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Updated: 1 hour 23 min ago

UN Migration Agency (IOM) Transports Hundreds of South Sudanese Refugees from Border into Ethiopia

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 11:37
Language English

Ethiopia - On 1 May, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) began the transfer of South Sudanese refugees from Ethiopia’s Pagak border entry point in Gambella to the Gore-Shembola refugee camp in Benishangul Gumuz Regional States, approximately 835 km away.

With recent fighting and severe food insecurity further worsening the already dismal humanitarian situation in South Sudan, an additional 30,000 refugees are expected to enter Gambella over the coming months. Refugee camps in Gambella, one of Ethiopia’s least developed regions, are currently at maximum capacity with the total number of South Sudanese refugees surpassing that of the local population.

IOM, in collaboration with the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), carried out an assessment of the potential route from Pagak border entry point to Gore-Shembola refugee camp in Benishangul, to ensure the safe and dignified migration of the refugees.

Prior to relocation, IOM provided pre-departure medical screenings to ensure refugees are fit for travel, referring those who present medical concerns to local health facilities. IOM is also working in coordination with Plan International to provide psychosocial support and protection services for unaccompanied minors.

“The journey from Jonglei to Pagak has been really difficult. We have walked for six days straight and my children and I have eaten only wild fruit from the forest,” said Nyakim. She and her four children are among the 365 refugees who were transferred to Gore-Shembola refugee camp in Benishangul this week. The struggles of the journey to reach Ethiopia are clearly visible – Nyakim’s four children suffer from skin rashes and a cough. They fled Jonglei due to renewed fighting. Leaving her husband behind, she made the perilous journey to ensure the safety of her children.

“IOM has set up two way stations, one at Metu (275 km from the Pagak entry point) and the other at Gimbi (310 km from Metu),” said Anezier Ebrahim, IOM Officer in charge of the operation, explaining the route taken to reach Gore-Shembola refugee camp. “The way stations have been constructed with the financial assistance of the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and provide overnight accommodation, shelter and meals for refugees in transit from the border entry point to the camp,” he continued.

IOM worked in collaboration with Action for the Needy in Ethiopia (ANE) for way station site preparations and the provision of latrines, showers and water.

“Continued transportation assistance is urgently required to ensure newly arrived refugees’ access to basic services in the camps. IOM remains committed to assist refugees with transportation from Pagak border entry point to Gore-Shembola refugee camp in the coming months,” added Ebrahim.

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

Posted: Friday, May 5, 2017 - 16:43Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastEthiopiaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigrant AssistanceRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: 
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals: 44,209; Deaths: 1,096

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 11:37
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Switzerland - IOM, the UN Migration Agency reports that 44,209 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 3 May, with the vast majority arriving in Italy and the rest in Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 184,741 arrivals through 3 May 2016.

IOM learned this week that, after a brief lull following a surge of boat traffic leaving Libya in mid-April, rescue efforts – and reported deaths of migrants – picked up sharply in the Sicilian Channel. IOM Libya’s Christine Petré said on Thursday (4 May) that Libyan media reported on the remains of 19 migrants said to have been recovered by fishermen off the coast near the city of Subratah. Additionally, she said IOM has confirmed the recovery of another body in Eastern Libya near Tobruk, whose discovery was confirmed on 26 April.

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported this week the remains of at least six migrants or refugees were recovered during an operation carried out by the MSF ship Prudence. IOM also learned from social media on Thursday of an ongoing rescue of two heavily loaded wooden vessels in nearby waters. Rescuers tweeting from their vessels showed photographs of at least two passengers with gunshot wounds. One of the victims was reported dead.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project is still waiting for confirmation for many of those deaths. Therefore today’s Mediterranean fatalities total  –  1,096  –  should be considered a low estimate. Judging from the information received this week, IOM estimates at least 120 more fatalities are likely, which would bring this year’s total through 3 May to over 1,200 – or just short of the 1,379 deaths recorded in the Mediterranean at this time in 2016.

Last year’s totals include nearly 340 more deaths on the Eastern Mediterranean route linking Turkey to Greece than have occurred this year. Meanwhile deaths on the Central Mediterranean route linking North Africa to Italy are running at a pace of over 120 ahead of last year – or an average of one more migrant death per day.

In terms of arrivals, IOM Rome said, through the month of April, this year’s total arrivals to Italy were at 37,034 (see chart below), which is 10,000 arrivals more than either 2016 or 2015. On average, this year’s migration flow from North Africa comes to about 310 men, women and children per day – compared with 218 per day in 2015 and 232 per day last year.

               

IOM Rome also issued a statement concerning acts of vandalism that occurred Thursday (04/05) at some of its facilities. He said "The IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean witnessed today an incident of vandalism by Italian right-wing movement Forza Nuova." He added, "Some demonstrators occupied the outdoor space of the IOM Mission in Rome, after hanging a banner at the entrance with a slogan against NGOs that carry out life-saving search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean. The demonstrators set off smoke devices and kept shouting slogans against migration, and even mocked one of our migrant beneficiaries who was arriving at the IOM office."

IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing said: "We deplore today’s attacks on IOM's offices in Rome by some misguided individuals. This incidence of vandalism highlights the dangerous spread of xenophobia and the need to combat the toxic anti-migration narrative with sound, sensible policies to manage the growing challenge of managing migration across the Mediterranean."

IOM Athens reported on Thursday that total sea arrivals to Greece through 3 May stand at 5,316 – an average of 44 per day since the start of the year. In recent days, IOM Athens has begun to observe signs traffic may again be picking up. This week IOM reports the Hellenic Coast Guard managed at least two search and rescue operations resulting in some 65 migrants being brought to Lesvos. On Monday, IOM learned 116 migrants arrived by sea on the island of Chios while on Wednesday 90 landed on Lesvos.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project reports that there have been 1,668 fatalities through 3 May (see chart below) with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – about two thirds of the global total. At least eight persons were believed drowned off the coast of the Dominican Republic, bringing to 89 the total of Caribbean drownings this year – or 50 more than were recorded through all of 2016.

The Missing Migrants Project also reported the discovery of eight dehydrated victims in the desert near the Niger-Libya border. Five of those victims were children.

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic:
http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/050517_Mediterranean_Update.pdf

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

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

For further information please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM Geneva, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
IOM Greece: Kelly Namia Tel: +30 210 99.12.174, Email knamia@iom.int or Daniel Esdras, Tel: +30 210 9912174, Email: iomathens@iom.int
Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
IOM Libya: Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int  or Christine Petré, Tel. (Direct):  +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int or Ashraf Hassan, Tel: +216 29 794707, Email: ashassan@iom.int

For information or interview requests in French:
Florence Kim, IOM Geneva, Tel: +41 79 103 03 42, Email: fkim@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int

Posted: Friday, May 5, 2017 - 16:42Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaSwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: 
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency (IOM) Improves Living Conditions for Detained Migrants in Libya

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 11:37
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Libya - This week, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) completed the rehabilitation of two out of four Libyan detention centres to improve the living conditions of its detained migrants.

The rehabilitation of Tripoli-located Trig al Seka and Tareq al Mattar detention centres, which started at the end of March included the installation of new toilets and rehabilitation of the old ones, setting up a water purification system, repairing the sewage and cabling network, and fitting ventilation fans and water boilers.

For Trig al Seka, the bathrooms were relocated to outside the accommodation area, which will improve the sanitary conditions for the migrants. 

“IOM is not expanding the already existing space of the detention centres but enhancing the current living conditions for detained migrants by, for example, enhancing the sanitary amenities, drinking water and building seven outdoor complexes of shower facilities and lavatories,” said IOM Libya Programme Manager Maysa Khalil.

The aim of the IOM intervention is to vastly improve the often appalling living conditions of more than 7,100 migrants currently in the 27 Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM)-managed detention centres inside Libya, according to IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), which has identified 381,463 migrants in the North African country. However, the total number of migrants in Libya is estimated to be between 700,000 and 1 million.

“It is important to keep in mind that IOM is first and foremost advocating for alternatives to detention and is working in parallel to identify options such as shelters and more open detention spaces,” emphasized IOM Libya Chief of Mission Othman Belbeisi, adding that, “In the meantime, we are working to also improve the already existing detention facilities,” he added.

The rehabilitation intervention is part of a wider IOM initiative focusing on Libya’s detention centres, which involves separating the most vulnerable migrants, including women and children, from the other detainees, as well as supporting the DCIM staff in human rights training and the identification of vulnerable cases.

The rehabilitations are part of the project, Supporting Libyan Authorities in Managing Migration Flows by Improving Compliance with Human Rights in Migrants’ Detention Centres and Through Voluntary Repatriations, funded by the United Kingdom.

Watch related video

For further information, please contact IOM Libya: Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int or Maysa Khalil, Tel: +216 29 600388, Email: mkhalil@iom.int

Posted: Friday, May 5, 2017 - 16:41Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastLibyaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigrant AssistanceMigrants RightsDefault: 
Categories: PBN

Community Cooperation Key to Fighting Illicit Labour Recruitment in Indonesia: IOM

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 11:37
Language English

Indonesia - Communities across Indonesia threatened by illicit labor recruitment must cooperate closely to eliminate a practice that facilitates human trafficking, representatives of five districts from across the country were told this week at an IOM-sponsored workshop in the port city of Batam.

“Victims of trafficking remain vulnerable due to vast geographic and institutional barriers which prevent them from getting adequate information and services,” IOM’s Pierre King told government officials from districts where tens of thousands of undocumented laborers are recruited annually. “The logistics of connecting your communities are daunting, but we need a common strategy to protect victims wherever they are.”

In addition to representatives from the capital Jakarta DKI, and Sukabumi and Indramayu districts in West Java province, the Batam Anti-Trafficking Task Force (ATTF) invited participants from Kupang and East Lombok districts in the far east of the country, both areas where unscrupulous labor recruiters are active.

Those delegations travelled more than 3,800km, roughly the distance between London and Tehran, to attend the meetings, underlining the scale of the challenge under-resourced local governments face coordinating their efforts.

Funded by the US State Department’s International Bureau for Narcotics and Law Enforcement, the workshop saw the signing of an important memorandum of understanding (MoU) with two legal aid institutions, the introduction of a new IOM handbook containing standard operating procedures for the delivery of integrated services for victims of or witnesses to trafficking, and a pocketbook to help frontline responders identify and assist victims and/or witnesses.

“This MoU ensures that victims of trafficking found in Batam and their families will be able to access pro-bono legal services, regardless of where they are from,” said Batam mayor Muhammad Rudi.

Roughly 1.5 million Indonesians are registered with the government as overseas workers. Batam serves as both a destination for labor migrants and victims of trafficking, some of whom end up in the city’s booming entertainment district, and a transit point for workers heading by ferry to nearby Singapore and Malaysia. The latter hosts an estimated 2.5 million unregistered Indonesian workers.

“We appreciate the role of IOM and donor counties in assisting victims in their communities of origin, transit and destination, including Batam,” said Dr. Sujatmiko, the Deputy for Women and Children’s Protection at the Coordinating Ministry of Human Development and Cultural Affairs.

“I hope the cooperation we are seeing today between Batam and source regions can be strengthened and replicated across Indonesia.”

For further information, please contact Paul Dillon at IOM Indonesia, Tel. +62 811 944 4612, Email: pdillon@iom.int

Posted: Friday, May 5, 2017 - 16:40Image: Region-Country: AsiaIndonesiaThemes: Labour MigrationDefault: 
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Ready to Respond to Heavy Rains and Flooding in Yemen

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 11:37
Language English

Yemen - Natural disasters and pre-existing economic fragility are escalating the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. The UN Migration Agency (IOM) is working with communities in Yemen to help them better prepare for or prevent future disasters, while also carrying out its emergency response, early recovery, and stabilization activities.

Displaced persons and affected communities in Yemen continue to face increased insecurity, limited freedom of movement, restricted access to services (shelter, food, water, health and education) and a lack of livelihood opportunities. Torrential rains and flash floods triggered by two rainy seasons, March to May and July to October, have the potential to be devastating, compounding the damage caused by storms throughout the year.

“We need to be ready to support the population rendered more vulnerable by these natural catastrophes, in addition to the difficulties they are already experiencing in a country in conflict,” said IOM Yemen Chief of Mission Laurent De Boeck. “Without an effective early warning system, Yemenis will continue to suffer the impact of flooding and other natural disasters,” he continued.

Globally, IOM leads the response to human displacement triggered by natural disasters. IOM has developed a strategy and response plan to provide fast life-saving support to victims of natural disasters in Yemen, through the provision of relief items and the implementation of an early warning system. These plans have been developed to complement IOM’s humanitarian emergency response to the ongoing conflict.

Last year, IOM Yemen helped people affected by the cyclones Chapala and Megh by providing direct assistance, including water, food, shelter, and hygiene kits, to flood-affected households in Al Maharah, Socotra, Shabwah and Hadramaut.

The agency similarly supported natural disaster-affected populations in Yemen in 2008, when a tropical storm devastated the Governorate of Hadramaut. Approximately 180 people died and 20,000 people were displaced. In 2010, heavy rains hit the capital, Sana’a, killing nine people and damaging houses in the old city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

IOM will provide and store relief items in strategic locations in flood-prone governorates across the country. This will enable IOM and its partners to reduce the time it takes to reach the most vulnerable communities during natural disasters. The development of the strategy and response plan was funded by the Yemen Humanitarian Pooled Fund (YHPF).

 IOM continues to look for further support to expand its activities in Yemen.

 For further information, please contact Saba Malme at IOM Yemen, Tel: + 967 736 800 329, Email: smalme@iom.int

Posted: Friday, May 5, 2017 - 16:39Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastYemenThemes: Disaster Risk ReductionInternally Displaced PersonsMigration and EnvironmentDefault: 
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Supports Enhanced Border Management between Guinea and Mali

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 11:37
Language English

Guinea - In Conakry on 27 April, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) launched an integrated border management project in Guinea and Mali. The main objective of the project is to improve border security and control through enhancing the border management capacities of the Governments of Guinea and Mali.

The one-year project, funded by the Government of Japan, will be implemented in seven localities in Guinea (Conakry, Kankan, Mali, Sigiri, Dinguiraye, Koubia and Tougue) and three localities in Mali (Bamako, Koulikoro and Kangaba).

The launch was attended by representatives from the Governments of Guinea and Mali, as well as Hisanobu Hasama, Ambassador of Japan to Guinea, who assured his country’s support to both governments.

During the launch, IOM Guinea Chief of Mission Fatou Diallo Ndiaye highlighted the complex security situation in the Sahel region, as well as strong willingness from both Governments to address challenges related to cross-border movements.

“Despite efforts to ensure that information on cross-border migration is effectively captured, some gaps still exist in the border management and technical capacities in both countries,” said Ndiaye.

Activities within the border management project include: border control posts; installation of Migration Information and Data Analysis System (MIDAS) at the border posts; border management and MIDAS training; and cross-border knowledge-sharing meetings between Guinean and Malian border management officials.

Since 2015, the Government of Japan has supported IOM’s interventions in Guinea and the surrounding region following the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD).

For further information, please contact IOM Guinea. Yohei Komura, Tel: +224 628 47 74 16, Email: ykomura@iom.int, or Lucas Chandellier, Tel: +224 628 33 86 53, Email: lchandellier@iom.int

Posted: Friday, May 5, 2017 - 16:38Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastGuineaThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: 
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Organizes Cross-Border Training for Thai, Malaysian Immigration Officers

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 11:37
Language English

Thailand - The UN Migration Agency (IOM), in cooperation with the Thai Immigration Bureau, organized last week a three-day workshop in the southern Thai city of Hat Yai, to train 15 Thai and 11 Malaysian immigration officers on integrated border management.

The training was designed to improve cooperation and information-sharing between the two immigration services and covered themes of common interest, including transnational policing, behavioural assessment, security questioning and fraudulent document identification.

A simulation exercise was carried out on the final day of the workshop to allow Thai officers and their Malaysian counterparts to practice working together, in planning and implementing joint investigation of human smuggling and trafficking cases.

“Human trafficking and migrant smuggling are transnational crimes and require concerted and coordinated efforts by governments,” said Joshua Hart, an IOM Thailand project manager.

“Cross-border trainings like these strengthen relationships between frontline immigration officers and help promote the kind of harmonized border management practices that are needed to combat these crimes,” he added.

The workshop was the last in a series of four cross-border trainings involving officials in Thailand and three neighbouring countries – Cambodia, Myanmar and Malaysia.

The trainings, which were part of a Canadian-funded IOM project, Strengthening Border Management and Intelligence Capacity of Thai Government Officials, involved a total of 116 immigration officers from the four countries.

Under the project, IOM will continue to work with the Thai Immigration Bureau in the coming months, organizing workshops on transnational crime and facilitating cross-border dialogue with immigration officials from neighbouring countries.

Border management is a priority issue for Thailand, which has land borders with Malaysia, Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic (PDR) and Myanmar. Transnational crime, including illicit drug trafficking, trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling, are issues of grave concern for Thailand and the region.

For further information, please contact IOM Thailand: Joshua Hart, Tel: +66 2 343 9341, Email: jhart@iom.int or Reuben Lim, Tel: +66 2 343 9370, Email: rlim@iom.int.

Posted: Friday, May 5, 2017 - 16:37Image: Region-Country: AsiaThailandThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: 
Categories: PBN

Sudan, UN Migration Agency Renew Humanitarian Assistance Cooperation Agreement

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 11:37
Language English

Sudan - On 4 May, Sudan’s Federal Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) and the UN Migration Agency (IOM) signed a renewed Protocol of Cooperation to strengthen their collaboration on IOM’s humanitarian work plan 2017-2018 at both federal and state levels.

The Protocol commits to improving the welfare of and assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and affected populations in communities across Sudan through information collection and assistance, as well as to supporting the technical capacities of HAC in the field of human mobility within Sudan (including monitoring of migrants’ inflow to Sudan for the provision of humanitarian assistance).

“We are trying to achieve the same goals and we should build on having transparent cooperation that serves internally displaced people and returnees, who are of utmost concern to the Government of Sudan today,” said HAC General Commissioner Ahmed Mohammed Adam.

IOM Sudan Chief of Mission Mario Lito Malanca expressed his appreciation for the continued commitment of the Government of Sudan to addressing human mobility challenges in the country, as well as to providing the assistance needed.

On 13 October 1998, the Government of Sudan and IOM established a general framework for cooperation between both entities in Sudan. After IOM joined the United Nations last year, the Protocol of Cooperation needed to be renewed.

The Protocol recognizes IOM’s Council Resolution No. 1310, adopted by Member States at the 106th Session of the Council on 24 November 2015, regarding ‘Migration Governance Framework’. It aims to improve IOM’s contribution to effective, responsible migration governance and supports the development and implementation of migration-related policy that maximizes migration’s benefits. The protocol also focuses on enhancing the humane and orderly management of migration; supporting efforts to address irregular migration and root causes; and providing research, analysis and expert advice.

The Protocol acknowledges the leading role of HAC/National IDP Centre in the framework of the Return, Reintegration and Early Recovery (RRR) Sector. Emphasis is on providing support for the voluntary return and reintegration of IDPs and returnees in Sudan (from areas of displacement to their places of origin and/or to areas of resettlement) or their voluntary reintegration in the host communities, in accordance with the 2009 National Policy for IDPs.

For further information, please contact Dalia Elroubi at IOM Sudan, Tel: +249 156 554 Ext 600/1, Email: delroubi@iom.int.

Posted: Friday, May 5, 2017 - 16:36Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastSudanThemes: International and Regional CooperationDefault: 
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency to Lead SDG Related Migration and Development Project in Ghana and Ethiopia

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 11:37
Language English

United States - On 3 May 2017 the UN Migration Agency (IOM) signed an agreement with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) to launch a new two-year project in Ghana and Ethiopia. The project is aimed at strengthening migration governance to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

IOM will implement the Integrating Migration into National Development Plans: Towards Policy Coherence and the Achievement of the SDGs at National and Global Levels project, funded by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Sub-Fund. The funding is part of a commitment announced by the People’s Republic of China during the UN Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015.

The project will support policy formulation, fostering a whole-of-government approach to accelerating progress on implementation of the SDGs. IOM and its partners will work together to develop coherent national SDG strategies; enhance coordination across governments; develop capacities to collect data; plan, implement, monitor and evaluate progress on national SDG indicators.

This project will draw on IOM’s substantial technical experience in mainstreaming migration at the national level. It will build upon the lessons learnt from a joint IOM-UNDP project Mainstreaming Migration into National Development Strategies, which enabled eight countries and their UN Country Team partners to develop a context specific, evidence-based, participatory approach to migration and development.

“IOM looks forward to strengthening collaboration with our Ghanaian and Ethiopian government counterparts, as well as partner UN agencies, to ensure migration issues are well integrated into national planning, and that migration is for the benefit of all and a choice rather than a desperate necessity,” stated Ashraf El Nour, Director of IOM’s Office to the United Nations in New York.

For further information, please contact Lanna Walsh at IOM New York, Tel. +1 212 681 7000 ext. 263, Email: lwalsh@iom.int

Posted: Friday, May 5, 2017 - 16:35Image: Region-Country: AmericaUnited States of AmericaThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: 
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Joins International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI)

Fri, 05/05/2017 - 11:37
Language English

United Kingdom - The UN Migration Agency (IOM) has joined the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI), which makes financial information about humanitarian aid easier to access, use and understand.

Developing countries face challenges in accessing up-to-date information about aid, development, and humanitarian flows needed to plan and manage resources effectively. People in developing countries and donor countries lack the information they need to hold their governments accountable for the use of those resources.

IATI is a voluntary, multi-stakeholder initiative that seeks to improve the transparency of aid, development, and humanitarian resources to increase their effectiveness in tackling poverty. It brings together donor and recipient countries, civil society organizations, and other experts in aid information, who are committed to working together to increase the transparency and openness of aid.

IOM has committed to start publishing information on its activities and results under IATI within a year from joining. IOM data will be available and used by a variety of stakeholders, from academia, governments, partner organizations, beneficiaries and the general public.

This commitment to IATI and transparency is an important element in further pursuing IOM’s long-standing commitment to maintain the highest level of efficiency of its operations. The organization decided to join the initiative after subscribing to the Grand Bargain, an agreement of more than 30 of the biggest donors and aid providers, which aims to get more means into the hands of people in need.

“The UN Migration Agency (IOM) considers transparency as key in making humanitarian action accountable, towards beneficiaries, donors and the public,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing. “IOM’s reporting in accordance with the IATI standard will benefit already existing initiatives, with the aim of improving accountability and efficient humanitarian programming.”

“As a member of IATI and signatory to the Grand Bargain, we are committed to actively contributing to the development of the standard, to ensure that it effectively meets the needs of the humanitarian community,” he continued.

IOM joins over 80 IATI members from across the development, aid and humanitarian sectors. More information on these organizations and how to join IATI can be found in their Members’ Assembly section.

For further information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79403 53 65, Email: oheadon@iom.int or Rohini Simbodyal at IATI in the UK, Tel: +44 7814 178740, Email: Rohini.Simbodyal@devinit.org

Posted: Friday, May 5, 2017 - 16:34Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaUnited KingdomThemes: IOMDefault: 
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Born into Drought: Somalia 2017

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 11:03
Language English


Somalia
- In November 2016, rains failed for the third year in a row, forcing Somalia into a devastating drought. From then until March 2017, over 600,000 people have been displaced within the country.

This number is rising. Forced to abandon their homes and livelihoods in search of food and water, more than 8,000 people are newly displaced each day.

Water is scarce. Animals are dying of thirst and families must travel further and further to find the nearest water source. People’s health conditions are deteriorating due to severe malnourishment and associated illnesses, as well as outbreaks of cholera and measles. As many as 6.2 million of Somalia’s 12.3 million population are in dire need of humanitarian assistance.

Posted: Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - 16:45Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastSomaliaDefault: 
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Assessment Aims to Improve Afghan Border Management as Thousands Return from Pakistan

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 11:00
Language English

Afghanistan – This week, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) completed an assessment of border management capacity at Afghanistan’s two main border crossings with Pakistan.

The assessment, led by an international border management expert, will help to streamline the registration process for returnees and other migrants and identify other areas where IOM can provide support to the Afghan government.

In 2016, an unprecedented 600,000 Afghans returned from Pakistan through the Torkham border crossing in Nangarhar province and the Spin Boldak border crossing in Kandahar province.

“With returns in 2017 on track to meet or even surpass the levels of last year, it is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of the current procedures at the border, and to look at how they can be improved,” said IOM Afghanistan Chief of Mission Laurence Hart.

Over several visits to Torkham and Spin Boldak in April, the assessment team met with officials from the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation, Border Police, customs officials, humanitarian actors and migrants.

Based on interviews and observations at the borders, IOM will produce an assessment report addressing key areas of administrative and operational capacity including infrastructure and

available equipment; human resources and competencies; the regulatory framework guiding relevant government agencies; procedures and workflow; capacity gaps and issues.

The assessment, which is funded by the Government of Norway, will also identify ways to enhance the integrity and security of the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation’s returnee registration process.

“The report resulting from the assessment will include short-term recommendations for streamlining registration, document security and other border procedures, as well as technical assistance needs that could be addressed by IOM over the longer term,” said IOM border management expert Erik Slavenas.

“In providing border management technical assistance, IOM pays particular attention to promoting good governance, respect of human rights and the rule of law, and the special needs of vulnerable populations in the border areas,” he added.

As a first step toward improving efficiency at the border, the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation, with the support of IOM, rolled out the Afghan Returnee Information System (ARIS) in late 2016.

ARIS, a digital registration process for both undocumented and refugee returnees, replaced a paper-based registration system. It allows for better data collection and data sharing. ARIS was funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).

For further information, please contact Nasir Haidarzai at IOM Kabul, Tel. +93 794 100 542, Email: nhaidarzai@iom.int.

Posted: Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - 16:44Image: Region-Country: AsiaAfghanistanThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: 
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, Iraq Ministry of the Interior Affirm Cooperation in Community Policing Programme

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 11:00
Language English

Iraq – IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss and Minister of Interior of the Government of Iraq, Qasim Al Araji, have both confirmed continued cooperation to assist communities affected by the ongoing conflict and to enhance security, namely through the Community Policing programme, after meeting recently in Baghdad.

The Community Policing programme is implemented by IOM in partnership with the Ministry of the Interior (MoI) to promote stability in Iraq. The Community Policing model is key to foster stabilization, especially in newly retaken areas. IOM Iraq’s current two-year project ‘Strengthening Community Policing in Iraq’, is funded by the German Government.

“IOM and the Iraqi Government have a common aim, that is, to enhance stability in Iraq. Community policing plays a major role in this effort, with the essential involvement of the Ministry of Interior," said IOM's Weiss. "We look forward to expanding our cooperation to further assist vulnerable people and communities in Iraq. We appreciate the support of the German Government to forward community policing,” he continued.

“In the Middle East, in general, the relationship between police and communities is not strong enough; citizens may feel restricted from communicating with police. In Iraq, there are problems in Mosul and Anbar and in some provinces due to a lack of trust," said Minister Araji. "The role of Community Policing is to strengthen the relationship between police and the community members and serve as a mediator among citizens, tribes, stakeholders and youth, which will lead to fuller cooperation with the police to extend security," he continued.

The Minister added: “The Ministry of the Interior is working hard to win the people’s trust through Community Policing, especially as Community Policing has a significant role after the expulsion of ISIL. The Ministry appreciates IOM’s work on strengthening community policing in Iraq.”

The programme is enhancing knowledge of Community Policing principles through trainings, workshops and conferences; it is also establishing Community Policing Forums (CPFs) that bring together representatives from local communities, police services, civil society organizations, government officials and displaced Iraqis.

The purpose of CPFs is to enhance communication and build trust between local communities and police, thereby creating a safe environment to discuss and develop strategies on security related issues. The forums address issues that concern the community and contribute to improving security through cooperation and information sharing.

A total of 49 CPFs have been established across Iraq; 34 established by IOM’s Community Policing programme, and 15 independently established by local police, building on the CPFs model. CPF locations include the retaken area of Qayara in Ninewa governorate.

Through the Community Policing programme, IOM has conducted 20 trainings, six conferences and six workshops, reaching over 1,100 police officers, community members, law enforcement, civil society and judiciary representatives.

The current project, funded by the German Government, has also provided in-kind support to community policing, including vehicles and technical, security and communication equipment.

Based on the agreement with the Iraqi MoI, IOM will rehabilitate or build additional community policing offices to improve community access to law enforcement services in the governorates of Salah al-Din, Anbar, Diyala and Ninewa and will reconstruct the Community Policing Department Headquarters in Baghdad.

The Community Policing programme is part of IOM Iraq’s integrated approach to community stabilization, which includes working with vulnerable communities and government authorities to provide light infrastructure projects and social cohesion activities, and to expand economic opportunities.

As military operations in the Mosul corridor continue, IOM is responding to resulting displacement through the provision of emergency response services including non-food item kits, shelter, livelihoods assistance, primary health care, psychosocial assistance and displacement tracking.

IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) has identified more than 3 million displaced Iraqis across the country since January 2014. Now six months into the Mosul military operations, cumulatively, IOM DTM has identified an estimated 424,000 individuals displaced since 17 October 2016. Of these, as of 14 April 2017 more than 97,000 have returned to their areas of origin, and as of 18 April, more than 331,000 are still displaced.

The latest DTM Emergency Tracking figures on displacement from Mosul operations are available at: http://iraqdtm.iom.int/EmergencyTracking.aspx

For further information, please contact IOM Iraq: Sandra Black, Tel. +964 751 234 2550, Email: sblack@iom.int or Zeffira Zanfagna, zzanfagna@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - 16:43Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastIraqThemes: Community StabilizationDefault: 
Categories: PBN

IOM Egypt Releases Publication on Interpreting Economic Migration Flows

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 11:00
Language English

Egypt – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) in Egypt has released a publication entitled, Promoting a Common Understanding of Migration Trends which proposes an alternative and innovative methodology for interpreting economic migration flows.

The model presented in the publication helps in building evidence-based labour market and demographic scenarios to support countries of origin and destination of labour migrants in improving managing migration flows in an economically efficient and humane way, for the benefit of all. The publication, which is now available at IOM’s Online Bookstore, is written by IOM Consultant Prof. Michele Bruni, whose research for over 20 years has focused on the development of stock and flow models and their application to the analysis of the labour market.

According to Eurostat, between 2010 and 2100 Europe’s population is projected to decline by more than 100 million (13.7 percent). Based on the same source, the region’s old age/dependency ratio – the percentage of non-working over 65-year-olds dependent on those of active working age – will nearly double to 1.9 workers per retiree by 2060, from 3.7 in 2012. This indicates an “increasing burden to provide for social expenditure related to population aging (for example, pensions, healthcare and institutional care),” according to the publication.

Conversely, countries in the Middle East and North Africa experience high youth unemployment as a result of booming fertility rates. In Egypt, every year approximately 550,000 new Egyptian workers join an already saturated labour market and many of them join the ranks of the 3.6 million unemployed.

The demographic transitions in these countries could be addressed by promoting a common understanding on how labour market needs on both sides of the Mediterranean can be aligned to plan and manage successful labour migration for the benefit of all.

The publication was made possible within the framework of IOM’s cooperation with the Government of Egypt for enhancing mobility of Egyptian citizens as an alternative to addressing labour market challenges, and in preventing irregular migration from the country, in particular among youth. “IOM Egypt established a migration unit with Egypt’s Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), which will use the proposed model to prepare forecasts and analysis of labour market needs in Egypt and abroad,” explained Teuta Grazhdani, IOM Egypt’s Head of Labour Mobility and Human Development Unit.

The purpose is to support relevant government authorities in initiating evidence-based dialogue on labour mobility with European and non-European countries as well as promoting alternatives to irregular migration for the benefit of all, including countries of departure and arrival and, most importantly, for migrants themselves,” said Grazhdani. Within the same framework, IOM Egypt recently facilitated a two-day study visit to Berlin, Germany, for seven CAPMAS officials to better mainstream migration data into national development plans. The delegation met with the IOM Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) and the German authorities to discuss the importance of migration data collection, and data sharing and analysis to inform policy development.

This publication is part of the “Developing Capacities for Forecasting and Planning Migration across the Mediterranean project funded by IOM’s Development Fund and implemented by IOM Egypt.

For further information, please contact Teuta Grazhdani at IOM Egypt. Tel: +202-27365140, Email: iomegypt@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - 16:42Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastEgyptThemes: Migration ResearchMigration and DevelopmentDefault: 
Categories: PBN

Peru’s National Migration Policy Includes IOM’s Migration Governance Framework

Tue, 05/02/2017 - 11:00
Language English

Peru – The Government of Peru recently enacted a decree which approves the National Migration Policy 2017-2025, in response to the challenges of "the growing decision of millions of Peruvians to migrate to other societies and that of citizens of the whole world, who attracted by the development of the country, migrate to Peru looking for new opportunities."

This first National Migration Policy "has considered the principles, objectives and guidelines of the Migration Governance Framework" approved by IOM Member States in 2015, recognizing international human rights standards, placing the well-being and social inclusion of the migrants at the center of state policies.

Jose Ivan Davalos, IOM Peru Chief of Mission, welcomed Peru's important advances in establishing an institutional and programmatic framework for migration governance. The progress has been particularly visible since 2011 through the creation of the Intersectoral Work Group for Migration Management (MTIGM in Spanish) and recently with the modernization of migration legislation and the approval of this first National Migration Policy 2017-2025.

“The National Migration Policy recently approved is an important reference for the region and sets the agenda for more effective actions on behalf of migrants and their families,” said Davalos.

The development of the National Migration Policy was initiated in September 2015 within the framework of the joint work of the MTIGM and IOM through the project Strengthening Migration Management in Peru funded by the IOM Development Fund.

Subsequently, during 2016, IOM continued to provide technical assistance to the institutions involved in developing the National Migration Policy, as well as its Implementation Plan, which is also expected to be approved shortly.

Find more information about Peru’s decree approving the National Migration Policy 2017-2025, here: http://bit.ly/2pncSm8

For further information, please contact Ines Calderon at IOM Peru, Tel. +51 1 633 0000, Email: icalderon@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - 16:41Image: Region-Country: AmericaPeruThemes: Migration PolicyDefault: 
Categories: PBN

IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix: 381,463 Migrants in Libya

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 08:19
Language English

Libya - IOM, the UN Migration Agency has found that the trip to Libya is reportedly costing more for a larger proportion of migrants from Sudan and Nigeria. In 2016, 60 percent of Nigerian respondents and 41 percent of Sudanese respondents reported paying between USD 1,000 and 5,000 for their journey to Libya.

This increased to 71 percent of Nigerian respondents and 64 percent of Sudanese respondents in the first few months of 2017. This data was collected through Flow Monitoring surveys conducted among 1,314 migrants.

This data is included in the Round 8 DTM Migration information package, which presents data collected between December 2016 and March 2017. It highlights that 381,463 migrants were found to be present in Libya during that period.

The package provides a holistic overview of resident and mobile migrants in Libya. It presents data on migrants’ demographic characteristics, journeys, intentions, relations with the host community, documentation status, educational and vocational backgrounds. The data builds on Libya 2016 Migration Profiles and Trends, which was published in March.

The information package provides detailed information on where 381,463 migrants from 38 different nationalities are in Libya. It also includes a dataset, which for the first time, provides a quantification of migrants by nationality in each location. The regions of Misrata (66,660 individuals), Tripoli (53,755 individuals), and Sebha (44,750 individuals) are reported as hosting the largest number of migrants, while the main nationalities were recorded as Egyptian, Nigerien, and Chadian.

Relations were found to be poor between migrants and the host community with multiple incidents of tension in 17 percent of Libya’s municipalities. However, in 33 percent of the municipalities, migrants were reported to have a positive impact on the local labour market, contributing to a stronger economy and more jobs.

“We are working to fill in the missing link between migrants on the ground, humanitarian actors and policy-makers by providing timely and comprehensive data on migrants across the country, some of whom are transit migrants and others who live and work in Libya,” explained Daniel Salmon, IOM Libya DTM Programme Coordinator. “The report synthesises this information in a digestible format; however, anyone interested in doing any further analysis is highly encouraged to use our datasets, which we make available to the public to use.”

New indicators were added to gather data from key informants on the documentation status of most migrants in their localities as part of efforts to obtain greater data on migrant vulnerabilities. Migrants appeared to have a valid residence document or work permit in less than 20 percent of all cases; with migrants who had been in Libya for a year or more being most likely to have access to a residence permit (in 17 percent of all neighbourhoods reporting).

The Flow Monitoring surveys also indicated that migrants departing from Senegal, Burkina Faso and Nigeria are increasing their use of routes through Algeria rather than Niger to reach Libya as compared to 2016. As an example, 21 percent of migrants who departed from Senegal reported coming to Libya through Algeria and 70 percent reported coming through Niger as compared to 2016 when 85 percent of those departing from Senegal had reported using routes through Niger.

DTM’s Mobility Tracking module provides regular updates to Libya’s baseline on internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and migrants in the country. DTM also publishes data on migrant flows in Libya through its Flow Monitoring reports and provides bi-weekly updates on displacement-related incidents through its Displacement Event Tracker.

All reports, methodologies and datasets are available at www.globaldtm.info/libya

For further information, please contact IOM Libya, Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +21629600389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int or Daniel Salmon, Tel: +21629235097, Email: dsalmon@iom.int

Posted: Friday, April 28, 2017 - 16:33Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastLibyaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: 
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals: 43,357 in 2017; Deaths: 1,089

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 08:19
Language English

Switzerland IOM, the UN Migration Agency reports that 43,357 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 26 April, over 80 percent arriving in Italy and the rest in Spain and Greece. This compares with 182,022 arrivals through 26 April 2016.

IOM Greece reported on Thursday that authorities have no new information about as many as 12 missing migrants who were believed to have been on a boat that capsized off Lesvos earlier this week. IOM had reported seven migrants still missing from the incident in which two survivors were rescued – one an expectant mother. Some media this week reported at least 12 passengers remain missing. According to IOM staff, among those rescued or lost were nationals from Syria, Cameroon and Congo.

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported Thursday on information received this week on the remains of 15 migrants buried Wednesday in Bani Walid, north of the city of Alshwareef, one of the cities along the migratory route leading from Libya’s southern borders with Algeria and Niger.

She said “Many migrants travel through the area of Bani Walid and the city of Alshawareef on their way to the capital, Tripoli, and other western coastal cities. The bodies were found along the road or in valleys according to a local NGO in the area that assists the hospital with handling the bodies.”

Before being buried in the local cemetery, the remains of 15 migrants had been kept at the hospital as there was no space in the morgue. According to a local source, at least one victim was shot to death; others succumbed from sickness or from injuries suffered during the journey, such as falling off trucks, Petré said.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project reports that there have been 1,633 fatalities through 26 April (see chart, below), with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – about two thirds of the global total. Nonetheless, this comes to 620 fewer fatalities than were reported up to the same point in 2016. However, these data do not account for full reporting from North Africa and the Horn of Africa, two migration corridors where data collection tends to take longer than in other regions.

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic:
http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/Mediterranean_Update_170428.pdf

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

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

For further information please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM Geneva, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
IOM Greece: Alexandra Flessa, Tel: +30 210 99 12 174  Email: aflessa@iom.int
or Daniel Esdras, Tel: +30 210 9912174, Email: iomathens@iom.int
or Kelly Namia, Tel: +30 210 9919040, +30 210 9912174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
IOM Libya: Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int  or Christine Petré, Tel. (Direct): +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int or Ashraf Hassan, Tel +216 29 794707, Email: ashassan@iom.int

For information or interview requests in French:
Florence Kim, IOM Geneva, Tel: +41 79 103 03 42, Email: fkim@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int

Posted: Friday, April 28, 2017 - 16:32Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaSwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: 
Categories: PBN

IOM Libya Helps 421 Stranded African Migrants Return Home

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 08:19
Language English

Libya - On 25 April, IOM, the UN Migration Agency helped 253 stranded Nigerian migrants – 148 women and 105 men – return home to Nigeria from Libya. The group included six children, five infants and two medical cases. Most of the migrants (235) had been detained in Trig al Seka and Abu Slim detention centres in Tripoli, with the remainder living in urban areas.

On 27 April, more migrants were assisted back home as 164 men and 4 women, including 20 unaccompanied migrant children returned to The Gambia with IOM support.  

Both charter flights departed Tripoli’s Mitiga airport and were coordinated with the Libyan authorities, the Nigerian embassy and the Gambian Consulate, respectively. IOM colleagues in the countries of origin also helped upon arrival.

IOM also provided pre-departure interviews, medical check-ups and facilitated exit visas for the passengers. Prior to departure the migrants also received further assistance including non-food item (NFI) kits and shoes.

Among the stranded Nigerian migrants were eight victims of trafficking, six unaccompanied children, a nine-month old baby and two medical cases, escorted by IOM’s medical team.

Forty-three of the most vulnerable cases on the Nigerian flight and 26 of the Gambian migrants were eligible for reintegration support once back home. This assistance will provide an opportunity for the migrants to start fresh by, for example, opening a small business or continuing with their education.

Wendy* had travelled to Libya to pursue her dream as a hairdresser. In Libya, she instead found work as a housekeeper but was victim of a horrendous fire that broke out in her employer’s house. Wendy, who suffered serious burns, returned home to Nigeria, with the help of an IOM medical escort.

The two charter flights are part of IOM’s assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) programme which was funded by the European Union, Kingdom of the Netherlands and the US Department of State.

So far in 2017, IOM Libya has helped 2,924 stranded migrants return to their countries of origin. Of those, 588 were eligible for reintegration assistance.

*All migrant names have been changed to protect their identities.

For further information, please contact IOM Libya. Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int  or Ashraf Hassan, Tel: +216 29 794707, Email: ashassan@iom.int

 

Posted: Friday, April 28, 2017 - 16:31Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastLibyaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationMigrant AssistanceDefault: 
Categories: PBN

Bangladesh’s ‘Digital Island’ Bridges Services Gap

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 08:19
Language English

Bangladesh - The Government of Bangladesh, Korea Telecom (KT) and IOM, the UN Migration Agency, yesterday inaugurated a USD 2.2 million ‘digital island project’, which aims to provide better access to health, education and e-commerce services to the 321,218 people who live on the remote island of Moheshkhali.

The island, located in Bangladesh’s southeast district of Cox’s Bazar, is one of the country’s poorest and most remote areas. It has a population density of 900 people per square kilometre, but only 11 physicians for every 2,000 people and an average literacy rate of 30 percent, compared with a national average of 70 percent.

The main issue is staffing. The Government has built enough schools and clinics to cover the population’s needs, but the facilities remain chronically short-staffed. Teachers, doctors and many inhabitants do not want to live in the remote area due to lack of reliable power, jobs and a bridge that connects them to the mainland. Many residents migrate abroad in search of work, often putting their lives in danger.

The Government has partnered with IOM and KT to resolve these issues through the launch of the digital island project, an extension of the Government’s Digital Bangladesh Vision 2021. The 2021 plan aims to improve the quality of its provision of services across the country through technological advances and new partnerships to reach out to its 160 million inhabitants.

KT pioneered the digital island concept in South Korea two years ago and was invited to replicate its success in Bangladesh. The company has installed a fibre optic cable on Moheshkhali that now provides high speed internet to 30 percent of the island’s population or three of the island’s eight union councils.

KT acted as the project designer and equipment technology provider with IOM as the project coordinator. The UN Migration Agency was active in the community before the project materialized due to its ongoing work to stem irregular migration from the area.

“Today’s launch is one more step towards the Digital Bangladesh Vision 2021, when we will have a prosperous and equitable middle-income Bangladesh by our golden jubilee of independence. What has been done on the Island of Moheshkhali can be replicated in other hard-to-reach areas of the country, so that all corners of the country can benefit from the digital revolution,” said Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, addressing the inauguration via video link.

“I am grateful to the Government of Bangladesh for entrusting IOM with this project and supporting it since its inception. I believe that this pilot scheme can set an example and show how the use of technology in remote areas can really bring about social change,” said IOM Bangladesh Chief of Mission and Special Envoy to India, Sarat Dash.

KT’s Chief Executive Chang-Gyu Hwang, who spoke from South Korea using the new network, thanked the Government for its support. “Information and communication technology (ICT) plays a prominent role in developing communities and creating better lives. This project will be a good model for other areas in Bangladesh and even other countries that experience social and digital gaps,” he noted.

In education, the project has enabled the start of teaching English to about 2,000 students across three primary schools this month with the help of e-learning services provided by three teachers from the Jangoo Foundation in Dhaka. Teachers and students interact with each other in real time via digital equipment that includes cameras, projectors and a computer in a specially designed classroom. The e-learning programme will be extended to another 10 primary schools and two madrasas by the end of July, reaching a total of about 9,000 students.

In health matters, the project is first targeting maternal and neonatal child health needs, given the chronic shortage of female doctors. The project has introduced portable handheld ultrasonic devices in four community clinics and in the Upazila Health Complex that will allow specialist doctors in big cities, such as Dhaka or Chittagong, to diagnose difficult pregnancies and other complications in real-time. This will help reduce the maternal mortality rate, which, at 18 deaths per 10,000 people every year, is above the Bangladesh national average of 17 deaths per 10,000 people.

The project also aims to develop an additional USD 1 million e-commerce element, funded by the Korean International Cooperation Agency, to help farmers connect directly with consumers.

Betel leaf farmer Mohammed Gafun Alam, aged 40, believes he can increase his profit by 67 percent or an extra 100,000 taka (USD 1,200) a year by selling directly to retail customers via an e-commerce portal. He plans to attend training classes provided by the Government and its partners. “If I can sell to Dhaka or another Upazila, I can earn more,” said Alam, who currently only sells his product at a local market twice a week.

A newly renovated community IT space will ensure that islanders can access IT training classes to promote equitable adoption of the new technology and to create a space for online surfing and exploration.

Finally, the project hopes to create new job opportunities in the local community by teaching interested residents how to care for the 19 kilometers of fibre optic cable and the related technology equipment that KT has provided. Classes will be conducted at a KT-renovated learning centre.

KT and IOM hope to hand over management of the entire digital island project to the local community by June 2019.

For further information please contact Shirin Akhter, IOM Bangladesh, Tel: +880 2 55044811-13, Email: sakhter@iom.int. Or Ryung Shim, IOM South Korea, Tel: +82 70 4820 2783, Email: rshim@iom.int

Posted: Friday, April 28, 2017 - 16:34Image: Region-Country: AsiaBangladeshThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: 
Categories: PBN

IOM Promotes Disaster Preparedness, Safe Shelter Awareness in Papua New Guinea

Fri, 04/28/2017 - 08:19
Language English

Papua New Guinea - IOM, the UN Migration Agency and Humanitarian Benchmark Consulting have delivered a ‘Training of Trainers’ workshop on humanitarian response, camp coordination and camp management, shelter and settlements, and disaster risk management in Lae, Papua New Guinea, for national and provincial government officials from seven provinces.

The workshop, which highlighted the importance of safe shelter in effective disaster risk management, was followed by four trainings on Participatory Approach on Safe Shelter Awareness (PASSA) for at-risk communities in Morobe, Oro, Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARoB) and Milne Bay provinces.

The workshop and trainings, which were funded by USAID, were attended by a total of 163 participants (142 men and 21 women) from national and provincial government and local communities. The Departments of Provincial and Local Government Affairs, National Planning and Monitoring, and Works and Implementation were represented.

Participants for the provincial and community level trainings were drawn from Morobe, Madang, Oro, East New Britain, West New Britain, ARoB and Milne Bay provinces – areas selected based on their proneness to natural hazards.

The PASSA trainings will help the Government and communities to better mitigate the risks of extreme weather and natural hazards by increasing their awareness of the vulnerability of shelter and settlements in Papua New Guinea.

As part of the training, participants identified historical events, disaster trends and the current situation in their locations in relation to disasters. Based on this analysis, they then mapped out potential hazards, identified existing vulnerabilities and possible impacts, and developed strategies for safe shelter.

IOM PNG Emergency and Disaster Coordinator, Wonesai Sithole, noted: “The objective of the PASSA training is to raise shelter awareness in communities, so that community members can identify the risks affecting their shelters. Through self-examination, they can diagnose their shelter problems and solve them using their own methodology and resources.”

The PNG National Disaster Centre’s Assistant Director Disaster Risk Management, Kaigabu Kamnanaya, said that communities should not only construct shelters that can withstand the impact of disasters, but also they need to analyze potential hazards to determine what measures should be taken in each situation.

“When it comes to disasters, the community needs to determine if it is safe to stay in your current location or if you need to move to safer areas to minimize the impact on your shelter,” he noted.

For further information, please contact IOM Port Moresby, Lance Bonneau, Tel: +675 4 3213655, Email: lbonneau@iom.int or Wonesai Sithole, Email: wsithole@iom.int   

Posted: Friday, April 28, 2017 - 16:30Image: Region-Country: AsiaPapua New GuineaThemes: Disaster Risk ReductionDefault: 
Categories: PBN

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