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Updated: 2 hours 58 min ago

IOM Delivers Food, Tents and Medical Assistance to Thousands of Newly Displaced Yemenis

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 09:26

Al Hudaydah – IOM, the UN Migration Agency staff in Yemen are delivering assistance to thousands of people displaced by heavy fighting around the strategic port city of Al Hudaydah this week.
“We and our partners are working in a difficult environment in hopes of alleviating some of the hardship people are experiencing by providing food, and non-food items (NFIs), shelter kits and good quality tents we’ve just received from the Department for International Development (UK),” said Stefano Pes, IOM Yemen’s Officer in Charge.
“The situation is very bad and we’re doing our best to provide them with temporary shelter and support for the time being.”
Civilian casualties and mass displacements continue to mount amidst intense fighting that began on 12 June. It has caused further damage to ravaged public services that has affected water supplies, forced shops to close resulting in shortages in essential commodities, complicated the delivery of humanitarian assistance and resulted in the closure of a temporary feeding centre in Zabid.
The fortunate few are traveling to the relative safely of Sana’a, Aden and Thamar but the majority of the population have already exhausted their reserves, forcing them to seek protection wherever they can.
Fifty IOM staff are working in various locations to assist migrants and an estimated 50,000 newly displaced Yemenis in Al Hudaydah. In coordination with its partners, IOM is providing shelter kits and NFIs to 1,400 households in Bait Al Fakeeh. In Hays and Al Khookh, internally displaced persons (IDPs) have received 165 food baskets and IOM’s Migrant Response Point (MRP) compound is today sheltering and providing services to 41 displaced Yemenis. The organization has also provided 7,830 meals to children in three Al Hudaydah schools. The IDPs have received 400 boxes of dates, nearly 1,600 people have received free consultations at IOM’s clinic and 40 pregnant women have received counselling.
Located in the western part of the country, Al Hudaydah is the primary gateway for food and humanitarian aid for a population on the verge of starvation. Humanitarian organizations fear the port closure will lead to further forced displacements of people in a country where two million are already displaced and in need of humanitarian assistance.
For more information, please contact Saba Malme at IOM Yemen, Tel: + 967 736 800 329; Email:


Language English Posted: Friday, July 20, 2018 - 14:50Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

A child from Hudaydah receiving non-food items from one of IOM's distribution sites.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Kenya’s Draft National Migration Policy Integrates Global Compact Commitments

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 09:25

Nairobi The Government of Kenya, through the National Coordination Mechanism on Migration (NCM), convened a national validation-consultation meeting on its draft Migration Policy on Tuesday (17/07). The meeting brought together 45 delegates from the central government, the counties, legislature, academic and research institutions, as well as international agencies.

Dan Opon, Chairman of the NCM Secretariat, acknowledged the importance of the inputs from a broad range of stakeholders in making the draft migration policy align with international standards and realities of citizens, migrants, and refugees.

The draft policy provides a roadmap to address impacts and challenges of migration and is informed by relevant international, regional and national frameworks including the Kenya Vision 2030, the Big 4 agenda, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the Global Compact for Migration (GCM), Migration Governance Framework, the African Union Migration Framework and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) regional migration policy framework aimed at promoting safe, orderly and humane migration.

Thematic discussions on forced migration; migration and development; facilitation of international mobility; border management; and crosscutting issues such migration and education; health; human rights; environment; gender; and addressing vulnerabilities in migration were also revisited in plenary sessions among other topics. The delegates dissected the objectives and strategies by section. After this validation session, the NCM will be submitting the refined document for adoption by the Government of Kenya.

Raouf Mazou, UNHCR Kenya Country Representative, noted the recognition of refugees and asylum seekers’ needs as well as the role of host communities, and the respect for non-refoulement in the draft comprehensive policy. He also commended Kenya’s historical role in hosting large numbers of refugees from neighbouring countries.

Michael Pillinger, IOM Kenya Country Office Chief of Mission, recognized the months of hard work done by NCM members to reflect on the benefits and risks of migration, international and internal processes as well as the victims of irregular migration processes.

Pillinger emphasized the importance of social cohesion and broader cooperation of local and regional stakeholders towards durable solutions for internally displaced persons (IDPs) and their host communities. IOM Kenya and IGAD have supported the consultative processes since 2017. The validation workshop also provided an opportunity for validating the Kenya Migration Profile (2015).

For more information please contact Michael Pillinger at IOM Kenya Country Office, Tel: +254 20 4221 161, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, July 20, 2018 - 14:45Image: Region-Country: KenyaEurope and Central Asia/RomaniaThemes: Global CompactGlobal Compact on MigrationMigration PolicyDefault: Multimedia: 

Michael Pillinger of IOM Kenya and UNHCR Country Representative Raouf Mazou follow proceedings at consultative meeting about Kenya’s draft Migration Policy 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Belarusian Youth to Develop Counter-trafficking Preventive Initiatives

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 09:18

Minsk On 16 July the second Learn.Act.Share youth summer camp kicked off near Minsk, in the very centre of Belarus, uniting 18 active young people from different regions in their desire to LEARN about the human trafficking problem and then ACT and SHARE the knowledge in their communities.

The six-day summer camp offers participants interactive and informative workshops, trainings and master-classes to familiarize them with human trafficking and related issues and on how to identify signs of human trafficking and what tools to use that make a difference in combatting such crimes.

The young people will end up devising their own preventive initiatives and mini-projects that they will implement throughout the coming year with expert support from IOM and several other partners from different UN and government agencies, NGOs and private companies. Moreover, they will join last year’s summer camp alumni in establishing a network of young agents in the region who contribute to the fight against modern slavery.

“In my application form I specified that I’m eager to learn how I can personally contribute to the prevention of human trafficking. I’m a very active person and I believe I will share the acquired knowledge with my peers,” said Margarita Goldenkova, one of the participants, after the first very dynamic and intensive camp day.

Zeynal Hajiyev, IOM Minsk Chief of Mission highlighted the importance of the partnership saying, “It’s the second time we are organizing such a camp together with partners from the government and UN agencies, public associations and private campaigns. We are glad that this year the list of partners has expanded. IOM always emphasizes the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to addressing human trafficking.”

Vladimir Emelyanov, the representative of the Ministry of the Interior admitted the importance of joint efforts and recognized the role of active youth “It’s better to prevent the problem than to solve it. This camp focuses exactly on prevention. Young leaders, the participants of the summer camp, will be able to tell their peers about human trafficking and its dangers and consequences.”

The youth summer camp is tailored to the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, and is the part of the IOM X Belarus campaign launched together with the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Belarus with the support of USAID.

The IOM-led initiative is supported by the Ministries of the Interior and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus, UN agencies, private companies, NGOs, crowdfunding platform Talaka, the British Embassy in Minsk, USAID, and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Daily video and photo updates will be available here 
For more information please contact Olga Borzenkova at IOM Belarus, Tel: +375 17 2882742. Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, July 20, 2018 - 14:35Image: Region-Country: BelarusThemes: Counter-TraffickingMigration and YouthDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants of the 2nd youth summer camp “Act.Learn.Share” in Minsk Region, Belarus 

Photo: © IOM Belarus 2018 

Participants of the 2nd youth summer camp “Act.Learn.Share” in Minsk Region, Belarus 

Photo: © IOM Belarus 2018 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM: '86% Lost Sources of Income After Deadly Volcano Eruption in Guatemala'

Fri, 07/20/2018 - 09:17

Guatemala City – Today (07/19), IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reported that 86 per cent of people affected by Volcán de Fuego's eruption last month, lost their sources of income or their businesses. According to surveys conducted by IOM, 43 per cent were left without land to carry out agricultural activities and 13 per cent say they intend to migrate irregularly.

To address the emergency arising from the eruption, IOM has been working in close coordination with the Government of Guatemala. Two rounds of surveys have been conducted to evaluate the characteristics of the affected population. Additionally, actions have been taken to improve assistance to those in shelters, and to prevent human trafficking.

According to the last Survey on Expectations and Livelihoods, 41 per cent of the people interviewed need housing, work (25 per cent), land for agriculture (18 per cent) and economic aid (7 per cent). In addition, 9 per cent need training, scholarships, furniture, health supplies, among other services.

The information was gathered through interviews with people located in shelters through the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). It is already available to government authorities, United Nations agencies, international organizations and diplomatic corps, to provide a comprehensive response to the affected population’s needs.

The results have shown that all shelters have acceptable security perimeters and clinics for primary medical care. However, all active shelters are subject to some degree of vulnerability, particularly in the areas of water, sanitation, protection, and health. Therefore, IOM will administer USD 319,980 for the improvement of infrastructure conditions for shelters through the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

At the same time, to prevent crimes of sexual violence and trafficking in people in shelters, the IOM Mesoamerica Program has provided informative materials for parents, children and adolescents in coordination with the Secretariat against Sexual Violence, Exploitation and Trafficking in Persons (SVET), as well as with the support of the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration of the United States Department of State.

IOM has made available to the public a web page where the data, statistics, infographics and most relevant information from the affected areas will be constantly updated. You can access it here.

For more information, please contact Melissa Vega from IOM Guatemala, Email: or Alba Miriam Amaya from IOM El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, July 20, 2018 - 14:30Image: Region-Country: GuatemalaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM has conducted surveys to identify the main needs of people living in shelters after the volcanic eruption. Photo: IOM/2018 

IOM has conducted surveys to identify the main needs of people living in shelters after the volcanic eruption. Photo: IOM/2018 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Fate of Rohingya Refugees Discussed by IOM Chief and Bangladesh Prime Minister

Tue, 07/17/2018 - 11:20

Dhaka/Cox’s Bazar - Almost a million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh face a triple threat of extreme weather, funding shortfalls and uncertainty about their future, William Lacy Swing, head of the UN Migration Agency, IOM, said today.

Director General Swing said it was crucial for the world to remain focused on the crisis, as a "failure to do so would have tragic outcomes for the nearly a million Rohingya refugees sheltering in Bangladesh." 

He made the remarks after reviewing progress by IOM and partners in managing the world’s largest refugee settlement in Cox’s Bazar discussions with Bangladesh’s Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka and an earlier meeting on Thursday with Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi.

"The Rohingya in Cox’s Bazar are in danger of becoming the wretched of the earth, homeless and without a future," he said, adding, "The world must rally to support them."

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stated, "The wellbeing of the Rohingyas is our concern while they are here (in Cox’s Bazar Bangladesh)."

She also underscored the enormity of the impact that so many refugees are having on the local population and the need for global solidarity to find a solution to their plight and humanitarian aid to support them and the surrounding host communities.

Ambassador Swing previously visited Cox’s Bazar in October 2017, less than three months into a violent crisis which has sent more than 700,000 people fleeing over the border from Myanmar since late August 2017.

The Rohingya now live in desperately cramped conditions on bare sandy slopes, with only bamboo and tarpaulin shelters to protect them from the elements. All this in an area that suffers two cyclone seasons yearly and some of the heaviest monsoon conditions in the world.

Ambassador Swing noted the major improvements to the camps’ management and infrastructure carried out by IOM, and an entire spectrum of other UN agencies, NGOs as well as other organizations and the government, including access ways, bridges, drainage, sanitation and improved shelters.

However, as monsoon rains turned many hillsides to mud, Ambassador Swing warned that with just one quarter of joint funding appeal for the entire response met so far, much of the progress made in recent months was at serious risk of collapsing. That, he said, would create yet another life-threatening disaster for the Rohingya community.

Ambassador Swing, who met young mothers from the refugee and local Bangladeshi host community who had recently given birth at an IOM medical facility in the heart of the sprawling mega-camp stressed the vital role that such health services played for people in Cox’s Bazar whether refugee or local residents.

“Everyone must recognize, in addition to the refugees’ needs, the tremendous impact this crisis is having on the host community,” he said.

IOM has been working in Cox’s Bazar providing medical care to the local community long before the crisis which began last August, he noted.

“All mothers – refugees and locals – should have access to safe, hygienic facilities to give birth and it’s profoundly worrying that funding shortages are now threatening these crucial maternity services which are making such differences to the lives of women and babies from all backgrounds.”

Ambassador Swing praised the great hospitality of the local community and the government and people of Bangladesh as a whole in supporting the Rohingya refugees in what is now one of the world’s largest humanitarian responses.

“The world must recognize the hugely generous support that the Bangladesh government and host community here in Cox’s Bazar has offered these refugees who arrived in such desperate conditions with nothing.”

For more information please contact

Leonard Doyle at IOM HQ, Email:, Tel: +41 792857123
Fiona MacGregor, IOM Cox’s Bazar, Email:, Tel: +88 0 1733 335221

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - 17:17Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM DG William Swing meets new mothers from the Rohingya refugee and local communities. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Upgrades Tanzania Regional Immigration Training Academy Forensic Lab

Tue, 07/17/2018 - 10:14

Moshi – Under the framework of a Dutch-funded project entitled Enhancing Migration Management in African States through Capacity Building on Integrated Border Management and Countering Irregular Migration, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, upgraded the forensic laboratory in the Tanzania Regional Immigration Training Academy (TRITA). This upgrade included the provision of equipment for examining travel documents, and IOM reference training manuals that are specifically designed for forensic labs such as the Passport Examination Procedures Manual (PEPM II) and the Document Examination Laboratory Manual for the Immigration Environment (DELMIE).

The newly upgraded forensic laboratory is used to train immigration officers from the African continent to detect fraudulent travel documents at entry points along African borders. Fraudulent documents are often used by criminals for the purpose of migrant smuggling and human trafficking.

The first group to benefit from the upgraded forensic laboratory training facility at ACBC/TRITA included 11 Immigration Officers from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), who attended a Training of Trainers (ToT) course on Security Document and Fraud Detection from 9 to 13 July. The ToT course was led by experts at IOM’s African Capacity Building Center (ACBC) for Migration and Border Management in Moshi, under the framework of the Dutch-funded project. The ACBC cooperates closely with TRITA and other regional and continental bodies to further develop the capacity of African immigration officers from across the continent. This training aims to teach practical skills in travel document examination and fraudulent document detection, as well as techniques for the screening of travellers; within the ToT format, the goal is to significantly increase the pool of expert trainers in the DRC.

The training also aimed to promote understanding of growing and complex global migration challenges within the framework of an integrated border management approach. The programme also contributes to strengthening close cooperation between the Netherlands immigration authorities and the immigration authorities of several African countries.

The new document examination equipment was received for TRITA by Edward Paul Chogero, on behalf of Anna Makakala, the Commissioner General of Immigration (CGI) of Tanzania. Officials from the Tanzanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (representing the Director of Multilateral Co-operation, Ambassador Celestine Mushy) and officials from TRITA also participated in the handover ceremony. While handing over the equipment to the Government officials, IOM Tanzania Chief of Mission, Qasim Sufi stressed that “the aim of upgrading the Forensic Laboratory in TRITA/ACBC is to create a state of the art training space, where the knowledge and skills of immigration officers from the African continent are further developed to effectively address irregular migration, combat migrant smuggling and human trafficking, and to more efficiently and effectively manage their borders.”

The event was widely covered by the media including national TV stations, radio and newspapers.

For more information, please contact IOM’s African Capacity Building Center in Moshi:
Marcellino Ramkishun, Tel: +255 786 067505, Email:
Nelson Goncalves, Tel: +255 27 275 3466, Email:
Pamela Kyando, Tel: +255 27 275 3466, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - 15:50Image: Region-Country: United Republic of TanzaniaThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Representatives from the Tanzanian Immigration Service Department, the Government of the Netherlands, IOM and participants from DRC to the Training of Trainers on Security Document and Fraud Detection.

From left to right: Nelson Goncalves – IOM ACBC, Jan Willem Konig – Netherlands Repatriation and Departure Service, David Ferdinand Fupi – Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr Qasim Sufi – IOM Tanzania, Edward Paul Chogero – Tanzania Immigration Service Department , Marcellino Ramkishun – IOM ACBC. 

IOM ACBC expert introducing the new security document equipment features to the representative of the Tanzania Immigration Service Department.

DRC Immigration Officers benefiting from the new equipment during Training of Trainers on Security Document and Fraud Detection 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 50,872 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,443

Tue, 07/17/2018 - 10:08

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 50,872 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through 15 July 2018. That total compares to 109,746 at this time last year, and 241,859 at this time in 2016.

Arrivals to Spain (see chart below) overtook those to Italy this past weekend. To date just over 35 per cent of all Mediterranean irregular migrants have come via the Western Mediterranean route, whose irregular migration volume has nearly tripled those registered at this time last year. 

Arrivals to Italy are nearly identical, but still trail Spain by about 200 arrivals. Greece counts about 29 per cent of all arrivals. Significantly, Greece’s arrivals thus far in 2018 are running almost 5,000 ahead of last year’s totals on this date, an increase of better than 50 per cent. Arrivals to Italy, on the other hand, are down over 80 per cent compared to 2017 data.

IOM Rome’s reports Monday remind us that, while lower in volume, the Central Mediterranean route remains the region’s deadliest, with almost four times the number of drownings as Spain has recorded since 1 January, despite almost identical arrival totals.
IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported Monday that 447 migrants – who left aboard a wooden fishing boat last Wednesday from the Libyan port of Zuwara – arrived in Pozzallo on Sunday. He reported the group had been rescued on Saturday morning by the Monte Sperone ship of the Italian Guardia di Finanza and the Frontex vessel Protector.
Di Giacomo added they had to wait in the harbour over 24 hours before receiving authorization to disembark, adding that the migrants arrived in “severe” health conditions due to the terrible detention experienced in Libya, in informal detention centres.
Migrants arriving at the port told IOM staff that four travelling companions died last Friday. Witnesses said all were on board, although without water or food, when they spotted another vessel, still not identified. Driven by despair, about 30 people jumped into the water trying to reach the ship, which was much too far away. Four drowned, all of Somali origin, including one 17-year-old boy.  These reports were later confirmed by the friends and relatives of the four migrants, who also were on board, Di Giacomo said.
IOM Rome on Monday also released new data from Italy’s Ministry of the Interior related to the nationalities of 16,566 irregular migrants arriving by sea through the end of June. Through this half-year, citizens of Tunisia comprise the largest single group, just over 3,000 individuals or almost one of every five arrivals. Fewer than 600 Tunisians were recorded through the first half of 2017, so this year’s activity is five times greater in volume.

Conversely, arrivals from the next nine largest nationalities – Eritrea, Sudan, Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Guinea, Pakistan, Iraq and Algeria – all fell, in some cases quite substantially. Just 1,229 Nigerians were reported as arrivals in 2018 – compared to 14,118 at this time last year. Pakistan, which recorded 2,242 arrivals to Italy in the first half of 2017, recorded less than a third that number – 720 – through half of 2018. Côte d’Ivoire’s arrivals dropped to about 15 per cent of last year’s totals, as did those from Guinea (see chart below).

IOM Madrid’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 18,016 men, women and children, irregular migrants who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 15 July. With these latest figures Spain is the Mediterranean’s most-sought destination, for irregular migrants traveling by sea, surpassing Italy and Greece. Additionally, nearly 3,000 more migrants (2,874 according to Spanish authorities) have attempted to enter Spain irregularly via the country’s African enclaves of Melilla and Ceuta.  

As remarkable as Spain’s rise in irregular migration activity has been through 2018, even more important is its recent surge. Over the 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 45 days since June 30, a total of 9,866 have arrived – or just under 220 migrants per day (see charts below).

IOM Spain also reported Monday that over the past weekend Salvamento Maritimo rescue boats and Spanish Guardia Civil vessels saved more than 500 migrants in the Mediterranean. Most of them were rescued in the Strait of Gibraltar area and some others in the Alborán Sea. A majority were rescued and disembarked on the ports of Algeciras, Barbate and Tarifa; those rescued in the Alborán Sea disembarked at the port of Almería.

*The figures for June 2018 include the migrants who disembarked in Valencia from the
Aquarius boat – total of 630 migrants

Despite the rapid run up of arrivals to Spain, deaths on surrounding waters appear to have abated. In July – which has witnessed the arrival of nearly 3,000 irregular migrants – Spanish authorities have noted the death of a single migrant: a 19-year-old from Senegal, lost in Moroccan waters – although 55 drownings also were recorded the previous month, when nearly 7,000 arrivals also were recorded. June, however, was not the year's deadliest month in the Western Mediterranean. IOM's Missing Migrants Project recorded 89 migrant drownings on this route in April and 75 in February (see chart below).










Western Mediterranean










IOM Athens’ Christine Nikolaidou said Monday that IOM learned of at least two incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Lesvos. The Hellenic Coast Guard rescued a total of 109 migrants and transferred them to that island.
Another 177 migrants were reported landing without Coast Guard assistance at Kos, Chios, Samos and Rhodes – as well as to Lesvos – bringing to 286 the total number of arrivals during those five days. Through 15 July, the total number of sea arrivals to Greek territory since 1 January is 14,678. April remains the busiest month for irregular migration by land and sea to Greece, with a total of 7,009 men, women and children arriving. February was the lowest with 1,610 (see charts below).

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has documented the deaths of 1,443 migrants in the Mediterranean thus far this year. On 15 July, an estimated 17 people went missing off the coast of Sabratha, Libya. According to the testimonies of the 18 survivors who were rescued by local fishermen, there were originally 35 people on board. Unfortunately, no remains have been retrieved yet. The migrants come from Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Cameroon, Chad, Mali and Nigeria.
IOM Libya’s Christine Petré also on Monday reported that over the weekend (15 July), for the 18 migrants (six men, 11 women and one girl from Chad) who were rescued by fishermen off Sabratha, IOM provided emergency assistance in form of basic medical care.

On 16 July, eight migrants, including six children, were found dead inside a truck container in Zuwara, Libya. They died of suffocation due to inhalation of petrol fumes. Another 90 migrants were found in critical condition. Petré explained that the migrants are said to be from various sub-Saharan African and Arab countries, including Libya and Syria, in addition to Pakistan and Bangladesh.

According to information received, the truck – which was transporting over 100 migrants – was intercepted at around 02:00h on the morning of 16 July. The remaining 90 migrants recovered from the container were in critical condition and in need of urgent healthcare assistance.

Some of the survivors were transported to Zuwara hospital, where a hospital manager told IOM that there were 11 dead and 25 medical cases brought to the hospital. A Moroccan man among those brought in required admission to the ICU, and was referred to Sobrata hospital, as Zuwara hospital lacks ICU facilities.

An IOM medical doctor is at Sobrata hospital to assist in the reception and admission of the man, as well as assist with any present needs.

IOM Libya's Petré on Monday also reported that during the day 158 migrants (113 men, 34 women and nine children) were returned to shore by the Libyan Coast Guard. All received medical assistance through IOM’s local partner STACO. She added so far this year, 11,660 migrants were returned to Libyan shore.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 2,186 people while migrating in 2018 (see chart below).
In addition to Mediterranean deaths, MMP reported that on the Colombia-Panama border, a Cuban migrant drowned on 12 July in waters near Sapzurro, in Colombia’s northern department of Chocó. His body was recovered by the Colombian Navy authorities during an operation in the Gulf of Urabá in which 62 other migrants were rescued from a boat.
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:
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:
Atigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel:  +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 166), Mobile +30 69 48 92 98 09, Email:
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, 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:
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email:
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Mobile +216 28 78 78 05, Tel:  +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - 16:10Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

More Help Needed for Yazidis Struggling to Rebuild in Sinjar: IOM Iraq

Tue, 07/17/2018 - 10:08

Hardan, Iraq - As millions of Iraqi returnees grapple with post-conflict realities in areas devastated by war, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) has provided more than 600 Yazidi families with non-food items in villages around the town of Sinjar, about 120 km west of Mosul.

IOM distributed essential household items such as mattresses, blankets, cooking stoves, hygiene kits, rechargeable lights and fans with the financial support of the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance.

For the first time since the end of the conflict, IOM last week was able to access Hardan, a village located about 30 km east of Sinjar town. The local Mukhtar (community leader) of Hardan, Qolo Qasem Elyas, explained that about one fifth of families have returned to the village.

“More than 300 families, around 2,100 individuals, used to live in Hardan but to date only about 60 families have returned,” said Elyas. “On 3 August 2014, when ISIL militants attacked and overran Sinjar district, including Hardan, 70 people were killed and 376 kidnapped, many of whom are still missing.”

ISIL executed hundreds of Yazidi men and enslaved thousands of women and children. Escaping widespread violence in 2014, hundreds of thousands of Yazidis and other minorities from the district fled to Mount Sinjar.

Today, thousands of people are still too afraid to leave the mountain, preferring living in tents on Sinjar’s plateau, rather than returning to their villages.

Rebuilding their lives has brought immense challenges for the trickle of families who chose to return. Many have nothing at all; their savings have been depleted, their homes looted and destroyed, and their livelihoods, wiped out.

Where they are available, essential services in these villages are only partially functioning, and the area remains heavily contaminated with the explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices. Communities are often a fraction of what they once were and, as people have begun to return, the absence of thousands of family members is palpable.

The Mukhtar of Hardan village explained that neither the school nor the health clinic are functional because the community has no piped water due to infrastructure damage.

Families who invited IOM staff into their homes said that there is little support available to help them cope with their psychological and physical trauma, and they expressed great anxiety about the future.

Over the coming months, IOM will help to improve conditions across multiple sectors in communities of return, repairing essential infrastructure, such as the public water network, supporting the local government to deliver healthcare and other essential services, and facilitating access to livelihoods through cash-for-work projects.

“IOM is providing critical humanitarian assistance to the population in Sinjar, and we expect to scale up this assistance soon,” said IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Gerard Waite. “After more than three and a half years in exile, Yazidis deserve the chance to be able to return and re-establish their lives and communities. Given the scale of damage, much support is needed.”

According to IOM Iraq’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), in the year since the area was fully retaken from ISIL, most Yazidi families remain unable to return to Sinjar town and surrounding villages; of the 52,158 internally displaced persons (IDPs) who have returned to Sinjar district, less than one fifth have returned to areas south of Mount Sinjar.

For more information please contact Sandra Black at IOM Iraq, Tel: +9647512342550, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - 16:05Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Distribution of non-food items in Hardan village near Sinjar.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Afghanistan Looks to Diaspora to Promote Development

Tue, 07/17/2018 - 10:05

Kabul – IOM, in partnership with the Government of Afghanistan, this week (15-17/7) organized a workshop to help Afghanistan to engage with its diaspora abroad to promote the country’s development.

The event was the first of its kind in Afghanistan and was attended by 16 representatives of various government bodies, including the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled, which is currently the lead ministry responsible for diaspora engagement.

IOM presented an “Enabling, Engaging, Empowering” approach to diaspora communities for development. This includes the mapping of diasporas, best practices in engagement strategies, reducing barriers to engagement, and how to empower policymakers and diasporas to build mutual trust.

“Almost anyone can be part of a diaspora. It is a very personal decision which links to the feeling of identity and belonging to a certain group or place,” IOM regional labour migration expert Lara White told delegates.

The training was part of an IOM Development Fund-supported project to help the Afghan government in its diaspora engagement efforts, which aim to attract foreign investment and skills transfer. There are an estimated 6 to 7 million Afghans living abroad.

IOM, which began to promote the return of qualified Afghans to the country in 2001, is now supporting the roll out of Afghanistan’s National Diaspora Policy, which President Ashraf Ghani prioritized as a means of achieving development and self-sufficiency for Afghanistan in July 2017.

“IOM congratulates the Afghan Government for its diaspora engagement efforts over the past year and stands with you in further promoting diaspora engagement for the medium to longer term development of Afghanistan,” IOM Chief of Mission and Special Envoy Laurence Hart told the workshop.

The IOM Development Fund project aims to inform the Afghan National Diaspora Policy in preparation for its roll-out. It will firstly conduct a mapping of the Afghan diaspora in selected countries. Secondly it will support a needs assessment to determine where the biggest needs are for diaspora engagement to see where the diaspora can have the biggest impact. And thirdly it will build the capacity of government staff in diaspora engagement.

The project and the Afghan government’s efforts to engage the diaspora are in line with Objective 19 of the Global Compact on Migration, which calls for creating the “conditions for migrants and diasporas to fully contribute to sustainable development in all countries.”

For more information please contact David Hofmeijer at IOM Afghanistan, Tel. +93 72 922 9432, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - 16:00Image: Region-Country: AfghanistanThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Afghanistan is developing a national diaspora policy to engage with over six million Afghans living abroad. Photo: IOM 2018.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Indonesian City Admits Migrant Children to Public Schools

Tue, 07/17/2018 - 10:05

Medan – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Department of Education in the Indonesian city of Medan have signed a Memorandum of Understanding paving the way for 297 refugee children to enter the local public-school system, which started Monday.

Medan, a port city of more than two million people in North Sumatra, currently hosts 2,226 refugees and asylum seekers, the largest migrant population in any single location in Indonesia.

The children originate from nearly two dozen different countries – including Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, and Myanmar. They will start joining local children in seven Medan schools later this month. 

For many, this will be their first day at a formal school since leaving their home countries. For some, it will be the first time ever.

Of the group, 72 will enter the school system immediately, while the remainder will be phased in over the next three to six months after attending Indonesian language classes that IOM introduced earlier this year.

“As human beings, we are very concerned for the refugees, especially for these school-aged children,” said Hasan Basri, the Head of Medan’s Department of Education. “My department will give its full support towards ensuring that they are able to pursue their education.”

Prior to this agreement, IOM provided migrant and refugee children across Indonesia with a variety of educational options, including home schooling and regular classes at their accommodation, while supporting migrant-driven community learning centres.

“We are delighted that (Medan’s) Mayor endorsed our proposal for these children to enrol in public schools,” said IOM Western Indonesia Coordinator Mariam Khokhar. “Being in a structured school setting will return a semblance of normalcy to their lives. IOM will provide uniforms for the new pupils and will continue to mobilize support for their right to education.”

Indonesia is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and local governments across the archipelago are increasingly acknowledging the importance of access to education for migrant and refugee children.

Elsewhere in Indonesia, IOM has this year secured 56 places in public schools in the Jakarta area and 60 in Makassar for the children, while their families await third-country resettlement. Last year it secured 80 places.

The migrants themselves continue to play an essential role in providing education to both children and adults. Last month in Pekanbaru, 650 kilometres south of Medan, migrants inaugurated a volunteer-driven youth learning centre that will serve as a coordination hub for educational and cultural activities, including those aimed at helping the host community. The centre emulates a similar one set up in Medan last year that also empowers migrants to help themselves and their hosts.

In addition to educational support, IOM also provides over 8,800 migrants and refugees temporarily stranded in Indonesia with shelter, food security, health and psychosocial assistance under a programme funded by Australia.

For more information please contact Patrik Shirak at IOM Indonesia at Tel. +62215 7951275; Email: - Paul Dillon at IOM HQ Geneva at Tel. +41 79 636 98 74


Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - 15:55Image: Region-Country: IndonesiaThemes: Migration and YouthRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Refugee children yesterday attended their first day of school in Tangerang, near Jakarta. Photo: Dayinta Pinasthika / IOM 2018

:  IOM’s Mariam Khokhar and Medan City Department of Education officials led by Hasan Basri  (centre right) sign the agreement to provide access to public education for refugee children. Photo: Dewi Manurung / IOM.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Central American Countries Exchange Experiences of Voluntary Return

Tue, 07/17/2018 - 10:04

Panama City – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, this week (16-17/07) held a regional workshop to exchange experiences of assistance programmes for the voluntary return of migrants in situations of vulnerability. Held in Panama City, the workshop was attended by participants from the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM) member states.

According to the latest IOM report on assisted voluntary return and reintegration, IOM provided assistance to 72,176 migrant returnees in 2017 around the world. Among them, 3,331 were identified as vulnerable, of whom 48 per cent had health-related needs, 34 per cent were victims of human trafficking, and 18 per cent were unaccompanied migrant children.

At the regional level, Mesoamerica is considered as a region of origin, transit, destination, and return of migrants, where situations of vulnerability associated with irregular migration can lead migrants to seek assistance to return to their countries of origin.

In this context, the workshop sought to strengthen the countries' capacities related to comprehensive migration governance, including the protection and assistance of migrants in situations of vulnerability throughout the migration process.

Also presented during the workshop were the Assisted Voluntary Return Fund, from which more than 250 people have been benefited since 2015 and the IOM Fund for Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration implemented through the Mesoamerica Program and has provided assistance to more than 600 migrants since 2010.

"We have found out that many countries make great efforts to assist their nationals abroad to return to their country of origin voluntarily, but often it is done in isolation and without sharing their experiences with other countries," said Santiago Paz, IOM's Chief of Mission in Panama. "This event will strengthen their own voluntary return mechanisms and make them more effective in their response to these situations."

"These regional exchanges and spaces for dialogue reaffirm the will of our governments to implement and work on jointly, to face different challenges for a safe and orderly management of migration," said Nadia Montenegro de Detresno, General Director in charge of Legal Affairs and Treaties of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Panama. "Collaboration and exchange of experiences between governments is essential to be able to act effectively for the protection of migrants, as well as the commitment and challenge for the member countries of the RCM, both of destination and of origin and transit, in the creation and strengthening of mechanisms and protocols to protect people who return voluntarily," she added.

The workshop also counted the participation of representatives from other countries outside the region such as the Netherlands and Colombia, who presented their own experiences with the purpose of promoting dialogue and exchange of experiences and initiatives that contribute to improving the protection of people in a situation of vulnerability.

This effort was made with the support of the Mesoamerica Program, which seeks to contribute to the development and implementation of strategies for regular, orderly and safe migration, ensuring adequate protection for migrants.

For more information, please contact Khalid Khattabi at IOM Costa Rica, Tel: 506 22125328, Email

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - 15:45Image: Region-Country: Costa RicaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants at today's workshop on Good Practices in Assisted Voluntary Return. Photo: IOM/2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Director General Swing lauds “historic” Global Compact for Migration

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 19:11

New York - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) today heralded the completion of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) as an important milestone that will improve international cooperation on migration. 

“This is not the end of the undertaking but the beginning of a new historic effort to shape the global agenda on migration for decades to come,” IOM’s Director General William Lacy Swing said today. “States approached negotiations in an admirably positive spirit of collaboration with a view to how they would like to see migration policy, practice and cooperation evolve over the years, rather than as a reaction to one crisis after another as it often seems.” 

The GCM sets out a range of principles, commitments and understandings among Member States, affecting nearly 260 million international migrants and the communities that host them, including considerations relating to human rights, humanitarian, economic, social, development, climate change and security issues. 

“Throughout the process, UN Member States have clearly recognized that migration is always about people. The migrant-centered approach adopted with the commendable guidance of co-facilitators from Mexico and Switzerland, and of the Special Representative to the Secretary General on International Migration, is unprecedented,” Director General Swing said. 

 “I want to acknowledge the critical importance of their decision to include such a wide spectrum of government, civil society and private sector actors over the past two years, in particular the invaluable contribution of migrants themselves.” 

The Compact is the culmination of a process that began in September 2016 when the United Nations General Assembly addressed, for the first time at such a high level, the issue of human mobility and its many dimensions in a High-Level Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants.  

The Summit resulted in the adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants that launched an intensive preparatory process which has led to this week’s agreement. It is slated for adoption at an Intergovernmental Conference in Marrakesh in December. 

“It was the sustained commitment and resolve of UN Member States and a of highly engaged stakeholders to find a new way forward that brought us to this day. We look forward to continued partnership with them, and to supporting their efforts to implement the vision and spirit of the GCM, in the years to come.” 

For further information please contact IOM TITLE Michele Klein-Solomon PHONE/EMAIL or IOM Spokesperson Leonard Doyle Tel. +41792857123. Email: 



Language English Posted: Friday, July 13, 2018 - 19:09Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Member State representatives burst into applause as historic Global Compact for Migration is finalized in New York.  Photo: Rahma Gamil Soliman. IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

DG Swing Discusses Myanmar Crisis with Aung San Suu Kyi

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 17:56

Nay Pyi Taw - IOM’s Director General William Lacy Swing said rebuilding community cohesion in Myanmar is key to resolving the crisis created by the flight of 700,000 refugees to Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh since last August.

Swing made the remarks in a meeting Thursday with Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of Myanmar in the nation’s capital Nay Pyi Taw. He also welcomed a plan recently agreed between UNDP and UNHCR (respectively the UN agencies for development and refugees) and the Myanmar government.

The Joint Myanmar Government-UN plan is designed to create the conditions for voluntary, safe and dignified return and reintegration of the refugees with quick impact projects to benefit communities. The aim is to create confidence-building and social cohesion measures leading to economic growth and development.

“Myanmar faces great challenges, and there is an urgent need to help bring communities together to enable the country to achieve its great potential” Swing said.
IOM has a track record in peace and reconciliation worldwide, and he offered its support in this regard.

In wide-ranging discussions, Swing and Aung San Suu Kyi discussed IOM’s decade-long, active presence in Myanmar where its 600 staff are providing a range of services to vulnerable communities in 13 of the country’s 14 states and regions, including Rakhine state. IOM’s work focuses on safe and orderly migration, community development, health care, disaster risk reduction and preventing human trafficking and smuggling.

The meeting coincided with peace and reconciliation talks in the capital which Aung San Suu Kyi is leading. With a number of the country’s multiple ethnic groups still involved in active conflict, the government faces many challenges beyond the immediate humanitarian crisis of the refugees.

One of those is migration with its long borders with Thailand, Laos, China, India and Bangladesh. (Some 25 per cent of Myanmar’s population are migrants, whether internally or in foreign countries.)

For more information contact Leonard Doyle Tel +41 792857123 / Email

Language English Posted: Friday, July 13, 2018 - 17:51Image: Region-Country: MyanmarThemes: OthersDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM DG William Lacy Swing Meets with Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi on Refugee Crisis.  Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 48,629 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,422

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 07:30

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 48,629 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea through 11 July 2018. That total compares to 102,308 at this time last year, and 239,492 at this time in 2016.

Arrivals to Italy and Spain are nearly identical, both just shy of 17,000 migrants, both destinations accounting for 35 per cent of the region’s arrivals. However, Spain continues to be the preferred destination, accounting for well over half of all arrivals since 1 June.

IOM Rome reported Thursday that the number of irregular migrants arrived by sea to Italy thus far in 2018 is at 16,984 migrants: a number that is over 80 per cent lower than last year in the same period.

The downward trend appears to be accelerating (see chart below): monthly arrivals to Italy this year have topped the 4,000-person mark just once, in January. For the previous two years, monthly arrival totals to Italy regularly exceeded 10,000, and 20,000 during summer months.


IOM Libya’s Christine Petré on Thursday reported that during the day yesterday (12 July) the Libyan Coast Guard was in the midst of a search and rescue operation concerning two rubber boats, with more than 100 migrants between them.

IOM’s emergency teams were waiting Thursday at disembarkation points preparing to assist migrants with direct assistance including food and water and medical care. Petré added that during the first 193 days of 2018, a total of 11,380 migrants have been returned to Libyan shore by the Libyan Coast Guard, an average of almost 60 per day.

Since 1 July, however, the remains of 21 migrants have been found along the Libyan coast.

IOM Madrid’s Ana Dodevska reported Thursday that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 16,902 men, women and children, irregular migrants who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 11 July.

Slightly over half of all landings – 8,752 people – occurred just in the past 41 days. Moreover, sea arrivals to Spain by irregular migrants already have surpassed 75 per cent of all of 2017 arrivals, and exceed the arrivals of 2015 and 2016, combined (see charts below).

*The figures for June 2018 include the migrants who disembarked in Valencia from the Aquarius boat – total of 630 migrants  

IOM Spain also reported Thursday on its assistance in the relocation to France of 78 migrants who arrived on the Aquarius Rescue ship in recent weeks, after a series of interviews that took several days to complete before these 78 migrants were able to travel. Two others remain in Spain due to medical reasons. Once their health conditions permit them to travel, IOM will arrange their transfer to France.

The charter flight departed Thursday at 11:20 from Valencia Airport. The majority of the migrants were from Sudan (70%) and the rest were from Eritrea, Ethiopia, Chad, Guinea and Libya. Ninety-four per cent were men and 6 per cent women.

IOM Athens’ Antigoni Avgeropoulou said Thursday that IOM learned of three incidents during a two-day stretch, 9-10 July, where the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) carried out search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos, Samos and Chios. The HCG rescued a total of 95 migrants and transferred them to those islands.

Another 65 migrants were reported landing at Kos without Coast Guard assistance and 65 more to Lesvos, Samos and Chios, bringing to 225 the total number of arrivals during those two days. Through that date the total number of sea arrivals to Greek territory since 1 January is 14,392 (see charts below).

IOM’s Balkans team reported Thursday that, based on available data, more than 3,300 irregular migrants were intercepted by the border authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Albania in June 2018, five times more than a total of 649 registered in the first six months of 2017.

As previously reported, the most significant increase was observed in Bosnia and Herzegovina where authorities registered a total of 2,744 in June alone, reaching a total of 8,034 since the beginning of the year (eight times more than the 1,116 registered in the whole of 2017).

Historical data on monthly arrivals indicate a gradual increase in arrivals to Bosnia and Herzegovina since last summer that reached its peak in June 2018. In August 2017, authorities reported 97 irregular entries, a 54 per cent increase compared to 63 reported in July same year. Since then numbers have kept rising, reaching a peak in June 2018.

An estimated 330 new irregular migrants were registered in Bosnia and Herzegovina on a weekly basis between February and June 2018, ranging from 68 reported between 26 February and 4 March and 736 registered between 4 and 10 June 2018.




Weekly Irregular Entries to Bosnia and Herzegovina: February – June 2018


In Albania and Montenegro authorities reported 3,394 new irregular migrants since the beginning of 2018 (double the 1,559 registered in the whole of 2017). Some 2,130 irregular migrants were intercepted while entering Montenegro and 1,254 on entry to Albania. Moreover, DTM flow monitoring activities in the North of Albania (Shkodra region) revealed another 590 irregular migrants who attempted to leave the country between March and June 2018.

Majority of all irregular migrants were of Pakistani origin, followed by those from Syrian Arab Republic, Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, Morocco and Algeria (read more here).

Worldwide, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 2,151 people while migrating in 2018 (see chart below).

Most recently, at least three people died on the US-Mexico border. On 1 July, Mexican civil protection authorities recovered the remains of a young man from the Río Bravo near Nuevo Laredo, in Tamaulipas. Another young migrant drowned trying to cross the Río Bravo on 9 July. His body was recovered near Ciudad Miguel Alemán, also in Tamaulipas.

On 6 July, US Border Patrol officers found the remains of a man near highway 98 in El Centro, California. He died of dehydration shortly after crossing the border from Mexicali.

There were two other additions to the Missing Migrants Project database since Monday’s update. On 5 July, a 40-year-old man died after falling from a freight train near Torréon, in Mexico’s state of Coahuila. The Missing Migrants Project team also received information about another train-related death which took place in Mexico earlier in May: a young migrant was killed by a freight train near El Carrizo, Sinaloa.

While probably an underestimate, 19 people are known to have died in Mexico as they travelled on top of cargo trains in 2018. A similar number have drowned this year in the river separating Mexico from Texas, which is slightly fewer than at this time in 2017. Last year a total of 48 migrants are believed to have drowned in the Río Bravo.

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.

Download the Latest Mediterranean Update infographic 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:
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:
Atigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel :   +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 166), Mobile: +30 69 48 92 98 09, Email:
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, 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:
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain. Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email:
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, July 13, 2018 - 13:35Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Humanitarian Situation Worsens as Over 800,000 Displaced People Face Cold and Heavy Rains in Ethiopia

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 07:30

Dilla –  Over 800,000 internally displaced persons are living without adequate shelter and safe sanitation in Ethiopia, resulting in a worsening humanitarian situation further exacerbated by cold, wet weather brought on by the rainy season.

Clashes last month between communities along the border of two Ethiopian regions – Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region (SNNPR) and Oromia Region – forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes.

Those displaced in June added to some smaller-scale displacements that occurred in April and May.

According to data collected through IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), there were already 1,776,685 people internally displaced throughout Ethiopia – most due to drought and subsequent floods – before these latest movements.

Walking for days to find safety, many sleeping out in the open along the way, the displaced communities have few if any possessions beyond the clothes they left in, and no food or money.

Samira*, a 22-year-old mother of seven who arrived three months ago in one of the first waves of displacement, is now living in Gedeb (Gedeo Zone), where local authorities have requested IOM, the UN Migration Agency, to focus its site management support.

Her family left home with very little and have hardly had enough to sustain their lives while displaced. Her husband was also wounded in his leg when they were fleeing.

“We only managed to escape with our lives - we did not carry anything with us, only our children, but I know there are people here who have it worse than us,” said Samira, whose family has found shelter in a disused building.

“We are really grateful to have shelter to protect us from the outside but we need more food and clothes – our children are cold. There are good organizations supporting us but we need much more.”

The Government of Ethiopia which has lead the response since the crisis began, is racing to provide vital humanitarian services across numerous displacement sites in West Guji Zone (Oromia) and Gedeo Zone (SNNPR), the latter hosting the majority of those displaced.

Many of the displaced people are staying with relatives in local communities or in rented accommodations, while others are sheltering in collective centres like schools, government buildings and disused factories. Those staying in local communities still come to the collective centres during the day to access humanitarian services.

Thousands of people are crammed into overcrowded collective centres unfit for human habitation. Others sleep outside on dirt floors with nothing more than a tarpaulin to shield them from the cold and rain. Open fire cooking in overly congested buildings, poor sanitation and cold weather are all contributing to a worsening environment from both health and protection perspectives.

In support of and in close coordination with the Government of Ethiopia, IOM is providing humanitarian assistance to displaced populations in collective centres and within local communities through an integrated approach focusing on core aid distribution, emergency shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance, primary emergency health care and site management support. In addition, IOM’s DTM is supporting the overall response by much needed identification of population movements and needs.

"With so many people displaced in such a short space of time, IOM mobilized response teams and resources to immediately help the Government and local communities address the rapidly-mounting humanitarian needs," said Maureen Achieng, IOM Ethiopia Chief of Mission and Representative to the African Union, IGAD and UNECA.

"However, the rains continue and people have very little to survive on - more support is urgently needed from the international community."

In the past week, IOM distributed 1,000 blankets and began building 40 communal shelters to protect displaced communities from the weather. By Thursday (12/07), IOM had completed 15 of a planned 150 latrines and had started digging several more. These activities are being done in addition to displacement tracking rapid assessments, and other ongoing support.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon in Ethiopia, Tel: +251902484062, Email:<>

Language English Posted: Friday, July 13, 2018 - 13:40Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Samira,* a displaced Ethiopian, holds one of her seven children in front of the tiny space she shares with other families at the Gedeb site. Photo: Olivia Headon/IOM 2018

A partially constructed building at the Gedeb site - one of the most congested, hosting thousands of Ethiopians internally displaced by conflict. Photo: Olivia Headon/IOM 2018

Displaced women at Gedeb speak to IOM about their living conditions. Photo: Olivia Headon/IOM 2018

IOM constructs a communal shelter to help provide adequate shelter for displaced Ethiopians in Gedeb (Gedeo Zone). Photo: Olivia Headon/IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Resumes Voluntary Humanitarian Returns from Yemen

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 07:27

Sana’a – After a careful assessment of the current situation in Hudaydah by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and through high-level coordination with stakeholders, a voluntary humanitarian return of 53 Ethiopian migrants was organized from Yemen.

On Thursday (12/07), utilizing IOM expertise in such complicated situations, a safe corridor was charted to move the migrants from Hudaydah Seaport; a ship with proper clearances transported the 53 migrants (48 men, 5 boys) out of war-torn Yemen to Djibouti, where IOM staff will receive them and coordinate their onward journeys.

“It was important to focus the evacuation on the migrants present in Hudaydah and move them as soon as possible due to the escalation of fighting around Hudaydah,” said Stefano Pes, IOM Yemen Officer in Charge. “We are pleased that we were able to evacuate them.

"On a sad note, a migrant who was hit with a stray bullet in Sana'a a few days ago passed away today. This is a small example of the level of danger that migrants and the people of Yemen are enduring every day," he added.

Last month (22/06), IOM announced that its voluntary humanitarian return assistance to migrants stranded in Hudaydah would be postponed until further notice, due to ongoing military operations approaching the port city. Prior to that, IOM had to cancel a scheduled return of stranded migrants which was due to occur on the 14 June.

With the intensification of fighting near IOM’s Migrant Response Point (MRP) in Hudaydah, 22 Ethiopian migrants were evacuated on 19 June to Sana’a to be housed in one of the organization’s foster family locations for close observation and care.

Meanwhile, IOM Yemen is continuing its humanitarian assistance to fleeing and displaced populations from Hudaydah at its Migrant Response Point, which is now serving displaced Yemenis in addition to migrants.

With the support of other UN agencies, IOM has been providing the migrants with food, transportation out of Hudaydah, health care assistance, psychosocial support and cash assistance. Due to the dire need and the substantial volume of displacement, IOM has dispatched a mobile medical team to Hudaydah, in an ambulance staffed by one doctor and three nurses, to meet the emergency healthcare needs of affected populations. Five ambulances were also donated to support the population, given the shortage of medical facilities and professionals in the region.

To date, IOM has assisted over 483 Ethiopian migrants with return assistance out of Hudaydah, and 1,205 Somali refugees out of Aden Seaport.
For more information, please contact Saba Malme at IOM Yemen, Tel: + 967 736 800 329, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, July 13, 2018 - 13:30Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationMigrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

53 Ethiopian migrants departing from Hudaydah port, Yemen, en route to Djibouti, where IOM staff will coordinate their onward journey to Ethiopia. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Adopts New Mobile-based Staff Security System

Fri, 07/13/2018 - 07:27

Geneva – This week IOM, the UN Migration Agency, adopted an innovative new staff security system across IOM missions worldwide. With the Security Communications and Analysis Network (SCAAN), IOM’s 11,000 global staff will be equipped with a mobile app that utilizes geolocation, context-specific advisories, instant headcounts and reporting features to enhance security communications and assistance.

SCAAN will have a life-saving impact on teams in the field worldwide. According to the Aid Worker Security Database, there were 158 major attacks against aid operations in 2016, in which 101 aid workers were killed, 98 wounded and 89 kidnapped.

For the second year in a row, South Sudan had the highest number of attacks on aid workers with 52, followed by Afghanistan (25), Syria (20), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (13) and Somalia (12).

“As the safe humanitarian space in which we operate continues to shrink, ensuring the security and well-being of staff working in hostile environments is essential,’’ said William Wairoa-Harrison, Head of IOM Staff Security Unit. “Adoption of SCAAN at the global level allows any staff member facing danger to instantly alert us, enabling a more rapid response.’’

SCAAN is designed to mitigate risks and strengthen security measures, particularly for staff working in high-risk locations – armed conflicts, natural disasters, civil unrest and other threats – by leveraging the latest mobile technology. The mobile app facilitates rapid communication between field staff and security personnel, which is vital to providing efficient and appropriate assistance in an emergency.

SCAAN was developed jointly by IOM's Staff Security Unit and the Media and Communications Division in collaboration with CENTRIC, the research and innovation centre at Sheffield Hallam University in the UK. SCAAN has two components: a mobile application developed for IOM staff; and a dashboard for security staff monitored by IOM’s 24/7 Security Operations Centre as well as local and regional security personnel. Through this co-design partnership, SCAAN has been customized for the protection of IOM staff.

“Innovation and co-creation coupled with close partnership between IOM and CENTRIC made the vision of SCAAN into operational reality for the safety and security of IOM staff,” said Babak Akhgar, Director of CENTRIC.

IOM currently has over 11,000 staff working in more than 150 countries worldwide including 800 staff responding in Level 3 emergency contexts. IOM works extensively in providing technical and operational support in humanitarian contexts and provides migration services in emergencies or post-crisis situations to address the needs of individuals and uprooted communities across the globe.

For more information, please contact Amy Rhoades at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 22 717 9948; Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, July 13, 2018 - 13:21Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, African Union and Partners Commit to Enhancing Labour Mobility in Africa with USD 9 Million Swedish Grant

Thu, 07/12/2018 - 09:04

Nairobi – Yesterday (11/07) IOM, the UN Migration Agency, on behalf of the African Union Commission and the International Labour Organisation signed a USD 9 million grant with Swedish International Development Agency, SIDA, that will go towards labour migration policy development, capacity-building for the African Union Commission, labour institutions and RECs, skills development and skills mobility, and overall labour migration governance.

The grant, which will support the implementation of the Joint Programme on Priority Implementation Actions on the AU-ILO-IOM-ECA Joint Programme on Labour Migration Governance for Development in Africa (Priority JLMP), was signed during the opening ceremony of the Symposium to Foster Labour Mobility within and from Africa in Nairobi—which focused on the effective governance and regulation of labour migration and mobility in Africa. The event took into account rule of law and the involvement of key stakeholders across government, legislatures, social partners and migrants, international organizations, NGOs and civil society organizations.

“In connection to this symposium, Sweden would like to announce that it will finance an initial phase of three years JLMP project with a total of USD 9 million,” said Torbjorn Petterson, the Swedish Ambassador to Ethiopia and Djibouti. “In addition, Sweden is also providing support to the AU via IOM to retain the existing capacity of AU in terms of technical assistance,” Ambassador Petterson added.

Maureen Achieng, IOM Ethiopia Chief of Mission and Representative to the AU/UNECA/IGAD, commended the African Union on its leadership on labour migration issues in Africa and emphasized the importance of partnership and a whole society approach in migration management. She thanked the AUC and ILO for entrusting IOM with the leadership role in the management of the grant.

Responding to the needs explicitly identified by RECs and social partners, as well as to those defined in AU regional policy instruments, the programme focuses on critical areas for facilitating free movement of workers as a crucial means of advancing regional integration and development in Africa.  Long-term, the implementation of the JLMP is expected to:

  • extend dignified work and social protection to migrant workers and their families
  • strengthen regional integration and inclusive development
  • encourage employment, productivity, productive investment and business success
  • enable better social and economic integration of migrants, effective labour and social protection mechanisms, and sustainable labour market systems. 

The program will target the East African Community (EAC), Southern Africa Development Cooperation (SADC), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and migrant workers, migrant associations, diaspora associations and labour market institutions.

The Initiative is funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA).

For more Information, please contact Jo Rispoli, Senior Regional Specialist on Labour Mobility and Human Development, IOM Nairobi at Tel: + 254 700638505, Email:

Language English Posted: Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 15:02Image: Region-Country: KenyaThemes: Migration PolicyDefault: Multimedia: 

Ambassador of Sweden to Ethiopia and Djibouti, H.E. Ambassador Torjorn Pettersson and Maureen Achieng, Head of Mission, IOM Ethiopia and Representative to AUC, IGAD & UNECA exchange notes during the signing ceremony at the on-going Symposium to Foster Labour Mobility within and from Africa. Photo: IOM 

Senior Government representatives from the Ministries of Labour, representatives of Regional Economic Communities, Intergovernmental Authority on Development, representatives from the European Union and Gulf Cooperation Council Member States, the Civil Society, Development and Social Partners pose for a group photo during the symposium. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Solar Power Delivers Water to Tens of Thousands of Yemenis

Wed, 07/11/2018 - 08:22

Sana'a – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, yesterday (10/07) handed over a large-scale solar power water project to the Government of Yemen that is helping to deliver approximately one million litres of water daily to 55,000 people in a country facing chronic water shortages.

Power generated by the 940 solar panels installed on three schools in Amanat Al Asimah and Sana'a Governorates began pumping water to residents of the neighbourhoods of Shu'aub, Al Madinah Al Syahya, and Sho'ob two weeks ago.

IOM’s solar power water project in Yemen, where 90 per cent of the population lacks access to sufficient water, aims to provide conflict-affected communities with alternative methods of accessing clean water. Many people are forced to use unsafe sources of water, which is a clear contributor to the recent cholera outbreak.

Solar energy, collected through photovoltaic (solar) panels, powers deep water pumps and water supply systems. This method cuts dependency and the high recurrent costs of fuel-based technology. An estimated 150,000 litres of diesel and 500 tonnes of carbon emissions will be saved annually due to the environmentally friendly water system in Sana’a.

The project provides essential water supply in places where supply and prices of fuel and other basic commodities are greatly affected by the ongoing conflict and are erratic at best.

Hamoud Obad, Governor of Sana'a, and Abdalah Al Hadi, the Deputy Minister of the Water and Sanitation Authority joined Stefano Pes, IOM Yemen’s Head of Emergency, Transition and Recovery at the official ceremony Tuesday in Sana’a.

This initiative is supported by the United States Office for Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and the Government of Germany. IOM plans to expand this project throughout Yemen to contribute to the sustainable solarization in the country.

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

Language English Posted: Wednesday, July 11, 2018 - 14:08Image: Region-Country: YemenDefault: Multimedia: 

Secretary of Amanat Al Asimah in Sana’a, Yemen officially inaugurates IOM’s Solar Water Initiatives. Photos: IOM/Saba Malme

Secretary of Amanat Al Asimah Hamoud Obad extend thanks to IOM for the beneficial and brave project. Photos: IOM/Saba Malme

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, UN Partners Collaborate with Mozambican Authorities to Enhance Migrant Workers’ Protection

Tue, 07/10/2018 - 10:22

Maputo – The UN Migration Agency (IOM), International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCHR), are collaborating today to enhance the ability of Mozambique government officials to report on and provide technical guidance to the implementation of the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (CMW).

The four-day National Training on Treaty Body Reporting and Workshop on the socialization and domestication of the CMW also aims to improve the government’s capacity to review its legal, policy and institutional framework in Mozambique.

The Convention sets minimum human rights standards for migrant workers and members of their families, with a special focus on eliminating labour exploitation in the migration process.

“Mozambique is member to seven international treaties and optional protocols since 2013 and it was one of the three countries in Southern Africa to ratify this convention,” IOM Mozambique Chief of Mission Katharina Schnoering said in her opening remarks.

“I want to take the opportunity to congratulate the Government of Mozambique for this important step. Now, it is also important to work on the domestication of the Convention into the Mozambican legislation so that these commitments become a reality.”

The facilitators team is comprised of four human rights specialists working at UNOHCHR Pretoria, the Regional Office for Southern Africa and Geneva headquarters. The trainers team includes two members of the Mozambican inter-ministerial committee, representing the Ministry of Justice, Constitutional and Religious Affairs, and the Ministry of Labour, Work and Social Security.

The training focuses on the reporting mechanisms to the treaty bodies, while the workshop aims to provide a direction on how to initiate the process of domestication and explain the obligations that come with domestication of the CMW. It will also help participants to identify legal, policy and institutional gaps in Mozambique.

“The main objective of the reporting process is that the treaty bodies evaluate the level of implementation of the State duties regarding the treaties,” said Marcoluigi Corsi, the acting UN Resident Coordinator and UNICEF Representative in Mozambique.

“The reporting of the member state works as an opportunity to evaluate and debate human rights issues in the country and identify problems and areas that require more attention.”

Mozambique is a country of origin, transit and destination for people engaged in complex mixed migration movements and the country has increasingly seen mixed movements coming from the East and Horn of Africa. Due to their immigration status, inability to speak the local language and unfamiliarity with the Mozambican context, migrants are often not afforded access to justice or the rule of law. Providing technical support on the domestication of the CMW, will ensure that the rights of migrant workers are guaranteed and applied.

For more information please contact Linda Manjate Magaia at IOM Mozambique, Tel: +258 823078342 Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 - 14:13Image: Region-Country: MozambiqueDefault: Multimedia: 

Helena, widow of a Mozambican migrant worker, holding her baby.

IOM Mozambique Chief of Mission Katharina Schnoering speaking at the event. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN