’s center of commerce, a coalition of clergy, government officials, business leaders and rescued victims rose to fight the scourge of human slavery.

Their cause was Abolitionism and it became the world’s first transnational human rights movement.

Thanks to Abolitionism, businesses that depended on human bondage would no longer be tolerated. Soon they would be illegal. Slavery, which had endured since antiquity, was driven first from the English-speaking world and, eventually, everywhere else.

Or was it? We are here this week to examine a problem that’s risen in today’s increasingly globalised economy. To put it in blunt terms, the “chains” of historic slavery have in some cases been replaced with invisible ones: deception, debt bondage, unethical recruitment. It may be an infection buried within the supply chains of sophisticated global industries—like fishing, logging or textile manufacturing.

Or it can be hidden in plain sight—on any street corner where sex is sold for money.

Its victims number in the tens of millions. At any moment in 2016 forced labor—and its twin scourge, forced marriage—enslaved an estimated 40.3 million men, women and children worldwide, this according to research being released here this week during the opening of the United Nations General Assembly.

While many consider slavery a phenomenon of the past, it is a plague that is still very much with us. Criminals worldwide continue to find new ways to exploit vulnerable adults and children, undermine their human rights and extract their labor by force. Whether this takes the form of the sexual enslavement of women or the recruitment and trafficking of men forced to labor, no continent, and no country, is free today of this threat to human rights and human dignity.

On 19 September, Alliance 8.7, the global partnership to end forced labor, modern slavery, human trafficking and child labor, will bring together key partners representing governments, United Nations (UN) organizations, the private sector, workers’ organizations and civil society to launch new global estimates of modern slavery and child labor.

The global estimate of modern slavery was developed by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the Walk Free Foundation, in partnership with my organization, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which is also the United Nations global migration agency.

Accurate and reliable data are vital tools in tackling complex social challenges like modern slavery. The estimates prepared by Alliance 8.7 will not only raise international awareness about such violations, but will also provide a sound basis for policymakers around the world to make strategic decisions and enable development partners to address funding gaps.

Drawing on in-depth responses from thousands of face-to-face interviews conducted in 48 countries, combined with comprehensive data sets about the experiences of victims of human trafficking from the IOM, the global estimates of modern slavery will provide valuable insight into the numbers behind modern slavery with specific information regarding region, group and gender.

Among the findings to be presented here this week:

Since 2012, 89 million people experienced some form of modern slavery, some for periods as brief as a few days, others for many years.

Debt bondage affected half of all victims of forced labor.

Women and girls accounted for 71 per cent of total modern slavery victims.

One in four victims of modern slavery were children.

Such data, sadly, reveal only one facet of this ongoing tragedy: its global scale. The hard work of rescuing victims reveals how deeply modern slavery affects whole families.

Recently, IOM’s Global Assistance Fund for victims of trafficking and other migrants in vulnerable situations contributed to assisting 600 men from foreign fishing boats enslaved in Indonesian waters. Some had not been on dry land for years. One victim told IOM he had been separated from his family, without any contact, for 22 years.

There should be no mystery as to why this has become such a concern of IOM. We call for migration that is safe, legal and secure for all. Safe and legal migration means mobility managed transparently by the world’s governments, instead of hidden in a labyrinth of criminal netherworlds.

Migration that is secure for all means just that: for all. Governments need not wonder who is sneaking tonight across some unguarded border. Employers need not worry their new hire is, unknown to them, a debt-slave bound to a “recruiter” who is pocketing their pay—even as he or she increases the debt burden on the victim. Families need not dread what has become of a son, or daughter, who leaves home for a distant opportunity—and then is never heard from again.

So please join me in this fight against global slavery. The struggle may be centuries old but, in some ways, it’s just beginning.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 12:25Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Assists National Consultations on Global Compact on Migration in Ghana

PBN News Germany - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 11:23

Accra – The Ministry of Interior of Ghana, in collaboration with IOM, the UN Migration Agency, held a one-day national multi-stakeholder consultation forum on 15 September to support Ghana’s contribution to the Global Compact on Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).

The national consultation, which is part of the broader consultations on the development of the GCM, provided an opportunity for key stakeholders including, government ministries, departments, agencies, private sector actors, civil society organizations, academia and media to share their specific experience and identify ways forward on the issue of safe, orderly and regular migration.

Priority areas and recommendations included improved coordination, improved education and employment opportunities, capacity building of relevant stakeholders, awareness raising campaigns, harnessing the development potential of diaspora through facilitating remittance sending and investment options in Ghana, greater collaboration with the private sector and more regular channels of migrating for education and employment.

The Deputy Minister for Interior, Henry Quartey, stressed the need to produce recommendations: “In your deliberations, I want you to be guided by the challenges that confronts this nation as a result of the complex migration dynamics in the country. The recommendations from this meeting must be a true reflection of the national priorities and the reality when it comes to the management of migration.”

Sylvia Ekra-Lopez, Chief of Mission for IOM Ghana, said, “The national consultations on the GCM offer an opportunity to strengthen the contribution of migrants to development. It is important that consultation, which goes beyond a whole of government approach to a whole of community approach, impacts the life of the young Ghanaian men and women, who take the decision to undertake unsafe, disorderly and irregular migration. It is for this voiceless group that we are holding the meeting today.”

Yahya Danjuma of the Sahara Hustlers Association, a group formed by a returnee as a way to sensitize migrants on the dangers of irregular migration and trafficking, explained during a panel discussion on the drivers of irregular migration: “We are undertaking that perilous journey, not because we don’t know the dangers, but because we want an improvement in our lives. If we stay here we are not likely to get a decent job. Our best bet is to travel,” Danjuma said.

The Global Compact on Migration is expected to be adopted by member states at an intergovernmental conference on international migration in 2018. The goals of the compact are aligned with target 10.7 (Facilitate orderly, safe and responsible migration and mobility of people) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Key aims included contributing to global governance of migration and a framework for comprehensive international cooperation on migrants and human mobility.

IOM will continue to follow up with participants as the inputs for Ghana are finalized for inclusion in the compact. 

The event was funded through the project Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in Ghana which is funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF).

For more information, contact Eric Kwame Akomanyi at IOM Ghana, Tel: +233 20 5549 243 or +233 302 742 930 ext 240, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 16:34Image: Region-Country: GhanaThemes: Global CompactGlobal Compact on MigrationDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Supports Pakistan’s Registration of Undocumented Afghans

PBN News Germany - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 11:22

Pakistan – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is backing a Pakistan government initiative to register up to a million unregistered Afghans believed to be living in Pakistan.

The documentation process, which was approved by Pakistan’s cabinet in February as part of the country’s Policy on the Repatriation and Management of Afghans, started on August 16th and has now registered some 70,000 Afghans.

The registration aims to meet a need among undocumented Afghans by providing them with identification credentials in form of Afghan Citizen Cards (ACC) that will allow them to legally live in Pakistan temporarily.

The process is being led by Pakistan’s National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) and Ministry of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON), in close coordination with Afghanistan’s Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation.

NADRA has set up 21 centers across Pakistan to implement the programme. Most of the documentation to date has taken place at centers in the KP province. But centers in other cities including Lahore, Karachi and Quetta have also registered significant numbers.

IOM Pakistan Chief of Mission Davide Terzi said: “The registration process is a timely and positive government intervention, which is welcomed by IOM and other international partners. We see this exercise as an important step towards addressing complex challenges faced by the Afghan community residing in Pakistan due to lack of identity documents and we hope that it will help the governments of Pakistan and Afghanistan to enhance bilateral cooperation on migration management.”

IOM is supporting the documentation process. In coordination with Pakistan’s Chief Commissionerate of Afghan Refugees (CCAR), it has launched an information campaign through print media and radio, to enhance awareness of the process among undocumented Afghans.

The organization has also deployed staff to various documentation centers across Pakistan to monitor the process and inform authorities about the challenges. IOM is also providing technical support to both governments to manage the process in a humane and orderly manner.

For further information please contact Junaid Arshad Khan at IOM Pakistan. Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 16:35Image: Region-Country: PakistanThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Mohmand and his family are among thousands of undocumented Afghans families living in Pakistan. Families like these will now be able to regularize their stay in Pakistan for a limited time through the documentation exercise initiated by the government in last month. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Lack of Data on Children and Women Migrant Deaths Highlighted in New UN Migration Agency Report

PBN News Germany - Tue, 09/19/2017 - 11:19

Berlin – Between January 2014 and June 2017 IOM´s Missing Migrants Project recorded 665 migrant children deaths, a figure which is likely to be three times as high based on the number of children migrating, both accompanied and unaccompanied, worldwide. The lack of information and data disaggregation by gender and age is highlighted in the recently launched report Fatal Journeys Volume 3 – Part 1: Improving Data on Missing Migrants, prepared by IOM´s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre.

In the Mediterranean, the deaths of 658 women and 532 children have been confirmed out of nearly 13,000 total fatalities recorded in three and a half years. However, the age and gender of more than 10,000 migrant deaths in the Mediterranean is unknown.

As stressed in the report, collecting and analysing data on migrant deaths and disappearances is hampered by several challenges. Information on age and gender of the deceased specifically is highly contingent on the identification of bodies. As a consequence, in incidents in which many migrants are lost in shipwrecks, the gender and age breakdown of the decedents remains unknown. This is of concern given that the majority of migrant deaths globally are recorded as taking place over water.

Additionally, despite women representing just under half of the world’s migrant population (117 million in 2015), many data sources implicitly or explicitly assume that migrant populations are dominated by adult males.

Media articles on migrant deaths often fail to mention the gender and age of the decedents, as do nearly all aggregate figures from NGO and official sources. This means that female and child migrants who die during their journeys may not be identified as such, especially in situations complicated by trafficking.

Differing policies and practises used to track and record arrivals of migrants from country to country make developing strategies to estimate more accurate numbers of female and children among the dead more difficult.

For instance, while the number of unaccompanied or separated child arrivals is publicly available information in Greece and Italy, in Spain it is not. Children may also avoid being registered by authorities, or claim to be older than 18 so that they can continue their journeys and not be taken into protection.

As a result of these difficulties, the completeness of migrant deaths data varies greatly by region. Of the incidents of death recorded by the Missing Migrants Project, only half of incidents have information on either age or gender, but the proportion in each region around the world ranges from 5 to 85 per cent.

Consequently, the 4,207 migrant decedents who were identified as men, women or children represent less than 20 per cent of the more than 22,500 migrant deaths recorded between January 2014 and June 2017.

Expanding data collection and reporting could enable empirical analysis of trends in migrant fatalities, which could further strengthen policies and programmes to reduce risks on migrant routes. Where possible, this data should be sex- and age-disaggregated, to lead to identification of the dead, and to better understand the risks specific to women and children on migration routes worldwide.

Fatal Journeys Volume 3 was funded by the UK’s Department for International Development and can be found here: 

For more information, please contact: 
Julia Black, Missing Migrants Project in Berlin, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Frank Laczko, IOM Global Migration Data Analysis Centre in Berlin, Tel: + 49 30 278 778 20, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 19, 2017 - 16:36Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: Migration ResearchMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN