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Yemen: Urgent Humanitarian Access Needed to Migrant Survivors of Deadly Holding Facility Fire

Mon, 03/08/2021 - 18:11

Sana’a – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is calling for urgent humanitarian access to migrants injured in Sunday’s deadly fire at an immigration holding facility in Sana’a, Yemen, the release of all migrants from detention in the country and a renewed commitment to providing safe, predictable movement options for migrants. 

The total number of migrants who died in the fire at the Immigration, Passports and Naturalization Authority (IPNA) Immigration Holding Facility remains unconfirmed, as official records have yet to be released. Over 170 people have been treated for injuries, with many remaining in critical condition. 

IOM personnel were present at the site when the fire broke out in a hangar next to the main building. Nearly 900 migrants, predominantly Ethiopian, were in the overcrowded holding facility at the time of the fire. More than 350 were in the hangar area. 

Teams of IOM health workers and ambulances, and over 23,000 medical items including intravenous fluid, trauma kits and other essentials, were immediately dispatched to the facility and to major hospitals to provide urgent life-saving assistance alongside the Ministry of Public Health and Population.   

“While the cause of the fire is still unconfirmed, its impact is clearly horrific,” said Carmela Godeau, IOM’s Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa.  

“Our thoughts are with the families of those affected and the community as a whole. Now, the migrant community in Sana’a needs to be given the space to respectfully mourn and bury their dead in a dignified manner. IOM and partners are standing ready to provide additional medical assistance and to support family tracing efforts for the dead and injured.” 

“As many migrants are in a critical condition, meeting their health needs must be an urgent priority. We are facing challenges accessing the injured due to an increased security presence in the hospitals. Humanitarians and health workers must be given access to support the treatment of those affected by the fire and others who have been receiving long-term care from IOM and partners,” added Godeau. 

Yemen remains a transit country for tens of thousands of migrants travelling between the Horn of Africa and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. All people throughout Yemen, including migrants, should be afforded protection and safety, the responsibility for which lies with the authorities of the territory. 

COVID-19 has led to increased mobility restrictions resulting in a reduction of the number of arrivals — from over 138,000 in 2019 to just over 37,500 in 2020 — and to thousands of migrants becoming stranded with little access to basic services or protection.  

IOM has been working with the Government of Ethiopia to restart its Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) programme to the country, which has been on hold since the start of the pandemic. So far in Aden alone, over 6,000 people have been registered to return; 1,100 are expected to do so in the coming weeks. IOM has also been discussing the resumption of a humane voluntary returns process with the authorities in Sana’a. 

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM Yemen, Tel: +967730552233, Email: oheadon@iom.int  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 9, 2021 - 01:00Image: Region-Country: YemenDefault: Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and Protection
Categories: PBN

International Women’s Day: Launch of Online Training Module on Gender Equality and Migration

Mon, 03/08/2021 - 01:50

Joint press release UN Women/IOM

Geneva – Today, on International Women’s Day, we are celebrating the launch of a brand-new online training module, Gender Equality and Migration. Developed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UN Women, this module helps learners understand how gender shapes every stage of the migrant journey, and why it matters.  

Gender Equality and Migration becomes the 16th module of the UN Women's landmark I Know Gender e-learning course, which introduces UN staff worldwide to gender equality issues. It is a unique chance to step into the shoes of migrants and see things from their perspective. Through this module participants will learn about international migration trends from a gender perspective, how to conduct a gender analysis and how to start mainstreaming gender equality into their everyday work at every stage of the migration cycle. 

“This new module, with its unique perspective, reminds all of us of the humanity within migration. Every person on the move has a different story - whether they move because of imminent danger, in search of better opportunities, for love, or to re-join their families. Migrants bring with them hopes as well as capabilities, and we have the duty and the responsibility to listen to and respect them”, said IOM Director General, António Vitorino,.

UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, added that this course module, co-developed by IOM and UN Women’s Training Centre, “is an important chance for users to step into the shoes of women migrants and understand how gender shapes every stage of the migrant journey. It also shows the power of partnership, and what we can do when we work together to leverage our unique strengths towards a shared goal."

This interactive and user-friendly course is available in English and will be accessible in French and Spanish soon. The module can be found on UN Women’s eLearning CampusIOM e-Campus and also in the Migration Network Hub

For more information on I Know Gender Module 16 Gender Equality and Migration, please contact the IOM Gender Coordination Unit (gcu@iom.int). 

Language English Posted: Monday, March 8, 2021 - 08:29Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: Gender and MigrationDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Countering XenophobiaGender EqualityInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration ManagementReducing Global Inequalities
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Mexican filmmaker Samuel Kishi, new IOM Goodwill Ambassador

Fri, 03/05/2021 - 04:04

Mexico City – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) announced yesterday the appointment of Mexican filmmaker Samuel Kishi Leopo as its new Goodwill Ambassador, making him a strategic ally in promoting the mandate of the leading United Nations agency in the field of migration.  

"I am honored to introduce Samuel today as our ambassador,” said Dana Graber Ladek, IOM Mexico´s Chief of Mission. 

“In him we see an outstanding personality in the world of culture, with the capacity to help us defend migrants’ human rights, raise awareness about the positive impact of regular migration, warn about the risks of irregular migration, and promote orderly, safe, and dignified migration."  

Kishi joins other public figures with similar responsibilities, including Egyptian actors Nelly Karim and Asser Yassin, Ghanaian musical artist Kofi Kinaata, Ukrainian-Tatar singer-songwriter and actress Jamala, and Haitian singer and pianist Phyllissia Ross. 

"I am the son, grandson and great-grandson of migrants, I am Mexican, I have Mexican blood, my paternal grandparents are Japanese, and my maternal great-grandfather was Chinese,” said Kishi.  

“I believe that we are all migrants; we are in constant movement throughout our lives, we migrate in different ways and to different places. In addition, I am interested in human issues, changes, displacement, rootedness and uprooting, identity and human resilience." 

Kishi began his film career in 2011 and has ever since participated in more than 100 national and international exhibitions and film festivals. In 2019, he premiered his multi-award-winning film "Los Lobos" at the Busan International Film Festival (Republic of Korea), a story about two children who migrate to Albuquerque (New Mexico, United States) with their mother, and experience for the first time in their lives the challenges of uprooting.  

The film has received to date awards at 25 international festivals, including the Best Film award from the International Grand Jury in the Generation Kplus section at the Berlin International Film Festival, Germany. 

IOM was founded in 1951 and became part of the United Nations in 2016. It strongly advocates the principle that orderly and humane migration benefits migrants and society. In addition, IOM serves as the coordinator and secretariat of the United Nations Network on Migration and is a key interlocutor in the field of human mobility, supporting migrants and developing effective responses to the changing dynamics of migration. 

For more information, please contact Alberto Cabezas, Communications Officer at IOM Mexico, Email: acabezas@iom.int  Tel: +52 55 4525 8361

Language English Posted: Friday, March 5, 2021 - 14:00Image: Region-Country: MexicoThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

"I am the son, grandson and great-grandson of migrants” says IOM’s new Good Will Ambassador, Mexican filmmaker Samuel Kishi. Photo: Magali Espinosa. 

"I am the son, grandson and great-grandson of migrants” says IOM’s new Good Will Ambassador, Mexican filmmaker Samuel Kishi. Photo: Magali Espinosa. 

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: International Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration and the 2030 Agenda
Categories: PBN

IOM Opens First Women and Girls Safe Space for Host Communities in Cox’s Bazar

Fri, 03/05/2021 - 03:59

Cox’s Bazar – Nearly three-quarters of married Bangladeshi women have experienced domestic violence in their lives, according to a 2015 study, and COVID-19 has only exacerbated the risk. A recent report highlights the rise in gender-based violence (GBV), particularly intimate partner violence, and child protection issues including child labour and child marriage in both Rohingya and Bangladeshi communities. 

COVID-19 related mobility restrictions, coupled with a lack of income-generating opportunities, have significantly affected the most vulnerable, particularly single female-headed households, and the pandemic has impacted their safe access to GBV and Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services. 

In the lead up to International Women’s Day on 8 March, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) opened its first Women and Girls Safe Space (WGSS) for host communities on Tuesday (02/03), with support from its partner PULSE Bangladesh, and funding from the Office of US. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and the Government of Japan. 

“This is a space where women and girls can feel physically and emotionally safe and have the freedom to express themselves without fear of judgment from their peers,” said IOM’s Deputy Chief of Mission Manuel Marques Pereira. “We hope that this space will eventually become a women-led multipurpose community centre and evolve depending on the needs of women and girls and the wider community.” 

IOM already operates WGSSs in nine refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, providing life-saving information and running awareness-raising and community-level outreach. Close to 260,000 women and girls have been assisted by IOM’s GBV teams via these spaces since the opening of the very first WGSS in 2017.  

Situated in the Ratna Palong union in the Ukhia Upazila of Cox’s Bazar district, this latest Safe Space will serve as a place where women and girls can access resources to mitigate and reduce the risks of GBV. The space will also act as a vital entry point for GBV survivors looking to access information on specialized services and referrals to health, legal and protection actors. 

IOM and PULSE Bangladesh provide a wide range of services there, including individual case management. Women and girls can also access counseling and psychosocial support, recreational activities, information on health, childcare guidance, legal rights, as well as core humanitarian items. 

Many of the women who come to these safe spaces report receiving little to no support at home. By giving them the opportunity to engage with their peers, IOM and its partners aim to reduce their isolation and integrate them into social networks and the community life, ultimately improving their psychosocial well-being. 

Furthermore, the centre will focus on skills development and the empowerment of women and girls by conducting a variety of training modules, such as sewing, the production of sanitary pads, gardening or food processing, which will lead to livelihood opportunities. 

These first women graduates will ultimately be engaged as peer trainers and support with coaching other host community members. Community volunteers will be trained to conduct community-based awareness-raising activities and referrals, which will further define the curriculum depending on the needs expressed by the women and girls themselves. 

Acknowledging that male engagement is key in reducing the risks of GBV, IOM will be piloting in this new space innovative models of programming. This curriculum will include community days for men and boys as well as after-school classes on puberty, GBV and SRH for adolescents.  

For more information, please contact Monica Chiriac, Tel: +880 1880 094 048, Email: mchiriac@iom.int, or Tarek Mahmud. Tel: + 880 1752 380 240, Email: tmahmud@iom.int, at IOM Bangladesh in Cox’s Bazar. 

Language English Posted: Friday, March 5, 2021 - 13:59Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: COVID-19Migration and genderDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM has just opened its first Women and Girls Safe Space for host communities in Cox’s Bazar. Photo: IOM/Mashrif Abdullah Al 

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: COVID-19Gender EqualityMigrants in Vulnerable Situations/Migrants RightsMigration ManagementReducing Global Inequalities
Categories: PBN

IOM Launches USD 8 Million Plan to Stop Ebola Resurgence in Guinea

Thu, 03/04/2021 - 11:46

Geneva / Conakry – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is mobilizing to help stop the resurgence of the Ebola virus disease (EVD) in Guinea and appealing for USD 8 million to support essential outbreak preparedness and response activities, and critical coordination efforts at the national and prefectural levels and key border crossings.

On 14 February, the Ministry of Health of Guinea declared an EVD cluster in the sub-prefecture of Gouécké, in the southeastern region of N'Zérékoré. This is the first time EVD has been reported in the country since the 2014—2016 outbreak, which spread across land borders into Sierra Leone and Liberia claiming more than 11,300 lives.

Within days, IOM deployed the necessary resources to set up five health screening points around Gouécké, and on the borders with Côte d’Ivoire and Liberia. In addition, three Public Health Emergency Operations Centers were activated with IOM's support to facilitate coordination and intensive contact tracing efforts.

“Since 2014, IOM has had a strong working relationship with national and local health authorities, communities, and other key stakeholders,” said Maximilian Diaz, IOM Guinea´s Officer in Charge.

“We were able to mobilize our teams immediately and help activate strong disease surveillance measures around the epicentre, but much more is needed to make sure the outbreak is contained as fast as possible.”

IOM's response strategy will focus on the Gouécké sub-prefecture, the current epicentre, and the surrounding health districts of the N'Zérékoré region which borders Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The Organization carried out preparedness activities in those countries following the 2014 EVD outbreak and is now planning to scale up efforts, including working with public authorities and communities to enhance surveillance at border areas, outreach to inform and engage communities, deployment of additional handwashing stations , and more.

IOM’s public health interventions use analysis of human mobility within and across international borders to inform targeted preparedness and response measures to infectious disease outbreaks. The Organization’s new plan, in line with the Government's priorities laid out in the National EVD Response Plan, aims to prevent further EVD transmission by:

·       strengthening coordination and emergency management capacities at all levels;

·       carrying out disease surveillance activities;

·       implementing infection prevention and control measures, for example by setting up handwashing stations;

·       and mapping local mobility trends and dynamics to inform decision-making. 

Overall, some 4.5 million people are targeted to benefit from these activities.

As of 1 March, 4 probable and 13 confirmed cases have been identified, eight of whom have died. As IOM-supported surveillance activities are already underway, hundreds of contacts have been identified, the majority of which are in N'Zérékoré, and some others in the Conakry, Dubreka and Coyah areas. Despite some movement restrictions across official border crossings due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a significant number of cross-border movements continue to take place, which pose a risk for international EVD spread.

“We have witnessed the devastation that delayed action on public health emergencies can do to a community and societies at large,” stressed Diaz. “We must stand by the people of Guinea, and we must act fast.”

IOM’s Global Crisis Response Platform provides an overview of IOM’s planned activities and funding requirements to respond to the evolving needs and aspirations of those impacted by, or at risk of, crisis and displacement in 2021 and beyond. The Platform will be regularly updated with new crisis response plans published over the coming weeks.

A mobility-focused approach to public health

In line with the 2005 International Health Regulations, IOM uses a mobility-focused approach to public health preparedness and response to infectious diseases, through analysis of the way people travel, with interventions at points of entry, along transit corridors and in congregation spaces.  

The aim is to strengthen systems to ensure cases are detected early through health screening points, contact tracing, and community-based mechanisms, targeting locations where the risks are the highest, to ultimately prevent transmission.  

In addition, in contexts where access to clean water can be challenging, IOM works to improve people’s abilities to wash their hands – a key aspect of effective EVD and COVID-19 infection prevention – for example by rehabilitating boreholes, installing portable handwashing stations, and distributing hygiene kits with soap, among other things. 

In recent years, IOM has implemented Ebola-related interventions across a dozen countries – including Burundi, the DRC, Guinea, Liberia, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan and Uganda – to mitigate in-country and cross-border infection.

 

For more information, please contact: 

Yasmina Guerda, Public Health Information Officer at IOM Headquarters in Geneva,Tel:  +41 79 363 17 99, E-mail:  yguerda@iom.int

Lucas Chandellier, Media and Communications Officer for IOM Guinea, Tel:  +224 627 27 33 33, E-mail: lchandellier@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Thursday, March 4, 2021 - 18:44Image: Region-Country: GuineaDefault: Multimedia: 

Civil protection officer checks the temperature of a traveler bound for Côte d'Ivoire, at the Gouela point of entry in Guinea. Photo: IOM 2021

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and Protection
Categories: PBN

At Least 20 Dead After Smugglers Force Migrants into the Sea Off Djibouti

Thu, 03/04/2021 - 08:48

Obock, Djibouti – At least 20 people have drowned after smugglers threw dozens of migrants overboard early Wednesday morning during their journey from Djibouti to Yemen, the third such incident on the Gulf of Aden in six months.

Survivors receiving medical treatment at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Migrant Response Centre in Obock said at least 200 migrants, including children, were crowded aboard the vessel when it departed. Thirty minutes into the journey the smugglers forced roughly 80 people into the sea. Five bodies were recovered yesterday.

“We work closely with the authorities in Djibouti to assist migrants, but Wednesday’s tragedy is further proof that criminals continue to exploit people desperate to improve their lives for profit regardless of the consequences,” said IOM Djibouti Chief of Mission, Stephanie Daviot.

“Smugglers and human traffickers must be prosecuted for their crimes, and new migration pathways established to allow people to pursue work opportunities abroad in a safe, legal and dignified manner.”

Two similar incidents in October claimed the lives of at least 50 migrants.

Every year, tens of thousands of young African migrants from the region make the dangerous journey from countries like Somalia and Ethiopia to Djibouti, before boarding vessels to Yemen and traveling onwards to the Gulf nations in search of work.

COVID-19 mobility restrictions have drastically reduced travel; roughly 138,000 people made the journey in 2019, compared with 37,500 in 2020. In January 2021, over 2,500 migrants reached Yemen from Djibouti and the fear is that, as restrictions ease, more migrants are waiting to cross, raising the prospect of future tragedies.

In Yemen itself, thousands of migrants are believed to be stranded. Many are facing extreme danger, exploitation and abuse. IOM, in both Djibouti and Yemen, has been providing emergency medical care, food, water and counselling to stranded migrants.

In August 2020, IOM launched a USD 84M appeal – Regional Migrant Response Plan for the Horn of Africa and Yemen (RMRP) – to respond to the needs of migrants on the  Horn of Africa and Yemen, including Djibouti.  
  
For more information, please contact:

·       Yvonne Ndege, IOM Regional Spokesperson for East and Horn of Africa in Nairobi, Tel: +254 797 735 977, Email: yndege@iom.int   

·       Olivia Headon in IOM Yemen, Tel: +967730552233, Email: oheadon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Thursday, March 4, 2021 - 15:46Image: Region-Country: DjiboutiDefault: Multimedia: 

Fishing boats such as this one abandoned outsideij Obock, Djibouti, are used to smuggle tens of thousands of migrants annually across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen where they continue their journey to Gulf countries in search of work. Photo: IOM/2018

Fishing boats such as this one in Obock, Djibouti, are used to smuggle tens of thousands of migrants annually across the Gulf of Aden to Yemen where they continue their journey to Gulf countries in search of work. Photo: IOM/2018 

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionMigrants in Vulnerable Situations/Migrants Rights
Categories: PBN

Striving for Equitable Access to COVID-19 Vaccines to Leave No Migrant Behind

Wed, 03/03/2021 - 11:39

Geneva – As vaccine roll-outs are bringing back hope that the end of the pandemic might be in sight, too many migrants remain excluded from national deployment and vaccination plans (NDVPs). Although the number of vaccinations globally has overtaken reported COVID-19 infections, only a quarter of NDVPs submitted to the COVAX Facility[1] include migrants.

The United Nations Network on Migration calls on States to guarantee rapid, fair and equitable access to vaccines for all and the inclusion of migrants, regardless of their status, in their national COVID-19 vaccination programmes and other public health interventions.

Affordable, non-discriminatory access to vaccines is a human right[2]. For everyone to be safe, governments must particularly ensure the vaccination of all high-risk individuals, including migrants in vulnerable situations, within their territories, and base vaccine eligibility and prioritization on public health considerations without discrimination[3].

Migrants in irregular situations are particularly at risk of being left behind. States must ensure that firewalls are erected between health service providers and immigration authorities to ensure their safe access to vaccines and other essential health services. Excluding them or other non-nationals from COVID-19 vaccination plans and programmes carries the risk of transmission in these communities, with spillovers into the entire population.

COVID-19 has exacerbated gaps not only within but also between countries and has highlighted the urgent need for international cooperation by States and all actors to tackle the pandemic in a spirit of global solidarity and shared responsibility. Vaccines should be allocated fairly and equitably and considered global common goods, not marketable commodities. Isolationist health policies anywhere will only continue to pose a threat everywhere.

In this vein, a vast majority of States have joined the COVAX Facility to maximize the quick, safe and fair chances of people in participating countries getting access to COVID-19 vaccines, ensuring that income is not a barrier to access. If used correctly, the equitable distribution of vaccines could help stop the acute phase of the pandemic, support faster, fairer and more equitable social and economic recovery and help us stay on track to realize the Sustainable Development Goals.

Pursuant to the commitments outlined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to achieving universal health coverage and in the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) in which States committed to incorporate the health needs of migrants into healthcare policies and plans and provide affordable and non-discriminatory access to basic services, the Network calls on governments to make every effort to address and reduce vulnerabilities faced by migrants by[4]:

  • guaranteeing migrants’ inclusion in national vaccination plans and programmes and their equitable and affordable access to vaccines and treatments;
  • ensuring that migrants, regardless of their status, can access COVID-19 vaccines without fear or risk of deportation, immigration detention or other penalties as result of migration status;
  • mitigating potential cultural, linguistic or other barriers to migrants’ accessing services and vaccines; and,  
  • increasing efforts to provide vaccines to low- and middle-income countries, allowing migrants anywhere to protect themselves and their communities.

Striving for equity in vaccine access should be a guiding principle for all countries to protect their population adequately. Only by building equal and inclusive societies that will be resilient in the face of future pandemics, and protecting everyone’s right to health, will we build forward better for all of us. 

The virus knows no borders or nationality; neither should our solidarity.

 

The United Nations Network on Migration was established to ensure effective, timely and coordinated system-wide support to Member States in their implementation, follow-up and review of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration. While the Network’s mandate is focused on migration, the Network calls on States to also implement these recommendations to refugees and asylum-seekers and to protect the human rights and health of everyone equally, regardless of migration status.

 

For more information, please contact:

UN Network on Migration (secretariat)
Florence Kim
fkim@iom.int +41797480395

DESA
Helen Rosengren
rosengrenh@un.org

ILO
Adam Bowers
+41 (0)22 799 63 48
newsroom@ilo.org

IOM
Safa Msehli
IOM Geneva +41 79 403 5526
smsehli@iom.int

OHCHR
Rupert Colville
+41 22 917 9767
rcolville@ohchr.org

UNDP 
Michelle Alves de Lima
+1 (917) 515-2615
michelle.alvesdelima@undp.org

UNHCR
Charlie Yaxley
+41 795 808 702
yaxley@unhcr.org

UNICEF
Christopher Tidey
+1 917 340 3017
ctidey@unicef.org

UNODC
Ms. Sonya Yee
Tel: (+43) 1 26060-4990
sonya.yee@un.org

WHO
Tarik JASAREVIC
jasarevict@who.int

 

[1] https://www.gavi.org/vaccineswork/covax-explained

[2] OHCHR’s guidance “Human Rights and Access to COVID-19 vaccines” is accessible here. Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, “Statement on universal and equitable access to vaccines for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19)”, E/C.12/2020/2, 15 December 2020

[3] World Health Organization’s Strategic Advisory Group of Experts on Immunizations (WHO SAGE) values framework for the allocation and prioritization of COVID-19 vaccination; WHO SAGE Roadmap For Prioritizing Uses Of COVID-19 Vaccines In The Context Of Limited Supply.

[4] In 2020, the UN Network on Migration issued a Policy Brief which provides practical guidance to States and other stakeholders for an improved common understanding of safe and inclusive access to services for migrants. The brief makes the case for enhanced access to services for migrants, including access to vaccines for migrants, in the context of COVID-19 preparedness, prevention, and response – and beyond.

Language English Posted: Wednesday, March 3, 2021 - 18:25Image: Region-Country: GlobalDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: COVID-19Global Compact on MigrationHealthMigration and the 2030 AgendaReducing Global InequalitiesUN Network on Migration
Categories: PBN

IOM, Brazil Launch National Survey on Indigenous People from Venezuela

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 04:10

Brasilia – At least 5,000 indigenous people born in Venezuela have arrived in Brazil since 2016, crossing the two countries’ borders as part of the mass movement of Venezuelan refugees and migrants sweeping the region.  These people, approximately 65 per cent of whom are from the Warao ethnic group, have specific cultural traditions which must be taken into account. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) this month is partnering with Brazil’s Ministry of Citizenship, its Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights and the National Indigenous Foundation (FUNAI) to launch a comprehensive survey of the indigenous Venezuelans now living in Brazil. 

This daunting undertaking will register these indigenous peoples in more than 40 different municipalities in five regions of Brazil. Preliminary data collection by IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) teams has started and will serve as a national sample pool for how the Warao and other indigenous Venezuelans now live in the country.   

“The DTM will catalogue the indigenous peoples’ reasons for migrating, the circumstances of that migration and their priority needs in accessing services – such as social assistance, food security, housing, health, livelihoods and education,” said IOM Brazil spokesperson Julianna Hack.  

She noted that the DTM survey will also compile a population profile, citing the ethnic-cultural characteristics of the different indigenous groups who have entered Brazil in recent years. 

This initiative is crucial, said Mariana Neris, Brazil’s National Secretary of Global Protection.  

“Our participation in the DTM will bring contributions from a human rights perspective,” she said. “The ministry will integrate the data analysis teams’ findings, which will help formulate and implement public policies to promote and protect this population.”  

The survey’s pilot phase started in Boa Vista and the capital, Brasilia. Other cities are being identified with the support of local governments. The study will be carried out within the framework of the Technical Cooperation Agreements between the Ministry of Citizenship and IOM.  

The national DTM on the indigenous people from Venezuela continues an earlier IOM initiative done in 2020 in the northern state of Maranhão.  

“DTM research is a valuable instrument that allows public authorities to have qualified elements for their planning,” explained Miguel Ângelo Oliveira, National Social Assistance Secretary of Brazil’s Ministry of Citizenship.  

 “This national survey will allow everyone involved in the humanitarian response to expand their knowledge about the presence of indigenous people from Venezuela,” said IOM Chief of Mission in Brazil, Stéphane Rostiaux.   

“With current and accurate data, it is possible to plan activities with more accuracy and with respect for indigenous cultures.” 

 Earlier IOM studies on the indigenous populations from Venezuela, published in English, can be accessed here:  

Durable solutions for indigenous migrants and refugees in the context of the Venezuelan flow in Brazil

Diagnosis and evaluation of migration from Venezuela to Manaus, Amazonas.

Legal aspects of assistance to indigenous migrants from Venezuela to Brazil  

 

The DTM is part of IOM's strategy to support Brazil in welcoming and integrating refugees and migrants arriving from Venezuela. It has the financial support of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) of the Department of State of the United States.    

For more information, please contact Juliana Hack at IOM Brazil, Tel: +55 61 3771 3772, Email: jhack@iom.int  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - 14:00Image: Region-Country: BrazilVenezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)Themes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

Venezuelan indigenous people in Brazil. Photo: IOM/Jessica Fernandes 

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: DTMEmergency Relief and ProtectionMigration Management
Categories: PBN

Capacity for Disaster Reduction Initiative (CADRI)

Tue, 03/02/2021 - 01:53

Lesotho - The Capacity for Disaster Reduction Initiative (CADRI) is a UN-led inter-agency partnership that helps countries address disaster and climate risks and achieve the 2030 Agenda through mobilizing multidisciplinary expertise across wide-ranging socio-economic sectors to provide integrated and sustainable solutions.

CADRI is composed of 20 partner organizations. CADRI’s executive partners (FAO, IOM, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF) guide the partnership’s strategy and contribute to its implementation at the country level. GNDR, IFRC, OCHA, UNESCO, UNITAR, UNOPS, WFP, WHO and WMO, as CADRI’s technical partners, provide specialized technical expertise to assist in delivering services. CADRI also benefits from the expertise of advisory partners, including the GFDRR. OCED, ODI, RedR Australia, UNDRR and UN Women.

Over the past decade, CADRI has deployed expert teams to more than 30 countries. For further information on where we work, visit the website. In Southern Africa, CADRI has provided technical support to the governments and UN Country Teams in Comoros, Eswatini Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.

IOM is proud to co-host the CADRI partnership in the region, and to mobilize agencies, international, regional, and national partners to work collectively in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation across a wide range of socio-economic sectors to strengthen risk information systems, prioritize risk reduction in national and local plans, enhance preparedness systems and collectively achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The CADRI Partnership is particularly relevant in Southern Africa, a region highly vulnerable to various hazards ranging from floods, cyclones, droughts and epidemics resulting in loss of lives, livelihood assets and increased displacement. Furthermore, climate change presents a significant threat as it is expected to increase the frequency and intensity of climatic events exacerbating the risk for the most vulnerable populations as well as undermining development gains.

Using the lens of disaster risk reduction enables IOM and all CADRI partner agencies to look at the root causes and structural elements that can mitigate and prevent displacement rather than react to it.  Inter-agency efforts on disaster risk reduction, preparedness, and climate change adaptation must span from prevention, preparedness to capacity support to the eventual response. Internally, this work across the humanitarian-development nexus is a key focus of IOM’s Department of Operations and Emergencies, which seeks to reduce drivers of forced migration through prevention efforts while ensuring longer-term planning for risk reduction and adaptation.

CADRI services

At the request of governments and UN Country Teams, and through its digital capacity diagnosis and planning tool, CADRI helps countries identify critical capacity gaps and develop clear capacity development interventions to address these. The digital tool covers various sectors, including agriculture and food security, nutrition, health, education, the environment, infrastructure, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and human mobility.

CADRI partners provide a wide range of services to countries:

  • Risk information systems support: CADRI helps countries build integrated and accessible multi-hazard risk information systems.
  • Risk-informed planning processes: CADRI supports governments in carrying out inclusive and multisectoral diagnosis, planning and prioritization processes to inform the development of capacity development plans and strategies for disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
  • Preparedness for response and recovery support: CADRI provides tailored capacity development services in preparedness for disaster response.

Further information:

In the Southern Africa region, CADRI is co-hosted by IOM and FAO.
For further information, please contact:

Bogdan Danila  bdanila@iom.int

Sina Luchen  sina.luchen@fao.org

Learn more about CADRI at http://www.cadri.net/

Language English Posted: Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - 08:50Image: Region-Country: LesothoThemes: Disaster Risk ReductionMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Photo: IOM 2021

Press Release Type: Localtags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionEnvironment and Climate Change
Categories: PBN

IOM Launches its 2021 Yemen Crisis Appeal to Assist 5 Million People as Situation in Ma’rib Deteriorates

Mon, 03/01/2021 - 17:58

Aden – As the conflict in Yemen enters its seventh year, the crisis remains the largest in the world and continues to put millions of lives at risk. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched today an appeal to assist over 5 million people affected by the Yemen crisis in conjunction with the Yemen Virtual High-Level Pledging Conference

With over 10,500 people recently fleeing areas in Ma’rib, where fighting has intensified in the last few weeks, IOM will dedicate at least a third of its requested funds to life-saving assistance for displaced people, migrants and local communities affected by the Ma’rib crisis.  

In a situation characterized by escalating conflict and displacement, a declining economy and the breakdown of public institutions, it is projected that people in Yemen will experience alarming levels of acute malnutrition and food insecurity throughout this year. Today, governments from around the world will come together to reaffirm their commitment to Yemen and pledge financial contributions to the humanitarian response.  

“IOM, alongside our humanitarian partners, is concerned about the serious impact that prolonged funding shortages will have on the ability of displaced people, migrants and other vulnerable populations to survive the looming famine, ongoing pandemic and escalating conflict,” said António Vitorino, the IOM Director General at the Pledging Conference, which is co-hosted by the Governments of Sweden and Switzerland. 

“The already staggering needs in Yemen have been compounded by the threat of a second wave of COVID-19 and the re-escalation of conflict in Ma’rib, which has led to the displacement of the most vulnerable families,” added Vitorino.  

The UN estimates that roughly four million people are currently displaced in Yemen and most displaced people do not have enough access to safe shelter, clean water or health care.  

A large portion of the displaced are living in Ma’rib governorate, where the recent escalations in hostilities are mostly impacting those already living in displacement. At least three displacement sites have been emptied after being directly impacted by the fighting and a majority of families are becoming displaced for the third time or more. 

“UN data for 2021 shows record levels of acute food insecurity, raising major concerns on the impact of hunger on particularly vulnerable groups, especially internally displaced people and migrants, many of whom remain stranded in Yemen with little access to assistance or resources,” added Vitorino.  

Despite the reduction in numbers of migrants arriving in Yemen in 2020 — down to over 37,500 from 138,000 in 2019 — the dangers faced by migrants have increased. Thousands of migrants are stranded across the country, unable to continue their journeys or return home. Most are sleeping rough on the streets with virtually no access to clean water, food or health care. They also face the risk of abuse, exploitation and detention.  

In 2020, IOM scaled up assistance to stranded migrants in Yemen, while advocating for the resumption of its Voluntary Humanitarian Return programme to Ethiopia, as an immediate life-saving measure.  

“With over 24 million people still in need of some form of assistance, greater resources are required to respond effectively to growing and complex needs. Funding shortages had real consequences in 2020, which were particularly hard felt in cities like Aden and Ma’rib which host thousands of migrants and displaced people in dire need of support and with already limited access to services,” said Vitorino.  

“While an immediate humanitarian response remains critical in Yemen, IOM continues to advocate for a lasting peaceful resolution to the conflict. This is most urgent in Ma’rib governorate, where fighting continues to worsen needs on the ground, putting the lives of hundreds of thousands of people at heightened risk,” Vitorino concluded. 

IOM is appealing for USD 170 million to support more than 5.1 million people across the country, including displaced people, migrants and the communities that host them, by the end of 2021. IOM’s activities are being implemented in the following sectors: health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), shelter and non-food items (S-NFIs), camp coordination and camp management (CCCM), transition and recovery, protection, migrant assistance as well as coordination and safety (IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix) and common humanitarian services (humanitarian hub).  

 

Read IOM’s full appeal online here

To watch IOM's Director General intervention on the High-Level Pledging Conference for the Humanitarian Crisis in Yemen, click here

To watch IOM 2021 Appeal for Yemen Crisis video, click here

IOM’s Global Crisis Response Platform provides an overview of IOM’s planned activities and funding requirements to respond to the evolving needs and aspirations of those impacted by, or at risk of, crisis and displacement in 2021 and beyond. The Platform will be regularly updated with new Crisis Response Plans published over the coming weeks. 

 

For more information, please contact IOM Yemen: 

English – Olivia Headon, Tel: +967730552233, Email: oheadon@iom.int    

Arabic – Menna Homaid, Tel: +967739888755, Email: mhomaid@iom.int     

Language English Posted: Tuesday, March 2, 2021 - 00:43Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Migrants in Vulnerable SituationsDefault: Multimedia: 

A displaced girl stands at the door to her shelter in Ma’rib, the governorate hosting the largest number of displaced people in Yemen. Photo: IOM 2020

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and Protection
Categories: PBN

Yemen: Greater Aid Presence Urgently Needed in Ma'rib as Displacement Increases

Fri, 02/26/2021 - 12:26

Ma’rib – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is watching with growing alarm as increasing numbers of people are displaced in Yemen, adding to worrisome food security concerns.

Hostilities in Yemen’s Ma'rib governorate have led to the displacement of at least 9,000 people in recent weeks, bringing the total number of displacements in that part of the country to more than 117,000.

Humanitarian partners estimate that 385,000 people are at risk of further displacement, if frontlines shift. Hundreds of thousands of Ma'rib city’s estimated 3 million people could also be impacted by the fighting.

The latest epicentre of violence is Sirwah, a mountainous district in Ma'rib governorate. Sirwah district alone hosts around 30,000 displaced people in 14 displacement sites, three of which were directly impacted by fighting in recent weeks. All three were completely emptied, forcing already-displaced people to fleeing again to safety.

These displacement sites should be refuges. All civilians – including displaced people – must be afforded protection from the fighting, IOM advises.

The local community in Ma'rib has long welcomed vulnerable displaced people, but today the situation is far beyond something they can manage alone. Greater humanitarian presence and resources are urgently required to assist the people of Ma’rib.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM Yemen, Tel: +967730552233, Email: oheadon@iom.int  or Paul Dillon at IOM Geneva, Tel: +4179 636 9874, Email: pdillon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 26, 2021 - 19:22Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Migrants in Vulnerable SituationsDefault: Multimedia: 

Displaced persons in front of the shelter shared with them by their neighbours this week. Photo: IOM/Elham Al Oqabi

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionMigrants in Vulnerable Situations/Migrants Rights
Categories: PBN

IOM Launches Livelihoods Project for Returning Migrants and Host Communities in Cox’s Bazar

Fri, 02/26/2021 - 06:57

Cox’s Bazar – The COVID-19 pandemic has hit Bangladesh harder than any tropical cyclone. Instead of uprooting trees and hurling powerful tides from an angry sea, what’s been uprooted are entire livelihoods—as well as the families trying to survive in one of the world’s most crowded countries.

Returning migrants and host communities in the southernmost district of Bangladesh are feeling the worst of the onslaught. There, some 700,000 people have lost their source of income, just since the mid-March 2020 COVID-19 outbreak. Almost one year later, most have limited access to jobs. Women are less likely than men to secure any job at all.

Adding to the struggle for jobs are the many migrants forced home as jobs are lost overseas. According to the Ministry of Expatriates’ Welfare and Overseas Employment, over 400,000 migrant workers have returned to Bangladesh since March 2020. The ripple effect is not only heightened competition for work, but also a collapse of a local economy due to inability to pay back loans—including funds borrowed to go abroad for work.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Wednesday (24/02) launched a 24-month project called “Building Social Cohesion in Host Communities in Cox's Bazar through Skills Development.” It is for returning migrants and vulnerable host communities to use the troubled time to do something crucial, even though it may not pay off for years. That is, to acquire the skills needed to land and keep a job in the future.

“We are committed to working with our partners to build the resilience of returning migrants and foster social cohesion among their communities of return,” explained Patrick Charignon, IOM Cox’s Bazar Transition and Recovery Programme Coordinator. “We are convinced that through this project we can provide unemployed community members the skills needed to build better futures for themselves, their families and their communities.”

The primary driver of migration from Cox’s Bazar district is the lack of employment opportunities. Sadly, the current pandemic is further threatening the welfare of millions of people in the country, where there have been large-scale redundancies of workers, especially in the garment sector. Now, there is wide-spread food insecurity.

According to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics, Cox’s Bazar is one of the lowest-performing districts in Bangladesh in terms of education and skills training, with about 33 per cent of the population living below the poverty line.

Through the project, over 200 community members will receive skill development and livelihoods support. To ensure the sustainability of the initiative, the project will encourage the trained beneficiaries to conduct their own training sessions for other community members. This “train the trainers” approach means the beneficiaries will well exceed the relatively few people attending the first training sessions.

This will be achieved through the profiling of skills of selected unemployed community members and returning migrant workers, and the implementation of a series of targeted livelihood diversification training modules based on the findings of the skills profile assessment.

The training modules themselves will be chosen following an assessment, and will depend on the capabilities and interests of the participants. Previous modules here have covered topics such as construction, dry fishing and tailoring—skills that in better times quickly translate into local jobs.

While targeted economic stimulus packages are being discussed for the most vulnerable, IOM has undertaken this new project because of its belief that it is critical to build the resilience of host communities in Cox’s Bazar through skills development. The initiative aims to ease unemployment by equipping beneficiaries with the know-how to develop the skills needed to meet the employment demands of the labour market, as well as investing in self-employment opportunities.

The project will be implemented in close partnership with the Deputy Commissioner’s Office in Cox’s Bazar, the Department of Public Health and Engineering, civil society organizations, host communities and key stakeholders.

“IOM has already been implementing several projects supporting host communities in Cox’s Bazar,” said Cox’s Bazar’s Deputy Commissioner Md Mamunur Rashid, addressing as chief guest during the project launch. “We applaud this new initiative and guarantee the continued support of the District Administration, Upazila and Union for the successful implementation of the project.”

The project is being funded with USD 300,000 under the IOM Development Fund.

For more information, please contact Monica Chiriac, Tel: +880 1880 094 048, Email: mchiriac@iom.int, or Tarek Mahmud, Tel: + 880 1752 380 240, Email: tmahmud@iom.int, at IOM Bangladesh in Cox’s Bazar.

Language English Posted: Friday, February 26, 2021 - 14:00Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

The 24-month project aims to boost employability and entrepreneurship. Photo: IOM/Mashrif Abdullah Al 

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: COVID-19Emergency Relief and ProtectionLivelihoodsMigration Management
Categories: PBN

COVID-19 Analytical Snapshot #60: Disruptions to migrants’ education

Thu, 02/25/2021 - 08:43

Vientiane – The Government of Japan is contributing 220 million Japanese yen (approximately USD 2 million) to promote safe, regular and orderly migration in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic by supporting the International Organization for Migration (IOM) immigration and border management programming in Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

Designed in close consultation with the Department of Immigration (DoI), Ministry of Public Security (MoPS), the two-year project aims to facilitate safe and orderly cross-border mobility of people through the implementation of effective and efficient border and migration management, using an integrated approach.

The funding from the Government of Japan will address both technological and infrastructure needs to improve Lao Government human and technical capacities to effectively manage cross border movements at international airports and land borders.

H.E. Mr Takewaka Keizo, the Japanese Ambassador to the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, expressed his sincerest gratitude for the collaboration between Japan, IOM and MoPS. “The Government of Japan has been contributing to the sustainable development in Lao People’s Democratic Republic through various levels, including supporting the formulation of the 9th National Socio-Economic Plan, and providing technical assistance to frontline officials at the border checkpoints. We are very pleased to be supporting this two-year project and I wish this cooperation great success.”

“IOM is extremely grateful to the Government of Japan and the Government of Lao People’s Democratic Republic for this collaboration. These funds are very timely, as the pandemic has put human mobility at the forefront of COVID-19 response. It is vital for us to work towards strengthening border management in an effective and humane manner, ultimately protecting migrants in vulnerable situations and capacitating frontline officials with the necessary skills and infrastructure.” said IOM’s Chief of Mission, Ms Shareen Tuladhar.

To support primary and secondary line border control procedures, the IOM-developed Verifier Travel Document and Bearer (Verifier TD&B) system will be provided. The Verifier TD&B is a stand-alone system to assist immigration and border control officers in detecting fraudulent travel documents and imposters.

Development of knowledge and skills of primary and secondary line border officials involved in document and identity verification processes will build on solid principles of respect to the human rights of all travellers. It will ultimately aim at identifying and protecting fundamental rights of vulnerable migrants, in line with international human rights commitments under international law.

As the leading intergovernmental organization in the field of migration, while upholding border security and protecting migrants’ rights, IOM is committed in supporting Member States to address complex migration and border management challenges aiming to maintain the delicate balance between the facilitation of cross-border mobility and security.

Under its Health, Border and Mobility Framework, IOM sets to promote safe, orderly and regular migration at points of origin, transit, destination and return.

For more information, please contact Karen HO at IOM Vientiane. Tel. + 856 (21)267 795. Email: kho@iom.int

Language English Posted: Thursday, February 25, 2021 - 15:31Image: Region-Country: Lao People’s Democratic RepublicThemes: IOMMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

14 representatives from the Embassy of Japan, IOM, MoPS and relevant line ministries attended the signing ceremony. 

IOM and the Government of Japan is committed to further supporting humane and effective border management in Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

Press Release Type: Local
Categories: PBN

UN agencies begin registering people affected by the MPP program in Matamoros

Wed, 02/24/2021 - 14:59

Joint Press Release – IOM, UNHCR, UNICEF, ICRC

Matamoros, Mexico – UN agencies today will begin to prepare individuals and families in the informal camp in Matamoros, Mexico for entry to the United States in line with the U.S. plan to terminate a policy known as the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) that forced asylum-seekers to wait for their U.S. immigration hearings in Mexico.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, on Wednesday begins in-person registration of an estimated 750 people who have been living in the informal camp at Matamoros. A first group could be permitted to enter the United States later this week, pending authorization from U.S. authorities, who decide who will enter and when.

In addition to registration by UNHCR, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is conducting COVID-19 tests to ensure protection of public health while the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is ensuring humane treatment of children and their families.

This action from UN agencies comes at the request of the U.S. and Mexican governments to assist with the re-entry into the United States of an estimated 25,000 people who have active immigration proceedings in the U.S. but were returned to wait in Mexico under the MPP program.

Both governments have prioritized the Matamoros camp due to the difficult humanitarian conditions there. Other individuals with active MPP cases residing outside the Matamoros camp will also be processed.

Following termination of the MPP program, a first group with active MPP cases entered the United States on February 19 at the San Ysidro port of entry between Tijuana and San Diego.

UNHCR, IOM and UNICEF support the termination of the MPP program and the addressing of the grave humanitarian situation of the thousands of people who have been waiting at the United States-Mexico border since as early as 2019.

In coordination with U.S. authorities, UNHCR established a website www.conecta.acnur.org through which people with active MPP cases are registering for processing. The website was launched February 19 and registered around 12,000 people in its first three days of operation. The website has been supplemented by alternative registration channels including email, social media and telephone channels.

In addition to COVID-19 testing, IOM is also responsible for coordinating the transportation of persons to designated ports of entry. So far, no cases of COVID-19 have been detected. UNICEF offers support for the most vulnerable child protection cases, defending family unity and offering information to families and children. The International Committee of the Red Cross and the Mexican Red Cross together offer free telephone calls to allow asylum-seekers to maintain contact with their families before crossing into the United States.

UNHCR, IOM and UNICEF reiterate that, according to the new U.S. government policy, all persons with active cases under the MPP program will be able to enter the country to continue their immigration proceedings and lodge asylum claims. The dates and points of entry to the United States for persons who have already completed registration are determined by the U.S. government. All individuals who qualify will be processed based upon the order determined by the U.S. and not based on the date when they pre-register with UNHCR using the website or the hotline.

 

For more information, please contact:

In Matamoros, Alberto Cabezas (IOM ), Email: acabezas@iom.org , Tel: + 52 1 55 4525 8321
In Matamoros, Silvia Garduño, Email: garduno@unhcr.org , Tel: + 52 55 2848 7440
In Washington, Chris Boian, Email:  boian@unhcr.org , Tel:  +1 202 243 7634
In Mexico, Sibylla Brodzinsky, Email:  brodzins@unhcr.org , Tel:  + 52 55 8048 5054
In Washington, Andrea Mucino-Sanchez, Email: Tel:  mucinosa@unhcr.org, + 202 751 9000
In Mexico, Ana Langner, Email:  olangnerleyva@icrc.org , Tel: + 52 1 55 3717 6527
In Mexico, Rocío Núñez, Email:  rnunez@unicef.org , Tel: + 52 1 55 1647 9788,
In San Jose, Jorge Gallo, Email:  jgallo@iom.int, Tel: +506 72036536
In Geneva, Shabia Mantoo, Email:  mantoo@unhcr.org , Tel: + 41 22 739 7138

 

Language English Posted: Wednesday, February 24, 2021 - 21:55Image: Region-Country: MexicoThemes: Migrants in Vulnerable SituationsDefault: Multimedia: 

UN agencies today will begin to prepare individuals and families in the informal camp in Matamoros, Mexico for entry to the United States. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionMigration Management
Categories: PBN

IOM Calls for Immediate Rescue as Deaths are Reported on Latest Stranded Rohingya Boat

Tue, 02/23/2021 - 15:42

Geneva, Bangkok – With the latest reports that a vessel with Rohingya refugees is in distress in the Andaman Sea, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) calls on countries in the region to meet their international obligations and ensure that all on board the vessel are immediately rescued and safely disembarked. 

The vessel has been at sea for more than 10 days, with loss of life already reported. IOM reiterates calls it has made in the past with other UN agencies and humanitarian partners emphasizing that saving lives must be the top priority. IOM adds that it is imperative that a lasting regional solution to a regional problem be found, building on the solid cooperation and planning previously undertaken by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Bali Process to address irregular maritime movements.

  • IOM calls on States in the region to uphold the commitments of the 2016 Bali Declaration as well as ASEAN pledges to protect the most vulnerable and to leave no one behind, particularly at this very challenging time globally.
  • As in 2020, when several boats with vulnerable Rohingya women, men and children drifted at sea for months, IOM now urges the Bali Process Co-Chairs to activate the Consultative Mechanism to convene affected countries and facilitate a timely and regional resolution. IOM further calls on States in the region that are not directly impacted to offer support to those States that must proceed with rescue and disembarkation.
  • IOM urges states to continue and expand search and rescue efforts and ensure that landing procedures and reception conditions are safe and humane. Search and rescue must be combined with arrangements for prompt disembarkation to a place of safety. 

IOM, along with its UN and other humanitarian partners, reaffirms its support to States across the region to provide immediate assistance to asylum-seekers, refugees and vulnerable migrants, as well as to strengthen the broader response capacity to respond to irregular movements. 

For more information, please contact Itayi Viriri, Senior Regional Media & Communications Officer,

Spokesperson at IOM Bangkok, Tel:  +66 65 939 0934, email: IViriri@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 22:36Image: Region-Country: ThailandGlobalThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionMigrants in Vulnerable Situations/Migrants Rights
Categories: PBN

IOM: COVID-19 Leads to 73% Drop in Migration from Horn of Africa to Gulf Countries

Tue, 02/23/2021 - 12:17

Addis Ababa – New data published by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) this week confirms a nearly three-fourths decline in migration from the East and Horn of Africa regions towards Gulf Council Countries during 2020.

At the Second Scientific Conference on Migration and Displacement conference IOM organized herewith the eight-nation Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and the German Corporation for International Cooperation (GIZ), a new study noted that COVID-19 led to a 73 per cent drop in migrants from the Horn of Africa travelling to the Gulf countries through Yemen.

These findings are significant, especially because African migration through Yemen to the Gulf of Arabia has been high for the past four years—despite security risks in Yemen, which migrants from the region must cross to reach the Kingdom Saudi Arabia and beyond. Despite reduced arrivals in 2020—due in part to COVID-19 related restrictions—risks increased with more detention, exploitation and forced transfers.

Data released by IOM show that the number of migrants crossing via Yemen from the Horn dropped from a high of 138,213 in 2019 to 37,537 in 2020. Forced returns from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were also significantly reduced, passing from nearly 121,000 Ethiopian migrants in 2019 to 37,000 in 2020.

IOM is meeting here this week with thought-leaders, academic researchers, policy makers and development partners to discuss the immediate and long-term impact of COVID-19 on countries in the IGAD region. 

IOM also is working with and supporting IGAD countries to develop and implement integrated regional approaches to responding to the needs of migrants and other vulnerable mobile groups. The goals also is to harness the benefits of migration and to reduce the negative impacts of COVID-19, as nations across the region grapple with the economic blow of the pandemic. These include millions of lost jobs and closed businesses and a decline in cash remittances sent from migrant workers abroad, which support millions across the region.

The World Bank projects that COVID-19 remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries will decline by around 14 percent by 2021 compared to pre-COVID-19 levels. This is expected to have severe financial and social impacts on IGAD countries, including increased poverty and a reduction in access to basic services such as healthcare and education.  

Migrants, including IDPs and refugees in the region are also unable to access medical treatment for COVID-19 and Personal Protective Equipment. They are also at risk of discrimination, stigma and xenophobia.

Moreover, COVID-19 border closures, which have left thousands of workers stranded, left many workers from the IGAD countries facing exploitation from people smugglers when trying to get home. As of September 2020, some 3,000 migrants were stranded within the East and Horn of Africa, in addition to another tens of thousands of other migrants from the region stranded in Yemen.

“As the world, including our IGAD region, grapples with the devastating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is indeed timely and appropriate to re-examine Human Mobility particularly in the Context of COVID-19,” said Workeneh Gebeyehu, IGAD Executive Secretary.

“We need to craft policies and programmes informed by evidence. I hope this conference will help expand the evidence base of the benefits of migration, promote an African narrative on migration, and help shine a light on good practices that can help policy makers and practitioners for better migration management,” added Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa.

The conference has received financial support from the European Union (EU)-IOM Joint Initiative. The IOM Regional Data Hub for East and Horn of Africa (RDH EHoA) is providing technical support to the organization of this event and presented two IOM contributions. Established in early 2018, the RDH EHoA aims to support evidence-based, strategic and policy level discussion on migration through a combination of initiatives.

The conference concludes on February 24.

For more information, please contact Kenneth Odiwuor, Regional Office for East and Horn of Africa, Tel:  +254722560363, Email: Kodiwuor@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 19:13Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Despite security risks, the number of migrants travelling from the Horn of Africa to Saudi Arabia through Yemen had been on the increase over the past four years. Photo: IOM

Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa in his address to the conference participants called for programs and policies informed by evidence. Photo: IGAD

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: COVID-19Migration Management
Categories: PBN

Conflict Escalation in Ma'rib Displaces 8,000 Yemenis in Two Weeks

Tue, 02/23/2021 - 07:28

Ma'rib – Increased hostilities in Yemen’s Ma'rib governorate have led to the displacement of at least 8,000 people in recent weeks, bringing the total number of displacements in that part of the country to more than 116,000. 

Humanitarian partners estimate that as many as another 385,000 people also may be displaced if the frontline continues to shift, in addition to the hundreds of thousands more people in Ma'rib city proper who could be impacted by the fighting. Partners warn that such a development would stretch humanitarian resources far beyond what teams in the area presently have capacity for. 

The latest epicentre of violence is Sirwah, a mountainous district in Ma'rib governorate. The district hosts around 30,000 displaced people in at least 14 displacement sites, three of which were directly impacted by fighting in recent weeks, including one that was completely emptied of already displaced people fleeing again to safety. 

“Displacement sites should be refuges,” said John McCue, the International Organization for Migration (IOM)´s Deputy Chief of Mission in Yemen. “All civilians – including displaced people – must be afforded protection from the fighting. The local community in Ma'rib has long welcomed vulnerable displaced people, but today the situation is far beyond something they can manage alone.”  

An estimated 50 per cent of those displaced by the fighting in Sirwah are women, while 30 per cent are children. Their most urgent needs include shelter, water and sanitation, health and food.  

“Four days ago, there were airstrikes overhead, so we fled to one area where we stayed for two days before coming here (Al Rawda),” explained Saliha, an elderly displaced woman who was forced to leave a displacement site in Sirwah.  

“We had to run to save our lives and we couldn’t take anything with us,” she said, explaining that she is the lone caregiver for her 40-year-old son living with a mental disability. “I asked some people to try bringing some of my belongings here for me, but nothing has arrived yet. I haven’t set up my tent, as I am an old woman and I need help. The past few nights I have slept as a guest in my neighbour’s tent; I also eat with them. They were already living here when we came.” 

“I no longer fear death. I am tired of life. But I do fear becoming injured or disabled because I have no one to take care of me and I fear my son’s condition is getting worse,” Saliha added, speaking over the sound of a nearby explosion.  

A majority of the newly displaced had been living in displacement sites — some even reported carrying their shelters with them to their new locations — and are currently displaced within Sirwah district. However, many of these people plan to move further east towards Ma'rib city due to the unstable situation and concerns over their safety. 

In 2020, displacement to and within Ma'rib accounted for two-thirds of all displacement in Yemen, and prior to that IOM had recorded roughly 800,000 displaced people living in Ma'rib, so humanitarian needs were already extremely high.  

Local authorities are supporting them in whatever way possible, while the humanitarian community is working tirelessly to respond to the ongoing displacement crisis.  

“IOM and partners are scaling up our humanitarian aid; however, significant gaps remain. With so many displaced people, it is impossible for partners to meet more than the most urgent needs. Greater humanitarian presence and resources are urgently required,” said IOM’s McCue. 

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM Yemen, Tel: +967730552233, Email: oheadon@iom.int      

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 14:01Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Internal DisplacementDefault: Multimedia: 

Displaced people transport multiple family belongings together from one displacement site in Sirwah, Marib, to another in search of safety. Photo: IOM/Elham Al Oqabi 

Saliha’s neighbours stand in front of the shelter that she has been sharing with them. Photo: IOM/Elham Al Oqabi 

Saliha’s neighbours in front of their shelter which she has been sharing with them at night. Photo: IOM/Elham Al Oqabi 

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionInternal Displacement
Categories: PBN

Over 3.6 Million People Reached by IOM in Ethiopia in 2020 for Prevention and Mitigation of COVID-19

Tue, 02/23/2021 - 07:18

Addis Ababa – The COVID-19 pandemic has brought on immense challenges for Ethiopia, a country whose already strained healthcare system faces enormous challenges. With a population of 110 million people there is only an estimated one doctor to 10,000 people in the country. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported today (23/02) that over 3.6 million people in Ethiopia were reached by the organization for COVID-19 prevention and mitigation during 2020. In the first year of the global pandemic, IOM attended to a variety of beneficiaries including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), returnees and victims of human trafficking, as well as people living in host communities.   

The 3.6 million reached by IOM includes vulnerable communities and over 239,000 IDPs living in camp-like settings. Assistance was provided to over 43,000 Ethiopian migrants who returned home during the pandemic. Moreover, at least 80 IOM staff deployed to various parts of the country and some 2,000 medical and healthcare practitioners were trained by IOM to support the Ethiopian Government’s national response to the pandemic.  

Many in the beneficiary groups—including children and other vulnerable persons—received Personal Protective Equipment such as masks and gloves, access to handwashing facilities and other types of hygiene and sanitation, and information about COVID-19. IOM’s COVID-19 response also included Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) for vulnerable populations. 

Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, IOM has worked closely with the Government of Ethiopia and partners to ensure that migrants and mobile populations are included in Ethiopia’s efforts to mitigate the virus’ impact.  

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic led to unprecedented challenges for mobile populations in the region—including for vulnerable Ethiopian migrants stranded in the Horn of Africa and the Gulf—and IDPs in Ethiopia living in congested displacement sites with limited access to water and sanitation facilities.  

Ethiopia registered 124,264 COVID-19 cases and 1,923 deaths in 2020, making it the country in the East and Horn of Africa Region with the highest number of cases and deaths recorded.  

“COVID-19 awareness-raising and community engagement was in 2020, and still is, essential to Ethiopians as the spread of the pandemic continues”, said Maureen Achieng, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Ethiopia and Representative to the African Union and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). “Through strong partnerships with Government of Ethiopia´s key ministries and departments, sister UN agencies, and national and international civil society organizations, IOM is proud to say it has reached millions of people to try and stop the disease and protect them from COVID-19.”

IOM’s COVID-19 response in Ethiopia has been made possible with generous support from the Ethiopian Humanitarian Fund, the European Union, and the governments of Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and USA.   

Further details on IOM’s COVID-19 response in Ethiopia are available here.  

For more information, please contact IOM Ethiopia:  
Alemayehu Seifeselassie, Email: salemayehu@iom.int , Tel: +251911639082 or  
Eric Mazango Email: EMAZANGO@iom.int , Tel: +251904645879 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 23, 2021 - 14:00Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: COVID-19Default: Multimedia: 

More than 3.6 million people in Ethiopia have been reached for prevention and mitigation of COVID-19 by IOM in 2020. Photo: IOM Ethiopia  

More than 3.6 million people in Ethiopia have been reached for prevention and mitigation of COVID-19 by IOM in 2020. Photo: IOM Ethiopia  

More than 3.6 million people in Ethiopia have been reached for prevention and mitigation of COVID-19 by IOM in 2020. Photo: IOM Ethiopia  

Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: COVID-19Emergency Relief and Protection
Categories: PBN

IOM Republic of Korea Hosts Workshop on Child Protection in Emergencies

Mon, 02/22/2021 - 15:57

Seoul, Republic of Korea – With the growth of the humanitarian sector in the Republic of Korea (ROK), humanitarian assistance provided by ROK actors in overseas emergencies has diversified over the past decade. Child protection, among many other topics, has been one of key interest areas among ROK NGOs due to a long tradition and accumulated expertise in child development programmes in development contexts in many leading ROK NGOs.  

To meet the diversified needs of ROK humanitarian professionals and help fill in the capacity gap in specialized humanitarian programming, particularly in child protection in emergencies (CPiE), the IOM ROK Mission, with the support of Save the Children, hosted the ‘Workshop on Child Protection in Emergencies’ on 18 to 19 February 2021.

In order to bolster ROK humanitarian professionals’ understanding of CPiE and enhance practical skills in assessing and addressing child protection risks and needs in emergency contexts, the workshop sought to provide participants with diverse topics including family engagement, mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), and community-level approach.

The training was attended by 20 practitioners from ROK NGOs engaged in humanitarian assistance and interested or experienced in child protection in crisis settings, and all completed the training.

David Bloomer, Asia Regional Child Protection Humanitarian Advisor of Save the Children International, led the workshop based on the Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action (CPMS) as well as best practice examples from the field. Due to cross-border travel restrictions posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the workshop combined online live lectures by the trainer combined with on-site group exercises among the attendees.

“To provide both short and long-term protection to children in emergency situations, not only effective and sustainable solutions but also mainstreaming and integrating the principles of child protection and promoting the Centrality of Protection community-inclusive approach in the whole project cycle are needed.” Bloomer said. “ I am very excited to collaborate and extend our partnership with IOM ROK and hope that this workshop will serve as a valuable learning opportunity for ROK humanitarian workers in this field.” he added.

The first day started with a session on principles on child protection in emergency, which included exploring a variety of child protection risks and concerns. Strengthening family and care-giving environments was highlighted by introducing ecological model and protective factors supporting child resilience. The participants closed the first day with group activities for child well-being and where psychological first aid fits into the MHPSS Intervention Pyramid.  

On day two, the workshop emphasized the community-level approach and delivered how to mainstream CPiE in developing humanitarian projects. Proposal development and CPiE programming exercises  provided ample opportunities to the participant to build up hands-on skills and knowledge.

Following the CPiE programming session with the country cases of IOM, the session expanded its scope to contemporary issues such as COVID-19 and CPiE. The results of discussion and the group practice were shared to stimulate knowledge exchange among practitioners.

Since 2015, IOM ROK has taken an important role in providing a wide range of capacity-building support for ROK humanitarian actors with funding support from US Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA). The workshop was organized as part of this capacity-building support program.

For more information please contact Eunice Jieun KIM, IOM Republic of Korea Mission, Tel.: +82 70 4820 0291, Email: jikim@iom.int.

Language English Posted: Monday, February 22, 2021 - 22:11Image: Region-Country: Republic of KoreaThemes: Migration and YouthDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Local
Categories: PBN

IOM Receives a Medal of Appreciation from the Lao Office of the Supreme People’s Prosecutor

Mon, 02/22/2021 - 11:26

Vientiane – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) today (19 February) received the medal of appreciation and the achievement certificate from the Office of the Supreme People’s Prosecutor (OSPP) of Lao People’s Democratic Republic as a recognition of its long-standing partnership and cooperation with OSPP in the area of counter-Trafficking in Persons (TIP).

2020 marked the 30-year anniversary of the OSPP’s Office of People’s Prosecutor (OPP). As a token of appreciation for partners’ consistent support in strengthening the rule of law under various thematic areas, the OSPP has presented a medal and an achievement certificate to the development partners and international organizations which supported the enforcement of the Office’s mandate.

Upon receiving the medal from H.E. Mr. Bounyang Chandalasanh, Vice President of the Office of Supreme People’s Prosecutor of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Ms. Shareen Tuladhar, Chief of Mission at IOM, noted: “I look forward to continuing the strong partnership between the two organizations. IOM stands ready to assist the Government in achieving our collective goals of prosecution and prevention of human trafficking.”

IOM, under the State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL)-funded project Combating Human Trafficking through Reinforcing Judicial Capacity (CHARJ), has assisted the Government to bolster law enforcement efforts to more aggressively deter, investigate and prosecute TIP cases. IOM, in close partnership with the OSPP, provided trainings for criminal justice officials on techniques to identify, understand, investigate and prosecute human trafficking and developed a manual on improved data collection and reporting on the suppression of TIP crimes. IOM has been leading counter trafficking efforts in Lao People’s Democratic Republic since 2001.

IOM and the OSPP will continue to work together to build the capacity of the Lao criminal justice sector to provide transparent justice and to combat transnational crime in Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

For more information, please contact Suhyun PARK at IOM Vientiane. Tel. + 856 (20)55 136 294. Email: spark@iom.int

Language English Posted: Monday, February 22, 2021 - 17:42Image: Region-Country: Lao People’s Democratic RepublicThemes: Counter-TraffickingIOMDefault: Multimedia: 

H.E. Mr. Bounyang Chandalasanh handing over the achievement certificate to Ms. Shareen Tuladhar. Photo: Suhyun Park / IOM

Ms. Shareen Tuladhar receiving the medal of appreciation on behalf of IOM. Photo: Suhyun Park / IOM

Members of IOM and the OSPP attended today’s felicitation. Photo: Suhyun Park / IOM

Press Release Type: Local
Categories: PBN

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