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Updated: 2 hours 40 min ago

Caribbean Countries Tackle Data Collection Challenges in Regional Workshop

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 09:09

Montego Bay – Representatives of 13 countries participated in a specialised workshop this week (24-25/09), through which the UN Migration Agency (IOM) and its initiative for Caribbean Migration Consultations (CMC) promoted coordination and collaboration in the collection and analysis of migration data in the region.

“Data analysis has been one of the main weaknesses for an adequate management of migration in the Caribbean. The availability of relevant and high-quality information is still very limited,” noted Marcelo Pisani, Regional Director of IOM for Central America, North America and the Caribbean.

“In response to this need, we organized a workshop that enables decision-makers to know best practices for collection and management of migratory data, gathering important representatives of migration agencies and statistical institutions to better comprehend and use data linked to migration, refugee protection and development policies,” Pisani added.

The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), the Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) and UNHCR also collaborated to successfully run this in event under the CMC framework.

The initiative aims to assess migration data needs in the context of the Sustainable Development Agenda. Participants identified challenges, gaps, needs, opportunities, resources and best practices utilized by other countries for the management of migration information, with the purpose of developing feasible mechanisms to improve collection, analysis and exchange of information in the region.

Accurate and relevant migration data could allow states to strengthen and better focus their responses to natural disasters and human movements, increasing the positive impact of interventions, projects and programmes. 

“Interventions designed using quality data have the opportunity for far greater effectiveness in migration management, as well as for the protection and assistance of identified and targeted groups,” said Brendan Tarnay, IOM Project Coordinator for CMC. “Quality data and data sharing can significantly reduce the number of duplicated records in public services. The work and collaboration at this CMC meeting will lead to greater inter-agency communication and data sharing, a priority already identified by participating governments.”

The regional workshop was made possible with support from the United States Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM), and the cooperation of the Government of Jamaica, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and IOM's Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC).

For more information, please contact Brendan Tarnay at the IOM Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean; Tel: +506 2212 5312, Email: btarnay@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 15:05Image: Region-Country: JamaicaThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants from Caribbean countries attend workshop migrant data collection and management. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Jordan Celebrates Diversity through ‘I Am A Migrant’

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 09:09

Amman – Jordan’s capital, Amman, has in the past 15 years witnessed a booming population growth. Beginning with the Iraq war in 2003 and ending with the Syria Crisis, the city has quickly evolved into a Middle Eastern melting pot as internal migrants from rural areas and other cities live together with Ammanis, and migrants and refugees of diverse origins.

Amman’s population has since 2010 risen sharply from 2,816,200 to 4,226,700 in 2017, based on numbers provided by the Department of Statistics of Jordan.

This diversity was well reflected in the audience attending the 30th edition of the European Film Festival, an annual event that attracts cinema lovers. In this context, and to capture the diversity of Amman and its migrants, the UN Migration Agency (IOM) Mission in Jordan seized the opportunity of the festival to place a public booth and connect with migrants through the “I Am A Migrant” campaign (IAAM). This campaign launched by IOM three years ago seeks to challenge negative perceptions on migration through stories narrated by migrants.

During the festival, IOM staff volunteered to raise awareness on migration, and engaged participants approaching IOM’s booth, inviting them to participate in the IAAM campaign by sharing their migration story.

“Many people we are talking to believe that migrants are only the ones that leave their countries because of a crisis or due to economic reasons,” said Yasmeen, an IOM staff volunteering during the festival. “Even I had a very different idea of what is a migrant before I started working with IOM.”

The key success of the IAAM campaign has been built upon its ability to portray the different backgrounds of migrants and the variety of reasons that encourage a person to migrate. It is also an opportunity to reflect on the personal perception of migration and the stereotypes that impact on our self-definition as migrants.

“My brother and I study in the United States of America,” says Aisha, a young political science student. “I am happy to learn about this I Am A Migrant initiative in Jordan. I think is a great idea.”

Photos and stories of migrants visiting IOM’s booth were printed and posted around the venue. Even attendees who haven’t migrated yet wanted to contribute and to show their support to the diverse society they live in.

IOM’s booth and active discussions with the film festival attendees also served to inform the public about the mandate and activities of the Organization and the mission in Jordan.

“I have realized that some people didn’t know what we do or had bad impressions of the work of the UN agencies in Jordan,” says Nirmeen, an IOM staff member from the logistics department. “I think this is a good opportunity to explain to them our activities and goals and to change their perceptions of our work.”

Apart from the IAAM booth, IOM also facilitated a session on the participatory video initiative launched worldwide to give voice to migrants, internally displaced persons and refugees.

Through this collaboration with the EU Delegation in Jordan and the European Union National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC), IOM expects to contribute to the promotion among Jordanians of a positive and realistic perception of migrants and migration.

For more information please contact Laura Sisniega Crespo at IOM Amman, Tel: +962 6 5625080 (Ext. 1502), Mobile: +962 79 7048167, Email: lsisniegacrespo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 15:00Image: Region-Country: JordanThemes: Diversity and IntegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Jordan’s IAAM booth at the 30th European Film Festival in Amman. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

‘Holding On’ Exhibit Captures Imaginations at UNHRC, Humanitarian Consultations

Fri, 09/28/2018 - 09:09

Geneva – Fresh from a recent viewing at G20 meetings in The Hague, IOM’s virtual reality exhibit Holding On was featured at two Geneva events this week – the UN Human Rights Council meetings at Palais de Nations and the day-long IOM-NGO Humanitarian Consultations.

“There is a lot of interest in the exhibit and the way we’re using VR to bring viewers directly into the lives of internally displaced people (IDPs),” said curator Carlo Mendes.

“We feel the momentum building behind it; the next two months will be very busy. Every week we’re hearing from international partners interested in hosting the exhibit, and from IOM missions who want to use this engaging approach to educate the public and donors about the realities of the lives of IDPs we are assisting around the world.”

The intent of the exhibit is to raise awareness of the plight of the roughly 40 million people displaced within their own countries by conflict. A further 26 million are displaced every year due to natural disasters.

IOM videographers have already captured six VR stories in IDP communities from Columbia and Nigeria to the Philippines. Each two- to three-minute-long feature focuses on a single item an IDP has kept that reminds him or her of the home they were forced to flee. Items as simple as a camera, t-shirt or small bird have come to represent what was lost, and reflect the resilience, hopes and dreams of the principal characters and their families.

“In the next few weeks we will complete several more VR experiences for Holding On. In the meantime, all the content, including conventional videos that do not require VR glasses, and feature stories about each of our collaborators, are available on the exhibit’s website,” Mendes said.

Visit the Holding On website at http://holding-on.iom.int/

For more information please contact Carlo Mendes at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 285 43 66, Email:  cmendes@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 28, 2018 - 14:55Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: IOMMigrants RightsDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM’s virtual reality exhibit Holding On was featured at two Geneva events this week – the UN Human Rights Council meetings and the IOM-NGO Humanitarian Consultation. Photo: IOM

IOM’s virtual reality exhibit Holding On was featured at two Geneva events this week – the UN Human Rights Council meetings and the IOM-NGO Humanitarian Consultation. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Deploys New Ambulance Fleet to Serve Rohingya Refugees, Local Community in Bangladesh Camps

Tue, 09/25/2018 - 10:31

Cox’s Bazar – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) has deployed a fleet of ten new ambulances fitted with critical medical equipment to support emergency health services for Rohingya refugees and local host community residents in the Cox’s Bazar district of Bangladesh.

The vehicles, funded by the United Kingdom, Sweden, the United States and the European Union, contain specialist equipment to deliver high dependency first aid during complex emergency situations. This includes equipment to cope with head injuries, heart problems, pregnancy complications and cases requiring admission to intensive care.

“These ambulances are going to be at the front line of saving lives and providing better health care for local people and refugees in Cox’s Bazar,” said IOM Emergency Coordinator Manuel Pereira. “They not only increase our ability to move people swiftly and safely to wherever they can receive the best health care. The specialist medical equipment inside the vehicles also means that we can help prevent tragedies while on the move.”

IOM is the lead agency for medical referrals in the area and runs a 24-hour hotline to ensure patients from across the district can receive urgent transfer by ambulance to the most appropriate health facility.

The new ambulances began operating as an IOM community clinic in Kutapalong, Cox’s Bazar, serving refugee and local mothers, was ranked by Bangladesh’s Ministry of Health among the top five in the country for maternal and child health services. The clinic was named number one for such services out of more than 2,200 clinics in Bangladesh’s Chittagong division, which includes Cox’s Bazar.

There are now almost a million refugees living in Cox’s Bazar after violence in Myanmar forced over 700,000 people to flee to Bangladesh over the past year. The dramatic increase in population has resulted in a spike in demand for medical services.

Since the refugee crisis in Cox’s Bazar began in late August 2017, IOM medics have carried out over 600,000 consultations with patients from the refugee and local communities. Over that period IOM health staff have also supported over 9,000 referrals to secondary and tertiary medical facilities in the area.

IOM in Cox’s Bazar currently oversees the referral of over 200 patients each week from medical facilities run by different organisations in the refugee camps and surrounding towns and villages to facilities across the area, including the Cox’s Bazar Sadar District Hospital and Chittagong Medical College.

The launch of the new ambulances was welcomed by Commissioner of the Office of Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission (RRRC) Mohamed Abul Kalam, who officiated at the inaugural event, which was also attended by representatives of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.

As part of IOM’s commitment to continuing to improve access to health care in Cox’s Bazar for all those affected by the crisis, health experts are also working to support emergency response capacity for ambulance staff. This week they are being trained by UN Department of Safety and Security (UNDSS) specialists on first responder use of the Emergency Trauma Bag.

“This training will help us to further improve services and benefit the local community, the refugees and UN agencies working here in the Cox’s Bazar,” said IOM Emergency Health Programme Coordinator Dr. Andrew Mbala.

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 16:29Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration HealthRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Ethiopian migrants, at Bole Addis Ababa International Airport, after arriving from Libya on 24 September 2018. Photo: IOM

Some of the 76 Ethiopian migrants who returned home from Libya on Monday 24th September 2018. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Provides Return Assistance to 76 Ethiopian Returnees from Libya

Tue, 09/25/2018 - 10:24

Addis Ababa – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, assisted in the voluntary return of 76 Ethiopian stranded migrants from Libya on 24 September 2018. The group comprised 12 women and 64 men. Among the returnees, four were migrant children, while six were psychiatric cases. 

Each said he or she had no means to return home without the Organization’s support.

The migrants departed Zintan, Libya making their way to Cairo, Egypt then arriving in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Lured by smugglers, migrants from Ethiopia often have chosen what’s known as the Northern Migratory Route – through Sudan, Egypt and Libya – expecting to cross the Mediterranean to a better life in Europe. Instead many were captured by traffickers, forcing their families to pay large sums of money for their release. In fact, many unfortunate African migrants to Libya have experienced being sold as slaves to work off the ransom terms of their captors.

Surviving such ordeals is no guarantee of future success. IOM’s Missing Migrants project indicates that 1,728 migrants have lost their lives in the months between January and September 2018 on the Mediterranean alone.

Since August 2017, a European Union funded programme – Joint Initiative for Migrants Protection and Reintegration – has assisted 102 Ethiopian migrant returnees from Libya. Under the programme, Ethiopian returnees coming back from Djibouti, Sudan, Tanzania, Yemen, Zambia and South Africa have been provided with post-arrival assistance. This week’s action has been by far the largest number of returnees the programme has received from Libya.

The EU-IOM Joint Initiative and Better Migration Management (BMM) programmes funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund aims to support migrants voluntarily returning to the country of origin. The two programmes focus on ensuring not only the return of the vulnerable migrants, but also contribute to the sustainable reintegration.   

Upon arrival in Ethiopia, post-arrival assistance – which includes one overnight accommodation, medical screening, psycho-social support, onward transportation and counselling – is provided to the returnees at the IOM Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration Transit Centre.

The return assistance for the 76 migrants was possible through a funding received from the Government of Italy.

For more information, please contact Alemayehu Seifeselassie at the IOM Special Liaison Office in Addis Ababa, Tel: +251 911 63 90 82, Email: salemayehu@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 16:21Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationEUTFDefault: Multimedia: 

Some of the 76 Ethiopian migrants who returned home from Libya on Monday 24th September 2018. Photo: IOM

Ethiopian migrants, at Bole Addis Ababa International Airport, after arriving from Libya on 24 September 2018. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 80,602 in 2018; Deaths Reach 1,730

Tue, 09/25/2018 - 10:21

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 80,602 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 23 September, with 35,653 to Spain, the leading destination this year. In fact, with this week’s arrivals Spain in 2018 has now received via the Mediterranean more irregular migrants than it did throughout all the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 combined.

The region’s total arrivals through the recent weekend compare with 133,465 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 302,175 at this point in 2016.

Spain, with 44 per cent of all arrivals through the year, continues to receive seaborne migrants in September at a volume nearly twice that of Greece and more than six times that of Italy. Italy’s arrivals through late September are the lowest recorded at this point – the end of a normally busy summer sailing season – in almost five years. IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo on Monday reported that Italy’s 21,024 arrivals of irregular migrants by sea this year represent a decline of nearly 80 per cent from last year’s totals at this time. (see chart below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 1,730 people on the Mediterranean in 2018. Most recently, a woman drowned off the coast of Bodrum, Turkey on Sunday while attempting to reach Kos, Greece via the Eastern Mediterranean route. The Turkish Coast Guard reports that 16 migrants were rescued from this incident. On Saturday, a 5-year-old Syrian boy drowned off the coast of Lebanon’s Akkar province after a boat carrying 39 migrants to attempt to reach Cyprus capsized.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that total arrivals at sea in 2018 have reached 35,594 men, women and children who have been rescued in Western Mediterranean waters through 23 September (see chart below).

IOM notes that over this year’s first five months, a total of 8,150 men, women and children were rescued in Spanish waters after leaving Africa – an average of 54 per day. In the 115 days since May 31, a total of 27,444 have arrived – or just under 240 migrants per day. The months of May-September this year have seen a total of 30,967 irregular migrants arriving by sea, the busiest four-month period for Spain since IOM began tallying arrival statistics, with just over one week left in September.

With this week’s arrivals Spain in 2018 has now received via the Mediterranean more irregular migrants than it did throughout all the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 combined (see charts below).

On Monday, IOM Athens’ Christine Nikolaidou reported that over four days (20-23 September) this week the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) units managed at least nine incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos and Farmakonisi.

The HCG rescued a total 312 migrants and transferred them to the respective islands. Additional arrivals of some 248 individuals to Kos and some of the aforementioned islands over these past four days brings to 22,821 the total number of arrivals by sea to Greece through 23 September (see chart below).

Sea arrivals to Greece this year by irregular migrants appeared to have peaked in daily volume in April, when they averaged at around 100 per day. That volume dipped through the following three months then picked up again in August and again in September, already this year’s busiest month – 3,536 through 23 days, over 150 per day – with about a quarter of the month remaining. Land border crossing also surged in April (to nearly 4,000 arrivals) but have since fallen back, with fewer than 2,000 crossings in each of the past four months (see charts below).

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 2,735 deaths and disappearances during migration so far in 2018 (see chart below).

In the Americas, several migrant deaths were recorded since last week’s update. In Mexico, a 30-year-old Salvadoran man was killed in a hit-and-run on a highway in Tapachula, Mexico on Friday. Another death on Mexico’s freight rail network (nicknamed “La Bestia”) was added after reports of an unidentified man found dead on tracks near San Francisco Ixhuatan on 15 September.

In the United States, on 16 September, an unidentified person drowned in the All-American Canal east of Calexico, California – the 55th drowning recorded on the US-Mexico border this year. A few days later a car crash south of Florence, Arizona resulted in the deaths of eight people, including four Guatemalan migrants, on Wednesday. Two others killed included one of the vehicles’ driver and his partner, who authorities say had been involved with migrant smuggling in the past.

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

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya. Tel. +216 29 240 448 Email: chpetre@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui at IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int 
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Atigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel:   +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 166; M. +30 69 48 92 98 09
Email: Aavgeropoulou@iom.int
Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 248, Email: cnikolaidou@iom.int
Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM, Austria, Tel: + +43 1 5812222, Email: izakoska@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Email: mchabbi@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 16:09Image: Region-Country: AfghanistanDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, University of Zimbabwe Partner in Diaspora Skills Transfer Initiative

Tue, 09/25/2018 - 10:08

Harare – The UN Migration Agency, IOM and the University of Zimbabwe College of Health Sciences on 9 September signed a Cooperation Agreement on Diaspora Skills Transfer Initiative to facilitate the voluntary return of health professionals in the diaspora on a short-term basis. The initiative also is designed to provide their health expertise in exchanges with their home communities and to address at the College of Health Sciences any identified skills deficits in Zimbabwe. 

The programme will strengthen the capacity of health science lecturers at the college to produce adequately skilled and well-equipped health professionals.

In her remarks, IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission, Lily Sanya, reaffirmed IOM’s commitment to supporting national governments in creating platforms for diaspora engagement to harness their development potential. “The signing of this Cooperation Agreement is a major milestone in Zimbabwe’s endeavours to progressively enhance her engagement and empowerment of her diaspora to contribute towards national development,” she said.

Speaking at the same occasion, Margret Chirapa, Secretary General of the Zimbabwe National Commission for UNESCO said, “Zimbabwe has a huge skills deficit in the health and tertiary education sectors as a result of unprecedented flight of skilled professionals or “brain drain” which has hampered efforts in sustainable development.” Chirapa further added that according to the National Critical Skills Audit (2018), there is an overall 95 per cent shortage of skills in the health and medical sector with a percentage shortage above 80 per cent for specialist medical fields. 

It is envisaged that the Diaspora Skills Transfer Initiative will contribute to addressing the skills gap by facilitating the temporary return of at least 60 expert Zimbabwean health and tertiary education professionals who will be attached to health and higher education institutions for periods ranging from three to four weeks. 

Under this diaspora skills transfer initiative, IOM will undertake screening, pre-selection of applicants, provide airfares as well as subsistence expenses for selected health professionals and facilitate their placement in health training institutions in Zimbabwe. For its part the University of Zimbabwe will conduct matching and selection of lecturers to teach within the College of Health Sciences and provide a conducive environment, equipment, facilities, support materials during their placement.

University of Zimbabwe Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Paul Mapfumo expressed optimism that the skills transfer initiative is going to enable the college to tap into the Zimbabwean health care experts in the diaspora to bridge the skills gap especially in short staffed disciplines and those departments which have recently introduced new training programs but have challenges attracting the relevant expertise locally.

“Quality training is an ever-enduring value at the University of Zimbabwe with a view to produce internationally competitive graduates. The initiative we are witnessing today will definitely contribute to enhancement of quality training and subsequently quality health care provision,” added Professor Mapfumo. 

The Diaspora Skills Transfer Initiative is part of the Promoting Migration Governance in Zimbabwe (PMGZ) project, implemented by IOM with funding support from the European Union under the framework of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) and co-funded by IOM Development Fund (IDF). One of the intended results for the project is improved neutral platforms for dialogue and schemes through which Zimbabweans in the diaspora contribute to decision making and national development 

For further information, please contact: Gideon Madera, IOM Zimbabwe Tel: +263 772863172, Email: gmadera@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 16:07Image: Region-Country: ZimbabweThemes: Migration HealthMigration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Lily Sanya, IOM Chief of Mission, and Professor Paul Mapfumo, Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Zimbabwe, signing the Cooperation Agreement. Photo: IOM/Gideon Madera

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Assesses Displacement Impact of Super Typhoon Mangkhut, Commends Philippine Government Preparation, Response

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 10:30

Itogon – Super Typhoon Mangkhut (known locally as Ompong), slammed into the Philippines on 15 September, leaving fields of destroyed crops, landslides and damaged homes in its wake. While an estimated 364,823 families in 30 provinces across Luzon were affected, the government’s preparedness plan and pre-emptive evacuation of thousands of families kept the loss of life to a minimum, according to the UN Migration Agency (IOM).

Widespread destruction included a number of fatal landslides across the mountainous regions of Northern Luzon. In Itogon, Benguet province, 35 people were confirmed dead and 68 are still missing. Many in the community were left in a state of shock.

Said one survivor: “We are lucky to be alive, but without knowing if we can ever return back home, or if we can generate an income moving forward, what is next for us? We have lived here since 1997, so this community and village is our home. But after this typhoon, we do not know what is next.” 

In the immediate aftermath of the typhoon, IOM deployed its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) programme in Regions I, II, III and Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR.) The DTM collects information on the location and needs of displaced people in the most affected areas to inform the humanitarian response.

Preliminary DTM assessments showed 1,093 individuals (279 households) displaced in 19 evacuation centres in Macabebe, San Simon and Apalit municipalities in Pampanga province in Region III.

In Cagayan, Ilocos Norte and Benguet provinces (Region I, Region II, CAR), IOM assessed a total of 48 evacuation centers out of which 30 were already closed. The 11 sites still open were all located in Benguet, where people could not yet return home, mainly due to flooding and landslides.

“Thanks to our donors USAID-OFDA and ECHO, and our close relationship with the government, IOM managed to quickly deploy teams to identify the most vulnerable communities in need” said IOM Philippines Chief of Mission Kristin Dadey. “Moving forward, we will continue to support the government, focusing on key interventions in shelter, camp coordination and camp management, psychosocial interventions and early recovery efforts.”      

For further information please contact Kristin Dadey at IOM Philippines. Email: kdadey@iom.int, Tel. +63 917 803 5009.

Language English Posted: Friday, September 21, 2018 - 16:29Image: Region-Country: PhilippinesThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

A landslide in Itogon, Benguet, triggered by Super Typhoon Mangkhut, left 35 people dead and 68 missing. Photo: JC Borlongan / IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Backs Bangladesh’s Adoption of Migration Governance Framework

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 10:28

Dhaka – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Government of Bangladesh organized a one-day national sharing and validation workshop in Dhaka this week (18/9) to finalize a migration governance framework for Bangladesh.

The workshop, which was held as part of a European Union-funded project on improved migration governance and sustainable reintegration, was attended by representatives from key ministries, development partners, the private sector, research institutions and national media. It was chaired by Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque.

An estimated 12 million Bangladeshis have emigrated in the past four decades. In 2017 alone, over a million people migrated for work, mainly to the Middle East, sending home some USD 13.5 billion in remittances.

While most migrate through regular channels, some continue to put their lives at risk by resorting to irregular routes operated by human smugglers and traffickers. Last year for example the Italian Ministry of Interior reported that over 9,000 Bangladeshis arrived in Italy after crossing the Mediterranean from Libya in small boats. Others are believed to have perished at sea.

The Government of Bangladesh now believes that a holistic framework on migration is needed to address irregular migration from the country and to promote safe and orderly migration that benefits all.  

“International migration is providing unequivocal scope for Bangladesh to unlock potential for sustainable development,” said Foreign Secretary Haque, “but a nation’s effort in building a beneficial and responsible migration governance framework needs to be supported by conducive political, economic, social and environmental conditions, so that migration continues to remain a choice and migrants are treated with respect and dignity.”

In 2017, IOM Bangladesh, with financial support from the European Union, launched a three-year project to build governance capacity to better manage migration. Over the next two years, the project will strengthen existing policy frameworks to improve their functionality and ensure the protection of migrants.

Audrey Maillot, the EU’s Team Leader for Governance in Bangladesh, noted that the migration and development nexus is an important component of the EU’s global approach to migration and mobility.

“The EU is committed to approach migration in a comprehensive way and to mainstream it into all relevant policy areas. As one of the political priorities of the EU, it now impacts overall EU foreign policy and development cooperation,” she said.

“This migration governance framework will set out a common understanding among stakeholders, ensure shared responsibilities and unite the nation to benefit migrants and promote safe and orderly migration opportunities,” said IOM Bangladesh Deputy Chief of Mission Sharon Dimanche. “Bangladesh is one of the first countries to come up with a migration governance framework based on a comprehensive country and migration governance indicator assessment.”

The framework aims to lay out a coherent, comprehensive and balanced vision for migration governance that takes into consideration social, economic and environmental factors. It is aligned with the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration – a non-binding global agreement on migration governance prepared under the auspices of the United Nations and slated for adoption at an intergovernmental conference in Marrakesh, Morocco, in December 2018.

For more information please contact Chowdhury Asif Mahmud Bin Harun at IOM Bangladesh, Tel. +880 1755509476, Email: mbinharun@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Friday, September 21, 2018 - 16:30Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Bangladesh Foreign Secretary Md. Shahidul Haque addresses the migration governance workshop. Photo: Tanmoy Saha Turja / IOM 

Anwara, a Rohingya refugee, inside the world’s biggest refugee settlement in Bangladesh. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Network Against Trafficking and Irregular Migration Established in Nigeria

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 10:27

Calabar – “We are not going to stop people from migrating; migration is a right, but we must work together to ensure that those migrating are not being trafficked,” said Arinze Orakwue Director, Public Enlightenment, National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) at the first National Awareness Raising Strategy Synergy meeting to combat human trafficking in Nigeria held on 18 September.

The event was organized by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in collaboration with NAPTIP and the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) to foster better collaboration among government partners, civil society organizations and other stakeholders working towards raising awareness about the dangers of irregular migration and human trafficking in communities of origin in Nigeria.

The meeting was held in Calabar, Cross River State, a border town and seaport in south-east Nigeria that has witnessed an increase of cases of human trafficking and irregular migration. Last year Joe Abang, Cross River State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney-General, stated that traffickers used ports and various creeks in the area to transport their victims to countries like Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon among others.

From April 2017 to date, IOM has helped 32 female and 25 male migrants return home to Cross River from Libya.

The meeting paved the way for the formation of a technical working group on national awareness raising to combat human trafficking, to be chaired by NAPTIP. Participants also agreed to establish a social media network called Partners Against Trafficking and Irregular Migration (PATIM). The Network will facilitate information and knowledge sharing among relevant state and non-state actors for effective coordination of all awareness activities aimed at combatting human trafficking and irregular migration in Nigeria.

“There is a critical need to have core focal persons [representing our] stakeholders to form a technical working group that will work in unison and take immediate and coordinated action in addressing the issues of human trafficking and irregular migration,” said Mienye Badejo, Deputy Director, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment and Head of Migrant Resource Center, Lagos State. “This initiative is well thought of and should be sustained.”

On behalf of the Director General of the National Orientation Agency (NOA), Paul Odenyi pledged the agency’s commitment to fight against human trafficking through awareness raising. “We should outline roles and responsibilities up to the local level. National Orientation Agency is willing to make available the existing facilities and structures in all the local government areas of the federation in support of any awareness raising activities aimed at addressing the challenges of human trafficking and irregular migration in Nigeria,” Odenyi said.

“Stakeholders should be encouraged to use communication for development (C4D) techniques towards creating awareness about the dangers of irregular migration and engineering behaviour change towards safe migration,” said Cyprine Cheptepkeny, IOM Nigeria C4D Officer.

The meeting, which was funded by the European Union and the Italian Government under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration and the Aware Migrants project respectively, gathered 17 female and 11 male participants from NAPTIP, NCFRMI, NOA, and Girls Power Initiative (GPI), among others.

For more information please contact IOM Nigeria:
Jorge Galindo, Tel: +234 906 273 9168, Email: jgalindo@iom.int
Ikechukwu Attah, Email: iattah@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 21, 2018 - 16:26Image: Region-Country: NigeriaDefault: Multimedia: 

Mienye Badejo, Deputy Director of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment. Photo: Ikechukwu Attah/IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, JSI Partner with Indonesian Municipality on “Smart City” Initiative to Improve Access to Services

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 10:25

Makassar – IOM, JSI Research & Training Institute, and city officials have met to discuss how information and communication technologies can improve the quality of and access to public services in the eastern Indonesian municipality of Makassar.

The two-day data validation and systems mapping workshop was part of the ongoing “Smart City” initiative, which aims to speed up the collection of data that can improve sustainable urban planning, reduce costs and empower citizens to demand better services.

The workshop was funded through a multi-country USAID-funded project “Building Healthy Cities” (BHC), managed by JSI and implemented by IOM. You can learn more about BHC here

A busy port city of 1.6 million people, Makassar is one of 26 cities within the ASEAN Smart Cities Network, a collaborative platform launched this year under Singapore’s ASEAN chairmanship, which aims to synergize smart city development efforts across the ASEAN bloc. 

Like many cities in Southeast Asia, Makassar is a rapidly growing urban area with new residents moving in from rural areas throughout Indonesia. It also hosts some 1,900 refugees and asylum seekers, many of whom are supported by IOM and depend on services provided by the municipality.

The workshop brought together stakeholders including representatives of government, civil society, the private sector, academia, faith-based groups, and international donors to review BHC data and assessments, including three draft studies conducted earlier this year by JSI, the Urban Institute and IOM.

The assessments identified operational challenges and opportunities for the city to improve its data-driven response to enhance service delivery to city residents. Connecting under-served segments of the population to existing services remains one of the key goals of “Smart City Makassar.” 

Representatives of special needs populations and from remote islands within the municipality also attended and took part in articulating the future direction of the project.

"Smart City Makassar” must emphasize human interaction and not over-rely on technology. Our aim is to improve the lives of all Makassar citizens,” said Dr. Andi Hadijah Iriani, Sp. THT-KL, head of Maksassar’s City Planning and Development Agency (BAPPEDA.)

Ismail Hajji Ali, who leads the “Smart City Makassar” team, cited the Makassar Open Data platform as a key element accessing essential data. “Open data is one of the innovations of the digital era that can transform Makassar’s local government,” he said.

For more information, please contact Dr. Ahmad Isa at IOM Makassar. Tel: +62 411 858 115, Email: aisa@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Friday, September 21, 2018 - 16:25Image: Region-Country: IndonesiaThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 

Makassar, IOM and JSI Research & Training Institute are collaborating on the multi-year USAID-funded Building Healthy Cities project. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Regional Workshop Strengthens Data Analysis for Decision Making on Migration Issues in Central America

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 10:24

Panama City – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is helping Mexican and Central American officials strengthen their abilities to produce and analyze the data used in migration-related decision making through a workshop held this week (20-21/09) in Panama City.

"Data is a powerful tool for action," said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for North America, Central America, and the Caribbean, during the opening of the two-day workshop.

"Having updated data on migration trends and flows allows us to assist decision-makers [in creating] efficient and relevant policies, as well as specific interventions, programme and project development, service delivery, and assistance. This information translates into effective protection of migrants’ rights,” he added.

The project, “Regional Strengthening of the Production and Analysis of Information on Migration”, seeks to strengthen the capacities of countries in the region to produce and analyze statistical data on migration, and to develop a Virtual Information Platform for Migration Governance (PIVGM). This platform will make official data on migratory flows and the socioeconomic conditions of migrants available to decision-makers and to the general public.

The initiative is an important contribution to the implementation of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. The text of the Global Compact, approved in July 2018, identifies cooperation between countries and an improvement in the collection of data on migration at the national and international levels as priorities to optimize the design of evidence-based policies.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development also calls upon countries to facilitate safe, regular and orderly migration, and to implement well-managed policies. In addition, regional bodies such as the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM) and the Central American Commission of Directors of Migration (OCAM) have previously acknowledged the need to address information gaps and enhance the exchange of information in one of the main migration transit areas in the world.

The platform, developed with funding of the IOM Development Fund and implemented in coordination with the mechanism for Caribbean Migration Consultations (CMC) and the RCM, will include user friendly and comparable data, visual representations, and cross-sectional information to facilitate access to and analysis of information, as well as the design of evidence-based migration policies and programmes.

The PIVGM will also contribute to standardizing the collection and exchange of relevant data within the network’s member countries, reinforcing intergovernmental collaboration.

For more information please contact Jorge Gallo at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 2212 5352, Email: jgallo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 21, 2018 - 16:23Image: Region-Country: PanamaThemes: Migration PolicyMigration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 

The Virtual Information Platform for Migration Governance will contribute to standardize the collection and exchange of relevant data. Photo: Jorge Gallo/IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 78,372; Deaths Reach 1,728

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 10:23

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 78,372 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 20 September, 34,238 of whom travelled to Spain, the leading destination this year. This compares with 132,715 arrivals across the region through the same period last year.

Spain, with over 44 per cent of all irregular arrivals on the Mediterranean to date, has outpaced

Greece and Italy throughout the summer.

Italy’s arrivals (20,859) to date are the lowest recorded by IOM since 2014, lower in fact, than arrivals recorded by Italian authorities during many individual months over the past five years. The same can be said for Greece, whose totals for irregular migrant arrivals through the first week of September this year (22,261) recently surpassed arrivals to Italy. It is the first time that has happened since the early spring of 2016.  

A year ago, Greece’s irregular migrant arrivals were about one-sixth those of Italy, while Spain’s were about one-tenth (see chart below).

ITALY

According to official MOI figures, 20,859 migrants have arrived in Italy by sea this year, 79.7 percent less than the same period last year. The main point of departure has been Libya

Rescue operation occurred in the Channel of Sicily with survivors transported to Sicily (Catania, Augusta, Porto Empedocle, Pozzallo, Trapani, Palermo, Lampedusa).

Staff are deployed at the main landing points in Sicily (including Lampedusa), Calabria and Apulia where they provide legal assistance to those arriving by sea, monitor the reception conditions and support the authorities in the identification of vulnerable groups.

SPAIN

IOM Spain reported Monday that 34,238 irregular migrants have arrived by sea this year via the Western Mediterranean; of those, some 11,307 arrived since the start of August. For the first 20 days of September, irregular migration arrivals on the Western Mediterranean route were running at a rate of close to 213 per day (see chart below).

*The figures include 630 individuals rescued by the Aquarius ship (disembarkation: 17 June, at the Port of Valencia) and other 87 individuals rescued by Open Arms (Disembarkation: Port of Algeciras, 9 August 2018)

 

Search and rescue operations

GREECE

IOM’s Christine Nikolaidou in Athens reported on Thursday (20/09/2018) that from Tuesday 18 September to date, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported that there was at least 1 (one) incident requiring search and rescue operations off the island of Samos. The HCG rescued a total 34 migrants and transferred them to the island.

IOM Staff is present in Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Leros, Kos and Crete Island where they are working closely with authorities (Frontex, the Hellenic Coastguards and the First Reception Service) to identify vulnerable migrants including unaccompanied minors, elderly migrants, migrants with medical needs and families with children.  Vulnerable groups are referred to authorities in order to be provided with the necessary care.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 2,726 people migrating to international destinations in 2018.

The Mediterranean continues to account for the vast majority of deaths recorded globally. Most recently, five people died in the Western Mediterranean in separate incidents. In the past week, the remains of four migrants have washed up on the shores of the Spanish province of Granada. On 15 September, the remains of an unidentified man washed up on Castell de Ferro beach, near Gualchos. Two days later, on 17 September, the body of a woman was recovered in Herradura Bay, near Almuñécar. On 18 September, the body of a man was found by a Guardia Civil patrol boat 50 nautical miles south of Port of Motril, while on 20 September, another body washed up on La Rábita Beach, near Albuñol. These remains are not associated to any known shipwreck, which indicates that many deaths are unknown. Additionally, the Spanish rescue services recovered one body and rescued 56 people from a sinking boat in the Alboran Sea, 150 nautical miles southwest of Alboran Island, on 19 September.

In Libya, authorities from the customs office in Jaghboub reported that they found the bodies of three Egyptian migrants in the desert near the Egyptian border.

In Mexico, the route north to the US border presents numerous risks to migrants, including taking unsafe transportation options. On 19 September, a 40-year-old man died and 12 people of Central American origin were injured in a vehicle accident in the federal highway 109, near the municipality of San Pedro Totolapan, Oaxaca. Along the US-Mexico border, irregular migrants are often forced to cross through remote parts of the countryside in order to avoid coming into contact with authorities in well-patrolled areas. Most recently, the remains of a migrant were discovered on ranchlands near Eagle Pass, in Texas, on 19 September.

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

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int  
Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int
Atigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 166); Mobile: +30 69 48 92 98 09, Email: aavgeropoulou@iom.int
Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 248, Email: cnikolaidou@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM, Austria, Tel: + +43 1 5812222, Email: izakoska@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya. Tel. +216 29 240 448 Email: chpetre@iom.int
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Tel: +216 28 78 78 05 (mobile) office: +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Email: mchabbi@iom.int
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 21, 2018 - 16:13Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Partners Launch Online Course on Rights of Migrant Children in Latin America

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 10:11

San José – Starting next week (24/09) IOM, the UN Migration Agency, will make the "Specialized Course on Migrant Children in the Americas" available via its Learning Platform on Migration, in virtual and self-training modes.

As of June of this year, 7,824 migrant children have been returned by the migration authorities of Mexico and the United States to the Northern Triangle of Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras). At the same time, migration trends from South America are marked by the emigration of Venezuelans – an estimated 2.3 million people have left, including migrant children. Numbers like this demonstrate the relevance of the virtual course that starts next week.

The course will be available in Spanish and is designed for specialists on children and adolescents, or migration issues. The course involves 80 hours of training and a wide number of multimedia resources and complementary material, which provides a great level of interaction.

Participants will have access to nine modules with a comprehensive approach to issues such as children’s rights and public policies; the international and regional regulatory framework; protection mechanisms; returned children and adolescents, and their reintegration; mental health care, among others. Additionally, the course will offer a series of tools for action, which will facilitate applying the obtained knowledge. The course is designed in collaboration with other United Nations agencies including UNICEF and ILO, and civil society actors such as Save the Children.

Migration management poses great challenges for governments worldwide. When it comes to children and adolescents, a series of social, legal and cultural factors influence the processes and pose additional challenges for countries, institutions and related organizations.

A course invitation was sent to the agencies in charge of issues related to childhood and adolescence, and migration; as well as to the Foreign Affairs Ministries of States in the region, and to other institutions relevant to the topic. A total of more than 300 specialists from the region were enrolled in this first session of 2018.

This effort is the product of a framework agreement between the Inter-American Children's Institute (IIN-OSA) and IOM. It promotes the development and implementation of joint projects throughout the continent and creates a precedent for future cooperation.

The agreement was signed by both IOM regional directors in Latin America, Marcelo Pisani, representing IOM’s Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, and Diego Beltrand, representing IOM’s Regional Office for South America. On behalf of IIN, the agreement was signed by Víctor Giorgi, General Director of the Institute. The design and development of the course were made possible with funding from the US State Department within the framework of the IOM Mesoamerica Program.

For more information, please contact: Alexandra Bonnie, IOM Mesoamerica Regional Program, Email: abonnie@iom.int or Esteban de la Torre Ribadeneira, Inter-American Institute of Children, Girls and Adolescents, Email: edelatorre@iinoea.org

Language English Posted: Friday, September 21, 2018 - 16:10Image: Region-Country: Costa RicaThemes: Capacity BuildingMigrants RightsMigration PolicyMigration and YouthDefault: Multimedia: 

A child waits in a returned migrant assistance center managed by the government of El Salvador. Photo: IOM / Jose Miguel Gómez

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Dominica Recovering One Year After Hurricane Maria, But Thousands Still in Need

Fri, 09/21/2018 - 10:09

Roseau – One year ago, Hurricane Maria reached the island of Dominica with a wind speed of 220 mph (354 kph). The results were devastating: 31 lives were lost and 34 are still missing; roads and bridges were devastated and about 90 per cent of the housing stock in the island was damaged or destroyed.

The day after the hurricane hit, 71-year-old Randel Adams found himself on the brink of tears. His roof was entirely gone. The contents of his house were soaked and soiled. He made himself a make-shift home and braced himself to bear rain and inclement weather. While Adams patched his roof the best he could, thousands of families poured out of the battered island and the government faced the nearly impossible task of restoring damaged property worth millions of dollars, the island’s economy, and people’s lives.

A few days after the hurricane, an IOM team was on the ground distributing tarpaulins, solar lights, hygiene kits and other non-food items, and tracking the status of displaced people in emergency shelters around the island using the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) tool. Since then, IOM has been working tirelessly in communities across Dominica to assist the most vulnerable through Shelter Recovery programmes funded by UK Aid, the European Union’s humanitarian arm (ECHO), Australia Aid and China AID via the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).  The programme has repaired almost 700 roofs, allowing families to return to their homes and developing their capacity and resilience to disasters.

Adams qualified to receive humanitarian assistance from IOM because he met several vulnerability criteria; he now lives in a safe and secure space. “This roof is better and stronger. I am happy that the roof is well-fixed, and I am not getting wet. I am now much better prepared when a hurricane is coming,” he said.

The programme is also building resilience by training carpenters and homeowners. To date, over 100 Dominican men and women have been trained in basic carpentry guided by the Dominica Building Standards. In collaboration with the Office of Disaster Management, 83 managers of emergency shelters were trained and certified in camp management practices.

“IOM is teaching residents about the importance of safe building practices and how to stay prepared for the hurricane season. We also engaged communities in the selection of beneficiaries. Through open, transparent and participative processes we are able to reach people who are most in need,” explained Jan-Willem Wegdam, IOM Dominica Team Leader. “As we rebuild, we work together to rebuild better homes, but also better communities and lives for Dominicans,” he continued.

Despite the progress achieved, the needs on the island are still enormous. More resources would allow IOM and its partners to accelerate and expand the implementation of shelter recovery programmes. An estimated 5,000 families are still living under tarpaulins, damaged roofs or with friends and families.

“To get my roof back today or tomorrow would be the joy of my life. I would be so happy and comfortable. You know, after living in your proper home for all these years… to get into that devastating situation [is] not a good feeling,” says 64-year-old Camillia Burton, a small shopkeeper and farmer of the Marigot community. Burton currently lives in a small room with her four grandchildren due to structural damages inflicted to her home by Maria.

IOM’s Wegdam also highlighted a need to provide humanitarian services beyond rebuilding: “Maria hit more than only roofs, so we should ideally have a programme where we can spend our money on a much broader range of improvements, including livelihoods or psychosocial support. IOM will continue to work in collaboration with the government and key allies to implement an integrated approach to support communities.”

For more information, please contact Maxine Alleyne-Esprit at IOM Dominica, Tel. +767 275 3225, Email: malleyne@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, September 21, 2018 - 15:59Image: Region-Country: DominicaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

“This roof is better and stronger. I am happy that the roof is well-fixed, and I am not getting wet. I am now much better prepared when a hurricane is coming,” says Randel Adams. Photo: Dwight Lugay / IOM

IOM has repaired almost 700 roofs, allowing Dominica families to return to their homes and developing their capacity and resilience to disasters. Photo: Maxine Alleyne / IOM

Dominica 1 year after hurricane Maria

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Joint statement by UNHCR and IOM on the appointment of Mr. Eduardo Stein, as a Joint Special Representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants in the region

Wed, 09/19/2018 - 11:19

Geneva – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the UN Migration Agency (IOM) are pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Eduardo Stein, as a Joint Special Representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants in the region.

Mr. Stein brings vast professional experience, political leverage and deep knowledge of the region, which will be fundamental to support national government efforts to deal with the protection and solutions needs of an increasing number of Venezuelan refugees and migrants. Mr. Stein will be promoting a coherent and harmonized regional approach to the Venezuela situation in coordination with national governments, international organizations and other relevant stakeholders.

Mr. Stein will be working closely and reporting directly to both the UNHCR High Commissioner and the IOM Director General. He will work to promote dialogue and consensus necessary for the humanitarian response, including access to territory, refugee protection, legal stay arrangements and the identification of solutions for Venezuelan refugees and migrants.

Language English Posted: Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - 17:11Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

Mr. Eduardo Stein, Joint Special Representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants in the region.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Humanitarian Partners Respond to Cholera Outbreak in North-East Nigeria as Death Toll Rises

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 10:51

Maiduguri – According to the latest Situation Report of Cholera Outbreak issued by the Borno State Ministry of Health, 1,533 suspected cholera cases and 31 associated deaths were reported in the north-east Nigerian state from 5 to 17 September.

The State Ministry of Health is coordinating the response to the outbreak in partnership with the Humanitarian Country Team.

As part of the cholera response IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is conducting targeted hygiene promotion and sanitation activities in camp andcamp-like settings. This is directly implemented by IOM camp committees and technical teams. In the Konduga, Maiduguri, Jere, Dikwa and Gwoza local government areas (LGAs), IOM teams sensitized 2,726 households (around 15,000 people) to improve hygiene practices through house to house visits, mass campaigns and focus group discussions. Construction of additional hygiene and sanitation facilities such as latrines and showers are ongoing in Konduga and Jere, which are high cholera-risk LGAs. 

"We realize that as youths we can bring positive change towards curbing cholera in Gubio by encouraging proper utilization of sanitation facilities that are in the camps,” said a young man during a sensitization session on cholera prevention in Gubio, Maiduguri.

In addition, IOM continues to implement standard Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) activities to facilitate equitable access to services among the affected population as well as timely mapping and referral of gaps in the provision of assistance, reaching more than 680,000 displaced individuals across 110 camp and camp-like settings in Borno State. IOM is co-leading the CCCM sector in north-east Nigeria.

“Detecting and responding rapidly to suspected cases of cholera is vital to controlling outbreaks, which can spread rapidly,” said Fouad Diab, IOM Nigeria Emergency Coordinator, following the release of the latest situation report. “We are working towards ensuring that basic hygiene practices, including use of clean and safe water and proper sanitation are promoted among internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities,” he added. 

The Government is also disseminating prevention messages to combat the water-borne disease through local radio stations in Hausa, Kanuri, Shuwa and Bura languages.

Before the outbreak was officially announced, IOM had been conducting sanitation, hygiene promotion and cholera preparedness activities in the north-east. Since the beginning of 2018, IOM has reached 64,700 individuals with targeted WASH services in Borno State. 

Additional resources are urgently needed to strengthen the response and mitigate the risk of the outbreak spreading to other areas. Partners are currently using existing resources from regular emergency operations. These are not enough for a full-scale response.

Borno State is at the heart of the ongoing conflict in north-east Nigeria, a region where, according to recent assessments, 1,926,748 people are displaced, up from 1.7 million at the start of 2018. Up to 79 per cent of IDPs in the region are women and children.

For more information, please contact Jorge Galindo at IOM Nigeria, Tel: +234 906 273 9168, Email: jgalindo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 16:50Image: Region-Country: NigeriaThemes: Capacity BuildingHumanitarian EmergenciesMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM team conducts a hygiene promotion session for IDPs in Bama, Borno State. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

UN Agencies Launch Environmental Protection and Resilience Project for Host Communities and Refugees in Bangladesh

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 10:50

Cox’s Bazar – Families living in the world’s largest refugee camp in the past week received the first 2,500 stoves and liquid petroleum gas (LPG) cylinders that are part of a United Nations project to protect the environment and build resilience for people living in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

The “SAFE Plus” (Safe Approaches to Fuel and Energy Plus Landscape Restoration and Livelihoods) project, which aims to ultimately provide 125,000 host community and refugee families with LPG stoves to prevent further deforestation caused by cutting firewood for cooking, is a partnership between the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), Migration Agency (IOM) and World Food Programme (WFP.)

When some 700,000 Rohingya refugees fled to Cox’s Bazar in August last year to escape violence in Myanmar, much of the area’s protected forest was cut down for fuel and shelter, dramatically increasing the risk of flooding and landslides due to soil erosion.

The new LPG stoves will allow families to safely cook without needing to gather firewood from depleted forests. They will also improve the safety of women and children, who risk gender-based violence and attacks from animals, when they collect firewood. Additionally, they will reduce health risks caused by smoke inhalation from open fires.

Host community and refugee families with LPG stoves will receive the fuel that they need through WFP’s ‘multi-wallet’ transfer solution. The agency’s SCOPE beneficiary and transfer management platform identifies recipients through biometric authentication and ensures that the assistance they receive is accurately recorded and managed. ‘Fuel wallets’ on their SCOPE assistance cards will record the LPG they receive, together with food and other items.

“Creating sustainable access to LPG for cooking is the critical piece in the jigsaw of addressing deforestation and reforestation,” said Peter Agnew, FAO Programme Manager in Bangladesh. “It eliminates the demand for firewood, which in turn allows us to replant deforested areas with confidence, knowing that new trees will not be dug up and sold as kindling.”

“Enabling access to alternative fuel sources encourages more environmentally sustainable practices. Deforestation is a major concern. Furthermore, families predominantly cook indoors, so we are quite concerned about the impact of smoke from cooking fires on people’s respiratory health,” said IOM Emergency Coordinator Manuel Pereira.

“We know limited access to firewood results in coping strategies such as undercooking food,” said WFP Emergency Coordinator Peter Guest. “We are therefore strengthening food security by giving people better and safer access to fuel. The SCOPE platform is helping both WFP and our UN partners to deliver humanitarian assistance more efficiently.”

Today, there are over 919,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. These refugees, as well as Bangladeshi host communities, number at least 1.3 million people and rely on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs.

The SAFE Plus initiative is supported by Ireland, Japan and the United States of America and assists the work of the Government of Bangladesh, notably the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commission under the Ministry of Disaster Relief and Management.

For further information and interviews please contact:
Fiona MacGregor at IOM Cox’s Bazar, Tel. +8801733335221, Email: FMacGregor@iom.int
Peter Agnew at FAO Cox’s Bazar, Tel. +8801734931946, Email: Peter.Agnew@fao.org
Manmeet Kaur at WFP Cox’s Bazar, Tel. +8801713750599, Email: Manmeet.Kaur@wfp.org

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 16:48Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration and EnvironmentRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

Johura Kathun, 45, a widow with three children, receives an LPG stove in Balukhali camp. Photo: Tazbir Tanim / WFP 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 77,555; Deaths Reach 1,723

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 10:48

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 77,555 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2018 through 17 September, with 33,611 to Spain, the leading destination this year.

This compares with 131,884 arrivals across the region through the same period last year, and 298,663 through a similar point (13 September) in 2016. 

Spain, with over 43 per cent of all irregular arrivals on the Mediterranean through this year, has outpaced

Greece and Italy throughout the summer.

Italy’s arrivals to date – 20,777 – are the lowest recorded by IOM since 2014, lower in fact, than arrivals recorded by Italian authorities during many individual months over the past five years. The same can be said for Greece, whose totals for irregular migrant arrivals through the first week of September this year (22,153) recently surpassed arrivals to Italy. It is the first time that has happened since the early spring of 2016.  

ITALY

IOM Italy released data Monday on irregular arrivals from North Africa (see chart below) through mid-September. According to the latest figures, 20,777 irregular migrants have arrived by sea to Italy this year, 79.7 percent less than the same period last year. Libya remains the main departure country. Migrant rescues occurred in the Channel of Sicily and then brought to Sicily (main ports: Catania, Augusta, Porto Empedocle, Pozzallo, Trapani, Palermo, Lampedusa).

The 700 irregular migrants who arrived from 1-17 September represent an average of fewer than 32 per day – compared to averages of over 2,009 per day last September and 566 per day the September before that. According to IOM data collected during the current Mediterranean emergency, during peak summer months in 2016 and 2017, daily arrivals to Italy frequently surpassed 750. 

IOM staff are deployed at the main landing points in Sicily (including Lampedusa), Calabria and Apulia where they provide legal assistance to those arriving by sea, monitor the reception conditions and support the authorities in the identification of vulnerable groups. 

SPAIN

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported Monday that 33,611 irregular migrants have arrived by sea this year via the Western Mediterranean; of those, some 10,680 arrived since the start of August. For the first 16 days of September, irregular migration arrivals on the Western Mediterranean route were running at a rate of 267 per day (see chart below). 

Search and rescue operations

GREECE

On Monday, IOM Athens’ Christine Nikolaidou wrote that from Friday, 14 September to date, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported that there were at least 12 incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Rhodes and Kos. The HCG rescued a total of 573 migrants and transferred them to the respective islands.

A total of 22,153 irregular migrants have arrived in Greece by sea thus far in 2018. See Tables below for further details.

IOM staff are present in Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Leros, Kos and Crete Island, working closely with authorities (Frontex, the Hellenic Coast Guard and the First Reception Service) to identify vulnerable migrants including unaccompanied minors, elderly migrants, migrants with medical needs and families with children. Vulnerable groups are referred to authorities in order to be provided with the necessary care.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has documented the deaths of 2,716 people migrating to international destinations in 2018.

Most recently, three people died in the Eastern Mediterranean when trying to reach Greece. On the night of 16 September, a boat in which 19 people were trying to reach the Greek island of Kos capsized near Bağlar Bay in Bodrum, Turkey. The Turkish Coast Guard saved 16 survivors (including 8 children and 6 women) and recovered the remains of two women. Another woman remains missing.

In the Western Mediterranean, a woman drowned when the boat in which she was travelling capsized in the Alboran Sea on 16 September. The Spanish rescue services managed to rescue 54 survivors from the sinking boat.

On 13 September, the remains of three migrants, including one woman, washed up on the shores of Beni Ensar, Morocco. Their bodies were taken to the morgue of Hassani Hospital in Nador, according to local NGOs.

Additionally, the Missing Migrants Project team, based on information received from Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), recorded the deaths of 130 migrants on 1 September in a shipwreck off the coast of Al Khums, Libya. A group of 276 people, among them survivors of the shipwreck, were disembarked in Al Khums on 2 September. An MSF medical team provided urgent medical assistance to 18 survivors and collected their testimonies. It was reported that 165 adults and 20 children were on board the boat (185 people in total), while only 55 survived. Two bodies were recovered by the Libyan Coast Guard. This indicates that 128 people went missing and presumably drowned in the shipwreck, including 20 children, according to survivors’ testimonies.

In Europe, a 24-year-old Eritrean migrant was stabbed in a parking lot near the E40 highway, in Wetteren, Belgium on 12 September. On the border between the United States and Mexico, migrants keep dying in ones and twos, often due to the hardships of the journey itself. On 11 September, US Border Patrol agents found the remains of a man who had died of dehydration in the Jacumba mountains, California. The day after, they assisted a pregnant woman and a man who got lost in the Yuha desert, California, both suffering from dehydration. Tragically, the man died before reaching the hospital. On 15 September, the body of a man was recovered from the Río Bravo by Mexican civil protection authorities.

In the first two weeks of September, at least four migrants lost their lives while transiting through Mexico. Migrants who cross Mexico to reach the border with the United States are exposed to disproportionate levels of risk of human rights violations, disappearance and death.

On 7 September, the remains of a man were found on the side of the highway between Monterrey and Reynosa, near the municipality of General Bravo in Nuevo León. He is believed to have been part of a group of 300 migrants who were detained by Mexican migration agents a few days earlier while travelling in a truck.

Although various sources suggest that migrants are dying in large numbers along the migrant trail in Mexico, the scale of deaths is difficult to measure. The discovery of mass graves containing the remains of migrants of Central America origin give evidence of the growing number of migrants who disappear in the context of their journeys through Mexico.

Most recently, the remains of 9 Guatemalan migrants who were found in a clandestine grave in February 2015 were identified. The last time their families heard from them had been on 16 February 2014. One year later, a clandestine grave containing the remains of 16 people was discovered in the municipality of Güémez, Tamaulipas. In July 2018, the State Attorney General’s Office notified the families that their missing relatives were among those found in this grave. Families of these nine men had to wait for three years and six months to find out what happened to their loved ones. Tragically, the families of many missing migrants may never receive any confirmation of life or death, never fully able to grieve their loss.

A recent report by the Mexican Commission for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights estimated that 390 clandestine burial sites were discovered in 23 Mexican states between 2009 and 2014, containing 1,418 bodies and 5,768 unidentified remains. Unfortunately, there is no national register of clandestine graves and no effective system in place to identify and link missing persons and unidentified bodies recovered.

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 migrant deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe 
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int 

For more information, please contact: 
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int 
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int 
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int  
Hicham Hasnaoui, IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int 
Atigoni Avgeropoulou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 (Ext. 166); Mobile: +30 69 48 92 98 09 
Email: aavgeropoulou@iom.int 
Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 99 19 040 ext. 248, Email: cnikolaidou@iom.int 
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int 
Ivona Zakoska, IOM Regional DTM, Austria, Tel: + +43 1 5812222, Email: izakoska@iom.int 
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int 
Christine Petré, IOM Libya. Tel. +216 29 240 448 Email: chpetre@iom.int 
Myriam Chabbi, IOM Tunisia, Mobile: +216 28 78 78 05, Tel: +216 71 860 312 (Ext. 109), Email: mchabbi@iom.int 
Dimitrios Tsagalas, IOM Cyprus, Tel: + 22 77 22 70, E-mail: dtsagalas@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 16:29Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Trains Health Providers to Care for Victims of Trafficking, Migrants in Vulnerable Situations

Tue, 09/18/2018 - 10:28

Nairobi – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, under the Better Migration Management (BMM) programme and the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa, conducted a five-day Training of Trainers for health care providers. The training, which focused on care for victims of trafficking and mental health considerations for migrants in vulnerable situations, ran from 10 to 14 September 2018.

The training was designed to help participants understand and care for trafficked persons, and to better manage mental health conditions for migrants in vulnerable situations. It brought together representatives from the Ministries of Health, as well as professionals working to provide protection services in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. After the workshop, participants are expected to roll out this training in their places of work with the support of IOM staff in the respective countries.

Migrants’ journeys on the Western-Northern, Eastern and Southern routes out of Africa are difficult and often dangerous. Often, migrants travel on foot for hundreds of kilometres through dangerous territories and at the mercy of smuggler networks; they are faced with challenges such as lack of access to basic needs, extortion, discrimination, psychological, physical and sexual abuse and even death.

Throughout the years, IOM has supported various activities in the East and Horn of Africa region to assist vulnerable migrants and victims of trafficking.

Speaking at the launch of the training, Gordon Kihalangwa, the Principal Secretary in the Kenyan Ministry of Interior and Chairman of the National Coordination Mechanism commended the work of IOM, in particular under BMM. He especially praised the assistance provided to vulnerable migrants, including victims of trafficking.  He called on actors to address the push and pull factors for migration in the region: “You are going to meet people who have lost self-esteem, [and had] their travel documents taken away. You should not add more miseries and distress… rather try to alleviate their suffering.”

Jeffrey Labovitz, IOM Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa, emphasized the need to give participants the right tools to understand the phenomenon of human trafficking and smuggling of migrants as well as to recognize some of the health problems associated with trafficking and migrants in vulnerable situations. He also urged them to use appropriate approaches when providing health care to trafficked persons and migrants in vulnerable situations.

The programmes, Better Migration Management and the EU-IOM Joint Initiative Programme in the Horn of Africa, aim to support the African member countries of the Khartoum Process. The BMM programme is funded by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Both programmes strengthen the assistance to vulnerable migrants, including victims of trafficking and returnees, with specialised protection services in the Horn of Africa countries.

For more information please contact the IOM Regional Office in Nairobi:
Julia Hartlieb, Tel: +254 734 988 846, Email: jhartlieb@iom.int; or Wilson Johwa, Tel:  +254 20 4221 112, Email: wjohwa@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - 16:27Image: Region-Country: KenyaThemes: Capacity BuildingCounter-TraffickingMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

At the end of a week-long training in psychosocial first aid for vulnerable migrants, some of the participants show their certificates. Photo: Wilson Johwa/IOM 2018

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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