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Updated: 1 hour 57 min ago

IOM, African Development Bank Support Drought-Affected in Somalia

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 09:54

Mogadishu – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is partnering with the Government of Somalia and the African Development Bank (AfDB) to provide emergency humanitarian relief assistance in the form of food and water to an estimated 25,800 drought-affected people in the south-western state of Baidoa and the Jubaland state of Dollow. Internally displaced people will be among the beneficiaries.

Somalia’s Gu (April–June) rainy season was significantly below average, creating severe drought across all regions. Baidoa town, which is one of the most affected areas currently holds the highest numbers of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Somalia. According to IOM's Displacement Tracking Matrix, over 243,000 people migrated to the area between November 2016 and September 2017.

The influx to Baidoa and Dollow occasioned by the drought have severely strained available basic services increasing the demand for emergency life-saving assistance. The living conditions in the IDP settlements and host communities remain dire.

“Drought and conflict in the South West State has resulted in a high influx of displaced families in Baidoa town. This project has come at a time when the community is in critical need of support,” said Mohamed Hassan Faqi, Somalia’s Minister for Agriculture and Irrigation.

“Providing displaced families and their host communities clean and safe water is one of the priorities established by Somalia’s Federal Government, and regional state authorities, and humanitarian actors, as it contributes towards emergency response, early recovery and community stabilization in the region. The drought still exists and the South West State authorities appeal to the international humanitarian organizations to continue assist drought affected people to avert famine,” added Faqi.

“Access to Food and safe clean Water is a major challenge not only for the displaced persons but also for the whole community living in Baidoa, Dollow and surrounding areas,” said Omar Khayre, IOM Water Sanitation and Hygiene Programme Manager. The project’s objectives are aligned to the Federal Government’s priorities, the Humanitarian Response Plan and priorities set by the WASH and Food Security clusters to prevent famine.

 “As the people in Baidoa and Dollow towns have increased drastically by 40 to 50 per cent, the current basic services provided by humanitarian agencies cannot meet the needs of vulnerable persons. The project will contribute towards covering the critical immediate needs for relief assistance especially the pressing need for water and food,” said Khayre.

Since January 2017, IOM has provided conditional and unconditional food and water to the drought affected persons in Somalia. Over 200 million litres of clean and safe water to approximately 570,000 people across its target regions through a water voucher mechanism. IOM is also conducting intensive hygiene and sanitation promotion activities among at-risk communities, having reached an estimated 563,000 people with behavioral change messages between January and October 2017.

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


Language English Posted: Friday, November 17, 2017 - 16:02Image: Region-Country: SomaliaDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff assess the needs of the community as they queue for food vouchers. Photo: Abdi A. Salah/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Officials from IOM, AfDB and the government engage in discussions at the launch of the emergency response project. Photo: Hared Hassan/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Communities queuing for food vouchers. Photo: Abdi A. Salah/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM to Assist 1,600 Families Affected by Hurricane Irma in Cuba

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 09:52

Cuba – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, will assist approximately 1,600 families in the hardest hit municipalities by Hurricane Irma in the Villa Clara province, Cuba, delivering mattress and bed sheet sets.

The containers with the donated materials arrived on 23 October at Mariel port, in western Cuba and were transported to Villa Clara by train. It is expected that support will reach the beneficiaries in the coming days.

“The Cuban government provided precise information on the damages for each municipality in the country, which facilitates the task of determining both the amount and the destination of the materials. This IOM donation complements the recovery response from the national authorities to the housing needs,” said Sonia Karakadze, IOM Liaison Officer in Cuba.

Karakadze also explained that together with local authorities, she could verify the proper management of the containers, check the security seals, participate in the reception-storage-distribution process and receive accurate information about the destination of the donation. In addition, citizens collaborated in discharging and storing the humanitarian relief shipping.

Additionally, a container with 250-litre water tanks also arrived at Mariel port, which will be distributed in the province of Guantanamo, hit by Hurricane Matthew back in 2016.

Before, during and after the hurricanes, IOM has continued its close coordination with the Ministry of Trade and Foreign Investment (MINCEX) and the United Nations system to provide assistance to the most affected provinces and municipalities without duplicating efforts. 

Due to the severe damage caused by Hurricane Irma, Ambassador William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General, approved a donation of USD 100,000 of IOM funds to collaborate with the Government of Cuba in the process of emergency response and early recovery.

At the same time, IOM Cuba and IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean are now working in the mobilization of new resources aiming to improve the quality of life of the population who saw their homes severely damaged or destroyed.

According to data of the National Defense Council, 158,000 of the houses have been affected to some degree; 14,657 have sustained severe damage and 16,646 partial damage; 23,560 lost their roofs, while more than 103,000 saw their façade damaged. 

For more information, please contact Sonia Karakadze at IOM Cuba, Email:, Tel: +53 724 1512


Language English Posted: Friday, November 17, 2017 - 16:01Image: Region-Country: CubaDefault: Multimedia: 

The containers with the donated materials arrived on October 23 at Mariel port located in western Cuba and they were transported to Villa Clara by train.  Photo: UN Migration Agency 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

West African Countries Raise Awareness on Risks of Irregular Migration among Children, Youth

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 09:51
Language English

Kolda, Mamou – The UN Migration Agency, in collaboration with UNICEF and local actors and with support of the Swedish government, is organizing sensitization activities on the risks associated to child migration in several countries.

In Senegal and Guinea, a team of animators and volunteers visited schools in key regions of origin and transit: Kolda and Mamou respectively. The sensitization campaign was done through local community workshops, radio spots, poems, football, returnees’ testimonies, theatre and music; and the distribution of schoolbooks, posters, informative flyers and leaflets.

West and Central African regions are characterized by a long history of intra and extra regional migration. Youth and child migration is rooted in the culture and linked to traditional practices like the confiage (the practice of handing over one’s child to a relative) and Koranic education.

Children move for different reasons, but when unaccompanied or separated, they are particularly vulnerable and often lack adequate protection. Countries like Senegal and Guinea see a lot of their children and youth leaving in search of better opportunities abroad.

IOM, with the support of the Swedish Government, is organizing a series of sensitization activities in important cities of origin and transit. The main objective is to inform migrant children and youth about the risks they may face along migration routes, to prevent cases of abuse and exploitation and to inform on the services available in countries of origin, transit and destination.

Local authorities in Mamou, Guinea joined IOM in the diffusion of radio spots and the organisation of participative focus groups, poems, movie screening and school visits. When asked if she knew what the desert is, Khadiatou, a 10-year-old student at Ecole Centrale de Mamou, said: “In the desert, there are people who do not like us.”

Key partners were also invited to take part in a radio show, recorded on the local radio. They all emphasized the importance of awareness raising and had the opportunity to inform the public about services available in their community. Thierno Ousmane Sow, representative of the African Movement of Working Children and Youth (AMWCY) in Mamou, said returnees are key messengers. “The ones who went can better raise awareness than the ones who did not,” Sow concluded.

The Comité Departemental de Protection de l’Enfance (CDPE) in Kolda, Senegal and the orphanage ‘La joie des orphelins’ organized six school visits to inform the children on the risks of irregular migration. Through theatre, music and a questionnaire, children were invited to express their experiences with migration and their dreams. Twenty-nine volunteers distributed flyers, posters, t-shirts and hats, and responded to their questions.

Samba Di Samria Diao, director of the orphanage in Kolda is positive: “As I am an orphan myself, I see it as a moral duty to inform the youth about the importance of education and the risks of irregular migration. If you have the chance to study, you should take it with both hands.” Diao added, “There is so much potential here in the region of Kolda. Raising awareness is the first step. Developing their capacities and making them benefit from it is the next step.”

Kadiatou Diallo, a 15-year-old from the region of Kolda realises she needs education to fulfil her dream: “I want to be a journalist but for that I need to speak more languages. Once I have finished high school I want to go to France and try to learn new languages.”

The activities are part of the project Protecting Migrant Children in West and Central Africa, funded by the Government of Sweden and implemented by IOM in close cooperation with UNICEF.

The project also includes a series of 13 trainings to reinforce members of the Government and Civil Society’s capacities to provide direct assistance to migrant children and to ensure their rights are respected.

Trainings are taking place in eight countries (Cabo Verde, Mauritania, Ghana, Senegal, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, the Gambia and Mali) over six months, ending in December.

For more information please contact: Tijs Magagi Hoornaert on or +221 784 600 619

Posted: Friday, November 17, 2017 - 16:00Image: Region-Country: SenegalDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Somalia Facilitates Community Dialogue on Trafficking and Smuggling

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 09:50

Hargeisa/Mogadishu – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, conducted a training session for 34 members of the Human Trafficking Development Agency (HAKAD), the Ministry of Information, internally displaced persons (IDP) committees and local councilors on community dialogue. The sessions were conducted in Hargeisa and Mogadishu with support from the Government of Japan.

The participants were trained on basic concepts of trafficking and smuggling and facilitation of community dialogue and conversation. The youth were among those selected for the training to encourage peer-to-peer dialogue within their respective locations. Government officials in charge of conducting the community dialogue were also selected for the training. Dialogue on trafficking and smuggling enables humane and orderly migration by creating awareness on the possible outcomes and realities of irregular migration.

IOM is committed to the principle that migrants require adequate information to make informed decisions on migration. For this reason, the community dialogue focuses on grassroots and village-based interventions.

The training utilized tools and methodologies that encouraged participants to freely explain their experiences in relation to human trafficking and irregular migration. Participants utilized focus group discussions, brainstorming sessions, presentations and videos depicting possible consequences and outcomes of irregular migration.

By using these tools, the participants explored and listed down specific reasons for the push and pull factors of irregular migration in their areas of origin. Participants discussed these factors, as well as government policies and strategies to address irregular migration.

The final outcome of the training was the establishment of community conversation groups who will coordinate activities with the local government.

“We are delighted to engage with IOM on activities that matter to the community most, this training will help volunteers to inform and raise awareness on human trafficking and smuggling, hence reducing irregular movement,” said Nuur Said Tahlil from the Ministry of Information.

 For more information, please contact Solomon Tagel, IOM Somalia, Tel: 00 254 712 835 079, Email:  

Language English Posted: Friday, November 17, 2017 - 15:59Image: Region-Country: SomaliaDefault: Multimedia: 

Some of the participants who were trained on basic concepts of trafficking and smuggling and facilitation of community dialogue and conversation.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Central American Officials Debate Regional Migration Policies, Migrant Smuggling

Fri, 11/17/2017 - 09:50

Guatemala – To analyze progress and challenges of human mobility in the region, specifically in the areas of migrants smuggling and migration policies, government authorities of nine countries this week (15-16/11), gathered in the city of Guatemala for the 45th meeting of the Central American Commission of Migration Directors (OCAM). IOM, the UN Migration Agency, as technical secretariat for OCAM, facilitated the organization of the meeting.

The assembly was an opportunity to discuss the updating of a Comprehensive Regional Migration Policy. Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, stated the upgrade included guidelines on protection and assistance to respond to migration crisis.

Pisani added, “It complements the existing guidelines which will become a road map for the countries of the region. We hope this Regional Migration Policy to be approved during the Summit of Presidents at the end of the year.”

Jorge Peraza, IOM Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, who also represents the OCAM Technical Secretariat, said, “One of the main topics during this meeting was the incorporation of a new axis to the Comprehensive Regional Migration Policy, to coordinate both national and regional response in situations of crisis and to strengthen humanitarian assistance.”

The OCAM was created in San José, Costa Rica, in 1990 per request of Central American Presidents through the Central American Plan of Economic Action (PAECA). OCAM responds to the need for a regional mechanism for coordination, consultation and concertation to address the migration phenomenon; this resulted from the Central American Integration System (SICA).  

The meeting was officially inaugurated by the Vice-President of Guatemala, Jafeth Cabrera; the event was also attended by the OCAM Pro Tempore President and General Director of Migration of Guatemala, Carlos Morales, and the Secretary General of the Economic Integration Secretariat of Central America (SIECA), Melvin Redondo. General directors of migration, assistant directors and technical delegates from Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic and Panama also attended the meeting. Mexico participated as an observer country together with delegates from the United States as special guests.

IOM serves as the technical secretariat for OCAM since 1999 and provides advice as well as technical cooperation to Member States for the improvement of migration management in the region.

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:

Language English Posted: Friday, November 17, 2017 - 15:58Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaDefault: Multimedia: 

The First Lady of Guatemala, Patricia Morales, closed the 45th meeting of the OCAM. Photo: Melissa Vega / IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Deputy Director General Attends Conference on Sustainable Eradication of Child Labour

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 06:22

Buenos Aires – IOM Deputy Director General, Ambassador Laura Thompson yesterday (15/11) participated in the 4th Global Conference on the Sustainable Eradication of Child Labour in Buenos Aires, where she spoke on the High-Level Panel From Work Without a Future to a Future of Decent Work – SDG 8.7 and Beyond.

The conference – which seeks to help strengthen global efforts to eradicate all forms of child labour by the year 2025, as required by the Target 8.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) – is focussed on the sustained eradication of child labour and the elimination of forced labour, modern slavery and human trafficking, amongst others.

Ambassador Thompson was joined on the panel by Guy Ryder, Director General of the ILO; Kailash Satyarth, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Linda Kromjong, Secretary General of the International Organization of Employers (IOE); Franciso Martinez, ADECCO Group CEO in Argentina; Christy Hoffman, Deputy General Secretary of UNI Global Union and Khouloud Mannai, a young Tunisian activist.

“A world without child labour and without forced labour is where we have to start from,” said Ambassador Thompson.

She added, “We are looking for a world where people can move around and skills drive markets, not administrative measures. Circulation of human beings continues to be a problem and if we don’t really create a world where people can move around and get to use the best of their skills, we will continue having a restrictive world that doesn’t fit with today’s realities.”

“We need inclusive societies which give women the possibility to access what men can access today. We don’t need to empower women, women are powerful, we just need to give them access to opportunities,” said Ambassador Thompson.  [Watch video].

In Buenos Aires, Ambassador Thompson met Guillermo Daniel Raimondi, Argentina’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs to discuss the country’s steps towards the adoption of the Global Compact on Migration (GCM). She also held meetings also with Claudio Avruj, National Secretary of Human Rights and Cultural Pluralism, and Horacio García, National Director for Migration.

The conference, which ends today (16/11), is organized by Argentina’s Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security, in collaboration with the International Labour Organization (ILO). Delegates from the United Nations Member States and organizations of employers and workers from 193 countries also attended the event.

In parallel, IOM is participating in two side events at the conference, where IOM Specialists Mathieu Luciano from IOM HQ and Agueda Marín from IOM South America will talk about the importance of reliable data on victims, as well as the role of the GCM in tackling child labour.

For more information, please contact Débora Taicz, Email:, Tel: + 54 11 4815 1035.


Language English Posted: Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 13:20Image: Region-Country: ArgentinaDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson (centre) with other panelists at the Conference on Sustainable Eradication of Child Labour in Buenos Aires, yesterday (15/11). Photo: UN Migration Agency

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Director General Attends UN Climate Change Conference

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 06:17

Bonn – UN Migration Director General William Lacy Swing yesterday (15/11) participated in the high-level segment of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, alongside Heads of State and other dignitaries.

Speaking at the event UN Coherence: Low-Emission and Climate Resilient Development at National Level, organized by the COP Presidency, DG Swing said, “Contemporary migration policy and practice can no longer be shaped as ten or even five years ago – this is because we cannot afford to ignore the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation on migration.”

He added, “I do believe that the global compact for safe, regular and orderly migration, that will be negotiated next year in New York, is our historical opportunity to ensure that climate change drivers of migration are considered in the global governance of migration.”

In Bonn, DG Swing also met with Environment Ministers from Gambia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Chad to discuss migrant reintegration and land rehabilitation. The meeting was convened by Monique Barbut, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and co- chaired by Batio Bassiere, Minister of Environment of Burkina Faso.

Also discussed was the concept of ‘green returns’, a new approach toward assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) programmes that proposes job opportunities for returnees linked to climate adaptation. IOM launched and actively promotes green returns and will develop related Guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures through a project funded by France, and in collaboration with UNCCD.

Two years after the Paris Agreement was signed, this year’s conference gathers leaders of national governments, cities, states, business, investors, NGOs and civil society to speed up climate action to meet the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The COP is organized by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The Conference also provides as an opportunity for IOM to assert its objectives regarding the relationship between the environment, climate change and migration. It is also an opportunity to share examples of how policy work comes into action at the national level, namely:

Successful national climate mitigation and adaptation measures allow people to remain in their homes;
Humanitarian responses protect people displaced by the adverse impacts of climate change;
Migrants can reintegrate back home with sustainable green jobs, while diaspora communities transfer technology and skills into climate projects in their countries of origin.
Countries can adopt migration policies that offer regular and dignified migration options, in response to the adverse impacts of climate change.

For more information, please contact IOM HQ:

Dina Ionesco, IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 859 19 17, Email:

Mariam Traore Chazalnoel, IOM NY, Tel: +1 929 343 6001, Email:

Jorge Galindo, IOM HQ, Tel: +41227179205, Email:




Language English Posted: Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 13:11Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 

An elderly man poses on one of the atolls of the Carteret islands where IOM has assessed how locals’ lives are being affected by climate change and how well they are adapting to the changing landscape.  Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM)/Muse Mohammed 2016

IOM Director General attends meeting with African Ministers of Environment in Bonn. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Warns of Trafficking, Labour Exploitation, Sexual Abuse of Rohingya Refugees

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:45

Cox’s Bazar – Human trafficking and exploitation are rife among Rohingya refugees who have fled Myanmar to seek safety in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, according to interviews and community focus groups conducted in the district’s makeshift settlements by IOM, the UN Migration Agency.

Over 617,000 Rohingya refugees have settled in Cox’s Bazar since 25 August, but exploitation of the Rohingya population in the district has been occurring since well before this most recent influx of people.


IOM has identified cases reported by Rohingya refugees who have lived in Bangladesh for years, by those who arrived within the past few years, and by those who have arrived since August. Some people had only been in the country for a few weeks before they were targeted.

Desperate men, women and children are being recruited with false offers of paid work in various industries including fishing, small commerce, begging and, in the case of girls, domestic work.

With almost no alternative source of income, the refugees are willing to take whatever opportunities they are presented with, even ones that are risky, dangerous and that involve their children.

Once they start the job, they usually find that they are not paid what was promised. They are often deprived of sleep, made to work more hours than was agreed, not allowed to leave their work premises and not allowed to contact their family. Women and girls are often physically or sexually abused.

Some report being forced into jobs which they never agreed to do. In one case, a number of adolescent girls, who were promised work as domestic helpers in Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong, were forced into prostitution. Others reported being brought to locations different from the agreed destination.

In one case, a woman reportedly went to work for a family and was brought back to the settlements dead. The family of the victim received a settlement from the employers.

Many of the recruiters are Bangladeshi, while some are Rohingya, and many were established in the area prior to the most recent influx. The number of criminals and trafficking rings operating in the district has expanded with the population.

The abuse mainly occurs in neighbourhoods surrounding the settlements, but recruiters are also taking people to places as far away as Cox’s Bazar city, Chittagong and Dhaka.

IOM is also aware of cases where Rohingya have been trafficked to outside Bangladesh, and is assisting the victims. Most of the trafficking is taking place inside the country, which follows the pattern of trafficking globally.

Forced and early marriages are also taking place among the Rohingya population. For many families, it is a coping mechanism that offers protection and economic advancement for young Rohingya women and girls.

“Understanding the scope of human trafficking is difficult in most settings due to the hidden nature of the crime,” said Kateryna Ardanyan, an IOM counter-trafficking expert currently deployed in Cox's Bazar.

“In the chaos of a crisis like this, trafficking is usually invisible at first, as there are so many other urgent needs like food and shelter. But agencies responding to this crisis should not wait until the number of identified victims increases. Rohingya refugees need preventative and proactive action now to mitigate risks of human trafficking, and the survivors need help, before this spirals out of control,” she added.

 For more information please contact Olivia Headon at IOM Cox’s Bazar. Tel: +8801733335221, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 15:23Image: Region-Country: BangladeshDefault: Multimedia: 

Nearly half a million Rohingya refugees sheltering in Kutupalong makeshift settlement are at risk from exploitation and human trafficking. Photo: Muse Mohammed / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Iraq Provides Medical Assistance to Earthquake-Affected Families

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:43

Sulaymaniyah – On Monday, 13 November an IOM Iraq Mobile Medical Team arrived in Kani Bardina village, Warmawa district, to provide medical assistance to families, following an earthquake of 7.3 on the Richter scale the previous evening, which struck 32 kilometres from the city of Halabja in the governorate of Sulaymaniyah, Iraq.

Approximately half of the 40 homes in Kani Bardina village were damaged or destroyed in the earthquake.

The IOM Mobile Medical Team is providing assistance in response to a request from the Joint Crisis Coordination Centre of the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq, for medical support in the area to assist those who were injured in the earthquake. The team is receiving guidance from local health authorities.

In Kani Bardina, the Team provided primary health consultations for adults and children, and tests, treatment and medication for chronic diseases such as diabetes and asthma. The few cases needing further treatment were referred to Sulaymaniyah hospital and to Halabja hospital – which was also damaged in the earthquake.

The IOM Mobile Medical Team visited Halabja Hospital, which during the earthquake sustained damage to the ceiling, floor, and walls, with blocks falling onto empty hospital beds. The hospital’s director Dr. Ranj Zangana explained that throughout yesterday they continued to provide services for visiting patients, but those who needed longer-term care were transferred or referred to Sulaymaniyah hospital.

In Kani Bardina village following the earthquake, many residents focused on cleaning up their homes and yards, and improving their temporary shelters.

The IOM Mobile Medical Team spoke with and provided medical support to Jamil, 58 years old, and his family. He said: “All my family was sleeping when the earthquake hit. We did not get out of our house fast enough and then we could not open the doors, which were damaged in the earthquake, so my wife and I helped our five children to climb out the window, and then we climbed out ourselves.

“Our house has many cracks in the walls, it is not safe to stay inside. The shelter we had for our animals collapsed – we have lost seven of our sheep and a few of the other sheep have serious injuries. We are now living in a tent in our garden, which we used for planting vegetables. We need to stay close to our house because we cannot leave the remaining animals alone; we depend on them for income."

Jamil added, “Today we received medical check-ups from IOM. My wife received treatment for her blood pressure; it was too high because of the earthquake. We hope to receive help to repair our house before the winter season begins.”

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 15:22Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

Families in Kani Bardina village, Sulaymaniyah governorate, receive health check-ups and assistance from IOM Iraq Mobile Medical team, following an earthquake on the evening 12 November. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Families in Kani Bardina village, Sulaymaniyah governorate, receive health check-ups and assistance from IOM Iraq Mobile Medical team, following an earthquake on the evening 12 November. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 157,020 in 2017; Deaths Reach 2,966

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:41

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 157,020 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 12 November, with about 75 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 341,215 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

IOM Rome reported Monday (13 November) Italy’s Ministry of Interior has registered 114,606 migrants arriving by sea so far, this year, which is down from 164,872 at this time in 2016. That is a 30.5 per cent drop-off over last year’s totals at this time.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday (13/11) total sea arrivals had topped 16,000, including 418 registered during the past weekend:  276 on Saturday and 142 on Sunday. She said the main ports of arrivals were Almeria, Tarifa, Malaga, Motril, Barbate and Algeciras.

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported Monday (13/11) of at least three incidents this weekend off the island of Lesvos that required search and rescue operations. The Hellenic Coast Guard rescued 148 migrants and transferred them to safety.

Almost 14,000 (13,932) men, women and children have entered Greece by sea from the waters of the Eastern Mediterranean since 1 August, or more migrants than entered during all of 2017’s first seven months. Namia further reported that more than 1,500 migrants or refugees entered Greece by sea through November’s first 11 days, bringing migrant sea arrivals to Greek territory to 25,337 for the year so far (See chart below). 


IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported Monday (13 November) the remains of two bodies were discovered by locals onshore at Al Maya, west of Tripoli, on 12 November. These latest fatalities are not part of the 2,966-figure cited above.
IOM’s Missing Migrants Project reported the remains of three children were recovered over the last few days in the same area near Mantamados, on the north-eastern coast of Lesvos, Greece. In the Western Mediterranean, the remains of two young men were recovered from a beach on 9 November near Tangiers, Morocco. These deaths bring the total of fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2017 to 2,966, a figure that compares with 4,329 at this same point last year.

IOM Cyprus’ Dimitrios Tsagalas reported new details of a boat arrival on 3 November with 176 migrants on board. The boat was spotted off Pyrgos in the Tylliria area in Paphos and was towed to Latchi harbour.

Initial media reports talked about 100 migrants; however, as IOM Cyprus confirmed with authorities, there were 176 people aboard: 175 Syrians and one Ethiopian. More specifically, there were 63 females (34 adults and 29 minors) and 113 men (83 adults and 30 minors), who travelled from Turkey to Cyprus. All migrants were transferred to Purnara Reception Centre.

With this incident, the total number of migrants who have arrived irregularly by boat in Cyprus is 1,028 people, or roughly three times 2016’s total of 345 migrants (through nine months).

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded the deaths of 5,014 people migrating in 2017 – or a daily average of 16 men, women and children per day this year.

In addition to five new deaths reported in the Mediterranean, MMP recorded the deaths of two young men on the US/Mexico border: on 5 November, one man drowned while attempting to cross the Río Bravo near Nuevo Laredo in Mexico. Another drowning in the Río Bravo was recorded near Reynosa on 9 November. In Central America, two South Asian migrants died in a vehicle accident near Malpaisillo in Nicaragua, near the border with Honduras.  Both were from India.

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on missing migrants are collected, click here.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic:
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:
Abby Dwommoh, IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 312 454 3048, Email:
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email:
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel:  +216 28 78 78 05, Mobile: +216 71 860 312 ext. 109, Email:


Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 15:21Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

2017 PLURAL+ Award Winners Announced at UN HQ

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:30

New York – On Thursday (09/11) the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) celebrated young filmmakers from around the world at the 2017 PLURAL+ International Youth Video Festival and Awards at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Ambassador William Lacy Swing, the Director General of IOM, the UN Migration Agency, described the PLURAL+ winners, in his opening remarks, as “powerful agents with great potential to address toxic migrants’ narrative in which migrants are seen often in a negative light.” He further elaborated that “[…] through PLURAL+, UNAOC and IOM sought to help to empower youth to deal with the challenges and the opportunities relative to migration through embracing diversity and social inclusion.”

The ceremony began with the screening of the PLURAL+2017 International Jury Awards Ceremony. The three videos focused on combatting hate speech (Eliminate Hate, Eliminate Borders, Mexico), the need to respect human rights regardless of gender (Aibek, Kazakhstan), and the importance of diversity (Child of All Nations, Indonesia).

This year, IOM and UNAOC presented for the first time, the Prevention of Xenophobia Award to The True Impact (Nepal) which provided an insight on the negative impacts of violence on humanity. These four videos were chosen for the top PLURAL+ prize from 320 videos from 67 countries worldwide.

PLURAL+ aims to foster dialogue, partnership and action on critical issues and opportunities faced by youth worldwide. The festival recognizes youth as powerful agents of social change, and supports cooperative efforts to reduce tension in a world too often characterized by conflict and division. The winning videos focus on migration, diversity, social inclusion and prevention of xenophobia. Since its launch in 2009, PLURAL+ has received nearly 1,500 video submissions from around the world.

This year, the awards ceremony was hosted by Ahmed Badr, a young writer, poet, social entrepreneur and former refugee from Iraq.

PLURAL+ partners including the “I am a migrant” campaign, TOGETHER initiative, and UN Video contributed to the success of the festival. Alison Smale, the Under Secretary-General for Global Communication presented the recipients of the TOGETHER initiative and UN Video awards.

Commending the PLURAL+ videos, Smale stated that “Movies, more than words and speeches, are capable of shaking people’s consciousness.” Addressing the young media makers, she mentioned that “No generation than your generation would seem better placed to tell stories through films” given the rise of technology literacy in the world of today, and as young people “are more aware of how videos can successfully engage audience.”

Now that the winners have been announced, the videos will be distributed. You can watch all the 2017 winning videos on the PLURAL+ website:

Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, the UNAOC High Representative, closed the ceremony by encouraging young media makers to continue addressing issues on the UN agenda related to migration, diversity and prevention of xenophobia in their films.

On Friday (10 November), three panel discussions with PLURAL+ winners, all under the age of 25, in partnership with UNICEF/Voices of Youth and the Ghetto Film School were convened at the Paley Center for Media in New York. Young media makers from countries such as Mexico, Indonesia and Nepal discussed migration, diversity, and social inclusion.

You can watch the winning videos here:

Please direct further media requests and questions to the PLURAL+ team, Email:, Tel. +1 212 681 7000

For more information, please contact Rahma Gamil Soliman, IOM New York, Tel: +1 (212) 681 7000, Email:, and Jordi Torrent, UNAOC, Tel: +1 (929) 274 6217, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Migration and YouthDefault: Multimedia: 

 IOM, UNAOC, PLURAL+ winners and partners. Photo: Caroline Biazotto 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Contributes to Municipal Development in El Salvador

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:27

Usulután – Representatives from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, USAID, El Salvador’s Presidency and municipal Mayors of San Miguel, Usulután and Zacatecoluca today (14/11) launched the regeneration of public areas that will directly benefit 9,000 Salvadoran families, among them returned migrants.

The official events were attended by the Ambassador of the United States to El Salvador, Jean Manes; USAID’s Director, Peter Natiello; the Salvadoran Undersecretary of Governance, Antonio Morales; IOM Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Jorge Peraza-Breedy; the Municipal Mayor of Zacatecoluca, Francisco Hirezi; the Municipal Mayor of San Miguel, Miguel Pereira and the Acting Municipal Mayor of Usulután, Salvador Lovo.

The infrastructure works will promote community coexistence, provide leisure and recreation spaces, enhance social cohesion and community strengthening, with expectation that this will help prevent irregular migration and social violence.

“We are convinced that the challenges we tackle in the face of the discrimination suffered by returnees must be addressed from different angles. The generation of dignified environments in these communities, where returned and migrant populations can establish links that help them reintegrate, is one of those angles for which it becomes a priority for us. Therefore, we contribute to the creation of open, recreational and sports areas,” said Peraza-Breedy.

“We recognize that the community has many capacities to advocate, fight and work to make their projects a reality; and this place can help bring their ideas and initiatives to life, giving them a space to dialogue, to organize and to discuss the possibilities that are before you all,” said Ambassador Manes.

Some of the facilities being worked on include the municipal gymnasium and Juanita Guerrero Park in Usulután; the communal house of Colonia Santa Inés in San Miguel; community house of Colonia Buena Vista and soccer field at Hato Hasbún Sports Complex in Zacatecoluca.

In parallel, IOM is working closely with municipal governments and communities to ensure that infrastructure works respond to local development needs with a reintegration approach. For this reason, focus groups are being organized with women, relatives of migrants and returnees, adolescents and young people to define the processes to be applied for reincorporation. Based on these findings, training will be provided to strengthen knowledge of migration and reintegration.

With construction in these three departments, a total of 85 communities will benefit directly with an investment of almost USD 500,000 under the framework of the Return and Reintegration in the Northern Triangle of Central America project, implemented by IOM with USAID funds and contributions from municipal governments.

IOM works closely with municipalities and communities that have high rates of returnees and have been identified as priorities by the government through the El Salvador Seguro Plan.

According to data from the General Directorate of Immigration and Foreign Affairs (DGME), between January and September of 2017, San Miguel received 1,058 returnees, making it the municipality with the highest number of returns nationwide so far, this year. Meanwhile, Usulután received 558, which positioned it in fourth place, and Zacatecoluca welcomed 274 returning migrants.

For more information, please contact IOM El Salvador: José Miguel Gómez, Tel: +50325210500, Email:  or Alba Miriam Amaya, Tel: +50325210500, Email:


Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 15:19Image: Region-Country: El SalvadorThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationCommunity StabilizationDefault: Multimedia: 

Representatives from IOM inaugurated this week a series of public areas destined to the generation of reintegration and local development. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Opens Recreational and Counselling Centre for Refugees, Host Communities in Lebanon

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:23

Beirut – IOM, the UN Migration Agency last week (07/11) opened Al Multaqa – Meeting Space, a centre for community building and psychosocial support in Baysariyah, Lebanon, in cooperation with the Lebanese Ministry of Social Affairs and the municipality of Baysariyah. The centre is funded by the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and addresses the psychosocial needs of both Syrian refugees and Lebanese host communities.

Al-Multaqa provides a range of recreational and psychosocial support activities, including dialogues and discussions, awareness raising sessions, cultural, educational and livelihood initiatives, and psychological counselling with an aim to improve integration and resilience building. Activities target different groups of beneficiaries including children, youth, women and elderly.

“Al-Multaqa is an important milestone in IOM’s activities in Lebanon supporting both Syrian and host communities,” says Fawzi Al-Zioud, IOM Lebanon Head of Office. “It aims to target 20,000 beneficiaries over the next 12 months,” he added.

“The centre is a space of togetherness,” said Guglielmo Schinina, IOM Head of Mental Health, Psychosocial Response and Intercultural Communication. “Migrants, refugees and host communities are all people with a same core of fears, needs, and personal and emotional resources. More than five years after the crisis started, it is important not to consider this an emergency any more but to create spaces where all parts of these new communities can meet and relate, and overcome their problems based on their shared resources.”

Today, the village of Baysariyah hosts 18,000 inhabitants, of which 5,000 are citizens of the village; 5,000 are Lebanese citizens internally displaced, and around 8,000 are Syrian refugees. In the last decade, the exponential growth of the village’s population – the number of inhabitants had tripled – caused tensions to rise, and the host community to struggle in assimilating the new arrivals.

“We are confident that Al-Multaqa Center can become a landmark for Baysariyah’s community,” says Antonio Bottone, programme officer of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation.

Hiam Abd Alnabi, representative of the director general of the Ministry of Social Affairs confirmed that the space is for everyone. “It will help build the capacity and resilience of different groups, namely children, women and the elderly and will indeed strengthen social cohesion between Syrians and Lebanese.”

Al-Multaqa’s opening event was attended by representatives from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, IOM, the Ministry of Social Affairs, UN agencies, NGOs and a cheerful crowd of Lebanese and Syrian women and children, who attended performances organized by IOM staff, Clown Me In – a theatre company, and the children involved in the activities of the centres.

For more information, please contact Narsis Armani, IOM Lebanon, Tel: +961 1 841 701, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 15:18Image: Region-Country: LebanonThemes: Migration HealthRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Al-Multaqa’s opening event was attended by representatives from the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, IOM, the Ministry of Social Affairs, and UN agencies. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

The “Al Multaqa - Meeting Space” inauguration was attended by a cheerful crowd of Lebanese and Syrian women and children.  Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Trains Frontline Immigration Officials in Somalia

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 08:23

Mogadishu – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in partnership with the Immigration and Naturalization Directorate of Somalia (IND), recently (02/11) launched on-the-job training in Basic English Language and Customer Care targeting frontline immigration officers stationed at all the Points of Entry in Somalia. The training will run for six months and will target 70 officers.

“Front office staff at the IND are like a mirror of the nation to local and international visitors. The first impression is the last impression. My expectation of staff attending this course is enhanced professional discharge of their respective duties to match world standards,” said Col. Mohammed Adam Jimcale (Kofi), Director General of IND.

“To achieve effectiveness in service delivery, it is important to equip employees with the right knowledge, attitude and skills especially in communication and customer service,” said Abdi Canshur, Minister for Posts, Communications and Technology, speaking at the launch.

This intervention will help bolster stronger, well-organized and effective service delivery for better response to the needs of migrants.

More than 40,000 mixed migrants arrive in, depart and transit through Somalia daily, and will greatly benefit from improved service delivery at the more than 18 points of entry across the country.

IOM supports institutional development through staff capacity building by addressing both human and operational capacity gaps. In Somalia, this includes training, provision of uniforms and creation of a streamlined human resources policy. IOM has also been upgrading the infrastructure of border offices across Somalia.

For more information please contact IOM Somalia, Nyssa Rubinsztajn, Tel: +254 795 752 621, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, November 14, 2017 - 15:17Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Col. Mohammed Adam Jimcale (Kofi), the Director General of the Immigration and Naturalization Directorate of Somalia. Photo: Somali National News Agency 2017

Somalia Government immigration staff at the launch of IOM’s Basic English and Customer Care training. Photo: Somali National News Agency 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Movies on Migration from Around the World – Countdown to the 2017 Global Migration Film Festival Begins

Mon, 11/13/2017 - 05:00

Geneva – From Guyana to the Philippines, filmmakers from around the globe will showcase their vision at the Global Migration Film Festival. Organized by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, the festival will take place in over 100 countries from 5 to 18 December 2017.

The second edition of the annual Festival will explore the challenges and promises of migration, the heterogenous journey of migrants, moving from one location to another, settling for temporary or permanent periods, in search for a better future and economic prosperity, reuniting with loved ones, or fleeing war and despair.

Films have the power to show different facets of life, through which viewers may cultivate deeper empathy for migrants and a better understanding of their realities, needs, perspectives and capacities. The objective of the Festival is to use films as educational tools that influence perceptions towards migrants bringing attention to social issues.

The opening movie of the festival in Geneva, Lost in Lebanon, delves into the news reports on the Syrian war and gives an intimate look at how four Syrians in Lebanon are trying to find ways to overcome the torment of their shattered lives.

One of the protagonists of the opening film, Mwafak, was invited to create the award statue for the Festival that will be collected and delivered by DHL, one of the partners of the Festival.

Mwafak describes the statue as “a human, female figure standing upright, portraying an optimistic gesture. The woman, stands as a symbol of harmonic life and consistent peace. She looks up to the sky, into the future. Her hair and cape wave softly in the wind. The breeze can be at the same time a challenge and her chance to fly and feel light. The material, bronze, with its warm color gives the sculpture a feeling of both strength and warmth.”

Explaining his choice for sculpting a woman, Mwafak says that “women represent hope – they are the ones who continue life as they give birth”, further adding that the women who endure the danger and strain of the migration journey are exceptionally strong and resilient.

Among others, the Festival will screen Sans Le Kosovo, in which the director and her father retrace his exile as a 19-year-old refugee from Kosovo in 1968. In Nowhere Man, a nameless refugee in Korea from Pakistan who does not appear onscreen, reminds us of all the refugees who have passed by us over the years. Over 30 movies in total will be screened worldwide.

Some of the filmmakers participating in the Festival have migrated at a certain point in their lives, and will put forth their talent, experiences and vision through movies spanning across all genres. Most of the screenings will be followed by a discussion panel consisting of filmmakers, migrants and other guests.

A committee of international film professionals and migration specialists will select three standout productions from the Emerging Filmmakers category and one standout production from the Professional Filmmakers category. Each winner will receive USD 1,500. The award ceremony will take place on 18 December in Les Cinémas du Grütli, Geneva.

The Global Migration Film Festival is not only spreading migration stories around the globe to inform, inspire, educate and transform, but it is also bringing the skills of storytelling through filmmaking, to vulnerable communities. With the support of IOM Development Fund (IDF) and Norcap, Participatory Video workshops took place in Amman, Jordan and Malakal, South Sudan.

During the five-day process, the youth groups created their own films. The participatory process empowers the participants. From the decision of the subject to the editing, every step was conducted by the group with the support of the facilitators.

The Global Migration Film Festival is a partner of Plural+, a youth-produced video festival, and the UN campaign, TOGETHER, which aims to change negative perceptions and attitudes towards refugees and migrants.

For more information, please contact IOM HQ:

Leonard Doyle, Tel: + 41 22 717 9589, Email:

Amanda Nero, Tel: +41 22 717 9111, Email:



Language English Posted: Monday, November 13, 2017 - 11:55Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Hostile Terrain Slows Delivery of Lifesaving Aid to Rohingya Refugees

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 11:28

Cox’s Bazar – Since 25 August, an estimated 613,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, fleeing violence in Myanmar. The total refugee population in the area is now over 826,000.

The makeshift sites where the Rohingyas have settled are desperately overcrowded and located on inhospitable, hilly terrain with insufficient drainage and little or no road access. The few roads that exist are impossibly congested, making it extremely difficult to reach refugees with the support and services they need.

In the Kutupalong – Balukhali Expansion Site, which is now home to an estimated 423,000 refugees, and where IOM, the UN Migration Agency is responsible for coordinating site management, many areas are extremely difficult to access.

People hike for hours under the scorching sun, often carrying heavy loads from distribution points, to reach their shelters. Steep hills and dangerous paths mean that children, the elderly and people with disabilities are often unable to move around the site.

In October, IOM built some 850 metres of road into Balukhali to enable humanitarian agencies to deliver lifesaving assistance to at least 50,000 refugees. “The road has vastly improved access for both refugees and humanitarian actors,” said IOM Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Project Officer Stephen Waswa Otieno.

“Contractors can now deliver materials inside the site, which has allowed us to build new, essential infrastructure. For example, one of our partners has just built a new distribution centre, bringing aid much closer to the families who need it,” he notes.

IOM is currently working on six other road projects, providing more access from main roads outside the sites, and inside the sites. It is also building five bridges, which will allow people and vehicles to cross canals and streams in different parts of the sites, which currently make access impossible.

IOM is also working to mitigate the threat of landslides on the newly de-forested land where many of the shelters perch on steep hillsides. IOM teams have been distributing bags that the refugees can fill with soil and use to create retaining walls and steps. These can also be used to raise shelters off mud floors, helping to keep them dry, especially when flash floods occur.

For more information please contact Olivia Headon at IOM Cox’s Bazar. Tel: +8801733335221, Email:


Language English Posted: Friday, November 10, 2017 - 18:22Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

A Rohingya refugee arrives at Balukhali carrying all of his possessions. Once surveyed, he will be given materials to build a shelter and will hike to a less congested part of the site. Photo: Olivia Headon / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

A group of newly arrived Rohingya refugees hike up a steep hill to a less congested part of Balukhali to find space to build their shelters. Photo: Olivia Headon / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Much of Balukhali site, where Rohingya refugees are living, is extremely hostile, hilly terrain, which makes aid delivery difficult. Photo: Olivia Headon / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Relocates 698 Displaced Households from Unplanned Camp in CAR

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 11:22

Kaga Bandoro – This week IOM, the UN Migration Agency, completed the relocation of 698 internally displaced households from the impromptu camp that formed around MINUSCA’s (Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic) base following the 2016 attacks in Kaga Bandoro, Central African Republic (CAR). Over 20,000 people settled around the base after ex-Séléka members attacked the Evêché IDP camp, the Prefect’s office and the MINUSCA camp on 12 October 2016.

One of the blocs constituting the provisional camp borders an airstrip (Bloc One) and another (Bloc Nine) was near the fuel depot, exposing residents to health risks. Bloc One has also complicated the landing and take-off of planes, forcing humanitarian aviation operators to suspend flights. This gravely affected surrounding communities and humanitarian efforts by preventing the adequate implementation of programmes and the evacuation of serious medical cases.

“The dangerous position of Blocs One and Nine made it very clear to IOM and CAR’s humanitarian team that everyone must be urgently relocated to a safer location,” said IOM CAR Chief of Mission Dr. Jean-François Aguilera.

Following the visit of the Humanitarian Coordinator and the Ministry of Humanitarian Actions of Kaga Bandoro in August, it was recommended that all the IDPs be urgently relocated to new and safe nearby locations.

After numerous consultation sessions with residents of the camp, and in partnership with OCHA (United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the relocation of the first bloc started on Tuesday 17 October and finished on Wednesday 25 October. It involved 312 households, of which 15 returned to their old neighbourhood. The relocation of Bloc Nine began on Thursday, 26 October and finished on Friday, 3 November. This one included a total of 319 households, with one returning to its old neighbourhood. A last group of 67 households close to Bloc One were also relocated from Saturday, 4 November to Tuesday, 7 November.  

“The consultation sessions with the households allowed us to ensure that their particular needs are met and they are fully informed and consulted all along the process,” said Dr. Aguilera.

IOM assisted the 682 relocated households in transporting all their belongings, including huts and hangars, to new and safe locations. They also received a total of USD 30,103 (USD 44 per household), as well as non-food item kits. The 16 returning households were provided with return kits and assisted in the rehabilitation of their homes and the transportation of their belongings.

CAR is experiencing a resurgence of violence and faces the risk of a repeat of the devastating crisis that beset the country four years ago. The number of both internally displaced persons and refugees in neighbouring countries have dramatically increased over the past few months.

For more information, please contact Dr. Jean-François Aguilera at IOM CAR, Tel: + 236 72 18 7635, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, November 10, 2017 - 18:19Image: Region-Country: Central African RepublicThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Civilians on board trucks during a previous IOM relocation of internally displaced persons in the Central African Republic in 2014. Photo: IOM/Sandra Black 2014

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 155,856 in 2017; Deaths Reach 2,961

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 11:19

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 155,856 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 8 November, with just over 73 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder landing in Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 340,934 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

IOM Rome reported Thursday (9 November) that 114,411 migrants or refugees have landed in Italy after departing North Africa since the first of this year – which is a decline of over 30 per cent from the 164,822 arrivals to Italy along this route through 8 November 2016.

IOM Rome also released figures Thursday from Italy’s Ministry of Interior which show that through 31 October, Nigeria remains the largest sender of sea-borne migrants along the Central Mediterranean route, although its numbers appear to be falling, along with those from elsewhere in Sub Saharan Africa (see chart below).

The end-of-October figures show 17,462 Nigerians have been registered as arrivals in Italy since 1 January, almost twice the total from the second top sender, Guinea (Conakry), which registered 9,361 arrivals during those same ten months.

Nonetheless, the numbers arriving from both countries just in October, were smaller than usual: from Nigeria, just 362 men, women and children; from Guinea, just 144.  Similar numbers were reported from this year’s other leading senders. Bangladesh, with 8,896 arrivals this year, showed just 26 arrivals in October; Eritrea, with 5,739 for the entire year, registered just 28. The Gambia, with 5,691 for the year, registered only 42 new arrivals in October while neighbouring Senegal (5,786 for the year) reported only 170 in October.

Tunisia was the country that showed the most activity into Italy in October, with 2,733 new arrivals during the month, or more than all the arrivals (2,643) from Tunisia that landed between January and September (5,433). Moreover, Tunisians and Moroccans (320 arrivals) represented a slim majority of all arrivals to Italy for the month (5,979, see chart below).

With November’s arrival numbers showing an uptick through the first eight days of the month, the Tunisian surge appears to be something of an anomaly.

Other IOM figures released Thursday show just how dominant migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa have been along this corridor since the start of 2015.  According to composite figures released by IOM Rome, some 77,250 Nigerians have now arrived in Italy via sea over the past 34 months, or an average of almost 2,300 monthly. From Eritrea over the past 34 months, 65,619 migrants have arrived in Italy by sea. From the Gambia: 26,074; from Guinea: 25,504; from Cote d’Ivoire, 25,106; from Sudan: 24,111; from Somalia: 22,236 from Senegal: 22,094; from Mali: 22,576; from Bangladesh: 22,067; Syria 10,832 (see chart below).

In the Central Mediterranean on 6 November, a rubber boat carrying approximately 140 migrants capsized 30 nautical miles north of Tripoli, Libya. Both the Libyan Coast Guard and the NGO Sea Watch took part in a rescue operation, reporting at least five people had died, including one child.

While 58 people were rescued by Sea Watch, the Libyan Coast Guard intercepted 48 survivors – the reports of 140 migrants on the boat would indicate that an estimated 29 remain missing.

On 7 November in the Western Mediterranean, one migrant was found dead in a dinghy intercepted by the Moroccan Navy off Tangiers, Morocco. Missing Migrants Project (MMP) added one more death from an incident on 3 November in the Eastern Mediterranean, where IOM Greece confirmed three deaths and seven missing from an earlier report of six missing. These deaths bring the total of fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2017 to 2,961, compared with 4,303 through the same date in 2016.

IOM Athens’ Kelly Namia reported Thursday (09/11) of at least five incidents off the island of Lesvos that required search and rescue operations. The Hellenic Coast Guard managed to rescue the 158 migrants and transfer them to Lesvos.

Since 1 August, a total of 13,427 men, women and children have entered Greece by sea from waters of the Eastern Mediterranean. That is more migrants than entered during all of 2017’s first seven months. Namia further reported that just over 1,000 migrants or refugees entered Greece by sea during the first week of November, bringing migrant sea arrivals to Greek territory to 24,832 for the year so far (see chart below). 

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded the deaths of 5,005 people migrating in 2017 through 8 November. MMP noted that the 5,000 mark was reached last year on 26 August, and in 2015, on 20 October. Because of the way data was compiled in 2014, MMP’s first year, there is no way to determine on what date migrant deaths that year passed the 5,000 mark (see chart below).

As has been true most weeks since MMP began tracking migrant fatalities, the Mediterranean remains the most lethal migrant location. Additionally, three migrants died and three went missing this month after a boat capsized between the French island of Mayotte and Comoros Islands on 2 November.

MMP also received data from the Pima County Officer of the Medical Examiner regarding migrant deaths in Pima County, Arizona, for the month of October: the remains of six migrants who lost their lives crossing the US/Mexico border were recovered at different locations. Between January and October of this year, the remains of 117 migrants had been recovered in southern Arizona. The MMP team also received disaggregated data from the South Texas Human Rights Centre on migrant deaths in Brooks County, Texas: the remains of 44 people were retrieved this year in different ranches across the county.

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on missing migrants are collected, click here.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic:

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:
Abby Dwommoh, IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 312 454 3048, Email:
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email:
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel:  +216 28 78 78 05 (mobile) office: +216 71 860 312 EXT. 109  Email:


Language English Posted: Friday, November 10, 2017 - 18:02Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Supports Voluntary Humanitarian Return of 243 Guinean Migrants from Libya

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 11:02

Conakry - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, recently topped 10,000 rescued migrants repatriated from Libya under IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return programme. Since March 2015, when the return programme was launched, returns have taken place to 30 different countries with a total of 13,530 men, women and children returning home to their families.

It was around 2:30 am on Wednesday (08/11) when the flight chartered by IOM Libya touched down at Conakry-Gbessia International airport. Onboard were 243 Guinean migrants, including eight unaccompanied children and 10 women – one with four children.

Among the returnees, too, was a medical case that was directly transported to the hospital for medical follow up. This was the second November flight from Libya; on 1 November, 247 Guinean migrants returned to Conakry.

As with all charters of this type, IOM conducted pre-departure interviews, medical examinations and facilitated the acquisition of travel documents and issuance of exit visas for all passengers. The migrants of this flight were registered in Trig al Matar and Tajoura Detention Centres in the Tripoli region.

On hand to welcome them at the airport were the different teams comprising Government and non-Government officials: SENAH (National Service of Humanitarian Affairs), representatives of the Ministry of Guineans Abroad and the Ministry of Social actions, IOM, and the Guinean Red Cross.

Upon arrival at the Conakry airport, the returning migrants were provided with on-the-spot assistance which included the provision of food and water, as well as non-food items by IOM Guinea. The migrants were then registered and the questionnaires used will enable IOM to better understand the profile of the returnees, to learn more about the reasons of their departure, their migratory path and their living conditions in Libya to ensure the proper alignment of activities relating to their reintegration into their various communities.

Returning migrants residing in Conakry were able to return directly to their homes, while others from different parts of Guinea were accommodated for one night by SENAH at the Matam Transit Centre, from where they will be able to proceed to their final destinations.

After this registration exercise, IOM provided each migrant with the local equivalent of EUR 50 to take care of their immediate needs (including transport). Within the next three months, and as part of the programme Strengthening Governance of Migration and Supporting the Sustainable Reintegration of Migrants in the Republic of Guinea derived from the initiative of the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF), IOM will be assessing the returnees' situations on a case by case basis to help them find alternatives to ensure their sustainable reintegration in Guinea.

At the same time, IOM provides continuous psycho-social support to vulnerable migrants and, where necessary, any added support designed to address their immediate needs.

Seydou*, one of the returnees from N'zérékoré (in Forest Guinea Region), arrived with a hand injury, explaining that he was held by bandits in a private prison in Sabratha on the Libyan coast, west of Tripoli. When the camp was raided by government forces, he fled not knowing who was attacking. He fell, and a piece of wood perforated his hand.

After the transfer of liberated migrants to centres administered by the Libyan state in Tripoli, IOM cared for Seydou and took him to a hospital for surgery. Today he is recovering, thankful to be back in Guinea.

This latest flight was the ninth organized by IOM for Guinean migrants from Libya since early 2017. It adds to the returns from other countries (Benin, Cameroon, Egypt, Morocco and Niger, amongst others).

In total, since January this year, 2,682 Guinean migrants have returned to Guinea with IOM support. One hundred and thirty-five were children.

Strengthening the Governance of Migration and Supporting the Reintegration of Migrants in the Republic of Guinea is a joint initiative between IOM and the European Union Trust Fund. Launched in April 2017, it will be implemented over a period of three years and will cover six administrative regions of Guinea: Conakry, Boké, Mamou, Labé, Kankan and N'zérékoré.

As part of this project, IOM Guinea will assist returning migrants (depending on their profiles and needs), to create small businesses, to involve them in a collective and/or community entrepreneurial initiative or to enroll them into professional training programmes.

*The names of migrants have been changed to protect their privacy.

For more information please contact Lucas Chandellier, IOM Guinea, Tel. +224 628 33 86 53, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, November 10, 2017 - 17:57Image: Region-Country: GuineaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM, this week (08/11) assisted 243 Guinean migrants return home from Libya under its Voluntary Humanitarian Return programme. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Supports Return of Marawi Displaced in Southern Philippines After Conflict Ends

Fri, 11/10/2017 - 10:21

Marawi City – The Government of the Philippines, with support of IOM, the UN Migration Agency, last week (29/10) started returning thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) back to Marawi, on the southern island of Mindanao, after the end of clashes between government forces and armed groups.

As of 4 November, over 20,000 IDPs had been assisted to return to nine barangays (neighbourhoods). IOM has so far mobilized 20 vans daily for six days and distributed food and water to 18,000 of the returning IDPs. The process is expected to last up to six months.

There are 353,626 individuals or 77,175 families displaced from Marawi after conflict flared up on 23 May 2017 between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and ISIS-inspired Maute Group, prompting the Government to declare martial law in Mindanao.

From the onset of the conflict, IOM provided much needed humanitarian aid in the form of Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) support such as training for camp managers, local government units, NGOs and IDP leaders, tracking of needs inside the evacuation centres using the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) tool, setting up alternative dwelling spaces (ADS) to decongest evacuation centres and upgrading camp facilities.

In the months since the crisis, IOM has provided ADS, privacy partitions, multipurpose halls and CCCM welfare desks for 10 evacuation centres in the provinces of Lanao del Norte and Lanao del Sur. To strengthen camp management staff, IOM provided CCCM training to 145 camp managers and 160 IDP leaders, as well as 120 local government personnel.

IOM partnered with Maranao People Development Center, Ecosystems Work for Essential Benefits and Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology to implement the DTM. Using the information management tool, the needs, gaps and concerns were tracked for 87,408 IDPs – including 48,547 children and 45,919 women – settling in evacuation centres and home-based sites in five locations prioritized by IOM: Iligan City, Balo-i, Pantao Ragat, Pantar and Saguiaran.

Besides providing transportation for IDPs, IOM is working in close partnership with the Task Force Bangon Marawi, Department of Social Welfare and Development, AFP, and Local Government Units of Marawi and the five municipalities where IOM operates.

“After the declaration of Marawi’s liberation on 17 October 2017, IOM is now assisting the authorities to facilitate the return of the IDPs to their respective places of origin. The returns are being done in phases to facilitate an orderly and secured return of the IDPs,” said Conrad Navidad, IOM Philippines CCCM Programme Coordinator.

With the ongoing clearing operations by the military, the government identified the first nine barangays that IDPs can now return to, after they were cleared for unexploded ordnance. These are Matampay, Tampilong, Panggao Saduc, Datu Saber, Bo Green, Moriataw Luksadatu, Marawi Poblacion, East Basak and Basak Malutlut. These barangays experienced the least damage from the conflict, allowing IDPs to safely return.

The IOM Marawi response is funded by the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). Once the clearing operations are completed, especially in the main location affected by fighting and the transitional shelters for families living are constructed, all IDPs are expected to return by middle of next year.

For more information, please contact Conrado Navidad, IOM Philippines, Email: 


Language English Posted: Friday, November 10, 2017 - 17:13Image: Region-Country: PhilippinesThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

The Government of the Philippines, with the support of IOM, the UN Migration Agency starts returning thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) to Marawi, on the southern island of Mindanao, after the end of clashes between government forces and armed groups. Photo: Erika Sasy Lumanta / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

The Government of the Philippines, with support of IOM, the UN Migration Agency start returning thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) back to Marawi, on the southern island of Mindanao, after the end of clashes between government forces and armed groups. Photo: Erika Sasy Lumanta / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

The Government of the Philippines, with support of IOM, the UN Migration Agency start returning thousands of internally displaced persons (IDPs) back to Marawi, on the southern island of Mindanao, after the end of clashes between government forces and armed groups. Photo: Erika Sasy Lumanta / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN