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Updated: 19 min 30 sec ago

UN Migration Agency Responding to Urgent Shelter Needs of Thousands Affected by Hurricane Maria in Dominica

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 11:25

Dominica – Three weeks after the devastating crossing of Category 5 Hurricane Maria over Dominica, islanders are in dire need of water, electricity, food and other supplies. However, the most urgent need for the long term is housing.

“From available satellite, visual imagery and based on estimated housing stock of just above 26,000 homes, it has been estimated that 23 per cent are gone. Those houses do not exist anymore. They have either been blown into the sea or totally scattered in pieces across the island,” said Jean Philippe Antolin, who leads IOM response operations in the Caribbean. “Thirty-nine per cent of the houses have sustained severe damage, and a further 28 per cent have been affected to some degree,” he added.

The numbers reflect the painful human situations in the shelters where more than 2,000 Dominicans are still living, while the rest are staying with relatives and friends.

Tosca Augustine and her three children ran to a neighbouring school for protection just before the hurricane hit Dominica, and they are still living in one of the classrooms with another family. “My home just vanished into thin air. Nothing, nothing left to remember from it. Everything is gone,” Tosca explained.

When asked about her future, Tosca said: “It took so long to gain all of the things that I had, clothes, equipment for fishing; that is what we do for a living. I don’t know where we must go from here. It’s like everything is useless or hopeless.”

In response to the critical situation, IOM, the UN Migration Agency is engaged in a vast array of activities ranging from delivery of supplies to coordination efforts. In Dominica, IOM is co-leading with the Ministries of Social Services and Planning, the Shelter and the Non-Food Items (NFI) sectors.

Additional to the USD 100,000 released by IOM to scale up the shelter response in Dominica, USD 350,000 has been secured from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) for shelter and DTM (Displacement Track Matrix) deployment.

IOM has gathered information regarding official and unofficial shelters housing displaced people. Some 100 shelters (33 of which are schools) are housing 2,751 people. The number of people temporarily sheltering with host families is not known.

Many Dominicans routinely sleep in shelters or with host families but return to their own homes during the day to salvage their belongings and clear debris.

IOM is also providing pipeline, distribution and coordination support to shelter and non-food items (NFI) donated by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the French Government under the UCPM (the European Union Civil Protection Mechanism).

Items delivered by IOM in shelters and distributions centres are mainly solar lights, water purification supplies, and kitchen and hygiene kits, all essential for alleviating the severely damaged living conditions of Dominicans.

On Sunday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres joined a UN distribution – including IOM – at the Kalinago Territory indigenous community, in eastern Dominica.

Addressing the local and the international community, SG Guterres made a call for action on climate change. “When the planet is warmer, and the sea is warmer, these storms become more intense, more frequent and more devastating. And that is why we need to ask those that are responsible for what has happened here because they have been contributing to global warming, that they need to stop this trend,” he added.

You can support IOM relief efforts in Dominica by donating here.

For more information, please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 2212-5300, Email: jgallo@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 17:02Image: Region-Country: DominicaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

On Sunday 8 October, UN Secretary-General António Guterres joined a UN distribution – including IOM – in eastern Dominica. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

The UN Migration Agency delivers supplies to hurricane-affected families in Dominica. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Hurricane Maria left Dominica islanders in dire need of water, electricity, food and other supplies including housing.  Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

IOM distributes non-food relief items which include solar lights, water purification supplies, and kitchen and hygiene kits. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Aid being distributed in Dominica after the Caribbean was devastated by Category 5 Hurricane Maria over three weeks ago. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Some of the relief items being distributed by IOM and other agencies include solar lights, water purification supplies, and kitchen and hygiene kits, all essential for alleviating the severely damaged living conditions of Dominicans. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 140,538 in 2017; Deaths Reach 2,754

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 11:02

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 140,538 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 8 October, with over 75 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 318,207 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

IOM Rome reported on Monday (9 October) that official figures from the Italian Ministry of the Interior show 107,028 migrants arrived by sea to Italy this year, almost 26 per cent fewer than last year in the same period, when 144,445 migrants arrived by sea.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported that Sunday a Tunisian military ship collided with a vessel carrying around 70 migrants in the Maltese search and rescue area, 54 km from the island of Kerkennah (governorate of Sfax). According to Italian media, the migrants – all, apparently, Tunisian – left Tunisia from Kerkennah. The collision caused the craft to sink. Maltese authorities coordinated rescue operations carried out by the Italian Coast Guard and Italian Navy, who confirmed 46 survivors with remains of eight persons recovered. By Monday evening the estimate of those missing remained 20.

Di Giacomo provided the following statistics on Tunisian migration by sea to Italy, which appears to be increasing over previous years. He reported 1,637 Tunisians arrived by sea in Italy in 2014, then 880 the following year and 1,200 last year. During the first eight months of 2017, Di Giacomo reported, 1,357 migrants from Tunisia arrived in Italy, or more than all of 2016. In September, at least another 1,400 arrived.

“It’s a new trend, but I wouldn’t call it a consequence of the recent ‘closing’ of the Libyan route, because the nationalities are different,” Di Giacomo explained. 

“In addition to the estimated 1,400 Tunisian migrants registered in September, we should also consider that there have been many cases where migrants arrived in Sicily and succeeded in disappearing before being intercepted by the police. So, the number is higher, but we cannot say how many,” he added.

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported that IOM has continued its emergency response in Sabratah, where in the aftermath of weeks of conflict in the Libyan coastal city of Sabratah, at least 4,000 migrants – many previously held in numerous informal detention centres and camps – have been transferred to a hangar in the city’s Dahman area, where IOM is providing emergency assistance.

Sabratah, approximately 80 kilometres west of Tripoli, is one of the main departure points for migrant boats attempting to make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

On 7 October, a day after the first transfer of migrants, IOM sent a field team to the hangar to assess the situation. By the end of the day, the team reported that 2,600 migrants (1,819 men, 704 women and 77 children) were being kept at the site by the Libyan Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM). More migrants from other locations in Sabratah were later transferred to the hangar and more are anticipated to arrive soon.

IOM this week is providing assistance at the assembly point, including psychosocial support. At the same time three critical medical cases received ambulance transfer to a medical clinic and additional migrants were treated for minor injuries.

IOM fears that the number of migrants affected by recent developments in Sabratah will continue to rise. Throughout the day migrants have arrived both in Zuwara and Sabratah, some of whom have walked for hours. This week IOM has received reports of some 2,000 migrants travelling by foot from Sabratah to Zuwara and are now also in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

Some of the current identified needs include milk and diapers for babies, and water and food. IOM’s emergency food intervention in Sabratah continues.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that arrivals to Spain for the month of September totalled 1,004, about half the level for August. The total arrivals for 2017 have now reached 12,328 through 9 October. At this time last year, Spain saw a total of 5,445 migrants arriving by sea.

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia on Monday reported four incidents off the islands of Lesvos and Chios that required search and rescue operations. The Hellenic Coast Guard brought 153 migrants and transferred them to the respective islands.

Namia further reported that migrant sea arrivals to Greek territory totalled 822 for the first seven days of October, and 20,364 for the year so far. (See chart below.)

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded 4,590 migrant fatalities in 2017. In the Central Mediterranean, at least 8 people drowned and an estimated 20 migrants are missing* after a boat carrying dozens collided with a navy vessel off Tunisia’s southeast coast on 8 October. These deaths bring the total of fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2017 to 2,754. 

Since the last update, MMP recorded another incident in Southeast Asia: 13 migrants died, including 11 children, and at least 18 are still missing* after a boat carrying Rohingya migrants capsized in the Naf River, also on 8 October. Nearly six weeks into a mass exodus of people fleeing violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, dozens have died while fleeing to Bangladesh: IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 172 fatalities on the Bangladesh-Myanmar border since 31 August 2017.

Additionally, MMP recorded the deaths of four migrants on the US-Mexico border: one migrant died in Kenedy County, Texas on 6 September; another was found dead in Starr County, Texas on 1 October; one young man was hit by a vehicle in the Interstate 8 near Jacumba, California, on August 25; and the body of one migrant was found inside a tractor trailer at the US Border Patrol Falfurrias Checkpoint on 6 October.

 In Mexico, the remains of another migrant were found near train tracks in Saltillo, Coahuila, on 8 October.

*When deaths occur at sea, Missing Migrants Project often relies on the estimates of survivors once they are rescued, with the lowest estimate of missing persons always used in the dataset.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/171010_Mediterranean_Update.pdf    

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

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

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: mmocanu@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70; E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 16:50Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Trains Libyan Authorities on Migration Data Management Best Practices

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 10:41

Tunis – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, this week (3-5/10) trained Libyan officials in migration data management. The officials were from the Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM), Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Labour, the Bureau of Statistics and the departments of Passport Control and Border Points.

The three-day training, held in Tunis and conducted under the project Enhance Lifesaving Operations at Sea by the Libyan Coast Guard funded by the Government of Switzerland, provided the participants with an overview on migrant data collected by IOM Libya’s Displacement Tracking Matrix, the basic and general concepts for proper data management and the best tools to collect them.

“I know that we are only at the beginning of the training but I can already see that there is remarkable work done by the International Organization for Migration in terms of both collecting and putting data into good use,” said Salwa Mohamed Sriti, from the Bureau of Statistics. “One thing we can work on improving is better involvement of locals when collecting information by DTM staff.”

The training also outlined how to set up effective information systems, during which, Franz Prutsch, IOM’s Regional Thematic Specialist on IBM, explained the importance of the chain: input, process and output, in terms of analyzing and using data, the significance of a user-friendly data base and internal networking.

“There’s always data available and ready for use, but it must be processed within a proper context first, so as to make the best sense of it,” said Prutsch.

The training is an initial step towards developing a national Standards of Procedures (SOP) for migration data management with aims to assist all the relevant Libyan directorates to collect and analyze data for future government strategies.

For more information, please contact IOM Libya:
Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600 389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int,  Maysa Khalil, Tel: +216 29 600 388, Email: mkhalil@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 16:04Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Sub Saharan African migrants about to leave Libya on one of the voluntary humanitarian return charters, organized by IOM. IOM has been training Libya authorities to build up and enhance their migration management capacity which in turn should ensure these migrants’ human rights are protected. Photo: UN Migration Agency

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, Biometrics Institute Consolidate Cooperation in Promoting Responsible and Effective Use of Biometrics

Tue, 10/10/2017 - 10:04

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Biometrics Institute have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that formalizes closer collaboration on shared priorities, focusing on the responsible use of biometrics in the field of migration management.

Biometric technologies are today a vital part of identity and broader migration management. IOM’s mandate includes support to States to conceptualize and operate their migration programmes, capacity building for better border management, direct assistance to all migrants, including those fleeing conflict or natural disasters, migrant integration and migration and health. With the responsible use of biometric technologies, States – and IOM itself – are better placed to more effectively support migrants including vulnerable persons, to increase the integrity and reliability of processes, and to increase security for all.

The MoU, signed in September 2017, outlines the scope of the intended cooperation and the priority areas of interest to both entities. It will aid the two institutions’ efforts to address new and emerging challenges in a more coordinated way, such as how to use biometrics to better balance facilitation and security requirements, ensure better accessibility to safe transport modes for migrants and refugees, harness the benefits of biometrics to increase safe and regular international cross border mobility and address health challenges linked to international mobility.

IOM has already developed considerable practical expertise and know-how on the use of biometrics in travel documents and border management, and it cooperates closely with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and its technical working groups.

The enhanced partnership with the Biometrics Institute will facilitate access to further in-depth expertise on the use of biometrics also relevant for other areas where IOM is active, such as registration of migrants in need of assistance, enhanced camp management, migration health, visa facilitation and other migration management fields. 

“IOM has become, over the last years, a major global player in the field of biometrics,” said Florian G. Forster, IOM’s Head of Immigration and Border Management. “The use of biometrics is potentially of interest to all areas in which IOM is active. This new partnership will help us promote the responsible use of biometrics, for the benefit of Member States and individual migrants,” he added.

Following the recommendations based on an internal assessment carried out in 2016, IOM is now reinforcing partnerships and exchanges with key international actors in this area. It is expected that the Biometrics Institute’s expertise and training resources will contribute to strengthening the competencies of IOM staff in the biometrics area, and that the cooperation will contribute to better conceptualize, develop and implement new projects with a biometrics component. IOM will also use the Biometric Institute platform to share and discuss its own experiences.  

The Biometrics Institute is an independent and impartial international membership organization for biometric users and other interested parties established in 2001 to promote the responsible use of biometrics. It provides its members and key stakeholders with information about best practices, including Biometrics Privacy Guidelines, the “Top 10 Vulnerability Questions” and an annual industry survey. It has over 230 membership organizations from around the world representing government agencies, other users, suppliers, academic and privacy experts.

For more information, please contact IOM HQ: Jorge Galindo, Tel: +417179205, Email: jgalindo@iom.int, or Florian G. Forster, Tel: +41227179386, Email: fforster@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 - 15:37Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMOthersDefault: Multimedia: 

Syrian refugees undergoing biometric registration by immigration officials as part of their application process for resettlement. File photo: Muse Mohammed / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2016

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Rohingya Children Drown Fleeing Myanmar Violence: IOM

Mon, 10/09/2017 - 09:56

Cox’s Bazar – Tragedy struck more Rohingya refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar last night. At least 12 people, mostly children, drowned when the fishing boat carrying them to safety in Bangladesh capsized in stormy weather.

The Bangladesh coast guard found 12 bodies, including six boys between the ages of 3-10 years, and four girls aged 2-3 years. The bodies of a 70-year-old man and a 60-year-old woman were also recovered from the waves.

There were approximately 60 refugees aboard the 20-metre, wooden fishing vessel when it left Myanmar under cover of darkness, hoping avoid patrols on both sides of the border, survivors told UN Migration Agency staff at the scene.  

IOM staff spoke to survivors, among them a traumatized 8-year-old boy. Transfixed with shock, Arafat, said his entire family was lost in the accident. They included his father Kamal Hussein, 25 years; mother Shahara, 20 years; sister Janat Ara, 10 years; and younger brother Ziad, who was 7 years of age.

Another survivor, Hassan 22, lost all nine members of his family, who were also on the boat. His mother Gulgan, 60 years old; father Jahid Hussein, 55; sister Semoara, 25; her husband Abdul Subhan, 35; and their three children aged 4, 3 and 18 months all drowned, along with two baby nephews.

The fleeing Rohingya had paid Bangladeshi fisherman the equivalent of USD 30 a head for what should have been a short sea journey, survivors said.

Their boat was headed for Shah Porir Dwip, an island at the southern tip of Bangladesh, about 78 kilometres south of Cox’s Bazar, when it foundered.

The overloaded boat, which would normally carry 20 people, had approximately 60 on board, and was swamped by high waves and winds in a sudden monsoon storm.

It sailed from Dongkhalir Char in North Rakhine State at around 6.00 pm local time. At around 9 pm the Bangladesh coast guard and border police were alerted and launched a rescue mission.

Like many of the most recent arrivals in Bangladesh, the refugees caught up in last night’s tragedy came from villages well inside Myanmar. They told IOM staff that they walked for eleven days before reaching the coast.

Their tragedy follows on another mass drowning on September 28, when another fishing boat carrying refugees capsized near the same spot. In that incident 23 people were drowned and 17 survived.

As of 7th October, 519,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Bangladesh, including 467,800 identified by IOM assessments in the Cox’s Bazar area.

For more information please contact:

In Cox’s Bazar:
Hala Jaber, Tel : +8801733335221, Email: hjaberbent@iom.int
Leonard Doyle, IOM Spokesperson, Tel: +41 792857123, Email: ldoyle@iom.int

In Dhaka
Shirin Akhter Tel: +8801711187499, Email: sakhter@iom.int

Language English Posted: Monday, October 9, 2017 - 15:53Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff spoke to survivors of a fishing boat that capsized in stormy weather in Bangladesh. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Providing Emergency Assistance to Over 4,000 Migrants After End of Sabratah Conflict

Mon, 10/09/2017 - 05:28

Sabratah – In the aftermath of weeks of conflict in the Libyan coastal city of Sabratah, at least 4,000 migrants, previously held in numerous informal detention centres and camps, have been transferred to a hangar in the city’s Dahman area, where IOM, the UN Migration Agency is providing emergency assistance.

Sabratah is approximately 80 kilometres west of Tripoli and is one of the main departure points for migrant boats attempting to make the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

On 7 October, a day after the first transfer of migrants, IOM sent a field team to the hangar to assess the situation. By the end of the day, the team reported that 2,600 migrants (1,819 men, 704 women and 77 children) were being kept at the site by the Libyan Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM). More migrants from other locations in Sabratah were later transferred to the hangar and more are anticipated to arrive soon.

The migrants are from almost a dozen countries and among them are pregnant women, newborn babies and unaccompanied children. IOM medical team assessed the migrants’ primary health needs and in one case one pregnant woman was transferred by ambulance to a private clinic, 10 kilometres from Sabratah, where she gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

IOM provided food, water and core relief packages, which include mattresses, blankets, pillows and hygiene kits to the initial 2,600 migrants. More food and emergency assistance will be provided in the coming days for all migrants in the hangar. IOM is also providing psychosocial support over the next few days.

The migrants will also be offered the opportunity to return home through IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return Assistance Programme.

“We are seriously concerned by the large number of migrants caught up in recent developments in Sabratah,” said Othman Belbeisi, IOM Libya Chief of Mission. “Alternatives to detention must be found for migrants in Libya. In the meantime, IOM continues to provide direct humanitarian, health and psychosocial assistance to meet the urgent needs of the thousands of migrants being affected.”

The Libyan authorities have reported that the migrants in the Sabratah hangar will be transferred to detention centres in Tripoli. Already, about 2,000 migrants are in the process of being transferred by DCIM and IOM is already present at these centres to continue assistance as they arrive.

As more migrants are moved through the hangar, which has almost no facilities, there is an urgent need for basic assistance, including food, water, core relief items and medical assistance.

“We will continue to monitor the situation closely in consultation with humanitarian partners on the ground. IOM calls for a unified and coordinated response by all humanitarian actors to meet the needs of these migrants,” said Belbeisi.

For more information, please contact at IOM Libya: Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600 389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int Christine Petré, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int

Language English Posted: Monday, October 9, 2017 - 11:19Image: Region-Country: LibyaDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM is providing food, water and core relief packages, which include mattresses (pictured above), blankets, pillows and hygiene kits to over 4,000 migrants in Sabratah, Libya.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Iraqi Displaced Face Hardships Despite End to Hawija Military Operation

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:53

Erbil – In the wake of the Iraqi Government’s announcement on 5 October that the town of Hawija and its surrounding areas have been retaken, IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix reported that more than 33,000 people have been displaced since the launch of the offensive two weeks ago; of these, more than 15,200 are still displaced and 17,700 have returned to their homes.

Iraqi forces on 21 September began military operations against ISIL’s final holdouts in central Iraq – in Hawija district of Kirkuk, and Shirqat in Salah al-Din – which were seized by the group in 2014.

According to DTM’s latest data, most of the newly displaced from Hawija and Shirqat were moved to camps and emergency sites located in the three governorates of Kirkuk, Ninewa, and Salah al-Din.

In the past two weeks, Ziyad Khalas, IOM’s Information Management Officer at Haj Ali emergency site, oversaw the registration of more than 6,700 individuals (over 1,300 families). “In anticipation of an influx of new internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Hawija and Shirqat at our site, we prepared hundreds of tent plots and confirmed medical supplies,” Khalas said.

However, Khalas added that in this humanitarian emergency context, challenges are inevitable because “many displaced people, especially women and children, are malnourished and need special care from the first moment.”

As of 4 October, 30,156 individuals (6,538 families) are living at Haj Ali emergency site. All displaced families at Haj Ali are provided with a tent, a core relief package and access to medical services.

“We fled along with other families at night and walked more than eight hours to reach the checkpoint area, then we were transferred to Haj Ali emergency site,” said Um Enes, who began the trek with her two children in the first week of the operation.

Um Enes is one of the dozens of newly displaced people attending IOM’s medical centre at Haj Ali site for treatment, after not having access to proper food and health care for nearly three years.

Another visitor to the medical centre is Hannan, who fled from Hawija with her eight children – four boys and four girls.

“We just ran. We left everything behind. We brought only the clothes we are wearing. I haven’t showered for a week because I do not have other clothes to change into,” Hannan said about their hasty escape from Hawija.

“That night, my children and I walked for five hours along with thousands of other people. In the rush of families fleeing the area, my husband became separated and ended up in Kirkuk.

“My 7-year-old son Ziad was hit by a bullet when we were running, then, even with his injury he had to walk. He is injured and needs surgery soon,” said Hannan, sitting next to Ziad, who has a urine bag attached to him.

The latest wave of IDPs comes in addition to 102,708 people previously identified by IOM’s DTM as displaced from Hawija between August 2016 and 20 September 2017 due to earlier military operations.

Wijdan, recently displaced from Hawija, said her 3-year-old son has been in poor condition for four or five months. “For the last two days, he has not eaten anything. He is not able to walk. Health care was not available there. My son is now severely dehydrated and needs urgent help,” said Wijdan, who has two other sons, adding that she had to flee on foot and carry her ailing son.

Wijdan’s husband was killed three years ago and now, since reaching Haj Ali site four days ago, she is on her own: “My mother and brother stayed in Kirkuk. Thank God we are safe in Haj Ali. Here, an IOM doctor treated my three-year-old with intravenous fluid. He will soon be transferred to hospital.”

IOM Iraq DTM Hawija and Shirqat Crisis Displacement Overview, 5 October 2017 can be downloaded at: http://iomiraq.net/article/0/hawija-and-shirqat-crisis-displacement-overview-5-october-2017

Across Iraq, more than 3.2 million Iraqis continue to be displaced due to the current crisis, which began in January 2014. Nearly half live in private settings, while 24 per cent are in camps, and 12 per cent are in critical shelter arrangements (informal settlements, religious buildings, unfinished buildings). Housing conditions of 14 per cent are unknown.

For additional information about displacement in Iraq, see the IOM Iraq DTM website: http://iraqdtm.iom.int/default.aspx

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

Language English Posted: Friday, October 6, 2017 - 16:13Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

Medical staff helps displaced families at the Haj Ali emergency site. Photo: Sandra Black / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Internally displaced Iraqis from Hawija wait for medical care at an IOM clinic in Haj Ali emergency site. Photo: Sandra Black / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Rohingya Refugees Continue to Flood into Packed Cox’s Bazar Settlements

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:45

Cox's Bazar - An estimated 2,000 Rohingya refugees a day are still arriving in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, having fled violence in Myanmar’s North Rakhine State, according to IOM staff monitoring the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.

The new arrivals bring the total number of refugees to cross into Bangladesh since 25 August to an estimated 515,000. Observers believe that as many as 100,000 more people may be waiting to cross into Cox’s Bazar from North Rakhine’s Buthidaung Township.

Many of the refugees arrive in Teknaf – Cox’s Bazar’s southernmost upazila or sub-district – but then move north to Ukhiya sub-district and the vast, teeming makeshift settlements of Kutupalong, Balukhali and neighbouring satellite sites.

They arrive exhausted, hungry and usually with nothing more than the clothes on their back, having walked for days and then braved a dangerous river or sea crossing. Many show signs of malnutrition.

Yesterday, Nunavet, 70, walked aimlessly through Kutupalong, tired and in desperation. The frail, skeletal old lady was hungry. Her face, etched with deep wrinkles, spoke not just of fatigue, but of a life of hardship endured over the years. Overcoming the language barrier, she mumbled through her ailments, pointing to her empty stomach, aching back and sore feet.

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, this week appealed to the international community for USD 120 million through March to provide desperately needed aid to Nunavet and other Rohingya refugees who have flooded into Cox’s Bazar over the past six weeks. It aims to target 450,000 individuals (90,000 households) over the next six months.

The IOM appeal is part of a broader humanitarian response plan seeking USD 434 million to help 1.2 million people, including the Bangladeshi host community.

At the request of the Government of Bangladesh, IOM is hosting the Inter Sector Coordination Group, which is coordinating the work of aid agencies responding to the humanitarian crisis triggered by the influx. It is also leading the coordination of three sectors – shelter and core relief items, displacement site management and communication with displaced and host communities.

IOM’s operations focus on six sectors: shelter and core relief items; site management; water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH); health; coordination; protection; and communication with communities.

Life-saving services delivered IOM and its partners include clean water and sanitation, shelter, food, security, health care, education, and psychological support for the most vulnerable individuals, many whom are suffering from acute mental trauma or are survivors of sexual violence.

In the settlements, people standing in line for aid snake around the various distribution points set up by aid organizations and local NGOs. As they wait for hours for rice, biscuits, plastic sheets, jerry cans and hygiene materials, the number of children stand out. An estimated 58 per cent of the refugees are under the age of 18.

To date, IOM has distributed some 40,000 plastic tarpaulins to provide basic shelter for the refugees since 25 August. These include some 4,000 shelter kits comprising two plastic sheets, two ropes, two blankets, and one sleeping mat per family, donated by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID).

The sheer numbers of new arrivals have led to dangerous congestion in the existing settlements. On 14 September, the Bangladesh Government allocated 2,000 acres of forest land to set up a new camp adjacent to the existing Kutapalong makeshift settlement. Yesterday, it allocated another 1,000 acres of land to cope with the spiralling numbers.

Officials plan to use the vast site to accommodate all the Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar – both new and old arrivals – in one settlement. At close to 700,000 people, this will become the world’s largest refugee camp.

The challenges of establishing the camp on inaccessible, hilly terrain, are vast. The site is entirely undeveloped and will require planning and infrastructure investment for roads and bridges, the installation of drainage systems and soil protection earthworks to reduce the risk of landslides. It is currently accessible by just one road – the Cox’s Bazar–Teknaf Highway – which is already permanently congested by aid trucks and local traffic.

In the meantime, aid agencies are warning of acute shortages of food, which could soon lead to widespread malnutrition. An estimated 218,000 people are already in need of urgent nutrition support, including 145,000 children under the age of five and thousands of pregnant and lactating women.

IOM medical staff, who have carried out over 33,000 consultations since 25 August, say that healthcare is also stretched to the limit, partly due to the lack of access to clean water and related growing numbers of diarrhoea cases. IOM has already delivered 310,000 litres of clean water to refugee sites, but this remains a drop in the ocean in the context of daily needs.

Yesterday, IOM and the World Health Organization (WHO) led a health sector meeting with some 30 agencies to work on a preparedness plan for a diarrhoea outbreak. Health sector agencies will also launch a cholera vaccination campaign on 10 October. Over the next year, 650,000 people will be vaccinated in the settlements and adjacent host communities. 

For more information, please contact IOM Bangladesh:

Hala Jaber in Cox’s Bazar, Tel: +8801733335221, Email: hjaberbent@iom.int

Peppi Siddiq in Dhaka, Tel: +8801755568894, Email: pksiddiq@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, October 6, 2017 - 16:14Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Nunavet, 70, recently arrived at Kutupalong extension settlement. Despite the language barrier, she mumbled pointing to her empty stomach, weary back and aching feet. She was escorted to an IOM health centre where she received food and medical attention. Photo: Muse Mohammed / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Embassies in Libya, UN Migration Agency, Partners Advocate for Alternatives to Detention

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:42

Tunis – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, the Danish Refugee Council and the International Detention Coalition recently (1-2/10) held a two-day meeting to explore alternatives to migrant detention in Libya.

The meeting, held in Tunis, brought together representatives from Libya’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Social Affairs and Labour plus the Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM) within the Ministry of Interior. Also in attendance were representatives from the African Union, diplomatic staff from eight African countries, Bangladeshi and Pakistani embassy representatives and participants from international NGOs and UN agencies.

The meeting, funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), and UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), provided an opportunity to discuss alternatives to detention with Embassy representatives, as well as how to address challenges facing diplomatic staff with regards consular procedure for migrants in detention.

Embassy representatives prepared a statement of principles, which was presented to the Libyan authorities on the second day of the workshop. The embassies emphasized the constraints they face in accessing their nationals in detention and called for improved collaboration with Libyan authorities and international organizations to find alternatives to detention that comply with Libyan law.

While the situation in Libya is complex and migration has many drivers that require efforts in the countries of origin, transit and destination, there are immediate practical steps that can be taken, emphasized Junita Calder, the International Detention Coalition representative.

These include introducing screening mechanisms, ensuring referrals and adopting a case management approach. With embassies on board to assist in this effort, there is an even greater likelihood of success, said James Martin, Head of Programmes, Danish Refugee Council.

Karolina Edsbacker, IOM Libya Protection Officer, praised ongoing ad-hoc initiatives of the diplomatic community in Libya to find alternatives to detention. “Community housing and other safe alternatives need to be further developed outside of detention and, for this, the collaboration with the embassies is key,” she explained. 

“It is important to keep in mind that the detention centre question is only one component of a wider discussion on the widespread phenomenon of migration,” said Marwan Ali Bousriwel from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, acknowledging that migration management cannot be the sole responsibility of Libya but should also include countries of origin, transit and destination.
Maya Fadel Sahli, representative from the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights within the African Union presented examples from countries in the region which have tried out alternatives to detention. At the end of the workshop, she welcomed that diplomatic representatives and the Libyan authorities had reached a consensus on the necessity of alternatives to detention in Libya.
A workshop report, which will outline best practices presented by the embassies and include recommendations on ways forward will pave the way for next discussions on alternatives to detention between the key stakeholders.

 

IOM’s DTM Libya’s Detention Center Profile Generator, September 2017

This data driven tool has been developed to provide a quantitative and action-orientated tool that delivers routine multi-sectoral profiles on select DCIM detention centres in Libya.

By selecting a specific detention centre from the dropdown list at the top of the page DTM’s Detention Center Profile generates a PDF printable factsheet presenting an overview on the total number of women, men and children held in each detention centre on the day the of the assessment. The factsheet also presents a total breakdown of the nationalities detained in each Center as well as a multi-sectoral overview of the primary needs and vulnerabilities relating to health, WASH, food, protection and access to information.

As is standard for all DTM Libya publications, the Detention Center Profile generator is accompanied by a complete information package including:
•          Detention Center Profile generator,
•          Detention Center Profile dataset,
•          The latest map of Libya’s DCIM-run Detention Centers,
•          The latest MMWG 4 Ws map prepared by DTM,
•          A Terminology and Definitions dictionary,
•          The Detention Center Profile methodology,
•          Enumerator guidelines,
•          The Detention Center assessment forms.

This file contains Libya detention centre profiles for Abusliem, Al Kufra, Benghazi al Wafiah, Gharyan al Hamra, Shahhat, Tajoura, Trig al Matar, Trig al Seka and Zilten. The displayed information concerns the detention centre, demographics and shelter, vulnerable populations, main nationalities present, and sectorial data (health, WASH, food, protection, site facility information, access to information and information sources).
All DTM products and data are available to download from the DTM global website: www.globaldtm.info/libya
 

For all enquiries please contact:
Daniel Salmon, Programme Coordinator – DTM Libya, IOM Libya (based in Tunis, Tunisia)
Tel.: +216 29 235 097, Skype: daniusalmon, Email: dsalmon@iom.int
 

For more information, please contact:
IOM Libya: Karolina Edsbacker, Tel: +216 29 202 896, Email: kedsbacker@iom.int
DRC Libya: Yannick Creoff, Tel: +216 23 462 795, Email: pm.consortium@drc-libya.org  

Language English Posted: Friday, October 6, 2017 - 16:12Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Capacity BuildingHumanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

An African migrant sits inside Trig al Seka migrant detention centre in Tripoli, Libya. Photo: UN Migration Agency/Christina Petre 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Launches Mobile App for Migrants in Mesoamerica

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:41

San José – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has launched the MigrantApp, the first pilot of an IOM global initiative to provide information to facilitate regular, safe and orderly migration using mobile devices. The MigrantApp provides reliable, rapid, safe and free information in three languages on governmental, private and civil society services for migrants. The app, which has been available for over two weeks, has been downloaded by more than 700 users so far.

The MigrantApp facilitates access to information on more than 1,500 georeferenced centres where migrants can receive assistance or information. The application also offers tips on regular and orderly migration, alerts on risks related to irregular migration and the option to answer mini surveys safely, thus, fostering migrant empowerment.

“Mesoamerica is one of the main migratory corridors in the world. The necessary information that migrants need to move in a regular, dignified and safe manner is dispersed. Reaching correct information is a challenge, mainly due to the massive amount of misleading information usually generated by smugglers. The application’s objective is to bring accurate information closer to the migrants who need it,” explained Marcelo Pisani, Regional Director of IOM Central America, North America, and the Caribbean.

“The MigrantApp offers easy-to-use and free information, including reliable facts, corroborated with the institutions and organizations that offer migratory procedures, and health, employment, security services. We are aiming to protect migrants transiting the region,” said Alexandra Bonnie, Regional Coordinator of IOM’s Mesoamerica Program, the project that developed this initiative.

The confidentiality of users’ information is based on IOM’s data protection principles. Also, each user can decide if he or she authorizes the application to use the GPS on their mobile device.

Besides benefiting migrants, the MigrantApp will serve institutions, both public and private, as it provides them easy access to the contact information of similar organizations in other places or countries. 

The MigrantApp is initially available for download from Google Play for Android devices. Apple device users will be able to download the application later this month. The application can also be found at www.vengasdedondevengas.com.  

The MigrantApp was developed as part of IOM’s Mesoamerica Program, financed by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration of the Department of State of the United States of America. The objective of the programme is to strengthen the capacities of governments and civil society organizations to improve the protection of and assistance to migrants in situations of vulnerability.

Information and Services Provided in the MigrantApp

  • Protection and Assistance: Information on health centres, consulates and embassies, migration offices, human rights protection centres, as well as centres that offer shelter. It also includes information regarding training and employment, specific assistance for vulnerable groups of people such as women, children and victims of trafficking in persons, as well as assistance programmes for migrants.
  • Migration Information: Information on the requirements to enter countries in Mesoamerica for 27 nationalities.
  • Remittances: Compares the options available to migrants to send money.
  • My Route: Allows users to share their route in real time, in a private manner, with anyone they approve.
  • News: Updated relevant information about migration on the news of the country in which the migrant is, alerts in case of emergencies such as hurricanes and epidemics, and important events in the area.

For more information please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 2212 5300,  Email: jgallo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, October 6, 2017 - 16:11Image: Region-Country: Costa RicaThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

The MigrantApp is now available from Google Play Store and will soon be also available on Apple’s App Store. The App offers information for safe and orderly migration in Mesoamerica.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 139,763 in 2017; Deaths Reach 2,726

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:34

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 139,763 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 4 October, with over 75 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 312,153 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

IOM Rome reported on Thursday (5 October) that official figures from the Italian Ministry of the Interior show 106,889 migrants arriving by sea this year:  23.26 per cent less than last year in the same period. IOM Rome noted as well that several of the 1,002 migrants rescued over the weekend by Italian and international ships, and registered for arrival at the port of Catania, provided testimony that confirmed the deaths of three fellow migrants at sea over this same period.

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia on Thursday reported on three search and rescue operations occurring off the coasts of Lesvos and Farmakonisi during the first three days of October that resulted in the rescue of 228 migrants who were safely landed on the two islands.

Namia further reported that migrant sea arrivals to Greek territory totalled 392 for the first three days of October, and 19,934 for the year so far. (See chart below.)

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported that on Tuesday (3 October) a single rubber boat carrying 52 migrants (46 men and six women) were rescued/intercepted at sea near the Libyan capital of Tripoli. Their embarkation point was reported as Al Maya. According to testimony from these survivors, some 68 migrants on that voyage remain missing.

With these rescued in this latest incident, IOM’s Petré said that the total of those rescued/intercepted to date in Libyan waters now is 18,405 men, women and children.

The missing 68 bring to 2,726 the number of migrants believed missing or drowned on the Mediterranean Sea this year on all routes through October 3, 2017. That figure was 3,682 during the same period in 2016, nearly 1,000 more deaths through nine months than this year’s total.

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded 4,526 migrant victims in 2017, compared with 5,670 at this point last year. In addition to fatalities in the Mediterranean, MMP recorded the deaths of three migrants in the Indian Ocean: two children and one woman who died on a journey to the French island of Mayotte from Comoros Islands after their boat capsized on 1 October. In Mexico, the remains of one young man were found near the train tracks in Saltillo, Coahuila, on 4 October. On 19 September, 23 Afghan migrants were shot in Fars province, Iran, in the minivan where they were being transported after entering the country irregularly.

MMP also received data from Pima County, Arizona, for the month of September: the remains of nine migrants who lost their lives crossing the US/Mexico border were recovered at different locations.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/171006_Mediterranean_Update.pdf
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Mircea Mocanu, IOM Romania, Tel:  +40212115657, Email: mmocanu@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70; E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, October 6, 2017 - 16:10Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Central Emergency Response Fund Grants IOM USD 875,000 to Help DR Congo Displaced

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:25

Goma – The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has granted USD 875,000 to IOM, the UN Migration Agency to support its response to the emerging displacement crisis in the Tanganyika province in Eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

Through CERF funding, IOM will facilitate the transfer and return of displaced people currently residing in twelve spontaneous displacement sites in and around Kalemie city in Tanganyika province. In these sites, approximately 90,000 people live in dire conditions and are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance.

Inter-community relations in the Tanganyika province have deteriorated since mid-2016. Recurrent ethnic conflicts between the Luba and Twa communities have caused a significant number of victims with more than 20 per cent of the total population in the province currently displaced. The severity of this ethnic conflict has led to the displacement of 179,000 individuals since the beginning of 2017, with 47 per cent of the movements registered in Kalemie territory. Since November 2016, a large majority of the displaced population in this territory has regrouped in 12 spontaneous displacement sites in and around Kalemie city.

IOM will lead activities including the identification and transportation of 30,000 displaced people from the 12 sites in Kalemie city to their chosen area of relocation or return. The Government has identified two relocation sites located 25 kilometres and 50 kilometres outside of the city. These sites will host internally displaced persons (IDPs) who are not yet able to return to their area of origin due to security reasons. Specific activities undertaken by IOM in these two sites consists of site planning and site set-up, including the construction of transit centres and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities as a service provider of last resort.

IOM will also facilitate the transportation of displaced people who have expressed their wish to return to their area of origin, provided the security situation in areas of return allows for it.

The funding from CERF comes at a crucial time, when support is needed for humanitarian actors as they work to address the challenges encountered in the 12 displacement sites. This includes congestion and the lack of basic services and infrastructure available to the displaced populations.

IOM will work with UNHCR to plan and provide a coordinated humanitarian response: while IOM will facilitate the transportation of displaced people to pre-identified areas of return, UNHCR will provide them with reintegration kits in the different areas of return. These activities will be based on the findings from registering displaced people and understanding their intentions, both activities which are currently being carried out by IOM in the 12 displacement sites in Kalemie.

“This CERF funding will allow IOM to provide urgent humanitarian assistance to families affected by the inter-community conflicts in the province,” said Husnur Esthiwahyu, IOM’s Head of Office in Goma.

For more information, please contact Husnur Esthiwahyu at IOM Goma, Tel: +243 821149384, Email: hesthiwahyu@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, October 6, 2017 - 16:09Image: Region-Country: Republic of the CongoThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsRelated Documents:  DR Congo (DRC) Emergency Operations and Humanitarian Coordination ReportDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM operational staff in Tanganyika province assist a woman from the Kalonda displacement site. Photo: UN Migration Agency 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Durable Solutions Strategy Seeks to Resolve Displacement in Ethiopia’s Somali Region

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:22

Addis Ababa – IOM, the UN Migration Agency yesterday (05/10) joined the Ethiopian Somali Regional Disaster Prevention and Preparedness Bureau (DPPB) in partnership with the Durable Solutions Working Group, to endorse the Durable Solutions Strategy for the Somali Region.

The first of its kind in Ethiopia, the Strategy provides a framework that seeks to solve the widespread displacement of over 570,000 people in Ethiopia’s Somali Region. With the five-year anniversary of the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa – known as the Kampala Convention – coming up in December, this represents important progress in deepening engagement with the Government of Ethiopia in meeting the challenges of internal displacement.

Speaking at the endorsement ceremony, Peter Manfield, the United Nations’ Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for the Somali Region, emphasized that more than one billion USD has been spent in response to drought in Ethiopia over the past year. He welcomed the endorsement of the Strategy as a crucial first step in moving beyond the immediate humanitarian needs and beginning to address the long term needs of the displaced in their search for self-sufficiency. 

Anwar Ali, Deputy Head of the DPPB and Advisor to the Ethiopian Somali Regional State, highlighted the timeliness of the Durable Solutions Strategy, stating, “If we had had a Durable Solutions strategy and system already in place [before the drought], we would not be facing the scale of displacement we now have to address.”

Ali stressed the importance of immediate development of an Action Plan to operationalize the Strategy and called for the full support and engagement of every government Bureau to develop it. He also called on all UN agencies and partners to provide expertise and financial support to the Region to implement the strategy. Ali further requested IOM to continue its coordination and support in drafting an action plan and its long-term implementation.  

“The strategy is a critical tool providing the government and humanitarian and development partners with a common platform to address the challenges of displacement in the region,” added Nicola Rounce, IOM’s Durable Solutions Expert. She noted that the growing global concern about protracted displacement makes Ethiopia’s first-ever initiative on Durable Solutions a welcome innovation. She also stressed the importance of the Strategy’s provisions for establishing sustainable mechanism for humanitarian and development partners to work together in pursuit of these common goals.

“The Durable Solution Strategy of the Ethiopian Somali Regional State, which has taken three years to reach fruition, is an ambitious but essential plan. We encourage the continued collaboration across government and partners to move the Strategy to an actionable plan,” Paolo Caputo, IOM’s Ethiopia Programme Head said.

Caputo reiterated IOM’s commitment to co-chairing the Durable Solutions Working Group and supporting the Somali Regional authorities in tackling the enormous challenges of resolving the region’s displacement.

Following endorsement of the Strategy, the document is to be presented to the Somali Regional Cabinet in the coming weeks for formalization.

At the request of the DPPB, IOM has agreed to immediately convene and facilitate initial consultations for the development of the Strategy’s Action Plan.

For further information, please contact Alemayehu Seifeselassie at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251 11  6611117 (Ext. 455), Mobile: +251 91 163 9082, Email: salemayehu@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, October 6, 2017 - 16:08Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: Capacity BuildingInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Anwar Ali, Deputy Head of the DPPB (left) and Paolo Caputo, IOM Ethiopia Program Head sign the Durable Solution Strategy document on 5 October 2017 at Jijiga, Ethiopia. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Supports Burkina Faso Launch of Migration Information and Data Analysis System

Fri, 10/06/2017 - 10:21

Ouagadougou – The Government of Burkina Faso recently (29/09) launched the Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) at its Dakola border post on the Burkina-Ghana border. Installed with the financial support of the Government of Japan, MIDAS will allow the Government of Burkina Faso to better manage movements of people and goods across its borders.

Border management in Burkina Faso is an important issue, given the porous borders that affect the country's ability to effectively monitor the movement of people and goods and to prevent threats to internal security. Hence the need for a coordinated and sustainable response involving border communities and authorities alike.

The MIDAS launch is part of the Strengthening Border Security in Burkina Faso project implemented by the Border Police and IOM. The project aims to strengthen the operational and technical capacities of border management structures and actors, particularly Border Police, and to support collaboration between security forces and border communities. It follows on from the project Coordinated Border Management in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania, also funded by the Government of Japan, which saw the installation of MIDAS at three border posts in 2016.

According to Victor Akowe Zanguyo, the mayor of Po, a border town, the launch of this tool answers a real need. “Every day, we, the people of the border regions, are exposed to the phenomenon of insecurity. This project comes at the right time because it will contribute to the security of our community.”

Japan’s Ambassador to Burkina Faso, Tamotsu Ikezaki, stated: “Trafficking in arms and narcotics, cross-border crime and recent terrorist acts in the region have once again underlined the urgent need for more integrated border management by adopting a regional approach in the field of immigration management.”

MIDAS is a border management information system that complies with international standards and allows the collection, processing, storage and analysis of traveller data in real time through an extensive network at a country’s borders. This allows for more effective management of people entering and leaving Burkinabe territory, while providing a solid statistical basis for migration policies and strategies. The system was developed by IOM in 2009 to support governments to better manage migration issues.

For Burkina Faso, MIDAS establishes an interconnection and data-exchange on migration flows between all border posts and Border Police Headquarters. The project will also equip the Kantchari border post on the Burkina-Niger border with MIDAS, thus extending the existing network to a fourth border post.

A demonstration of the MIDAS system at the end of the ceremony was performed by Sibiri Nikiema, a Police Commissioner with the Burkinabè Border Police.

Minister of Security, Simon Compaore said: “MIDAS is undoubtedly an advanced technological tool whose judicious exploitation will lead to the improvement of border control in the fight against cross-border crime, human trafficking and migrant smuggling with the existence of terrorist groups in the sub-region that have invested in these areas.”

“I hope that this tool will help border posts optimize their operations for better border management to counter all forms of cross-border crime in an effective and coordinated way and ensure the movement of people and goods safely,” said Abibatou Wane, IOM Burkina Faso Chief of Mission.

MIDAS had been installed at three border posts in Burkina Faso, namely Dakola, Madouba and Yendere. The Government is considering extending it to the other border posts in the country. Through this initiative, IOM supports the Government of Burkina Faso in its efforts to offer sustainable alternatives and solutions to the management of security and migration flows.

For more information please contact Anna Steilen at IOM Burkina Faso, Tel. +226 67 39 65 33. Email: asteilen@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, October 6, 2017 - 16:07Image: Region-Country: Burkina FasoThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

From left: Burkina Faso Minister of Security Simon Compaore, Japan’s Ambassador to Burkina Faso Tamotsu Ikezaki, and IOM Burkina Faso Chief of Mission Abibatou Wane at the MIDAS launch inf Dakola border post. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Director General Recognised with Top Djibouti Award

Thu, 10/05/2017 - 06:22

Djibouti – IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing was this week (03/10) honoured with an Officer of the National Order of 27th of June award by the East African nation of Djibouti. The award was presented by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Djibouti, Abdulkader Kamil.

DG Swing accepted the prestigious award on behalf of 11,000 IOM colleagues in 500 sites and 170 countries around the world. “We at IOM appreciate this symbol of recognition and support,” he said.

In his acceptance remarks, DG Swing thanked Djiboutians for their generosity, “We are concerned and sensitive to the crises of the Horn of Africa, a war across the Red Sea and other armed conflicts in the neighborhood. In the face of these realities, I would like to thank the Republic of Djibouti for its generosity and sense of responsibility towards thousands of irregular migrants who pass through Djibouti on their way to Yemen.”

Noting that Djibouti was at the crossroads of a major migratory route, DG Swing reiterated IOM’s steadfast commitment and resolve to continue working closely with the nation and people of Djibouti and “share responsibility for the vulnerable migrants who want only one thing: a better life.”

During his visit, DG Swing also met with President of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh and discussed IOM’s work and importance of its presence in Djibouti. He emphasized that IOM Djibouti will continue to work closely with the Government of Djibouti on humanitarian assistance to vulnerable migrants transiting through the region.

IOM Djibouti has assisted already 1,200 vulnerable migrants in the Migrants Resource Centre in Obock since the beginning of 2017. The large majority of the migrants are travelling to and from Yemen despite the ongoing conflict in that country. IOM Djibouti has seen a high prevalence of migrants in vulnerable situations namely unaccompanied children and female migrants living in Djibouti. 

With a population of just over 900,000, Djibouti currently hosts over 27,000 refugees or 2.5 per cent of its entire population.

For more information, please contact Lalini Veerassamy, IOM Djibouti at Tel: +25321352459, Email: lveerassamy@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Thursday, October 5, 2017 - 12:14Image: Region-Country: DjiboutiDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Director General William Lacy Swing receives the award from the Prime Minister of the Republic of Djibouti, Abdulkader Kamil on 3 October 2017 in Djibouti.

From left to right, Lalini Veerassamy, IOM Djibouti Chief of Mission, Prime Minister of the Republic of Djibouti, Abdulkader Kamil, IOM Director General William Lacy Swing and Colonel Abdilahi Abdi, Director General of Djibouti Police. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Appeals for USD 120 million to Support over 500,000 Rohingya Refugees in Bangladesh

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 08:32

Cox's Bazar – Over 500,000 newly arrived Rohingya refugees are now living in dire conditions in Bangladesh's Cox Bazar region. IOM, the UN Migration Agency is appealing to the international community for USD 119.77 million to provide desperately needed aid. 

The speed and the magnitude of the influx since 25 August, when tens of thousands of Rohingya began fleeing violence in Norther Rakhine State, Myanmar, has resulted in a critical humanitarian emergency.

The majority arrived with little or nothing, joining an estimated 300,000 that had fled in earlier waves of displacement.

IOM, at the request of the Government of Bangladesh, has been leading the Inter Sector Coordination Group, which is coordinating the humanitarian response to the influx of Rohingya refugees.

This appeal outlines IOM’s funding requirement from September 2017 to February 2018 as a part of the wider UN Humanitarian Response Plan.

IOM’s operations focus on coordination and five sectors of assistance shelter and core relief items, displacement site management, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health, coordination, protection and communication with communities . As well as the overall response, IOM leads the coordination of three specific sectors shelter and core relief items, site management and communicating with communities. 

Prior to the latest influx, IOM was coordinating humanitarian assistance to some 200,000 refugees living in makeshift settlements in Cox’s Bazar and continues to support this population, as well as newer arrivals.

Lifesaving services delivered by IOM and its partner agencies include clean water and sanitation, shelter, food security, health care, education, and psychosocial support for the most vulnerable individuals, many whom are suffering from acute mental trauma or are survivors of sexual violence.

In Balukhali yesterday, Rahima waited in an aid distribution line. She carried what appeared to be a sleeping baby in her arms.

The little boy, Yunis, was fast asleep, oblivious to the commotion around him. He is two and a half years old, Rahima said, but the child in her arms, a tiny bundle of bones, with six fingers on each hand, looked so small and frail that one could have mistaken him to be an infant less than a year old.

She arrived in Cox's Bazar five days ago and had been walking for five days, she said. Yunis, had hardly eaten and has been running a fever ever since they left. She had nowhere to go, no shelter and no food. Currently, she lived in a settlement sharing a flimsy hut with several other families.

With existing settlements in Cox's Bazar becoming dangerously congested and the small village’s population tripling in a matter of weeks, IOM’s response plan, targets an estimated 450,000 individuals (90,000 households) in two phases to ensure adequate protection before the next rainy season begins in March/April 2018.

On 14 September, the Government of Bangladesh allocated 2,000 acres of forest land to set up a new camp in Ukhia Upazila. The land however, is entirely underdeveloped and will require planning and support to decongest sites, build roads and bridges, install drainage systems and provide soil protection earthworks to avoid landslides and additions risks. IOM, is leading the site management sector in Cox’s Bazar and its site developments aim to help 350,000 individuals.

The current WASH infrastructure is overwhelmed by the sheer volume of new arrivals. Without rapid action, outbreaks of diseases are inevitable. All sites are in urgent need of WASH and infrastructure to enable vector control and restore basic human dignity. IOM will target 331,520 individuals by installing and maintaining water points in the existing and new settlements, as well as the installation and maintenance of gender segregated emergency pit latrines, followed by the semi-permanent community household latrines to provide safe sanitation in new settlements and host communities.

The mass influx of Rohingya refugees has overwhelmed local Bangladesh administrations and its health services. There is an urgent need to provide immediate primary and secondary health care for the new arrivals through the establishment of new clinics and the strengthening of Government facilities. IOM aims to assist 607,735 people in need of medical support.

19 per cent of the refugees estimated to be female headed households, with many having lost the husbands due to the violence in Myanmar. Elderly headed households account for 11 per cent of the population and child headed households, five percent. Many have experienced gender based violence with women and girls particularly targeted. IOM will work to address some of the protection risks faced by affected communities – both older and new arrivals – and increase access to specialized protection services targeting 165,980 individuals.

What will it actually mean, if the UN appeal, launched today, does not reach near its funding target?

Women, who have suffered violent sexual assault, will not get the vital, and often live-saving care that they need.

Families will try to survive, and many will fail, with trash-bag thin plastic sheeting as their only shelter from the torrential monsoon wind and rain.

Young children, many without parents, will be vulnerable to abuse and look forward to a stark future empty of education, safety and opportunity.

Women and girls will become targets for traffickers, hoping to profit off their vulnerability.

Disease will be fostered in overcrowded makeshift settlements, lacking proper sanitation, and hundreds, if not thousands, will die.

To read the detailed appeal click here.

For more information, please contact:
Hala Jaber in Cox’s Bazar, Tel: +8801733335221, Email: hjaberbent@iom.int or Peppi Siddiq in Dhaka, Tel: +8801755568894, Email: pksiddiq@iom.int

Language English Posted: Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - 14:21Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Why We Must Intervene to End the Suffering of Rohingya Refugees in Cox’s Bazar

Wed, 10/04/2017 - 03:09

By William Lacy Swing, Director General, International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Cox's Bazar - In late August, I was alerted by our Chief of Mission in Dhaka to a new exodus of people fleeing Myanmar’s North Rakhine State and arriving in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district. They were seeking protection in the same makeshift camps where over 80,000 of their community have found safety since an earlier outbreak of violence in October 2016.       

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, which I lead, coordinates the work of humanitarian agencies in Cox’s Bazar on behalf of the Bangladesh Government. As I write, the influx, which has continued to this day, has now reached over half a million people. They join an estimated 200,000 Rohingya already living in the makeshift settlements in often wretched conditions.

The world has reacted with horror to the images of their flight, and the stories of murder, rape and arson brought from their still smoldering villages in North Rakhine State. But this horror will have to be matched by action on the part of the international community, if we are to avert a humanitarian disaster on both sides of the border. Today IOM appealed for USD 120 million between now and February 2018 to begin to address this humanitarian crisis. (Click here to read IOM appeal)

For decades the Muslims of Rakhine State, who self-identify as Rohingya, have faced persecution and abuse. And, like other groups around the world, they have reacted with one of the few responses open to them – flight. This has triggered the largest and fastest flow of destitute people across a border since the 1994 Rwandan genocide. If we are to reverse this situation, stabilize the region and help them to return home, we cannot remain silent.

There can be no lasting peace in Rakhine without inclusive development. IOM, together with our UN partners, supports the recommendations of the Advisory Commission on Rakhine State established by Myanmar’s Office of the State Counsellor and the Kofi Annan Foundation.

We see this as a roadmap to peaceful co-existence in Rakhine and welcome the Myanmar Government’s commitment to implement the Commission’s findings. The first step in that implementation process will be to urgently allow UN agencies to resume their work in Rakhine State.

But the most urgent need is now in Cox’s Bazar on the other side of the border. Unless we support the efforts of the Bangladesh Government to provide immediate aid to the half million people who have arrived over the past month, many of the most vulnerable – women, children and the elderly – will die. They will be the victims of neglect.

Bangladesh, IOM and its partners are now struggling to provide adequate shelter, food, clean water, healthcare and protection to hundreds of thousands camped out over the vast muddy sites that now dot Cox’s Bazar. Five weeks on from the start of the crisis, funding has started to arrive, but much more will be needed.

If IOM’s appeal to the international community for USD 120 million does not meet its target, prospects for the refugees are dismal. The money is desperately needed for shelter and non-food relief items; site development; site management; water and sanitation; health; protection; coordination; and communication and feedback in the settlements.

Without it, families will continue to suffer in the open or under inadequate plastic sheeting under daily, heavy rain. The lack of clean water and sanitation, which has already led to fecal contamination of water sources, will lead to outbreaks of water-borne diseases, including cholera. Women who have suffered violent sexual assault, will not get the vital, and often live-saving, care that they need. And a lack of protection will make the refugees – particularly women and children – targets for human traffickers.

The refugees who fled Rakhine did so in the belief that they would find safety and protection in Cox’s Bazar. It is our responsibility to ensure that the suffering and trauma that they have experienced on the way must end. 

For more information, please contact  Hala Jaber in Cox’s Bazar, Tel: +8801733335221, Email: hjaberbent@iom.int Peppi Siddiq in Dhaka, Tel: +8801755568894, Email: pksiddiq@iom.int

Language English Posted: Wednesday, October 4, 2017 - 09:08Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Peru Supports Global Fight against Organized Crime, Including Human Trafficking

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 10:43

Lima – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is participating in the Attorneys and General Prosecutors Convention in Lima, Peru. The event gathers General Prosecutors and Attorneys from more than 20 American, European and Asian countries, as well as experts in organized crime.

The convention, which runs from 2-4 October, is organized by the Office of the Attorney General of Peru from the Public Ministry, and aims to promote more effectiveness in the prevention and criminal persecution against organized crime and corruption through international judicial cooperation.

The event, called Building Effective Mechanisms for the Fight Against Organized Crime and Corruption, gathered representatives of the Attorney General Offices in workshops focusing on four main topics: corruption of public officers, money laundering, organized crime, and assets recovery.

In the session related to organized crime, participants will discuss the persecution and sanction of the human trafficking and exploitation crimes, in accordance to international experiences.

“Crimes like human trafficking and organized crime know no boundaries, and events such as this one are essential to effectively combat organized crime,” said José Iván Dávalos, IOM Peru Chief of Mission at the opening ceremony.

“A good human trafficking investigation depends on the coordination between prosecutors, from one country to another,” said Agueda Marin, IOM Senior Regional Specialist in Migrants’ Assistance during the thematic session of persecution and sanction of the human trafficking and exploitation crimes.

She also pointed out that events like this one are key to identify challenges and solutions for this coordination.

IOM Peru has supported the efforts of the Public Ministry for over a decade, with the creation of an information register system for human trafficking cases, the development of training materials for prosecutors and police officers, and logistic and technical assistance support during knowledge-sharing events for justice operators.

Globally, it is estimated that human trafficking generates revenue of over USD 32 billion annually, yet the sentences for this crime are still low. In Peru, most identified victims are young women from the most vulnerable regions of the country, exploited for illegal mining purposes.

For more information, please contact Inés Calderón at IOM Peru, Tel: +51 1 633 0000, Email: icalderon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 16:26Image: Region-Country: PeruThemes: Capacity BuildingCounter-TraffickingMigration LawDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Peru Chief of Mission José Iván Dávalos delivers his speech at the Attorneys and General Prosecutors Convention in Peru. Photo: Ines Calderón / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

The panel of experts at the opening ceremony of the Attorneys and General Prosecutors Convention in Peru. Photo: Ines Calderón / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Kilimanjaro International Airport to Use Facial Matching Systems to Facilitate Cross-Border Mobility

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 10:42

Hai District – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has donated four Facial Matching Systems (FMS), including one to the Tanzania Immigration Services Department (TISD) at the Kilimanjaro International Airport (KIA) on 29 September.

The FMS are used to identify fraudulent travel documents such as passports, visas and identity cards, and to detect identity fraud by travellers trying to enter or stay in the country irregularly. Two other systems were donated to the Holili Taveta One Stop Border Post (OSBP) at the land border between Tanzania and Kenya. The fourth one will be installed at the Julius Nyerere International Airport in Dar es Salaam.

Albert Rwelamira, Deputy Commissioner of the Regional Immigration Office of Kilimanjaro Region, attended the donation ceremony at the airport. Participants joined a simulation session on how to use facial matching. “The donated system is aligned with the current International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Standards, Recommended Practices and specifications on traveller identification management and related inspection systems,” said Qasim Sufi, IOM Tanzania Chief of Mission.

“This system is of paramount importance for an international airport like KIA in today’s increasingly mobile, interdependent and interlinked world, as it will boost its capacity to manage the processing of travel documents efficiently and securely,” he added.

The FMS are donated by IOM under the auspices of the United Nations Development Assistance Plan (UNDAP 1). The UNDAP is the United Nations Tanzania Business Plan that brings together all the UN agencies and provides a platform for cooperation between them.

IOM is also a member of the Refugees Working Group that tackles challenges related to mixed migration in the country. This includes activities such as capacity building of law enforcement and other government officials on migration management issues, operationalization of the OSBP, media training, and development of training materials including the review of the Tanzania Immigration Border Procedures Manual.

The donations aim to strengthen the technical capacity of immigration officers in Tanzania at both land and air entry points in the country, to address irregular migration and enhance border security, while also adhering to data protection standards. They were made through the African Capacity Building Centre (ACBC) in Moshi, Tanzania, at the request of the Commissioner General of Immigration Services Department of the Ministry of Home Affairs in Tanzania.

For more information, please contact IOM Tanzania:
Nelson Goncalves Tel: +255 688 700 090, Email: ngoncalves@iom.int
Gracia Anthony, Tel: +255 716 204 156, Email: ganthony@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 16:27Image: Region-Country: United Republic of TanzaniaThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Simulation exercise for immigration officers prior to donation. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

A regional immigration officer is thanking IOM for the donation of facial matching systems (FMS) machines. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, IGAD Assist East African States Strengthen Migration Governance, Migrants Protection Capacities

Tue, 10/03/2017 - 10:42

Moshi – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, with cooperation from the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), organized a capacity building training from 18 to 29 September at IOM’s African Capacity Building Centre (ACBC) in Moshi, Tanzania. The training aimed to enhance migration governance and migrants’ protection in the IGAD region, which comprises Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. The remaining IGAD Member State, Eritrea, did not attend this training.

The two-week event covered topics such as labour migration and border management, international migration law and migration and development. Thirty-four attendees selected from institutions belonging to the National Coordination Mechanisms (NCMs) came from diverse backgrounds including Ministries of Interior, Foreign Affairs, Labour, Members of Parliament (MPs), and Immigration and Police Services from IGAD Member States.

“The training provided us with an opportunity to learn about current developments in the IGAD region, and I believe that we gained very relevant knowledge especially now that IGAD Member States are in the process of developing national policies on migration and border management,” said Mary Mideva Kezzah from the Ministry of the East Africa Community, Labour and Social Protection of Kenya.

“We strongly believe that collaboration between IOM/ACBC and IGAD is more than needed to enable the trainees to apply what they have learnt back in their respective countries,” said Colonel Mohammed Said Ahmed, from the Ministry of Interior of Sudan.

The training sessions resulted in a set of recommendations including the development of a training roadmap to be developed by the ACBC. The first draft of the document will be launched at the next training for IGAD participants from 30 October to 3 November in Moshi. 

Qasim Sufi, IOM Tanzania Chief of Mission, encouraged the participants to utilize this training to harness the fruits of migration and address its challenges in their home countries. “ACBC is the only IOM capacity building center for the whole of Africa, and it has been upgraded to host a forensic laboratory and the Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) training facility. The ACBC is eager to provide technical support to you in English, French, Arabic, Portuguese and Kiswahili,” he added.

The training was held under the auspices of the joint regional migration project that is being co-implemented by IOM and IGAD with the overall objective of building regional and national capacities for the implementation of the regional migration policy framework (RMPF).

The specific objectives of the project include the empowerment of members of the NCMs on migration through capacity building trainings and seminars, as well as advocacy activities that help address mixed migration in the region and mainstream migration into development planning and programming by Member States.

For more information please contact IOM Tanzania:
Marcellino Ramkishun, Tel: +255 2727 53 488, Email: mramkishun@iom.int 
Melissa Tui, Tel: +255745919355, Email: mtui@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 3, 2017 - 16:28Image: Region-Country: United Republic of TanzaniaThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementLabour MigrationMigration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Trainers issue attendance certificates to participants of IOM’s African Capacity Building Centre (ACBC) in Moshi, Tanzania. Photo: Melissa Tui / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Participants at the training came from several IGAD Member States. Photo: Melissa Tui / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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