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Updated: 2 hours 31 min ago

IOM Supports Ebola Prevention Measures Across East Africa, Enhances Response in DR Congo

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 10:30

Kinshasa – On 01 August, the tenth Ebola outbreak in 40 years was declared in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). IOM, the UN Migration Agency, immediately joined the Government-led response to the outbreak in DRC and began assessing and accelerating support in neighbouring countries.

The affected provinces of North Kivu and Ituri share land and water borders with Burundi, South Sudan, Rwanda and Uganda. These borders are areas of high population mobility with people frequently crossing back and forth between each country. As of March 2018, 735,000 Congolese refugees reside in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). IOM is taking a regional approach to its Ebola prevention and containment efforts, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) and relevant governments.

During the 2013-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, IOM developed the Health, Border and Mobility Management Framework (HBMM) for use in locations where the risk of disease transmission is high between migrant and sedentary communities. The framework empowers governments and communities to prevent, detect and respond to health threats at points of origin, transit, destination and return.

Within the framework, IOM’s response to the ongoing Ebola outbreak focuses on mobility and border management (DRC, Uganda, South Sudan and Burundi); data gathering, risk mapping and sharing (DRC, Uganda, South Sudan); health surveillance at points of entry (DRC and South Sudan); elaboration of standard operating procedures, manuals, curricula and contingency plans (DRC and Burundi); and support to cross-border coordination (DRC, Uganda and Burundi).

In DRC, IOM is conducting screening, hygiene promotion and risk communication in 44 points of entry. More than 200 border health staff have also received training on disease surveillance and response from IOM, the World Health Organization and the Ministry of Health.

In early October (02/10 - 04/10), IOM joined partners and delegates from the DRC and the East African Community (EAC) Partner States to develop a common regional strategy to enhance cross-border surveillance, emergency preparedness and response to epidemics. As a result, delegates prepared a new framework for monitoring and evaluating national action plans for cross-border disease surveillance.

At the meeting, Dr. Michael J. Katende, the Acting Head of Health Department at EAC Secretariat, highlighted “the need for all of us to work together to ensure information sharing, strengthening community-based surveillance and mapping of porous borders.”

In Burundi, IOM participates in the National Ebola Task Force by providing technical support to the Government of Burundi and revising national contingency plans related to the outbreak. IOM is also implementing a health and humanitarian border management project between Burundi and DRC that will involve training health officials, provision of basic health surveillance equipment and development of joint standard operating procedures. 

In South Sudan, IOM has deployed teams, comprising of health, displacement tracking and water, sanitation and hygiene experts, to its borders with DRC and Uganda. They have set up four health screening points - Okaba, Kaya and two in Yei – and are planning to establish an addition four screening points as part of the prevention measures underway in the country.

Since beginning operations in South Sudan on 18 September, IOM has screened 5,063 people, of whom there are no suspected or confirmed cases. IOM has initiated the Displacement Tracking Matrix’s (DTM) flow monitoring component at screening points to inform on the general migration trends such as number of people crossing the border at these points and departure and destination locations. IOM is also supporting efforts to share messaging on Ebola prevention and detection with communities along the border. IOM’s Ebola preparedness efforts in South Sudan are funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

In Uganda, IOM trained 45 immigration, district authorities and Office of the Prime Minister officials on HBMM. IOM is conducting a 21-day-long surveillance on refugees confirmed for resettlement as well as establishing ten flow monitoring points on key border zones that will provide crucial information on cross-border mobility.

Moving forward, IOM will continue to provide support to concerned countries in responding to the outbreak and in reinforcing preparedness to prevent and mitigate public health emergencies of international concern.

For more information, please contact:
Regional Office in Nairobi: Kenneth Odiwuor, Tel: +254722560363, Email:
Regional Office in Pretoria: Abibo Ngandu, Tel: +27712449291, Email:
South Sudan: Olivia Headon, Tel: +211912379843, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, October 12, 2018 - 16:20Image: Region-Country: Democratic Republic of the CongoDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM establishes health screening points on South Sudan’s borders. Photo: IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Provides Humanitarian Relief to Venezuelans in Guyana

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 10:20

Georgetown – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is providing essential non-food items (NFI) such as personal hygiene products (insect repellent, soap, toothpaste), cleaning products (buckets, detergents, chlorine), along with mosquito nets, hammocks, and blankets to highly vulnerable Venezuelan migrants in Guyana.

The initiative, carried out as part of IOM Regional Action Plan (RAP), has reached over 793 Venezuelan migrants, particularly members of the indigenous Warao tribe arriving in the regions of Barima Waini and Pomerron Supanaam.

Many Venezuelans are using boats to cross into Guyana, where they are arriving without food, shelter, and other necessities. Since most of them are only fluent in the Warao dialect, communication has proved difficult.

IOM has distributed lifesaving information, including guides on how to access documentation and the regularization process in Region 4 (Demerara-Mahaica) and Region 2. Thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed with the Venezuelan Support Group (VSG) and the help of the Civil Defense Commission, IOM has been able to distribute this information in borderline areas that are difficult to access.

IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) has also been deployed to understand the needs and identify vulnerabilities in the migrant population, particularly in those with a higher risk of becoming victims of human trafficking, smuggling, and irregular migrants. In a first phase, DTM was implemented in Regions 1 and 4, as well as in Georgetown. This initial stage of the study concluded on September 5 and will be made available later during the year.

In parallel, IOM Guyana has organized workshops to train first-line response officers from the Ministry of the Presidency, Guyana Defence Forces, Ministry of Indigenous Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Guyana Public Force, Ministry of Communities, Department of Migration, and the Ministry of Public Health on issues such as human trafficking, smuggling and other vulnerabilities; direct assistance and referral systems.

Other UN and regional agencies participated in training sessions, including the Pan American Health Organization, the United Nations Children´s Fund (UNICEF) and the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

These humanitarian aid efforts to assist Venezuelan migrants and strengthen government capacity in Guyana have been made possible thanks to funding from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). 

For more information, contact Tanika Jones at IOM Guyana, e-mail:, Tel +592 231 6533

Language English Posted: Friday, October 12, 2018 - 16:18Image: Region-Country: GuyanaDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM provides essential humanitarian relief to vulnerable Venezuelan migrants in Guyana. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Marks World Mental Health Day in Nigeria

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 10:18

Maiduguri – IOM, the UN Migration Agency marked this year’s World Mental Health Day, by collaborating with the Government of Nigeria and humanitarian partners to facilitate community engagement and sensitization activities across nine Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Northeast Nigeria.

Observed on 10 October every year, World Mental Health Day has the overall objective of raising awareness of mental health issues and mobilizing efforts to support this cause around the world. It provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work and identify what needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide.

IOM is a key partner in the provision of mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) in Northeast Nigeria since the beginning of the conflict in 2014. In partnership with national institutions, the organization provides direct psychosocial support and services to the affected population through 11 MHPSS safe spaces and the deployment of 17 MHPSS mobile teams in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe States.

At a safe space in Gubio Camp, Maiduguri, internally displaced persons (IDPs) participated in an art mediation activity where they created various art pieces such as hand cut-outs. “Like the circle of hands, we are all connected,” said a young IDP during the activity. “We can use our hands to show our kindness, and to give and receive help from others. Creating things by hand improves our mental health.”

In addition to MHPSS outreach activities, IOM facilitates referrals of affected individuals for specialized treatment and psycho-education provided to their families, in partnership with the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Maiduguri and Mental Health facility in Yola. Six psychiatric nurses are deployed to the hard-to-reach areas in Borno and two teams facilitate referral activities.

“Prevention of mental distress and illness begins with being aware of, and understanding, the early warning signs and symptoms of mental distress,” said Amal Ataya IOM MHPSS Programme Manager. “Psychosocial support can be provided in safe spaces and other community settings and of course trainings for health workers that enable them to detect and manage mental health disorders can be put in place, improved or expanded.”

Through its MHPSS co-chairing role, IOM is coordinating this year’s activities among partners and supporting the translation of awareness messages related to the theme Young People and Mental Health in a Changing World into Hausa, Kanuri, Fulfulde and Marghi in collaboration with Translators without Borders. The messages will be disseminated to all partners and IOM MHPSS teams for their mental health awareness raising in the IDP camps and host communities. IOM’s MHPSS activities to mark this year’s event include cultural dances, sensitization exercises, artistic mediation activities, stress management and coping strategies.

Some youth, including those living in humanitarian and fragile settings, are at greater risk of mental health conditions due to their living conditions, stigma, discrimination or exclusion, or lack of access to quality support and services.

World Mental Health Day provides the much-needed opportunity to promote mental health and psychosocial support through culturally appropriate recreational activities for adults, teenagers and children, as well as informal education for adults and youths.

For more information please contact Jorge Galindo at IOM Nigeria, Tel: +234 906 273 9168, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, October 12, 2018 - 16:16Image: Region-Country: NigeriaDefault: Multimedia: 

IDPs came together in safe spaces to participate in art mediation activities. Photo: Paulina Odame/IOM

Community representatives attending a sensitization session on mental health issues and avenues for mental health support. Photo: Paulina Odame/IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Latest Edition of CinemArena, the Mobile Cinema Initiative, is Launched in Rome

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 10:16

Rome – The latest edition of CinemArena—the mobile cinema initiative launched in 2002 by MAECI (Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation) and AICS (Italian Agency for Development Cooperation) — was launched this week (09/10) in Rome at the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

The project, now in its sixteenth year, involves a caravan travelling through the most remote African routes in Senegal, Ivory Coast, Guinea, The Gambia, Nigeria and Sudan bringing outdoor cinema events to more than 200 villages. The aim is to promote an information campaign that demonstrates the risks of irregular migration.

The 2018 edition of this project, financed by the Africa Fund, will address migration by focusing on the main countries of origin of migrants arriving by sea to Europe. Events will include the screening of movies and awareness-raising videos on irregular migration, followed by workshops, theatre performances and other activities.

The 2018/2019 edition is an initiative is being implemented in partnership with Italy’s Ministry of the Interior and IOM, the UN Migration Agency.

This year, new synergies with the IOM’s Aware Migrants Information Campaign (already disseminated on social media, radios and TVs) were also made possible.

“Migrants arriving in Italy often tell us to have left their countries without being fully aware of the difficulties of the journey and of the violence they would have been subjected to,” explained Federico Soda, Director of IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean. “The Aware Migrants Information Campaign – financed by the Italian Ministry of Interior – was launched two years ago for these migrants (not refugees) with the aim of informing them by using video testimonies on the risks of the journey, and of enabling them to take free and informed decisions.”

The caravan began its tour on 1 October in Senegal, in the village of Pekin. Its itinerary in coming weeks includes Nioro du Rip, Guinguineo, Kaolack, Goudiri, Tamba, Vélingara, Medina Yero Foula and Sédhiou.  The caravan moved from Kaolack to the Tambacounda region, where new events began on 10 October in Dogué.

CinemArena will then move to Nigeria and Ivory Coast in November and December; to Guinea and Sudan in January and February, and then the Gambia in March and April.

Watch a short presentation video here (Italian):

For more information, please contact:
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, October 12, 2018 - 16:12Image: Region-Country: ItalyDefault: Multimedia: 

The latest edition of the irregular migration cinema-based information campaign, CinemArena, is underway in remote villages across West Africa.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Central, North American, Caribbean Countries Address Migration Challenges in the Context of the 2030 Agenda

Fri, 10/12/2018 - 10:12

Panama City – The UN Migration Agency, IOM, held this week (9-10/10) a preparatory workshop with the goal of adopting lines of action to mainstream migration into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Central and North America. 

The workshop, the second of its kind, was co-organized by IOM and the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM), with the support of UN partners including UNDP, UNHCR, UNFPA, ILO and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Foreign affairs officers, migration agencies and officers responsible for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda from North and Central America and the Caribbean participated in the event.

“The 2030 Agenda offers us a unique opportunity to work together for equality and human rights,” said Marcelo Pisani, Regional Director of IOM for Central and North America and the Caribbean. “Some of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) are critical to addressing migration in a comprehensive manner. Therefore, providing support to countries efforts to align their migration governance with the SDGs is a priority for IOM.”

During the workshop, the participants also learned about the preliminary results of a diagnosis of the Adoption of the 2030 Agenda and Migration in the countries of the region, which provides valuable insight to understand the complex dynamic between migration and development. The study is in the process of being validated and will be available later.

Also, IOM presented the Migration and the 2030 Agenda: A Guide for Practitioners to participating countries. 

“There is a need better understand how migration and migrants can shape the achievement of development and vice versa,” said Joanne Irvine, an officer for the IOM-UNDP Global Joint Programme on Mainstreaming Migration into National Development Strategies. “Migration is a powerful driver of development both for migrants and for their communities of origin, transit, and destination.”

The event took place in the context of the project Supporting Countries in the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals Linked to Migration Governance, implemented by IOM Panama and financed by IOM Development Fund (IDF). The project aims to strengthen governments' capacities to advance the fulfilment of the 2030 Agenda related to migration governance.

The Lines of Action will be presented at the Vice-Ministerial Meeting of the RCM that will take place between November 12-15 in Panama, to be used as guidelines for member States of the Conference.

Since its creation in 1996, the Regional Conference on Migration has worked for the convergence of efforts to protect the human rights of migrants by strengthening the linkages between migration and development.

For more information, please contact Jorge Gallo at IOM Regional Office for Central and North America, and the Caribbean, Phone: +506 2212-5352, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, October 12, 2018 - 16:10Image: Region-Country: PanamaDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants at the IOM preparatory workshop on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in Central and North America. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Congratulates Nobel Peace Laureates Nadia Murad and Dr. Denis Mukwege

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 11:17

Erbil – The UN Migration Agency, IOM, congratulates the 2018 Nobel Peace Laureates Dr. Denis Mukwege, a Congolese doctor and advocate, and Nadia Murad, a prominent Yazidi human rights activist, for their efforts to end the scourge of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.

For Ms. Murad, the prize comes more than three years after she escaped her ISIL captors in Iraq and resettled to Germany as part of the Humanitarian Admission Programme, jointly implemented by the German State of Baden-Württemberg and IOM Iraq, in close partnership with the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq. 

During the summer of 2014, thousands of Yazidi women in northern Iraq were subject to conflict-related sexual violence after being abducted while their hometowns were overtaken by ISIL. Many saw members of their families, relatives and friends brutally murdered. The abuse sexual violence survivors have suffered is impossible to measure, but the strength of survivors and advocates like Ms. Murad and Dr. Mukwege has created tremendous impact, recognized by the Nobel Committee. 

“Awarding Nadia Murad with this prestigious prize is of crucial importance to keep the focus of the international community on the fight against gender-based violence in conflicts, which often go hand in hand,” said Gerard Waite, IOM Chief of Mission in Iraq. 

Through the programme, more than 1,000 survivors of ISIL violence, mainly from the Yazidi community of northern Iraq, were resettled to Germany and enabled to rebuild their lives after their terrible experiences. 

IOM supported this programme with comprehensive pre-departure assistance, including psychosocial counseling, cultural orientation, education, medical care, transportation and accompaniment to Germany. 

“Baden-Württemberg greatly appreciated the partnership with IOM on the Humanitarian Admission Programme and is grateful for the close collaboration with the Government of Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government as well as local civil society organizations in Dohuk, in the northwestern part of the country, which continues to host many internally displaced persons,” said Michael Blume, Head of the Special Quota Project from the German State of Baden Württemberg.

After settling in Germany, Ms. Murad began her campaign to end sexual violence not only in Iraq, but around the world, by raising awareness about ISIL’s brutality, recounting her own story and demanding recognition and justice for her fellow survivors. 

As an organization working on transitional justice and reparations for victims of conflict related sexual violence in Colombia, Sierra Leone, Nepal, Bosnia and Herzegovina and other locations, IOM is very appreciative of Ms. Murad’s efforts to advocate for and defend the rights of the survivors across the world. 

In her role as UN Office on Drugs and Crime Goodwill Ambassador for the Dignity of Survivors of Human Trafficking, Ms Murad and her fellow activists, advocated on behalf of the Yazidi community, resulting in the unanimous adoption of United Nations Resolution 2379 (2017) and the establishment of a UN investigation into ISIL crimes.

IOM Iraq continues to work closely with local partners to support victims of trafficking and survivors of conflict-related sexual violence with psychosocial support, specialized mental health care and access to livelihood opportunities both in and outside of camps for the internally displaced. 

However, the needs are great for the 1.89 million Iraqis still displaced, including access to employment, food and shelter. IOM provides these essential services, remedies and reparations for survivors of conflict-related sexual violence, in partnership with affected communities, civil society partners, the Government of Iraq, the Kurdistan Regional Government and international partners. 

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded annually to laureates who promote peace and restore justice in their work. Occasionally the prize can be shared between multiple recipients who have been deemed exceptional. Dr. Mukwege, a co-recipient of the award this year established the Panzi Hospital in his native eastern Democratic Republic of Congo which provides specialized assistance to sexual violence survivors. 

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 17:15Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Gender and MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

2018 Nobel Peace Laureates Dr. Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad. Illustration: Niklas Elmehed/Nobel Media

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 86,436 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,783

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 11:15

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 86,436 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 7 October, with 39,445 to Spain, the leading destination this year. In fact, since late September’s arrivals were reported, Spain in 2018 has now received via the Mediterranean more irregular migrants than it did throughout all the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 combined.

The region’s total arrivals through the recent weekend compare with 140,272 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 318,207 at this point in 2016.

Spain, with 46 per cent of all arrivals through the year, continues to receive seaborne migrants in October at a volume nearly twice that of Greece and more than seven times that of Italy (see chart below).

Italy’s arrivals through late September are the lowest recorded at this point – the end of a normally busy summer sailing season – in almost five years. Last year in October migrants crossed from North Africa to Italy at a rate of nearly 1,500 per week – or about five times this year’s rate. Two Octobers ago, the numbers were even higher: almost 4,000 per week. In 2016, through June to October, the average number of rescues among sea-borne arrivals of migrants to Italy each month surpassed the number that has arrived in all of 2018 (see chart below).

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo on Monday reported that Italy’s 21,313 arrivals of irregular migrants by sea this year include many who arrive from departure points other than Libya. He noted that according to data gathered by IOM staff at disembarkation points, almost 150 migrants from Tunisia arrived by sea in Lampedusa between Friday and Sunday and explained that at present, almost all the flows arriving in Italy since early September came from the Tunisian route.

“Tunisian arrivals so far this year are 4,742 and represent the first place among all nationalities,” Di Giacomo said. He said last year and in 2016 similar numbers of arrivals from Tunisia were reported, but those would have hardly entered the list of the top ten nationalities to Italy, overwhelmed by those from Eritrea, Nigeria and many of the Sub-Saharan migrants who arrived via Libya.

“The total number of Tunisian migrants arriving last year through the end of September was 2,650,” Di Giacomo continued, “while 3,500 Tunisians arrived from 1 October to 31 December. That brought the total number of arrivals in 2017 to 6,150.”

Di Giacomo noted that deaths at sea continue to occur most frequently on the Mediterranean in the waters linking North Africa and Sicily, with 1,267 recorded through 7 October. 

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has documented the deaths of 1,783 people on the Mediterranean in 2018. Most recently, a 23-year-old Tunisian man drowned in a shipwreck off the coast of Djerba on 7 October. Five people were rescued and another five remain missing, according to survivors’ testimonies. More than 1,200 people have lost their lives while trying to cross the Central Mediterranean to Europe since the beginning of the year.

In the Western Mediterranean, four more bodies were retrieved following the shipwreck of 1 October, which cost the lives of 34 people. Fifteen bodies have been brought to Hassani Hospital in Nador, while 19 people remain missing. In Dar El Kebdani, near Nador, a man died after falling down a steep slope while evading authorities on 2 October. Some 36 other migrants who were part of the same group were apprehended.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 39,445 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 23 September (see chart below).

Arrivals in October are running at a rate of almost 300 per day, including nearly 1,200 migrants reported rescued over this past weekend.

Dimitrios Tsagalas of IOM Cyprus reported Monday that on Friday (05 October) three men, believed to be Syrian nationals, crossed into the Republic of Cyprus through the Ledra Palace checkpoint. Monday morning (08 October) 21 people, all Syrian, were traced by the Cyprus Coast Guard at Cape Greco in the Famagusta area, on an unmanned vessel. A search and rescue operation took place and these irregular migrants and refugees–ten male, 2 female, 9 children – were brought safely to the port at Larnaca and were transferred to Pournara Temporary Accommodation Centre.

Tsagalas said with those latest arrivals the total number of irregular migrants arriving in 2018 to Cyprus now is 525.

IOM Greece’s Antigoni Avgeropoulou reported on Monday (08 October) that from Thursday through Sunday (04-07 October), the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) informed the United Nations Migration Agency it was involved in at least eight incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos, Samos and Chios. The HCG rescued a total of 340 migrants and transferred them to those three islands.

Additional arrivals of some 264 individuals to Kos, Symi, Rhodes and some of the previously mentioned islands over these past four days brings to 24,164 the total number of arrivals by sea to Greece through 7 October (see chart below).

Sea arrivals to Greece this year by irregular migrants appeared to have peaked in daily volume in April, when they averaged at around 100 per day. That volume dipped through the following three months then picked up again in August and again in September – 2018’s second busiest month with 3,955 (or just over 130 per day) just below April’s total of 3,975.

Land border crossing also surged in April (to nearly 4,000 arrivals) but have since fallen back, with fewer than 2,000 crossings in each of the past four months (see charts below).

IOM’s Christine Nikolaidou also shared data on Monday on the 19,382 irregular migrants detected by the Hellenic Coast Guard entering Greece via sea in 2018, through the end of August. The biggest single group, by nationality, is Syrian, with 6,099 men, women and children, or nearly one of every three arrivals. Next were Iraqis (4,006) followed by Afghans (3,716).

Other large sender countries or areas include the Palestinian Territories (692), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (521), the Islamic Republic of Iran (334) and Pakistan (229). There are also some surprises: from Cameroon, a country where political strife has been reported lately, some 721 irregular migrants have arrived, almost 600 of those since the end of March. From Algeria, nearly 200 (199) nationals have been detected, as well as 52 from Sierra Leone, nine from the Dominican Republic and eight from Haiti.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project estimates that at least 2,806 people died or went missing on migratory routes across the globe in 2018 (see chart below).

In addition to the devastating death toll in the Mediterranean, 302 migrants are known to have died on the US-Mexico border, compared with 278 in 2017. These include 62 people who have drowned in the Río Bravo in the first nine months of 2018. Most recently, the body of a man was found by US Border Patrol officers on the banks of the Río Bravo, near El Indio, Texas on 30 September.

In Europe, a 22-year-old Pakistani man was found dead in a forest in Siva Reka, Bulgaria, near the border with Greece.

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 migrants’ deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.

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 Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
Hicham Hasnaoui,  IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email:
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: 
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:
Atigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel:   +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 166); Mobile: +30 69 48 92 98 09, Email:
Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 248), Email:
Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM officer, Austria, Tel: + +43 1 5812222, Email:
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email:
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Email:
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 17:02Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Houses Over 2,000 Vulnerable Migrants, Refugees Transferred from Aegean Islands

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 11:01

Athens – From 1 July through 5 October IOM, the UN Migration Agency, provided safe accommodation to 2,272 vulnerable migrants and refugees who were transferred from the North-eastern Aegean islands to mainland facilities by the Greek government. Some 889 children, 393 girls and 496 boys were among those relocated from the islands in efforts to ease the strain on island capacity and hardship for these groups. 

The Greek government started the process of decongesting the islands in July and transfers reached a peak in August 2018 according to IOM Greece press officer Christine Nikolaidou. She also explained these movements are expected to continue in the coming weeks.

The majority of these vulnerable migrants and refugees – 875 individuals – are currently housed at the Volvi open accommodation site in Northern Greece. A further 555 have been transferred to the Vagiochori open accommodation site, 229 went to Malakasa and 221 are at the Oinofyta site.

“We arrived in Volvi from Moria, 10 days ago. We were expecting to see something similar to Lesvos. Fortunately, we were surprised in a good way; we have private rooms with all facilities inside,” said Mahmoud Mouri and his wife Diana Ibrahim. They are Kurds from Afrin, in Syria. “We feel safe and comfortable.”

The migrants and refugees have been relocated mainly from the islands of Lesvos, Samos and Chios to 12 open accommodation facilities, where IOM is the official Site Management Support (SMS) agency. At all sites, IOM works with facility coordinators, interpreters, legal advisors, community support workers, psychologists, handymen and engineers to ensure safe and functional accommodation conditions and facilities.

“IOM is supporting the Greek authorities in the decongestion of the islands by enhancing accommodation capacity on the Greek mainland. Our priority is to provide to all people arriving from the islands dignified living conditions, which we have done in coordination with the Ministry of Migration Policy and with funding from the European Commission,” said Gianluca Rocco, IOM Greece Chief of Mission. “We acknowledge and respect the vulnerability of these individuals and we want to alleviate their suffering by improving their everyday life.”

Individuals from 24 different countries are currently hosted in open accommodation sites, including:

  • 1,136 from the Syrian Arab Republic
  • 437 from Iraq
  • 276 from Afghanistan
  • 50 from Congo
  • 46 from Somalia
  • 41 from the Islamic Republic of Iran

Pregnant women, single parents, unaccompanied minors, individuals with physical and mental traumas and families with underage children currently have priority under the islands’ decongestion programme. The vulnerability of each case must be certified by Greek authorities. In most cases beneficiaries are awaiting a formal decision on their asylum applications.

For more information please contact Christine Nikolaidou at IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 248) Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 17:00Image: Region-Country: GreeceThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff are present in the facilities to ensure safe and functional accommodation conditions. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Forum for Inclusive Migration Policy Discussions Underway in Geneva

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 11:00

Geneva – The International Dialogue for Migration (IDM), IOM’s forum for inclusive and global migration policy discussions, is currently underway at the Palais de Nations in Geneva. The focus of the forum is on partnerships and capacity development for effective migration governance.

This is the second IDM session of the year; the first was an opportunity for migration actors from all sectors and levels to discuss capacity development mechanisms and partnerships to advance migration governance, ahead of the Intergovernmental Conference in Marrakesh in December to adopt a Global Compact for Migration.

The meeting started yesterday (08/10) with over 300 participants including senior government representatives; civil society and international organization representatives; academics; and private sector representatives; as well migrant and diaspora organizations with genuine experiences of migration.

IOM’s new Director General Antonio Vitorino opened the session along with Louise Arbour, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for International Migration, and Juan Edoardo Eguiguren, Ambassador of Chile and Chairperson of the IOM Council.

“There is an opportunity for the global community, and this room, to invest in a more optimistic, and constructive, approach to migration. Not by avoiding hard questions, but by leaning into them,” said DG Vitorino in his opening remarks. “Sometimes this will require new and innovative solutions; more often it will require learning from our successes as well as our mistakes, building the capacity to do more, and do it better. By striving for a stronger, more positive, proactive management of migration, the international community can support the millions of individuals who – for a wide variety of reasons – take the courageous step of determining their own futures by crossing borders.”

Speaking on the newly established UN Migration Network, SRSG Louise Arbour added: “We should encourage a focus on those projects which require inputs from a range of UN system entities. The network should not, on the one hand, supplant the mandate-driven work of its members, nor, on the other, should it seek simply to be a grouping of otherwise disconnected projects. Rather, it should seek to maximize impact grounded in a spirit of collaboration and commitment to collective success.”

In his opening remarks Ambassador Eguiguren said: “It is misleading to think that only developing countries need capacity development on migration. On the contrary, many of the developed countries need support to continue developing their capacities to better manage the continuously emerging challenges of mobility and can learn from the many successful practices in place in developing countries. This has been precisely the scope of this forum (IDM), to allow States and other actors from the developed and developing countries alike learn from each other and exchange experiences.”

Other speakers yesterday included the Vice Minister for Salvadorians Abroad; the Ambassadors of Mexico and Switzerland; co-facilitators of the Global Compact for Migration;  the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) co-Chair; the Secretary Generals of the Inter-Parliamentarian Union and of the Building and Wood Worker’s International;  senior Directors at WHO and UNICEF; the Special Representative for Migrants and Refugees of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe; senior representatives from IATA and the Arab Parliament; and senior national experts in health, regional capacity building and research from Mexico, Tanzania and Ghana.

Today (09/10) the discussions will focus on whole of government and whole of society capacity development at the national level, including on tools and mechanisms to measure the impact of capacity development and on meeting the funding challenges of capacity development activities.

The meeting will hear from the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of Guatemala; the Secretary for Strategic Initiatives of the Presidency of Brazil; senior government representatives from Moldova, Costa Rica, Sweden, Japan, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC); NGO Terre des Hommes; the African Bank for Development; the Global Fund; International Council of Voluntary Agencies; a local NGO active on migrants empowerment (SINGA); and a senior academic from Georgetown University.

The IDM’s highlight session, the “Migrants’ Voice” will feature the personal migration stories and a debate between three founders of diaspora and migrant initiatives to empower migrants and refugees.

The outcomes from this IDM, and the first one held in New York on 26 and 27 March, this year will be captured in a Red Book publication which will be made available at the Intergovernmental Conference in Marrakesh this December.

For more information on the agenda and meeting documents please check the International Dialogue on Migration webpage:

For more information, please contact Azzouz Samri at IOM HQ, Tel: +41227179468, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 16:59Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Migration PolicyDefault: Multimedia: 

The IDM, IOM’s forum for inclusive and global migration policy discussions, is currently underway at the Palais de Nations in Geneva. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Launches Digital Platform to Engage Diaspora Members in Development

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 10:59

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, officially launched its iDiaspora platform yesterday (08/09), during a side event as part the International Dialogue for Migration that is underway in Geneva. iDiaspora is a global engagement and knowledge exchange hub for transnational communities and those looking to engage with them. To reflect the global nature and diversity of this initiative, satellite launches are being planned in Cairo, London and Washington, DC.

IOM recognizes that there is mounting evidence regarding the important role that diaspora members and transnational communities play towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in countries of origin and destination.

Diaspora contributions vary in type and scope, and range from skills, knowledge and know-how transfer to investment, entrepreneurship and trade. Diaspora communities too are increasingly becoming more cognizant of their role, as evidenced by a multiplicity of diaspora organizations, associations, and confederations at the local, national and international levels. In launching the platform, the organization hopes to provide an all-in-one space for diaspora individuals, their organizations and partners to interact and exchange ideas as they work towards their shared development goals.

Users can register on the site – – using Facebook, Google+, or LinkedIn, or complete their profiles with their name, location, fields of expertise, interest and a photo. They help shape the platform and can take advantage of it to Connect, Learn and Contribute: by finding other like-minded users from their community or other communities with whom to collaborate, using and/or contributing to the growing repository of resources, identifying concrete opportunities to give back their skills and resources and actively participating in development of their home and host communities.

In July 2017, the concept of the platform was launched during consultations for the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM) in New York. Feedback from these sessions demonstrated significant interest in the iDiaspora platform among a wide range of diaspora associations and individuals engaged in supporting economic development in their countries of origin/heritage and advocating for better migration policies within the GCM. Following that, IOM conducted a series of consultations with stakeholders from diaspora associations and international communities in the US and the UK to help shape the platform to respond to the needs of actors working in this space.

The launch event (entitled Reaching out to Diaspora via Technology) was moderated by IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson. El Habib Nadir, Ministry in Charge of Moroccans Living Abroad and Migration Affairs and Chair of the GFMD; Colman Lydon, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at Everwise and member of the iDiaspora Advisory Board; Honey Thaljieh, Corporate Communications Manager at Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA); and Gibril Faal, LSE Visiting Professor in Practice and ADEPT Special Adviser comprised the rest of the panel and spoke during the session.

"The early development phase of the iDiaspora platform serves as a great example of collaboration across multiple disciplines, effectively mining the expertise of the IOM team, as well as leaders in the global academic and business communities,” said Lydon. “Given the ubiquity of modern software platforms, capable of engaging large numbers of people, the exciting iDiaspora initiative can flourish in service to diaspora constituents, in a new and purposeful way."

Diasporas’ significant role in development and the need to provide them with conditions and tools is confirmed by objective 19 of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM) where governments commit “to empower migrants and diasporas to catalyse their development contributions, and to harness the benefits of migration as a source of sustainable development.” 

iDiaspora will continue to grow and respond to the needs and priorities of its online community of users. As an evolving and dynamic online space, the site hosts a survey to collect feedback that developers and the iDiaspora team can use to improve the platform progressively.

In addition, an Advisory Board consisting of recognized diaspora leaders and specialists from diverse backgrounds in academia and private and public sectors was set up to advise on conceptual, operational and content areas of the platform and ensure the sustainability of the initiative.

"It is undeniable that the diaspora is critical to the transformational journey of their country of origin. Whether it is through remittances or through repatriation, the diaspora has been a determining factor in quantum improvements in citizens’ lives,” said Eric Guichard, founder of Movement Capital (formerly Homestrings) and another member of the iDiaspora board.

"Diasporas are inherently efficient in poverty reduction at a micro-level,” said Faal. “Substantive and substantial institutional engagement and partnerships enable scalability, replication and enhanced macro-level development impact."

IOM assumes the coordination role for iDiaspora to further its development and operationalization, given its leadership in the area of diaspora engagement since the 2013 Ministerial Conference, as well as continuous engagement in capacity and partnership development on migration and development.

In the last five years, IOM has globally supported more than 150 diaspora mappings and surveys. In 2017 alone, more than 70 IOM country offices supported governments on how to effectively enable, empower and engage with their diaspora.

The organization will seek new partnerships with diaspora organizations, governments and private sector to ensure impact and sustainability of the platform. iDiaspora is being developed without institutional branding, to ensure equal treatment among stakeholders that work closely with diaspora communities.

The International Dialogue on Migration (IDM) is IOM’s principal forum for migration policy dialogue. Founded in 2001 and rooted in IOM’s Constitution and Strategy, the IDM is open to IOM Member and Observer States, as well as international and non-governmental organizations, migrants, and partners from media, academia or the private sector. The IDM provides a space to analyze current and emerging issues in migration governance and to exchange experiences, policy approaches and effective practices.

Every year, the IDM is guided by an overarching theme selected by the IOM membership though a process of informal consultations.

For more information please contact:
Deepali Fernandes at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 22 717 9547, Email:
Vanessa Okoth-Obbo at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 22 717 9366, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 16:55Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

The panel of speakers during the iDiaspora launch event in Geneva. Photo: IOM 2018/Muse Mohammed

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Donates 22 Ambulances for Humanitarian Assistance in Yemen

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 10:55

Sana’a – Over the past three months IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has donated 22 ambulances to the Ministry of Health in Yemen to strengthen health services and enhance disease surveillance across the country.

This donation is in line with IOM’s commitment to respond to what has recently been called the worst humanitarian crisis in the world by strengthening healthcare systems and preventing disease outbreak through technical and material support in Yemen.

Following the escalation of violence in Al-Hudaydah this June, IOM donated the first five ambulances to the Ministry of Health in Sana’a in July. Last week, another seven ambulances were provided to the Ministry in Sana’a, while seven ambulances are being handed over in Aden today (09/10).

Additionally, IOM is providing three fully-equipped mobile Intensive Care Units, reaching approximately 100 people monthly.

"We hope these specialized ambulances will help reduce delays in emergency response and ensure more people in Yemen receive immediate care, particularly populations in hard-to-reach areas and difficult terrains," said Aseel Khan, IOM Yemen Health Programme Coordinator.

As the humanitarian situation deteriorates, communities in Yemen are at increasing risk of cholera and other infectious diseases. Ongoing conflict in Yemen has also led to the frequent destruction and blocking of roads, inhibiting the ability for people to access health care facilities.

A lack of ambulances and other emergency services in the country has meant populations often experience life-threatening delays in receiving appropriate urgent care. By significantly reducing such delays, IOM and the Ministry of Health are committed to bringing quality healthcare services to the people of Yemen.

"This donation will contribute to improving the lives of people in Yemen, especially the vulnerable in remote areas. We will see the results of the impact of this donation before long," said Rabih Sarieddine, IOM’s Head of Sub Office in Aden.

This donation was made possible with financial support from the governments of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

For more information, please contact Saba Malme at IOM Yemen, Tel: + 967 736 800 329; Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 16:54Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM provides 22 ambulances to the Ministry of Health in Yemen. Photo: IOM/Saba Malme

IOM provides 22 ambulances to the Ministry of Health in Yemen. Photo: IOM/Saba Malme

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Helps Rohingya Women Organize in Bangladesh Camps

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 10:54

Cox’s Bazar – Over 100 Rohingya women have formed a first-of-its-kind committee to ensure women and girls have a direct pathway and communication channel to UN project managers without having to go through male leaders in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar refugee camps.

The committee, supported by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, follows months of on-the-ground research and informal discussions with Rohingya women in the camps about what kind of platform would enable them to raise concerns with senior UN staff, without breaching cultural gender norms.

“We feel better now,” said committee chairwoman Muriom, after the official opening of an IOM-funded women-run community centre in Leda in the south of Cox’s Bazar, which the committee will oversee. “Before we did not get this kind of opportunity. Now we have this [committee and centre] and we know how to use them to change camp life,” she added.

Almost a million Rohingya refugees now live in Cox’s Bazar after atrocities in Myanmar in late August 2017 sent over 700,000 of the Muslim minority fleeing across the border to villages and camps in Bangladesh, where over 200,000 Rohingya were already living after escaping earlier bouts of violence.

The committee includes both recent refugees, who arrived as part of the mass flight from Myanmar in 2017, and those who arrived amid earlier waves of violence dating back to the 1990s.

Education levels and religious conservatism vary significantly between individuals, families and communities, but most Rohingya women do not read or write and many are discouraged from leaving family shelters. Few have much experience of speaking out in public, and most rely on male family members or community leaders to raise concerns on their behalf.

For organisations like IOM, a lead agency in the Rohingya response, finding a way to ensure women’s opinions, concerns and needs reach those charged with managing and developing the refugee settlements, can be a major challenge.

“There’s a lot of talk about women’s participation, but it has to be meaningful participation,” said project founder Consuelo Tangara, who is IOM’s Site Management Area Coordinator in Teknaf sub-district, where the committee is based.

According to Tangara, the idea of creating an “informal committee” outside the male-dominated official camp management system, was to provide an effective pathway that women feel comfortable with and that meets their needs, rather than trying to force them into systems established by men for men.

“Often when you ask a woman to take on a role they perceive as being for men, they don’t feel comfortable with it – and in the immediate aftermath of large-scale traumatic events, misjudged attempts to encourage participation can actually cause further distress,” she said.

“That it not true for everyone and can change over time. There’s a lot of work going on to increase women’s participation, representation and access to information in the formal camp-management systems with more women becoming involved. But in the meantime, those of us responsible for providing infrastructure and services still need to know what women’s immediate and wider concerns are, so we don’t put systems in place that ignore these needs and are then difficult to change later.”  

Activities in the camps are divided into “sectors” including Health, Protection, Camp Management and Development, and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). Under the new committee structure, each para (sub-section) of the camp will have a trained woman representative responsible for dealing with issues relating to each sector. She will share concerns and complaints with the women’s committee for the entire camp, who can then take them direct to IOM sector heads.

According to Tangara, the system will provide a stronger advocacy and reporting mechanism leading to faster responses from sector managers and will encourage sustainable participation. “When you are representing your own community, you want to make sure something happens. The committee members are also learning the skills of reaching out to sector heads and becoming comfortable with that,” she said.

This can make a huge difference to camp life and women’s lives in particular. “One concern we became very aware of is lack of street lighting around latrines and latrines that didn’t meet women’s needs for privacy or sense of security. Those are issues that are absolutely critical. If women are scared to go to latrines they end up adopting practices that are unsanitary and pose health risks. But it’s also the kind of issue that women might not feel comfortable going to male leaders with, or that would be given priority without women’s voices to push for it,” Tangara noted.

Following a trial period with the Leda committee, IOM hopes to roll out similar committee projects across all the camps for which it is responsible. “The more platforms there are for women to express their needs and opinions, the stronger community participation becomes overall. That then leads to stronger governance and civil society. IOM Bangladesh is completely committed to helping refugees to take their future into their own hands,” said IOM Cox’s Bazar Emergency Coordinator Manuel Pereira.

According to the women involved in Leda, their new committee is already helping them become more confident about participation. “Before [this committee was established] we were very afraid to share our thoughts and feelings, but now we’re going to share them,” Muriom explained.

She and other women on the committee already have a list of immediate priorities. “First of all, we want to earn money. Men work in Cash for Work programmes, but women don’t and now we want to work,” she said.

IOM is on track to have 50 per cent women’s participation in its Cash for Work programmes in the camps by year end, but the committee women also have their own livelihood plans to make soaps and handicrafts at the community centre to sell.

They also intend to raise the issue of gender-based violence and early (child) marriage with the wider community. “Early marriage, is very, very harmful. I’ve already talked to one family about it. At first the family said I had no right to talk to them about it. The boy was 15 and he was getting married. But then they changed their minds,” one of the committee members explained, adding that the training the group had received had helped them feel more assured about raising such issues.

As for tackling possible objections from the men in the community about their new committee, the women said they expect few problems. “No woman is going to do harmful work, and we promise that if anyone faces a problem they will be able to come to us. Maybe some of the newcomers [those who arrived post August 2017] might face some problems, so we have to choose strong women [for the committee] to support them.”

Male Rohingya leaders in the community, a number of whom turned out for the opening of the community centre, have also offered their backing. Abdul Matalob, 68, is a Rohingya leader in the camp and grandfather of committee member Nurul Jahan, 35. He said he was fully supportive of the women’s committee, though he recommended “getting more young women aged 18 to 25 involved, because at that age their minds are most open to new ideas.”

For more information please contact Fiona MacGregor at IOM Cox’s Bazar. Email:, Tel: +88 0 1733 335221.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 16:53Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Gender and MigrationRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Members of the Rohingya women’s committee stand outside the new, women-run, IOM-funded community centre in Leda, Cox’s Bazar. Photo: Fiona MacGregor / IOM 2018.

Members of the Rohingya women’s committee attend the opening of the new, women-run, IOM-funded community centre in Leda, Cox’s Bazar.  Photo: Fiona MacGregor / IOM 2018.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, Mongolia Track Displacement in Emergency Simulation

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 10:53

Ulaan Baatar – IOM Mongolia, in cooperation with Mongolia’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has organized two Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) data collections as part of an emergency preparedness simulation exercise conducted in Bulgan and Sukhbaatar provinces (aimags).

The DTM is a data collection system developed by IOM to monitor displacement and identify the needs of displaced people. The data it generates creates maps that can help governments and aid agencies to better respond to humanitarian crises and target people most in need.

The Mongolian simulation exercise, which involved some 17,000 members of the public, local government officials, Emergency Commission staff, service providers, Mercy Corps and the Red Cross, was designed to improve the government’s provision of shelter, water, food, fodder and other necessities to rural households to minimize forced migration during the country’s bitterly cold winter.

“IOM’s use of DTM in these simulation exercises to set up camps and organize mass evacuation will enable the government to improve planning for emergencies and reduce the risk of us lacking relevant data. DTM will help NEMA to better position our resources,” said NEMA Vice Director Col. Batmunkh Uuganbayar.

IOM assumed the role of Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster Lead in Mongolia in September 2012. Since then it has been working with government and humanitarian actors on contingency planning for potential disaster scenarios. These have included evacuation plans, which have been mainstreamed into simulation exercises and emergency response trainings.

In December 2017 IOM, working with NEMA, launched an 18-month project supported by the IOM Development Fund, to build the capacity of the government to track climate change and disaster-related migration. It included the use of the DTM to monitor population movements caused by slow and rapid onset disasters and climate change.

For more information on the project go to:

For more information please contact Zuzana Jankechova at IOM Mongolia, Email:, Tel: +976 70143100.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 16:51Image: Region-Country: MongoliaThemes: Disaster Risk ReductionInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

In Sukhbaatar district (soum) 1,200 people took part in the simulation exercise. Photo: IOM/Nyamdash Munkhbayar 2018.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Kenya Hosts African Union Horn of Africa Initiative Meeting on Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 10:51

Nairobi – The Government of Kenya hosted the Fourth Meeting of the Technical Working Group of Law Enforcement Agencies of the African Union Horn of Africa Initiative (AU-HOAI) on Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants Meeting last week (01/10) in Nairobi.

Aside from the host government, other participating AU Member States included Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, South Sudan, Sudan and Tunisia. The meeting was also attended by the AU Commission; IOM, the UN Migration Agency; and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, which form the Initiatives Secretariat. Representatives from INTERPOL, which serves as a technical partner to the Initiative, were also present.

The Technical Working Group deliberated on a resource gap analysis that was undertaken on the working group’s Five-Year Plan of Action as well as the operationalization of the Regional Operations Centre in Khartoum (ROCK). It also looked at a draft communication and visibility strategy for the initiative and a proposal to undertake a study on the characteristics, flows and trends of human trafficking and migrant smuggling.

The Government of Kenya was represented by James Nyatigoh, Deputy Director for the Department of Immigration Services. In his remarks, Nyatigoh took note of the UN-adopted Global Compact on Migration (GCM) and its commitments to eradicate trafficking in persons as well as the need for a “concerted effort with multi-disciplinary approaches to help achieve best results on counter-trafficking and migrant smuggling”.

Egypt, which is currently the presiding Chair of the Initiative, was represented by Nelly Elorabi, Director of Migration, Asylum & Combating Human Trafficking Department, who highlighted the importance of “African solutions for African problems”.

Peter Mudungwe, Migration Adviser within the Department of Social Affairs at the African Union (AU) presented a summary of the Technical Working Groups’ previous meetings and its achievements and encouraged a fruitful deliberation. The IOM Special Liaison Office in Addis Abba presented the draft communications and visibility strategy, and a concept for a proposed regional study on human trafficking and migrant smuggling. UNHCR provided inputs on mixed movements and wide-range of actors in the region.

The agreed recommendations of the Technical Working Group, the draft strategy and the proposed study will be presented at the upcoming AU senior officials meeting in Cairo, Egypt on 24 October.

The Technical Working Group Meeting was followed by a second-round capacity building training of law enforcement agencies on counter trafficking and migrant smuggling from 2 to 5 October in Nairobi. The training focused on the protection of migrants in vulnerable situations, enhancing cross-border cooperation in combating human trafficking, protection of victims and prosecution of perpetrators.

During the training, Marcellino Ramkishun, Senior Migration Management Officer said: “Trafficking in persons and people smuggling have to be investigated across the borders. We need to divert from establishing national strategies for a complex, international problem.”

Emmanuel Simiyu from the Kenya Department of Immigration added: “To curb trafficking in persons, the Kenya Immigration has partnered with IOM Kenya for the use of facial recognition machines and training on counter trafficking. There is also cooperation with different airlines who provide timely information on persons suspected to be trafficking or smuggling people and this helps us intercept them.”

For more information please contact:
Maureen Achieng at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251-11 557 1707 (Ext. 400), Email:
Michael Pillinger at IOM Kenya Country Office, Tel: +254 20 4221 161, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 16:50Image: Region-Country: KenyaThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

Opening Session of the African Union Technical Working Group with Egypt (Chair) and Kenya (Host government)

Opening Session of the African Union Technical Working Group with Egypt (Chair) and Kenya (Host government)

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Launches Guide to Harness Migration’s Positive Contribution to Sustainable Development

Tue, 10/09/2018 - 10:49

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has released a new guide for government actors involved in implementing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as they relate to migration. Migration and the 2030 Agenda: A Guide for Practitioners, published on 09 October, aims to help policymakers integrate migration into local and national development planning.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes migration as a core development consideration – marking the first time that migration is explicitly integrated into the global development agenda. Implementation of the SDGs provides an opportunity to protect and empower mobile populations to fulfil their development potential and benefit individuals, communities and countries around the world. But the migration-SDG connections reach far beyond just implementing migration policies, and entail integrating migration across governance sectors.

“This guide is a breakthrough as it enables [policymakers] to seize the tremendous opportunity brought by the inclusion of migration in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and to systematically connect migration and development policies moving forward,” said Cécile Riallant, IOM Senior Migration and Development Specialist.

“Effective migration governance is a key success factor for the achievement of the SDGs. Many SDG targets can only be achieved if migration and migrants are considered. This guide equips states and development actors with relevant guidance and tools to better understand the migration-SDG connections and to take practical action to integrate migration into SDG implementation,” she added.

The publication was commissioned by IOM with support received from the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

The full guide is available here.

For more information please contact Katie Colven at IOM HQ; Tel: +41 717 93 65, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 16:47Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM's new guide for government actors involved in implementing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as they relate to migration.

IOM's new guide for government actors involved in implementing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as they relate to migration.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Backs Indonesia’s Response to Earthquake, Tsunami Delivering Water, NFIs to Devastated Areas

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 11:01

Palu – As search and rescue operations begin to wind down in Central Sulawesi, following the September 28th earthquake and tsunami, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) is deploying staff and aid to the affected area at the request of the Indonesian authorities. Three IOM specialist staff, including a doctor, will today take part in a multi-agency assessment mission in the affected area.

IOM will tomorrow dispatch an 11-truck convoy from Makassar in southern Sulawesi to Donggala, one of the worst affected towns in the area, carrying 83,600 liters of drinking water in 19-liter re-usable plastic bottles. The convoy, the first of six or seven scheduled over the coming days, will have a police escort over the roughly 24-hour road journey.

Drinking water has been identified as one of the most urgent needs in the area, where basic infrastructure including mains water and electricity were knocked out by the disaster. While the government is working all out to restore access to power and clean water in the coming days, the IOM water shipment, organized at the request of the Indonesian military, will provide a stop gap solution in an area that has yet to get the same level of aid as neighboring Palu. 

IOM is also providing a 10,000-liter water bladder, 4,000 emergency shelter kits and 4,000 household (NFI) kits to help survivors of the disaster, which left at least 1,581 people dead and 2,550 people seriously injured. At least 113 people are still missing, and numbers of casualties are expected to rise as areas previously cut off by landslides and flooding become accessible. An estimated 66,000 houses have been damaged and almost 71,000 people are displaced and staying in over 140 sites.

IOM will this week start to work with the Indonesian authorities to map the extent of displacement caused by the earthquake and tsunami.  The Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management (BNPB), the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Affairs have agreed to coordinate their assessments to map the disaster using IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) – a tool that shows how many people have been displaced, where they are and their immediate needs.

The government-led assessment will start with the identification of displacement sites. Once a site is identified, the BNPB will register families using an agreed format. The survey data will be collected by 300 students flown into Palu from Makassar by the Indonesian military. IOM and UNFPA will provide technical and logistical support and the information will be shared on a public website to inform the humanitarian response.

“We are working closely with our government counterparts and partner agencies to ensure that the humanitarian community has the data it needs to provide an effective humanitarian response. The DTM will help us to ensure that the right aid goes to the people who need it most,” said IOM Indonesia Chief of Mission Mark Getchell.

Earlier this week IOM allocated USD 200,000 from its internal funds to kickstart its emergency response operation. Additional funding is now expected from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) and USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).

Earthquakes are common in Indonesia, one of the most seismically active countries on earth. On 5 August, a 6.9 magnitude quake and a series of strong aftershocks struck the island of Lombok, 1,700km from Palu, killing at least 430 people and injuring 1,300 more. Tens of thousands remain displaced and more than 67,000 houses are reported to have been damaged.

A 9.2 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Sumatra on Boxing Day 2004 triggered a tsunami that killed an estimated 220,000 people, including more than 160,000 Indonesians.

Since that time Indonesia has invested considerably in its emergency response systems. IOM has worked closely with the national disaster planning agency on trainings and simulations over the years, particularly in Aceh province, the area hardest hit in 2004.

IOM has worked in Indonesia since 1979 and currently has 16 offices and 11 project sites across the country. These include two offices in Sulawesi.

For more information please contact Mark Getchell at IOM Indonesia, Tel:  +62 8111092582, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 - 17:30Image: Region-Country: IndonesiaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM emergency response specialists working with government and UN partners assess the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Central Sulawesi. Photo: IOM 2018

IOM emergency response specialists working with government and UN partners assess the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Central Sulawesi. Photo: IOM 2018

IOM emergency response specialists working with government and UN partners assess the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Central Sulawesi. Photo: IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Supports South Sudan in Developing Its First Migration Policy

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 11:01

Juba – South Sudan is developing the young country’s first ever migration policy with support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Through a three-day consultation, which began Wednesday (03/10), key Government stakeholders are setting priorities to be addressed by the comprehensive migration policy.

South Sudan hosts thousands of migrants – estimated to be more than 845,000 in 2017, according to the 2017 International Migration Report – the majority of whom are from the East and Horn of Africa and are often travelling irregularly. Not only a country of destination for many migrants, South Sudan is a major transit country on the route to Northern Africa. 

This week’s consultative workshop was made possible through funding from the Better Migration Management Programme (BMM) and the Government of Japan. BMM is a regional, multi-year, multi-partner programme co-funded by the EU Trust Fund for Africa and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). BMM aims to provide capacity building to improve migration management, particularly to prevent and address irregular migration, including smuggling of migrants and trafficking in persons.  

“We saw the need for South Sudan to come up with a migration policy when we realized that there were some legal loopholes,” said Riaw Gatlier Gai, South Sudan’s Deputy Minister for Interior, who officially opened the consultation. “We need to close these gaps,” said Gai.  

Migrants enter the country for a variety of reasons, a phenomenon described as mixed migration. Groups in the country include refugees, migrant workers and their families, unaccompanied migrant children and victims of trafficking. Those travelling to or through the country often enlist the services of smugglers to facilitate their journey.

“Migration in itself is not a bad thing,” said James Pui Yak, South Sudan’s Deputy Inspector General of Police, at the consultation. “We South Sudanese have been to so many countries as migrants and refugees; that experience has shown us the benefits of migration,” added Yak.

Migrants' vulnerability to abuse is heightened in humanitarian settings, particularly for irregular migrants. The impact of a crisis can be worse for them, as they cannot easily access information or aid. This is not only the case in South Sudan but also in countries like Somalia, Yemen and Libya. 

Discussions during the consultation centred on establishing correct facts and figures around migration in South Sudan, mixed migration, labour migration, and migration and development. 

“Regular and irregular migrants contribute to the country's economy, particularly through payments for business licenses and creating employment opportunities,” remarked Tya Maskun, IOM South Sudan Head of Operations.

She added: "This consultation marks the beginning of South Sudan’s journey towards establishing a legal framework, which should aim to protect and address migrants' needs while harnessing the benefits they bring to the country.”

Maskun also added that due to its status as a member of the East African Community, South Sudan is a party to the free movement protocol, an agreement that should be at the core of migration policy. The protocol defines free movement as the right to enter and exit member states and move freely within them, subject to the states’ laws and procedures, with the aim of increasing Africa's economic integration.

IOM began its migration management support to South Sudanese nationals in 2010 by facilitating their return and reintegration, for those who wished to participate in the historic referendum for independence from Sudan. The outcome of this week’s consultation will lead to another landmark step forward for the country.

For more information, please contact IOM Juba:
Harry Smith, Tel: +211912379615, Email:
Olivia Headon, Tel: +211912379843, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 - 17:25Image: Region-Country: South SudanThemes: Migration PolicyDefault: Multimedia: 

Riaw Gatlier Gai, Deputy Minister for Interior, officially opens the IOM-hosted consultation on South Sudan's migration policy. Photo: IOM/Olivia Headon 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Community Action Plans Launched in Jubbaland State, Somalia

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 11:01

Jubbaland IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in partnership with the Jubbaland State launched the Afmadow Community Action Plan (CAP) in Afmadow, Somalia on 29 September. This followed a similar launch in the previous day (28/09) in Garbaharey district.

As part of the Midnimo (a Somali word for “unity”) project, led by the Federal Government of Somalia and implemented jointly by IOM and UN Habitat with funding from the UN Peacebuilding Fund and the UN Trust Fund for Human Security, the CAP results from inclusive consultations between various socio-economic groups, including internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees, women, youth, and host community members. It lays the foundations for governance, cohesion, durable solutions and peace. The Community Action Plan will be reviewed quarterly and upgraded accordingly. The community action plans outline an inclusive common vision and prioritize projects for peaceful coexistence and sustainable development.

“Today is a historic and unforgettable day for Afmadow District; we are very excited to see the community identified projects from our own hearts that have been accepted and taken forward to the implementation phase,” said Sheikh Mohamed Dakane, Afmadow District Commissioner, during the launch.

“As the government, we have never ever seen a project like Midnimo where the community are full drivers of the process and we are here officially to launch the CAP and lay the foundation for six community projects,” he added.

Both events, in Afmadow and Garbaharey, were led by the Ministry of Interior, District Commissioner and community leaders, and attended by government representatives, including from the Governor’s office and Jubbaland Refugee and Internally Displaced Person's Agency.

Representatives from the diaspora and local and international NGOs, including Norwegian Church Aid, American Refugee Committee, Gedo Women Development Organization, among others, were present. Also, in attendance were community groups, such as representatives of IDPs and returnees, women, youth, community elders, religious groups, vulnerable members of the community, and business community members.

Authorities applauded the Midnimo partners for facilitating the community-based planning approach and urged all actors to use the action to guide their interventions and fundraising efforts in coordination with local authorities.

In Garbaharey, IOM will support four projects identified in the CAP, namely, the construction of the airport terminal hall, a health centre, meat market, and extension of Gogol Primary School.

The launch resulted in various pledges to support other community projects. The World Food Programme and UNICEF, through the Gedo Women Development Organization, will manage the proposed health centre in Garbaharey.

Adan Shimbirolays, a Somali-American singer from Garbaharey, noted: “We have already supported and constructed Jalle Siyad hospital in Garbaharey and let me assure you again that I will take this action plan, do fund raising around the world with big concerts and music shows using my talent as a singer and finally support community projects listed here.”

Jama Abdullahi Ugas, the Director of Social Affairs from the Governor’s office, urged the community to work closely with the local administration to strengthen the security situation in the town.

“We couldn’t have gathered here and have this important event if there is no security in this town. This is made possible due to the cordial working relationship with the community and the local government and we are always encouraging you to double your efforts to achieve your goals,” he said.

Mohamed Aden, a community leader, added: “It is a great honour for us to have such a wonderful launching ceremony. We really appreciate IOM for conducting such sustainable developmental projects in Afmadow town. It is the first time we lay the foundations for six different projects in Afmadow town. We strongly thank you for your tireless support and commitment towards these wonderful and historical activities.”

Friendly football matches then took place after the CAP launches in both Garbaharey and Afmadow, during which young IDPs, returnees and host community members used sports kits donated through the project.

The Garbaharey CAP launch and sports event were equally aired live on Jubbaland State Television and radio. View it here:
For more information please contact the Programme Support Unit at IOM Somalia, Tel: +254700671197, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 - 17:20Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: Capacity BuildingCommunity StabilizationDefault: Multimedia: 

Afmadow football team. Photo: IOM/Hilowle Abdurahman 2018

Launch of the Community Action Plan in Garbaharey. Photo: IOM/Ahmed Gure 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 84,345 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,777

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 11:01

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 84,345 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 3 October, with 38,451 to Spain, the leading destination this year.

The region’s total arrivals through the recent weekend compare with 139,677 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 312,153 at this same point in 2016. Deaths on the Mediterranean remain high, at 1,777. However, that figure is well below fatalities recorded at this time last year (2,749) or 2016 (3,682).

Arrivals to Italy – just 947 in September – marked the first time in the last five years months fewer than 1,000 migrants or refugees landed in Italy (see chart below). Almost as few arrived in February and March this year, traditionally the slowest period of the season, yet even in those winter months at least 1,000 arrivals were recorded. The sharp drop that began over a year ago during the summer of 2017 has accelerated throughout this current year.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project notes that at least 1,777 people have died or gone missing on migratory routes across the Mediterranean region during the first nine months of 2018 and into 3 October, which marks the fifth anniversary of the October 2013 Lampedusa shipwrecks.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo noted Thursday, “Wednesday marked five years since a shipwreck off the Italian island of Lampedusa claimed 368 victims.  In Italy, 3 October became the official Remembrance Day for those migrants – formally titled National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Immigration.”

He explained that, five years ago, the Lampedusa shipwrecks made headlines and the international community seemed united in its willingness to avoid further death at sea. But since then, 14,736 migrants have lost their lives on the Central Mediterranean Route trying to reach Europe.

IOM – together with UNHCR and other organizations – took part this week in the commemoration of the tragedy organized by the ‘3 October Committee’ in Lampedusa. The initiative brought to the island students from across Italy (as well as from a school in Paris) who attended awareness lessons on migration issues. IOM staff provided a lesson on the trafficking of human beings. The commemoration was concluded with a silent march led by the survivors of the shipwreck and ended at the Gate of Europe, created in 2008 by the artist Mimmo Paladino, the memorial monument dedicated to all migrants who have died at sea.

“It is important to come to Lampedusa on 3 October because the tragedy that took place on that day must always be commemorated, together with all the other tragedies that unfortunately are still happening at sea. We came here also to stress, once again, that saving life at sea must always be a priority,” said Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project notes that over 60 per cent of migrant deaths worldwide in 2018 have been recorded in the Mediterranean. Most recently, a shipwreck between Morocco and Spain occurred on 1 October: 11 bodies have been recovered from the capsized patera while another 23 people remain missing, according to testimonies from 26 survivors. A child and an infant are among the 34 dead or still missing.

Also, in the Western Mediterranean: the body of a sub-Saharan African woman presumed to be a migrant was found on Cabo Negro beach, Morocco last Sunday. In the Central Mediterranean, an NGO plane patrolling the coast of Libya reported spotted a body floating several miles northeast of Zuwara on Monday. No remains have been retrieved since then, which is another indication that many more migrant deaths in the Mediterranean probably go undetected.

IOM Libya reported Thursday total departures of stranded migrants this year under IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return programme have reached 12,819 with 172 leaving last week and 121 the first two days of October (see chart below).

Since 1 January 2017, IOM has returned 32,190 under VHR, either via commercial airliners or charters. The top four countries of return are Nigeria, Niger, Mali and Guinea. Last week’s returnees went home to The Gambia, Bangladesh, Guinea and Cameroon. This week’s returnees were to Senegal, Pakistan, Cameroon and Bangladesh.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Thursday that IOM estimates that through 03 October, data provided by Spain’s Ministry of Interior indicate the total number of arrivals to Spain is 43,371, of which 38,451 are registered as arrivals by sea (see charts below).






























































IOM notes that over this year’s first five months, a total of 8,150 men, women and children were rescued in Spanish waters after leaving Africa – an average of 54 per day. In the 125 days since May 31, a total of 29,564 have arrived – or just under 240 migrants per day. The months of August-September alone have seen a total of 13,723 irregular migrants arriving by sea – or 225 per day, on average. Through the first three days of October, an average of 353 irregular migrants have arrived each day.

Dimitrios Tsagalas of IOM Cyprus reported Thursday that on 2 October Cyprus Civil Defence spotted 16 people at the Ledra Palace checkpoint. According to IOM staff who were on the Pournara Temporary Accommodation, two males, four females and 10 children, all of Syrian nationality, were reported in the party. Tsagalas said with those latest arrivals the total number of irregular migrants and refugees arriving in 2018 to Cyprus now is 501.

IOM Greece reported on Thursday that from Tuesday (02 October) through Wednesday night, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported at least five incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Samos and Lesvos. The HCG rescued a total of 259 migrants and transferred them to the respective islands.

Those and 61 more arrivals over three days (2-4 October) bring to 23,560 the total number of arrivals by sea to Greece through 04 October (see chart below).

IOM’s Western Balkans team reports that according to available DTM flow monitoring data, more than 4,351 new migrants were registered arriving in Albania, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1 and 30 September 2018, which is twenty times more than the average of 220 monthly arrivals reported in the countries concerned in 2017. 

Between January and September 2018, authorities in these countries registered a total of 21,059 irregular entries. According to the available information on nationalities: Pakistan, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Algeria and Iraq are the most commonly reported origin countries. The distribution of migrants by nationality varies between the three countries on the route. One third of all registered migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina were from Pakistan, followed by those from the Islamic Republic of Iran (15%), the Syrian Arab Republic (13%), Afghanistan (10%), and Iraq (9%).

In Montenegro and Albania, Syrian nationals comprised the majority (42% and 50% respectively), followed by those who arrived from Pakistan (16% and 19% respectively), Algeria (8%) in Montenegro and Iraq (9%) in Albania. Such differences in the nationality structure of registered migrants are explained by the fact that migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina also enter from Serbia and that certain groups of migrants from Montenegro continue not only toward Bosnia and Herzegovina but toward Serbia as well. Further on, since March 2018, DTM is monitoring outgoing flows from Albania to Montenegro in Shkoder region. According to the available data there were 1,164 migrants apprehended while attempting to exit Albania irregularly. Similarly to the nationality breakdown of registered arrivals, outgoing flows were predominantly composed of migrants from the Syrian Arab Republic (39%) and Pakistan (33%).

Available DTM flow monitoring data for Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia also indicate increased movement of irregular migrants to/through these countries. Between January and September 2018, there were 5,593 newly registered migrants in the reception centers across Serbia. This is almost twice the 2,897 registered in the same period last year, and slightly more than the 5,435 registered in the whole of 2017. More than half of all registered migrants in Serbia this year declared Pakistani origin (58%), another 12% were from the Islamic Republic of Iran followed by 9% of migrants from Afghanistan, 6% from Iraq and 6% of Bangladeshi nationals. In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia authorities reported arrival of 2,361 irregular migrants as of 19 September, four times the 547 reported in the whole of 2017.

Beyond the Mediterranean, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths and disappearances of 2,797 people during migration to international destinations in 2018 (see chart below).

Elsewhere in the world – where infrequent monitoring of migratory routes means that data on migrant deaths is even more scarce – several migrant deaths were recorded. On the US-Mexico border, two bodies were recovered near the Rio Grande. On Sunday, a man’s body was found among the bushes on banks of the river near Mission, Texas.

On Monday, an unidentified man was found drowned in the Rio Grande in the south of Maverick County, Texas. On Wednesday, another unidentified man was found dead after falling from La Bestia – the notoriously dangerous cargo trains used by migrants travelling northwards to the US – near Tezuapan, Mexico, near Cañada Morelos. This same region was the site of another Bestia-related death, of a 28-year-old migrant from El Salvador whose remains were recovered in July near a railroad crossing known as “Bola de Nopal,” or “Cactus Ball.”

In Africa, reports that a ship carrying 60 migrants had been lost at sea off the coast of Guinea-Bissau had a less dire outcome than expected. Despite initial reports that wreckage from the migrants’ boat had been recovered, Captain Siga Batista confirmed that 63 missing migrants had been rescued by a cargo ship and brought to the Gambia. There were later reports that two individuals were lost at sea, though this has not yet been confirmed.

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 migrants’ deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.

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 Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email:
Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email:
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email:
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email:
Atigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel:   +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 166; M. +30 69 48 92 98 09
Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 248, Email:
Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM, Austria, Tel: + +43 1 5812222, Email:
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email:
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel. +216 29 240 448, Email:
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 - 17:15Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Helps Somali Migrants Return Home from Tanzania

Fri, 10/05/2018 - 11:01

Mogadishu – On Wednesday (03/10) IOM, the UN Migration Agency, assisted 17 Somali migrants in returning voluntarily from Tanzania, where they had been detained as they embarked on an unsuccessful journey to South Africa.

IOM’s intervention was made under the auspices of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa (also known as the ‘Joint Initiative’) with funding from the EU Trust Fund for Africa.

The latest return will bring the number of Somalis assisted by IOM under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative to 82 since March 2017.

This assistance was provided in close coordination with the governments of Somalia and Tanzania and will enable the Somali returnees to build a future back home. It includes medical check-ups, housing, group and psychosocial counselling, along with longer-term support towards developing job skills and starting up small businesses to have gainful employment and decent livelihoods. The Joint Initiative aims to assist at least 1000 Somali returnees before March 2020.

Gerald Kihinga, representing Tanzania’s Commissioner General of Immigration (CGI), thanked IOM for its continuing support in managing migration, and welcomed the collaboration and coordination between the governments of Tanzania and Somalia in attending to the increasing numbers of Somali migrants entering Tanzania irregularly.

The EU-IOM Joint Initiative facilitates orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration management through the development of rights-based and development-focused procedures and processes on protection and sustainable reintegration. The project covers and has been set up in close cooperation with a total of 26 African countries.

Southern Africa is still a preferred destination for migrants from East and the Horn of Africa. However, the southern route – largely to South Africa – also has its share of hazards, including the risk of arrest for those without the requisite documentation, or for those who overstay their welcome in the transit countries.

Others opt for Europe and the Middle East using what have come to be known as the northern and eastern routes: perilous journeys through areas impacted by conflict, to the north of Africa, the western part of the continent as well as the Horn of Africa.

For more information please contact:
Amy Edwards at IOM Somalia, Email:
Gracia Anthony at IOM Tanzania, Tel: +255 716 204156, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, October 5, 2018 - 17:10Image: Region-Country: SomaliaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationHumanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

The 17 migrants just before their departure for Ethiopia. Photo: IOM

From left: Tanzania’s Commissioner for Passport and Citizenship, Mr. Gerald Kihinga and IOM Chief of Mission in Tanzania, Dr. Qasim Sufi. Photo: IOM

One of the migrants as the group boards the plane for home. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN