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Updated: 2 hours 4 min ago

World Migration Report 2018 Downloads Top 400,000

Fri, 09/27/2019 - 10:30

Geneva – Humanitarian agencies and publishing houses, normally, don’t have much in common. The latter strive to produce runaway, critical successes. The former, well, not so much. 

But now and then a hit emerges from the humanitarian side, and the International Organization for Migration’s bi-annual World Migration Report 2018  appears to be such a case. Published at the end of 2017, the report has enjoyed over the past 20 months some 400,000 downloads, the most of any publication in IOM’s six-plus decades of producing reports. 

“It works out to 650 downloads a day, including weekends,” said Dr Marie M McAuliffe, IOM’s Head of Research. She explained those hundreds of thousands of copies, distributed worldwide, have played a significant role in providing much-needed balanced information and analysis on migration, and has been a key in debunking many myths associated with migration.  

Available in English, French, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic, WMR 2018 has garnered extensive global coverage. A wide range of media outlets such as The Guardian, The Times of India, Radio Canada, El Espectador in Colombia and Australia’s Special Broadcasting Service, among others, have covered or cited the publication, underscoring the ever-growing need for evidence-based information on migration. 

Leading think tanks and international institutions such as the Council on Foreign Relations and the World Economic Forum have embraced its contents.  

The WMR 2018 has also attracted significant attention from policy makers, migration practitioners, academics, students and the general public, while various themes it covered such as media and migration, migration statistics, migration journeys and global governance, have proven highly pertinent at a time when the need to cut through inaccurate or ‘fake news’ on migration has never been more urgent. 

Critics agree. WMR 2018 is “a great starting point to try and understand population movements from a balanced point of view,” said Ronald Skeldon, Professor of Human Geography at Maastricht University. He added that the report is a first port of call for many people working on migration. 

Similar sentiments were echoed by Jaqueline Bhabha, Professor at Harvard University, who has highlighted the significance of WMR 2018 to her teaching; she spoke of several chapters of the report as “perfect” for introducing her students to new topics. 

Dr McAuliffe, who is also the chief editor of the World Migration Report series, added: “It’s an obligation and responsibility to our readership to provide the latest data and information on international migration.” 

The next World Migration Report, WMR 2020, is scheduled for release at end of November 2019. It is again a collaboration between IOM experts, academics, and migration practitioners.   

For more information, please contact Marie McAuliffe at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 22 717 9371, Email:  

Language English Posted: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 16:30Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Migration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 

Dr Marie M McAuliffe, IOM’s Head of Research and chief editor of the World Migration Report series

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Strengthens Health Capacities at Niger’s Borders with Libya and Algeria

Fri, 09/27/2019 - 10:29

Niamey – Straddling the migratory crossroads of West and Central Africa, Niger is one of the least developed countries in the world, vulnerable to climatic shocks and regional instability.  

As a country of migration transit, Niger faces constant migrant activity at its borders with Libya and Algeria. In August alone, 48,000 individuals were recorded at IOM’s seven Flow Monitoring Points in Niger as transiting throughout the country. 

Additionally, water is scarce and precious in Niger’s extreme desert climate. Its absence can lead to epidemics of waterborne diseases such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery.  

In order to strengthen Niger’s health capacities, especially at its borders, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) a year ago launched its Immigration and Border Management (IBM) project Strengthening Health Capacities at the Borders with Assamaka and Séguédine. 

Assamaka, a city in Agadez region located in northern Niger, regularly sees migrants arriving from across the border in Algeria. To improve the health facilities in Assamaka, IOM’s IBM team in Niger constructed several Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) infrastructures such as a water tower, latrines and sinks. A borehole connected to the new facilities was built to supply the town with drinking water and medical equipment was provided to Assamaka’s new health centre.  

The effort is supported by the Government of Sweden and is aimed at reinforcing the sanitation and healthcare at Niger’s Borders with Libya and Algeria. The project concluded this month. 

Throughout, several activities were carried out in both Assamaka, at the border with Algeria, and Séguédine, at the border with Libya, in close collaboration with the relevant national and regional authorities, to the benefit of health authorities, border communities and migrants. 

Séguédine, situated in Kawar region, is considered to be one of the main transit points for migrants transiting on their way to or back from Libya. In order to cope with Kawar’s extreme climate, IOM installed solar panels to power the newly built health centre with renewable electricity.  

Rescued from the worry of daily power cuts, the health centre now will properly store its medication and vaccines at adequate temperatures. As part of the project’s activities, a water tower was also constructed which will fulfil the town’s current water needs and basic medical equipment and medicine was purchased for the health centre. 

“When we are sick, it’s hard to know who to turn to because we lack basic infrastructure,” said Amadou, one of Assamaka’s 1,500 residents. “The lack of proper latrines and drinking water in this hot weather can worsen your health. We now hope that the newly built infrastructures can improve the collective health of our town.” 

Given that the road to the closest hospital to Assamaka is three hours away via a sand road, the newly acquired ambulance will now ensure that individuals in need can receive urgent medical assistance. Under the same project, a training for the two ambulance drivers in both Assamaka and Séguédine was conducted by the Direction of Public Health in Agadez. 

Additionally, the project strengthened the capacities of 20 Nigerien law enforcement agents operating at the country’s borders, who attended a three-day training on humanitarian border response, which allowed them to acquire basic knowledge and skills on how to properly give medical assistance during a border crisis.  

“These newly built infrastructures represent a much-needed addition for both migrants and community members,” said Barbara Rijks, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Niger. “Seeing as many of these people often find themselves stranded in the desert under extreme temperatures, we hope that these improvements will facilitate their recovery and at times, even save lives.” 

For more information, please contact Monica Chiriac at IOM Niger, Tel: +227 8931 8764, Email: 

Language English Posted: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 16:25Image: Region-Country: NigerThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Two ambulances provided by IOM for the health centres in Assamaka and Séguédine. Photo: IOM/Daniel Kisito Kouawo 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 68,113 in 2019; Deaths Reach 970

Fri, 09/27/2019 - 10:28

Geneva – IOM reports that 68,113 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 25 September, roughly a 16 per cent decrease from the 81,167 arriving during the same period last year.  

Arrivals this year to Greece and Spain are at 36,209 and 17,209, respectively (53,418 combined), accounting for about 78 per cent of the regional total, with the balance arriving in much smaller numbers to Italy, Malta and Cyprus. Arrivals to Greece are running approximately 36 per cent ahead of 2018’s totals from this time. Arrivals to Spain are more than 50 per cent lower.  

Arrivals to Italy for 2019 have reached 7,043, according to official Ministry of Interior figures, with over three-fourths of those arrivals occurring since 1 June.  

IOM Italy reports 1,908 migrants arrived in Italy by sea since 1 September, raising the possibility this month will be the first since July 2018 when over 2,000 irregular migrants landed after departing North Africa. By comparison, during the years 2016 and 2017, months when more than 10,000 arrivals were recorded occurred 12 times. 

Deaths recorded on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through almost nine months of 2019 are at 970 individuals – or just over 52 per cent of the 1,847 deaths confirmed during the same period in 2018 (see chart below). The 970 deaths at sea through 25 September include the deaths of several dozen people documented on various sea tragedies across the Mediterranean.  

At least three shipwrecks were recorded off the coast of Algeria in the past two weeks. On 17 September, the remains of three young Moroccan men were retrieved during a rescue operation five nautical miles north of Cap Falcon, Oran, on the western shores of Algeria, where boats depart with the aim to reach mainland Spain. Eight survivors were rescued from the sinking boat and brought back to shore.  

The following day (18 September), another boat sank off the coast of Cap Djinet/Dellys, 70 kilometres east of Algiers. According to the five people who survived the incident, 13 people lost their lives in this shipwreck.  

On 25 September, the remains of an unidentified person were recovered during a rescue operation 22 nautical miles north of Damous, in Algeria’s western coast, and six people were rescued. They reported one missing person.  

In the Eastern Mediterranean, a baby girl went missing during the sea crossing from the coast of Turkey to the Greek island of Kos on 20 September. In a rescue operation conducted by the Turkish Coast Guard, 14 Syrian nationals, including 10 men, a young woman and three children, were intercepted off the coast of Bodrum, Turkey. They reported that the daughter of one of them, an 8-month-old baby girl, had gone missing during the crossing.  

Sadly, this is not the only child death reported this week, as a 5-year-old Afghan child was killed by a truck outside Moria camp in Lesvos, Greece on 24 September, while he was inside a cardboard box in the courtyard of a building. At least 157 children have died this year during migration worldwide. 

Missing Migrants Project 

2019 is the sixth year of IOM’s efforts to systematically record deaths on migration routes worldwide through its Missing Migrants Project. Since the beginning of 2014, the project has recorded the deaths of 33,506 people, including 2,344 in 2019, as of 25 September (see chart below). 

Due to the challenges of collecting information about these people and the contexts of their deaths, the true number of lives lost during migration is likely much higher. Missing Migrants Project records should only be viewed as indicative of the risks associated with migration, rather than representative of the true number of deaths across time or geography. 

Since last week’s update, several deaths have been recorded by the Missing Migrants Project in the Middle East, Europe and the Americas. 

In Turkey, six Syrian nationals were killed on 24 September when the van in which they were travelling overturned on the Reyhanlı-Antakya highway, in Turkey’s southern province of Hatay. In Europe, a 23-year-old Pakistani man was hit by a train while he was walking next to the train tracks in Gradsko, North Macedonia, on 19 September.  

On the US-Mexico border, four people lost their lives trying to cross the Río Bravo. The remains of three young men were recovered in Mexico’s border state of Tamaulipas by Mexican civil protection authorities, including a 30-year-old Mexican man whose remains were recovered near Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, a 27-year-old Mexican man found on the banks of the river near Miguel Alemán on 21 September, and an unidentified man from Central America found near Matamoros on 23 September.  

On the US side of the border, US Border Patrol agents recovered the remains of a 30-year-old man near Eagle Pass, Texas on 20 September.  

In total, at least 596 people have lost their lives in the Americas in 2019, compared with 453 recorded through this point in 2018 and 451 in 2017 – an increase over both years of over 32 per cent.  

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre 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.  

The report Fatal Journey Volume 4, published 28 June, includes an overview of five years of Missing Migrants Project data (2014-2018) and an update on what is known about deaths during migration in 2019.  

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, click here. Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project.  

See contacts here


Language English Posted: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 16:20Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Government of Chile Organize Job Fair in Santiago

Fri, 09/27/2019 - 10:28

Santiago – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Government of Chile organized an inclusive job fair yesterday (26/09) in Santiago, for the socio-economic integration of migrants and host community members, with a strong participation of Venezuelan nationals.  

The Regional Ministerial Secretary of Labour and Social Security, the National Training and Employment Service (SENCE) and the Commission of the National Certification System of Labour Competencies (ChileValora) co-organized the job fair in downtown Santiago.  

IOM Chile Chief of Mission a.i., Matteo Mandrile, the Regional Secretary of Labour, Denise Madrid, the Regional Mayor, Karla Rubilar, and the Provincial Delegate, Enrique Beltrán, inaugurated the event. 

Over 5,000 visitors attended the fair, with a majority of them, Venezuelan nationals. Over 1,500 jobs were offered by 47 local and international companies, in a wide range of sectors and with different profiles, from engineers and accountants to security guards, shop assistants, receptionists and technicians.  

During the fair, IOM and public services carried out informative sessions with participants on labour law and regulations, debunking myths about the hiring process of migrants in Chile. Participants were also helped to review and prepare their resumes, with the opportunity to print them free of charge during the day.  

Mandrile explained: “IOM fosters the synergies between labour migration and development, while promoting legal avenues of labour migration as an alternative to irregular migration. Successful socio-economic integration is beneficial not only for Venezuelans, who today represent the largest foreign-born group in Chile, but also for those communities hosting them.” He added: “Today’s participation of job seekers of different nationalities and Chilean people is a beautiful image of local integration in Santiago.” 

“It is very important for the Government of Chile, in alliance with the private sector and an organization like IOM, to bring these job offers to Paseo Bulnes. It has been a success and we hope to replicate this experience in the medium or long term in the region,” said Madrid. 

“I arrived in Chile 16 months ago. I have a job as a general surgeon but found this fair an interesting opportunity to discover a new workplace. The dynamic of delivering a description of each company offer was very well accepted and highly informative,” said Jesús Marín, a Venezuelan who attended the fair.   

In Chile, according to data made available in July 2019 by the National Institute of Statistics (INE) and the Immigration Department (DEM), the Santiago Metropolitan Region, consisting of 46 municipalities, accounts for 63.1 per cent (789,412) of the total migrant population, mainly Venezuelans (26.8 per cent), followed by Peruvians (21.4 per cent), Haitians (13.9 per cent) and Colombians (10.6 per cent). 

According to estimates of the Immigration Department (DEM), in the first months of 2019, Chile’s migrant population increased by 9.7 per cent, with an increase of 28.8 per cent in the case of Venezuelans. This figure amounted to 371,163 as of 1 June 2019.  

IOM's actions in Chile related to the private sector have led to the strengthening of strategic alliances and partnerships in various sectors of the Chilean economy. In this framework of activities, job fairs play a key role and are a true multiplier of opportunities, for both employers and job seekers.  

The fair was funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration of the United States Department of State. 

Watch video 

For more information please contact José Estay, IOM Chile, Tel: + (56) 2 2963 3710, Email:  

Language English Posted: Friday, September 27, 2019 - 16:15Image: Region-Country: ChileThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Over five thousand visitors attended the fair job in Santiago. Photo: IOM 

IOM Chile Chief of Mission a.i., Matteo Mandrile and Chilean authorities inaugurated the job fair in Santiago, Chile. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Small Island Developing States Highlight Climate Migration at UN General Assembly

Thu, 09/26/2019 - 10:07

New York – Today (26/09), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) together with the New York Permanent Missions of Fiji and Portugal are co-organizing a high-level event focusing on climate migration, in the margins of the high-level week of the United Nations’ General Assembly 74th session and the UN Climate Action Summit. The event will take place at the West Terrace, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Climate change and its adverse impacts are experienced acutely in all parts of the world, irrevocably reshaping migration patterns. Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are among the most vulnerable countries in the world to the adverse impacts of climate change. The long-term effects of climate change, such as sea-level rise and unpredictable weather patterns, threaten the livelihoods of communities in the Pacific, Caribbean and Indian Ocean islands and increase the risks of forced migration. Small Island States are also among the strongest advocates for concrete action.

At the UN Climate Action Summit, this Monday (23 September), concrete commitments were made by Member States. Small Island States together committed to carbon neutrality and to move to 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030. Overall 77 countries committed to cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050, while 70 countries announced they will upgrade their National Determined Contributions (NDCs) by 2020. Many more pledges came also from the private section. These actions, when implemented, will also ensure that forced migration due to climate change will be averted and minimized.

IOM is hosting this high-level event as part of its efforts in developing and strengthening comprehensive partnerships, which is essential to address climate change drivers of migration and to implement the outcomes of the Climate Action Summit. The event is aligned with the SG’s call for coherent messaging across the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and specific climate change challenges. 

Bringing together high-level representatives from SIDS and from other countries with a strong interest in climate change and migration related issues, as well as heads of partner UN organizations, this event seeks to leverage the discussions around the Climate Action Summit and its follow up to support global and regional policy dialogues, bring visibility to the climate change-migration nexus and support the implementation of concrete responses. 

Targeting also individuals from around the world and in order to shed light and promote action for people impacted by climate change in vulnerable countries, IOM launched this month the #FindAWay campaign. The campaign is a global initiative focused on the resilience and strength of those affected by forced migration due to climate change and IOM’s commitment to being solutions orientated. Help IOM, help more and share the stories from the Find A Way campaign.

For more information on the links between migration, environment and climate change and IOM’s work on it, visit the IOM Environmental Migration Portal and read our publication on Climate Change and Migration in Vulnerable Countries.

For more information on the event or the campaign, please contact Dina Ionesco, Email:, Tel: +41 79 859 10 17 or Rahma Gamil Soliman, Email:, Tel: +1 917 515 7454

Language English Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 16:02Image: Region-Country: FijiThemes: Migration and Climate ChangeDefault: Multimedia: 

Children play in the sunset on one of the Carteret Islands atolls in Papua New Guinea. IOM conducted an assessment of the communities in Carteret Islands to know how their lives are being affected by climate change and how well they are adapting to the changing landscape. © IOM 2016/Muse Mohammed


Girls in a temporary school after Cyclone Komen shattered rural Myanmar in 2016, where women were taking the lead role in rebuilding their villages. #FindAWay is IOM’s global initiative focused on the resilience and strength of those affected by forced migration due to climate change. © IOM 2016/Mayco Naing

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Finding Our Way in the Age of Climate Change and Migration

Thu, 09/26/2019 - 09:05

By António Vitorino, IOM Director General

New York – Global migration dynamics constantly shift and often baffle but one thing is certain: the adverse impacts of climate change are shaping migration patterns everywhere. Millions of people are being displaced by natural disasters and extreme climate events while others look to migration as a deliberate strategy to adapt to simmering or sinking regions.

We are moving on everything from offsetting carbon to eating less meat, but how are we doing confronting the transformational impact that climate and environment-induced population movements are having and will have on peoples and societies across the globe?

Between 2008 and 2018, we have seen more than 260 million people displaced by disasters. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre estimates that up to 17.2 million were displaced in 2018 alone. On the frontline, responding daily to the effects of extreme weather events such as in Mozambique where 94,000 people remain displaced by Cyclones Idai and Kenneth this year, my organization, the IOM, knows too well the relationship between climate change and dislocation. 

Disasters like these both impact and are impacted by pre-existing crises. In Bangladesh, IOM is working with other agencies to support Rohingya refugees living in camps where a monsoon season rages around them. Just last week, 15 landslides, 25 rainstorms, and five floods caused the temporary displacement of nearly 15,000 people, both in the host community and the camps. Every few months, extreme weather creates deep upheaval for a population already at its most vulnerable.

Emergency response addresses the devastating symptoms of environmental change. But the condition we are diagnosing is far more complex. When an unstable climate collides with persistent inequality, weak governance, ongoing fragility, and sharp demographic change, the result is a maelstrom of drivers that lead to increased internal, regional and international movements as individuals scramble for safety and the legitimate prospect of a future.

In West and Central Africa, millions of people depend on Lake Chad. Startlingly, the lake’s volume has decreased by 90 per cent in the last 40 years due to increased drought and man-made irrigation. The lake’s disappearance has not only affected livelihoods but has also become a source of tension and conflict. Interconnected environmental menaces such as droughts and floods, over-exploitation of resources and climate change are affecting rural-urban and cyclical mobility within countries and across borders.

Besides, many of the most high-risk countries rarely make the headlines. In 2016, the 15 countries most vulnerable to natural hazards are among the least developed.  These include those that are land-locked – for example, Uzbekistan and Zimbabwe.  They also include small islands. While we will read about the Bahamas, devastated by hurricanes each year, we may be less aware of such low-lying island states as Tuvalu or Vanuatu, largely defenseless against even the smallest rise in sea-level.

And yet policy-makers in industrialized countries tend to see these struggling countries merely as paths leading migrants to their doors, rather than as countries grappling with challenges that affect lives within their own neighborhoods.  

With a 1.5C global temperature rise, IOM projects that 30 to 60 million people will be living in areas where the average heat in the hottest month will be too high for a human body to function well. With a 2C rise, that number increases to more than 100 million.

This, combined with the impact that rising sea-levels will have on coastal and low-lying communities, demands that action be taken now to avert and minimize the adverse impacts of climate change. The human cost, otherwise, risks being incalculable. 

On top of aid and better migration management, this means supporting communities to adapt and build resilience to deep changes in their local environment.  It means addressing drivers of fragility, better pooling our data to understand and anticipate likely future migratory patterns and placing humans – and their rights – at the center of our planning.  

The international community can no longer implement migration and development policy without considering the impacts of climate change. We need to integrate environmental and climatic factors into all migration management policies and we need to mainstream migration into development, disaster risk reduction, humanitarian action, climate, and security. The 2015-2016 Paris Agreement is one of the milestones which included migration into the climate change nexus.

Increasingly, migrants are leading the way and taking on the task themselves with a more durable and integrated brand of development. Diaspora groups are investing in sustainable land management in migration prone regions in Burkina Faso, Senegal and Niger while returning migrants are part of another new effort to create green and sustainable jobs.

The responsibility lies with all of us, citizens and governments alike. This is the message we have brought this week to the UN Climate Summit in New York. Each of us, in a personal capacity, can help vulnerable populations be more resilient in the face of climate change. This is why IOM has launched a global campaign on climate migration called #FindAWay. We invite individuals from around the world to ally with us to address the negative impacts of climate change on people’s daily lives. Helping others find a way may help us all in the long run.


Language English Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 14:58Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Migration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

#FindAWay in Micronesia. More details here:

#FindAWay in Madagascar. More details here:

#FindAWay in Myanmar. More details here:

#FindAWay in Mongolia. More details here:

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Joint Press Release: Meeting of the Joint AU-EU-UN Taskforce to Address the Migrant and Refugee Situation in Libya

Wed, 09/25/2019 - 18:17

New York - The AU–EU–UN Tripartite Taskforce on the Situation of Stranded Migrant and Refugees in Libya met this morning in New York in the margins of the high-level General Debate of the 74th session of the UN General Assembly.

The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Commissioner for Social Affairs of the African Union Commission, Amira El Fadil, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy / Vice-President of the Commission, Federica Mogherini, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and the IOM Director General, António Vitorino, discussed the next steps and priorities of the Taskforce, its support in Libya and possibilities for further joint work.

The Taskforce was put in place by the African Union, the European Union and the United Nations in November 2017, at the margins of the 5th AU-EU Summit in Abidjan, aiming to save and protect the lives of migrants and refugees along the migratory routes, and in particular inside Libya. This allowed the launch of a major assisted voluntary humanitarian return programme and evacuation operation, which until today has led to over 48,000 voluntary humanitarian returns of migrants from Libya to their home countries facilitated by IOM and AU Member States, as well as over 4,000 evacuations of refugees by UNHCR from Libya.

However, the conflict in Libya continues to heavily impact on the already fragile and deteriorating humanitarian situation of many civilians, including migrants and refugees in the country and as result Libya is in need of further support to better address challenges it continues to face, in line with existing international frameworks and instruments, norms and standards. In this respect, the members of the Taskforce deliberated on how to consolidate cooperation with the Libyan authorities in efforts to scale up assisted voluntary returns and evacuations from Libya, dismantle the existing system of arbitrary arrests and detention of migrants and create alternatives to detention, as well as ensure the rights of migrants and refugees are equally protected.

The members also reiterated the need to redouble efforts aimed at supporting returning migrants in a more comprehensive manner to reintegrate back into their communities in countries of origin for a sustained return programme. The Taskforce welcomed, in particular the initiative by Rwanda, the African Union and the UNHCR to establish an Emergency Transit Mechanism (ETM) in Rwanda that allows for the evacuation of persons in need of international protection out of Libya, as an important gesture of African solidarity.

The Taskforce members agreed that the AU-EU-UN Taskforce represents a unique framework for joint, trilateral action that has proven to be successful in achieving results on the ground. They reiterated their commitment as well as the need for further strengthened coordinative mechanisms of the Taskforce and agreed to explore possibilities to increase AU-EU-UN cooperation.


Language English Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2019 - 18:16Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: OthersDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Tells UN High-Level Meeting that Universal Health Coverage Must Include Migrants

Tue, 09/24/2019 - 12:53

New York - IOM Monday (23 September) welcomed the landmark Political Declaration on Universal Health Coverage at the 74th UN General Assembly in New York.  

Speaking on behalf of IOM Director General António Vitorino, Jacqueline Weekers, director of IOM’s Migration Health Division, said that for Universal Health Coverage to be truly universal “it needs to progressively include migrants, especially those marginalized or in situations of vulnerability.”    

IOM joined UN Principals, Heads of State, Civil Society and other stakeholders in welcoming the approval of a landmark Political Declaration at the High-Level Meeting (HLM) on Universal Health Coverage (UHC).     

Mrs. Weekers was speaking at a multi-stakeholder panel on the topic ‘UHC as a driver of equity, inclusive development and prosperity for all’.    

IOM believes that migration is a social determinant of health that can both improve the health status of migrants, their families and host communities, and expose them to health risks and related catastrophic health expenditures.     

The organization believes that the path towards achieving universal health coverage needs to overcome the many obstacles faced by migrants and communities in accessing essential health care services.    

To exclude migrants from universal health coverage is to “ignore the positive potential of migration for development,” she further noted. She pointed to the role that migrants play themselves as co-developers and providers of people-centred health services in countries of origin and destination.     

“This UHC declaration joins the 2030 Agenda, the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and the migration-relevant WHO Frameworks and Action Plans to create mutually reinforcing cooperation frameworks that can catalyse policy and programmatic coherence on migration health,” Mrs. Weekers added.    

Since its founding in 1951, IOM has made a priority of serving the health needs of migrants and host communities. IOM reaches and empowers those most vulnerable both within and across borders. IOM bridges the needs of both Member States and migrants through development of policy and best practices, strengthening health systems for effective service delivery, research and information-sharing. In 2018, IOM had migration health projects operational in over 125 countries with a total expenditure of USD 190 million.     

Through decades of expertise and experience, IOM has shown how improved health outcomes for migrants and communities at origin, transit and destination can be achieved through whole-of-society and whole-of-government actions. As the UN’s related agency responsible for migration, and Secretariat and Coordinator of the UN Migration Network, IOM stands ready to leverage the full potential of cross-agency cooperation, in partnership with our Member States, UN partners and other stakeholders, including migrants themselves, to leave no migrant behind.     

For more information, please contact Poonam Dhavan in New York and Geneva Tel. +41 79 701 0971 Email: or Safa Msehli, IOM Geneva Tel. + 41 76 613 3175 Email:   

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 18:50Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

Jacqueline Weekers, Director of IOM’s Migration Health Division speaking at the 74th UN General Assembly in New York. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, UNICEF Strengthen Partnership to Respond to Needs of Migrant Children 

Tue, 09/24/2019 - 12:32

Addis Ababa – Children as young as 10 are among Ethiopians leaving for better prospects outside the country, many with their parents’ consent. 

Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country after Nigeria, accounts for the bulk of child migrants in the Horn of Africa. Poverty, conflict and broken families are some of the factors that drive children to leave Ethiopia, with Saudi Arabia, South Africa and Europe being among the target destinations.  

However, many of these children find themselves in perilous situations outside of their established environments. They are highly vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation and very often find themselves stranded and in need of assistance.  

A strengthened collaboration between the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Ethiopia and UNICEF is aiming to support such children. It seeks to build on the framework for the two agencies’ collaboration across the world, established through a 1996 cooperation agreement and a subsequent memorandum of understanding in 2006.  

It is envisaged that by working closely together in Ethiopia, IOM and UNICEF have a chance to make a difference in addressing the worrying trend of children on the move, as the numbers remain significant. 

For example, from January to July 2019, IOM’s drop-in facilities for stranded migrants in the Horn of Africa – also known as Migrant Response Centres – registered 1,224 minors, amounting to 18 per cent of all registrations.     

According to IOM, between May 2017 and July 2019, some 21,657 Ethiopian minors returned to Ethiopia from Saudi Arabia – mostly involuntarily – which is around 8 per cent of the total number of returnees from Saudi Arabia to the Horn of Africa. In May and June 2019, IOM led an emergency humanitarian operation that helped close to 3,000 Ethiopian migrants detained in Yemen, including 1,236 unaccompanied children, to safely return home. 

IOM and UNICEF plan to investigate and analyse the underlying causes of the movement of children and provide support to programmes led by the Government of Ethiopia to prevent family separation. In addition, they will strengthen cross-border information management pertaining to children and conduct joint information campaigns and fundraising interventions. 

The two agencies will also work towards aiding the Government of Ethiopia to respond to the immediate needs of returned unaccompanied minors, such as shelter, psychosocial support, family tracing and reunification, and reintegration into their communities of origin. 

At the IOM-run migrant transit centre near Bole International Airport, UNICEF has seconded social workers from the Addis Ababa Bureau of Women, Children and Youth to conduct family tracing and provide reunification support. There is a plan to increase the number of social workers due to the increase in unaccompanied migrant children. 

Just as important for the IOM-UNICEF collaboration is working with the Government of Ethiopia and other stakeholders on child protection, with a view to addressing the risk of sexual violence, sex work and HIV, as well as child trafficking and child smuggling, including through the establishment of a regulatory framework and standard operating procedures.  

The new IOM-UNICEF agreement seeks “to build on the comparative advantage of each organization and to establish operational modalities of cooperation in order to benefit children and women in Ethiopia.” The partnership complements the work of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa which recently established a collaboration with Save the Children in Ethiopia. 

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

To date, IOM has provided voluntary return and reintegration assistance to 5,000 Ethiopian migrants under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative, of whom 20 per cent are children.       

According to EU-IOM Joint Initiative programme coordinator in Ethiopia, Sara Basha, reintegration assistance to returnees should be provided through an integrated approach where returnees receive economic, social and psychosocial support. Partnerships, with organizations like UNICEF, local authorities and government partners, help to ensure that vulnerable returnees, including children, receive the right protection and assistance.     

For more information, please contact Helina Mengistu at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251 11 5571707 (Ext. 1109), Email:  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 18:29Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: Counter-TraffickingMigration and Youthmigrants in vulnerable situationsDefault: Multimedia: 

Ethiopia is seeing significant numbers of children on the move.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Focus on Women, Climate Change and Migration in Tajikistan

Tue, 09/24/2019 - 12:29

Dushanbe – As the world meets at the United Nations Climate Change summit in New York, IOM Tajikistan is launching a major new project on climate change, gender, and migration. 

The mountainous Central Asian nation is highly vulnerable to disasters, which are being exacerbated by environmental degradation, fluctuations in climate, and adversely impacting its economy.  

Over the years, migration has become an adaptation strategy for many, as tens of thousands of people, most of them male, seek work in neighbouring countries and farther afield. This leaves women managing new challenges, including the adverse impacts of disasters such as increasing drought and floods on their households and communities. 

“It’s about more than just protecting the environment,” commented IOM Tajikistan Chief of Mission Cristina Gheorghe Tranca, in the lead-up to panel event organized by IOM and the Tajik Government, in the capital Dushanbe on Thursday. “We need to prioritize technical support to women left behind. This could be providing tailored information on financial services and climate action, improving financial inclusion among women, develop gender-sensitive training and extension services - would better prepare their households to manage risks from drought, floods and other hazards.” 

The meeting is being co-organized by the Committee for Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Labour, Migration and Employment of Population, and includes government agencies, international organizations, civil society and academics. 

IOM will use the occasion to launch its new initiative to understand the nexus of migration, gender, climate change and agriculture in Tajikistan. The new initiative aims to ensure mainstreaming migration in climate change policies and programmes and vice-versa as well as assess effectiveness of capacity building interventions for women left behind to support adaptation in remittance-recipient households. A two-year programme, it is financed by IOM Development Fund to the tune of USD 200,000. 

“We recognize the necessity to step up national, regional and international efforts to address challenges and opportunities associated with human mobility that arise from the impacts of environmental shocks and stressors,” said Tranca. “Our project will see us involved in policy work and advocacy, research, capacity building, and operational activities on this theme together with the Government of Tajikistan, international partners and national agencies.”  

The project will contribute to the realization of Tajikistan’s National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. 

For more information please contact Cristina Gheorghe Tranca, Tel: +992 48 701 02 22, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 18:27Image: Region-Country: TajikistanThemes: Migration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentMigration and genderDefault: Multimedia: 

A middle-aged female renovation crew repairs a central Asian school during the summer vacation. Renovation work is commonly considered a male profession but is being undertaken by women out of necessity as males leave to find higher-paying work abroad. Photo: IOM/Elyor Nematov 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, Partners Combat Exploitative Labour Practices, Human Trafficking in West Africa 

Tue, 09/24/2019 - 12:26

Dakar – While labour migration in West Africa remains a phenomenon involving mostly men (85 per cent), there are signs of change. More children and women are on the move, thus increasing the risks of abuse, violence, and exploitation they face during their journeys.  

“I was ready to start my first year of University when a man approached my mother with a proposition for me to study abroad,” said a young woman named Favour. “He managed to convince my mother that he could get me a scholarship in Italy. All I had to do was give him the necessary documents for him to process the paperwork.” 

She remembered that once they arrived in Libya, things changed. “The ‘pusher man’ gathered all the women who were in the truck and handed us over to another man. The man took us to Qatrun, a city in Libya, and later sold us to a ‘Madam’ who took us to a house and told us that we would be now working for her,” she concluded. 

Over the years, migration dynamics from and within the region have become more complex, with an increasing number of people travelling across the region. Intraregional migration now accounts for the largest part of migration flows within the region (90 per cent). 

To help teach authorities to identify the protection needs and challenges of vulnerable migrants along the routes and improve the understanding of the mixed migration phenomenon in West Africa, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Regional Office for West and Centre Africa organized a seminar on Exploitative Labour Practices and Combatting Human Trafficking in West Africa in Dakar, Senegal’s capital city last week. 

This seminar brought together nearly 50 participants from UN agencies, governments, the Regional Working Group on Mixed Migration and NGOs.   

The event was funded by the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), and organized within the framework of the African Regional Migration Programme. This programme works to support countries across the continent as they improve migration management. Another goal is reducing the vulnerability of migrants. Another is to promote regional cooperation and partnerships on migration issues.  

“It is key to bring everyone together to discuss such a range of protection issues associated with migration in West Africa – from mining practices in Senegal and Guinea to border security in Liptako Gourma – arguably one of the most complex border areas in West Africa,” said Geoffrey Parker, PRM’s Regional Refugee Coordinator for West Africa at the US embassy in Dakar.  

“To effectively address the continuous protection needs of vulnerable migrants in the region, we must increase regional and inter-country cooperation,” added Nassima Clerin, an IOM regional protection specialist.  

To highlight the reality of exploitative labour practices and human trafficking in West Africa, IOM presented key findings from its latest research studies conducted in several countries on West African female domestic workers in Middle East and on labour migration in mining sites in Guinea and Senegal. 

“For many female sex-workers originating from the region, working conditions around the mining sites are characterized by isolation, insecurity and exploitation, which tend to prove the existence of a sub-regional trafficking system in West Africa,” said Berenice Boukaré, IOM regional research officer. 

Daniel Tagoe, project officer from IOM Ghana and Awa Kaira, PRM focal person from IOM Gambia, presented studies portraying the cases of female domestic workers in Middle East countries to demonstrate the specific vulnerabilities of female migrants, their profiles and the recruitment process in the international migration context.   

Research findings recommended that enhanced prevention efforts and increased coordination and cooperation between key actors at regional, national, and community level are crucial to ensure protection to vulnerable migrants. 

“It is key to promote a regional and cross-sector approach to better address the vulnerabilities of the most vulnerable migrant groups and build effective protection mechanisms,” IOM’s Boukaré concluded. 

During the seminar, Senegal’s National Anti-Human Trafficking Office also presented Systraite, its data collection system on human trafficking. The Mixed Migration Centre presented its recent research on smuggling practices as well as border and security governance in Liptako Gourma, in Burkina Faso while Save the Children presented effective sub-regional governance of migration and protection of the youth on the move between Côte d'Ivoire, Mali, and Burkina Faso. 

This programme, funded by PRM, is implemented in 17 countries, including four West African countries (The Gambia, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo).  

For more information, please contact Donghyuk Park, Email: or Nassima Clerin, Email: at the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa.  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 18:23Image: Region-Country: SenegalThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

This map shows the intraregional migration flows within West and Central Africa. Ninety per cent of West African migrants move within the region. Map: IOM RO Dakar

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Thailand, Partners Plan Implementation of New Law to Combat Forced Labour, Human Trafficking 

Tue, 09/24/2019 - 12:23

Bangkok – The Thai Labour Ministry, International Organization for Migration (IOM) and NGO umbrella group Migrant Working Group (MWG) have hosted a national seminar to plan the implementation of new laws designed to outlaw forced labour in Thailand.   

The “National Forum on Directions in the Implementation of Solutions to Address Forced Labour Problems under the Royal Decree of 2019” brought together over 200 representatives from government bodies, civil society, international organizations, academia and the private sector.   

The Royal Decree of 2019 aims to tackle human trafficking and labour rights violations, making Thailand a safe country of destination for migrant workers from neighbouring countries including Myanmar, Cambodia and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic. It also aims to address Thai national security concerns.   

“Thailand has recruited migrant workers in order to alleviate labour shortages. Currently, over three million migrants are working in Thailand. We expect all migrant workers to be properly documented and to be treated with equality and dignity under Thai law,” said Labour Ministry official Nakorn Wanpimool. 

The new Thai legislation reflects the government’s commitment to cracking down on forced labour and human trafficking. But systematic implementation of the law, including terminology, remains problematic, according to IOM Thailand Chief of Mission Dana Graber Ladek.    

“Law enforcement agencies and the private sector still don’t always agree on terms such as ‘exploitation’, ‘forced labour’ or what constitutes the crime of ‘human trafficking’. This national forum is an important step towards resolving those issues and helping the government to deliver on its commitment to address rights violations,” she said. 

For more information, please contact Panitee Nuykram at IOM Thailand, Tel: +66 82 455 5948, Email: or Rilian Agunos at the IOM Regional Office in Bangkok, Tel: +66 92 341 0830, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 18:20Image: Region-Country: ThailandThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

Delegates meet in Bangkok to plan the implementation of new Thai laws to combat forced labour. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Releases First Flow Monitoring Survey on Venezuelans in Paraguay

Tue, 09/24/2019 - 12:20

Asunción – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has released the results of the first Flow Monitoring Survey about the Venezuelan population in Paraguay. 

The survey, part of the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), was implemented through 111 interviews to identify the profile of Venezuelans in Paraguay, as well as needs and aspects of their trip, migratory and employment status, and possibilities to access to the health care system. 

The survey was held on 27 July, during the first edition of an information initiative for the integration of Venezuelans in Paraguay, organized by IOM jointly with government institutions, such as the General Direction of Migration (under the Ministry of Interior), the Ministry of Children and Adolescents, and the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare, among others. 

Fifty per cent women and 50 per cent men were surveyed, mostly between 26 and 35 years, followed by people between 36 and 45 years. 

Among the main findings of the report, half of the interviewees mentioned being single (52 per cent), while the other half said they were married or in free union. Moreover, 46 per cent had completed university studies. 

Besides, 76 per cent of respondents said they had economic dependents, 34 per cent of which were currently living in Paraguay. 

Almost all Venezuelans surveyed plan to stay in Paraguay, choosing as their ultimate destination the municipalities of the Central Department, especially Asunción (79 per cent), followed by Luque, Fernando de la Mora, San Lorenzo, Capiatá, San Antonio, Areguá and Lambaré. 

As for the entry points to the country, most of the interviewees entered Paraguay by land. Among them, 46 per cent affirmed to have entered the country as tourists, while 31 per cent have already been granted permanent residence permits and 9 per cent have temporary residence permits. 

At the time of the survey, 48 per cent of Venezuelans interviewed said they were employed and 14 per cent self-employed. Meanwhile, 34 per cent were unemployed, 2 per cent were students and 2 per cent unpaid volunteers. Regarding their labour situation, 59 per cent affirmed to be inserted in the formal labour market, while 41 per cent was employed by informal sector. In addition, 61 per cent said they were sending some sort of resources to Venezuela, mainly money, but also medicines and food. 

Regarding specific assistance needs, the surveyed Venezuelans highlighted as a priority income generation and jobs, followed by legal assistance and assistance in regularization processes. 

Download the report here. 

This activity was financed by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) of the United States Department of State. 

For more information please contact Chiara Masi at IOM Paraguay, Tel: + (595) 985 43 03 46, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 18:17Image: Region-Country: ParaguayThemes: Migration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM team conducting the Flow Monitoring Survey among Venezuelans in Paraguay. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Works with South Korean Multinationals to Promote Ethical Recruitment in Global Supply Chains

Tue, 09/24/2019 - 12:17

Seoul – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in the Republic of Korea (ROK) has hosted a workshop to promote ethical recruitment in global supply chains among Korean multinationals.  

The workshop in Seoul, Promotion of Ethical Recruitment for Business in ROK for Better Market Opportunities attracted 22 participants from 17 South Korean multinational enterprises. 

The event was the second held this year to encourage Korean multinationals to implement ethical recruitment models that protect migrant workers employed by their suppliers, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.  

An earlier IOM seminar in February raised awareness among Korean companies of the risks of modern slavery in global supply chains and the associated reputational risk for multinationals.  

“Enterprises used to react to such human rights allegations, putting in corrective measures after the fact. But there are now tools available to help enterprises to manage the risk before it strikes. These include CREST – Corporate Responsibility in Eliminating Slavery and Trafficking (CREST) – an IOM-developed initiative to promote ethical recruitment,” IOM Viet Nam official Anastasia Vynnychenko told workshop participants. 

“ROK is the HQ of many globally renowned multinationals with a major economic and financial footprint around the world. These enterprises can play an important role in promoting ethical recruitment. This includes promoting the ‘Employer Pays Principle’, which requires employers to cover all the recruitment costs of their workers, reducing the risk of both exploitation and heavy indebtedness,” said IOM ROK Head of Office Miah Park. 

The workshop was part of an IOM Development Fund-supported project: Enhancing Industry Capacity to Implement Ethical Recruitment Models in Viet Nam and Nepal to Protect Migrant Workers in South Korean Business Supply Chains.   

For more information please contact Youlan No, IOM Republic of Korea, Tel: +82 70 4820 2750, Email:

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 18:15Image: Region-Country: Republic of KoreaThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

South Korean multinationals increasingly recognize the importance of ethical recruitment in their supply chains. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

With US and Canadian Support, IOM Strengthens the Haitian National Border Police

Tue, 09/24/2019 - 12:15

Port au Prince – The Governments of the United States of America and Canada confirmed this week their continued financial support towards the International Organization for Migration (IOM)’s work in the deployment of the Haitian Border Police (POLIFRONT). The additional funding from both governments amount to a total of USD 4.7 million, allowing for the full deployment of POLIFRONT at all of Haiti’s official border crossing points.  

With this confirmed funding (USD 2.3 million) from the US State Department’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law (INL) Enforcement Affairs and (CAD 3 million) from the Government of Canada’s Peace and Stabilization Operations Program (PSOP), IOM will be able to support the Haitian National Police in establishing a permanent presence at the two remaining official border crossing points of Malpasse and Belladere, to be completed by 2021. This is the third grant that has been awarded to IOM to support POLIFRONT in the fight against transnational crime at the border.  

According to the Director of POLIFRONT, Commissioner Marc Justin, “The technical and financial support of the American and Canadian governments for the establishment of the border police in Haiti is a testimony not only to the effectiveness of cooperation in the fight against transnational organized crime, but also to their determination without borders to combat transnational crimes. The POLIFRONT is grateful to you.” 

With four official and 96 unofficial border crossing points, the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic is extremely porous and allow for the proliferation of illegal activities, such as trafficking and smuggling of migrants, contraband, and other forms of illicit trafficking.  

PSOP and INL started funding IOM in 2017 to support the deployment of the first border police unit in Haiti. After the successful deployment of 110 officers in January 2018 at the border crossing point of Ouanaminthe (North-East Department), INL and PSOP continued supporting IOM in 2018-2019 to set-up a new POLIFRONT base in Anse-a-Pitres (South Department).  

The main activities of this IOM intervention include construction or rehabilitation of POLIFRONT bases, support in the provision of vehicles, uniforms, patrolling and communication equipment, as well as capacity building to POLIFRONT officers through targeted trainings on checkpoint techniques, identification of false documentation, migrants’ rights, child protection and gender. 

With only one year and a half of operations, POLIFRONT already demonstrated a clear impact on the field by arresting more than 50 migrant smugglers and 30 suspected human traffickers and referring over 120 suspected victims of trafficking and 250 unaccompanied minors to the protection authorities. In total, between January 2018 and August 2019, no less than 175 individuals were arrested, and more than a thousand victims were assisted or referred to local social services. 

This additional financial contribution represents the acknowledgement of two key IOM Haiti partners on the importance of the Haitian police unit, which is delivering concrete and impressive results and will guarantee greater security and stability in the country. 

“We are confident that this action, along with complementary projects at the border, will contribute to improve the security between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, and therefore reduce the impact of trafficking affecting the most vulnerable migrants. Both contributions reinforce IOM Haiti capacities in border management and migrant protection, and our support to Government’s partners in these domains,” said Giuseppe Loprete, Chief of Mission at IOM Haiti. 

For more information please contact Emily Bauman at IOM Haiti, Tel +509 3783 5424, Email: 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, September 24, 2019 - 18:12Image: Region-Country: HaitiThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Between January 2018 and August 2019, more than a thousand victims of human trafficking and migrant smuggling were assisted or referred to local social services by POLIFRONT. Photo: IOM / Olivier Tenes 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Responds to Flood Emergency Affecting 346,000 Sudanese

Mon, 09/23/2019 - 12:25

Every year, floods and emergencies related to seasonal climatic shocks damage crops and infrastructure in Sudan, displacing thousands of people especially those most vulnerable. The rains bring life in the form of nutrition from essential food crops, but also terror.

‘’Despite its importance for the agricultural season I prayed for the rain to stop,’’ elderly farmer Haj Abker, told IOM.

The 70-year-old is today an internally displaced person, having fled Rigl Mor village due to violence. Haj Abker settled with the families of his two married daughters in Ardamat IDP Camp in West Darfur looking for security and safety. But floods swept through their tent, as they did thousands of others in Sudan.

Nearly 346,300 people have been affected by heavy rains and flash floods across 16 states in Sudan as of September 2019 according to the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC).

So far in September, approximately 41,514 homes have been destroyed and 27,742 have been damaged. Heavy rains are expected to continue and worsen in the coming weeks in River Nile, Red Sea, Al Jazeera, White Nile, North Kordofan, North Darfur and Khartoum States. As of 17 September 2019, six people have died of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) / Cholera, and at least 94 cases have been reported.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has responded to the needs of 2,513 households thus far, providing core relief items and emergency shelter in North Darfur, South Darfur, West Darfur and South Kordofan, as well as the urgent sanitation and hygiene needs of thousands of others. IOM also conducted hygiene and health promotion campaigns and conducted rehabilitation work to two water pumps to ensure access to clean water.

“IOM Sudan is mobilized. Since June 2019, we have provided assistance to a total of 11,304 beneficiaries by responding to some of the most critical water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) gaps and needs in Tawilla, North Darfur, and across various locations in South Darfur,” explained IOM Sudan Chief of Mission, Catherine Northing.

“Using funds from the UN CERF and OFDA of the United States we will respond to some of the needs in Ardamata IDP camp in West Darfur, but unfortunately the needs are greater than our resources to respond,” she added.

With support from the OFDA-funded Rapid Response Fund (RRF) programme, and in coordination with OFDA and NGO partners, IOM is currently finalizing critical emergency shelter, provision of relief items, WASH, and Health projects to provide life-saving assistance to flood-affected populations in locations including White Nile, North Kordofan, Kassala and North Darfur states.

Through generous contribution from European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), IOM will be responding to the urgent needs of 5,000 households (approximately 25,000 individuals) by providing relief items and emergency shelter. To mitigate the risks of disease outbreaks, IOM will improve access to safe water through the distribution of 1,000 water filters, chlorine tablets, and the rehabilitation of at least two hand pumps.  Hygiene awareness campaigns will also be conducted and coupled with a distribution of 500 hygiene kits and ensuring a safer environment for flood affected communities through cleaning campaigns.

“Many shelters were destroyed in the camp, including mine. We had no roof to protect us from the rain, not enough blankets to keep us warm,” said Jamila, a 45-year-old mother of six. “When IOM gave us the plastic sheet, I began working diligently to build a more durable shelter. Plastic sheets are now reinforcing our shelter made from mud bricks and grass”.

IOM has also distributed in the months of August and September non-food Items and emergency shelters to 2,513 households affected by floods in four different states: North Darfur, South Darfur, West Darfur and South Kordofan.

The life-threatening damage caused by the floods this year is reflected in the large number of affected populations that are in urgent need of assistance. Additional funding for the response is needed and would allow IOM and its network of NGO partners to address additional critical needs and lessen the gap in coverage.

Planned activities


  • Through European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) IOM Sudan will provide Non-Food Items and Emergency shelters in three different locations and to serve 5,000 Households.
  • Additionally, IOM is planning to mitigate the risks of disease outbreaks by improving access to safe water through the distribution of 1000 water filters, chlorine tablets, and the rehabilitation of at least two hand pumps, and by improving hygiene practices through hygiene awareness campaigns, the distribution of 500 hygiene kits and ensuring a safer environment for flood affected communities through cleaning campaigns.
  • Through U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) fund IOM Sudan will cover some gaps of the flood affected populations in Sudan and IOM will distribute Non-Food items to cover 6,000 households or an estimated 30,000 individuals. IOM Sudan has also managed the OFDA-funded Rapid Response Fund (RRF) program since 2013, which is proving critical to the Sudan Mission’s overall flood response. The RRF program allows for quick and flexible disbursement of funds by IOM to NGO partners throughout Sudan to respond to natural and man-made disasters, including floods and disease outbreaks. RRF, in coordination with NGO partners and OFDA, is currently finalizing critical emergency shelter, NFI, WASH and Health projects to provide life-saving assistance to flood-affected populations. Thus far, locations of intervention include White Nile, North Kordofan, Kassala and North Darfur states, and is quickly expanding into additional states.
  • IOM is also in the process of securing Sudan Humanitarian Fund (SHF) Reserve funding for emergencies to purchase emergency WASH items to provide life-saving interventions to the most vulnerable communities affected by the floods and those at risk of disease outbreaks in North Darfur, West Darfur, White Nile and Blue Nile.


IOM has also distributed in the months of August and September Non-food Items and Emergency Shelters to 2,513 households affected by floods in four different states: North Darfur, South Darfur, West Darfur and South Kordofan.

“Many shelters were destroyed in the camp, including mine. We had no roof to protect us from the rain, not enough blankets to keep us warm” said Jamila, a 45-year-old mother of six. “When IOM gave us the plastic sheet, I began working diligently to build a more durable shelter. Plastic sheets are now reinforcing our shelter made from mud bricks and grass”.

For more information please contact: AbedElQader Garaibeh – IOM Sudan – email: 


Language English Posted: Monday, September 23, 2019 - 12:15Image: Region-Country: SudanThemes: Migration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Seasonal floods plague Sudan yearly, often resulting in emergencies with widespread destruction.  Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM-Sponsored Plant Turns Plastic Waste to Learning Tools, While LPG Stoves Save Forests from Destruction

Sun, 09/22/2019 - 10:02

Cox's Bazar—The onset in 2017 of a refugee emergency from neighboring Myanmar carried with it  potential environmental chaos in Bangladesh—not just from the families who would be stripping firewood from virgin forest, but also from the rapid accumulation of mountains of plastic waste.

Today, with nearly a million refugees housed near the Myanmar border, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is helping Bangladesh face both challenges. A new recycling plant turns discarded plastic bags, beverage bottles and other packaging into colorful building blocks for children.

Meanwhile IOM has joined forces with the World Food Program and Food and Agricultural Organisation to distribute cookstoves fueled by liquid petroleum gas (LPG) to remove families’ need to harvest firewood from tropical forests.

Cox’s Bazar, situated on Bangladesh’s coastline, suffers from a problem afflicting many of the world’s oceans: plastic waste. The same bags, straws and cups that are tossed aside at cafes and parks are washed onto beaches everywhere. They also end up everywhere: from the bellies of turtles to the shores of isolated islands. With so many refugees housed nearby, the plastics scourge is even more serious here, as it chokes waterways and roads in and around the refugee camps.

To confront this challenge, an ingenious plan to convert waste into a useful learning tool was launched under an IOM-funded project. Every month, a plastic waste recycling plant collects thousands of pounds of discarded plastic in a modest facility located near the refugee camps. Staff from the local community clean and prepare the waste; separating out compostable matter. The plastic then is fed into a shredding machine that renders the plastic into flakes.

Those flakes then are melted under high-temperature--250 degrees Celsius—and converted into chips that go into a mold, out of which come cubical blocks bearing alphabet letters that help children learn to read.

“It is essentially taking something harmful and ugly and turning it into something constructive that builds a foundation for education,” explained Manuel Pereira, IOM’s Deputy Chief of Mission here. “IOM is proud to have created space for this innovative project; especially at a time when fighting plastic pollution is an absolute priority globally. Its fighting plastic waste and illiteracy.”

Six local staff now work at the plant full time. Teams of volunteers bring plastic waste to the facility for processing. The plant’s current capacity is about 100 pounds per day; a figure that is expected to grow. The project is the first humanitarian plastic treatment plant of its kind in Bangladesh.

“The source materials we use are things like bags and what would be considered low quality plastic,” says Kazi Rashed Hyder, programme manager of IOM’s implementing partner, Practical Action. “But this actually works in our favour because low quality plastic is easier to process and melts at a lower point.”

Practical Action says the facility operates like much larger commercial recyclers in Bangladesh’s capital, Dhaka. Long term, the plan is to demonstrate that the model works and as a viable business.

As the operation scales up, it will move out of just learning materials and into plastic cartons for sale in the local markets. While addressing the obvious environmental impact of plastic, the plant has positive health side effects. Discarded plastic cups and bottles act as rain catchers in this tropical region noted for dengue fever and malaria. Mosquitoes breed in the plastic containers and spread disease to an already vulnerable population. “Unfortunately – there is no shortage of plastic to keep the plant running,” said Pereira.

Pereira explained the initiative comes alongside a project to provide LPG gas to refugees and the host community to reduce wood cutting, while reforesting the area with native species.

Last week (19 September) IOM joined two United Nations agencies to expand distributions of gas stoves and LPG in Cox’s Bazar. LPG was distributed to 14,000 people who are also participating in the World Food Programme’s livelihoods programme.

The distributions are a joint initiative between IOM, WFP, and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO) in operation as the SAFE Plus programme, since 2018. SAFE Plus tackles deforestation while simultaneously restoring deforested areas.

“Thousands of Bangladeshis have benefitted from LPG and we continue to build on its successes. IOM is in Bangladesh for the long haul, and we look forward to reaching more host community members through this initiative,” said IOM’s Pereira.

Along with the distribution of LPG to stop trees being cut down for firewood, so far almost 80 hectares of land has been reforested around Cox’s Bazar. Indigenous species are being planted to help restore the damaged environment and help conserve the endangered species in the region.

Khaleda Begum received her stove and LPG on Thursday, nine months into her two-year livelihoods training. She says the LPG will be a welcome addition to her home, improving health and making cooking easier.

“I am feeling good about receiving this today because it will help me cook,” she said after the distribution.

“My husband currently spends a lot of time working so we can have firewood and when the kids come into our home they are affected by the smoke from the cooking. 

More than 700 people received the stoves and LPGs last week. Distributions will continue throughout the month to reach the 14,000 people.

For more information, please contact George McLeod, IOM Bangladesh, Tel: +880 18 7071 8078, Email

Language English Posted: Sunday, September 22, 2019 - 09:59Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Migration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Deplores Death of Migrant, Killed Thursday upon Disembarkation in Tripoli

Fri, 09/20/2019 - 10:46

Geneva - A Sudanese Migrant died from a bullet wound Thursday, hours after being returned to shore by the Libyan Coast Guard. The International Organization for Migration (IOM), whose staff witnessed the tragedy, strongly condemns the migrant's death.

The tragedy occurred at Abusitta Disembarkation point in Tripoli as many of the 103 migrants returned to shore were resisting being sent back to detention centers. IOM staff, who were on the scene to provide aid to migrants, report that armed men began shooting in the air when several migrants tried to run away from their guards.

The migrant was struck by a bullet in the stomach. Despite immediately receiving medical aid on the spot by an IOM doctor and then being transferred to a nearby clinic — he died two hours after admission.

“This was tragedy waiting to happen,” said IOM Spokesperson Leonard Doyle.  “The use of live bullets against unarmed vulnerable civilians, men, women and children alike, is unacceptable under any circumstances and raises alarms over the safety of migrants and humanitarian staff. The IOM calls upon Libyan authorities to conduct a thorough investigation of this incident and those found responsible to be brought to justice,” he stated.

The death is a stark reminder of the grim conditions faced by migrants picked up by the Coast Guard after paying smugglers to take them to Europe, only to find themselves put into detention centers, whose conditions have been condemned by IOM and the UN.

This tragedy comes two months after 53 migrants, among them six minors, were killed in an airstrike on the Tajoura detention centre. That facility remains operational to this day, despite persistent calls to end the arbitrary detention of migrants. IOM believes alternatives to detention must be found.

Some 5,000 migrant women, children, and men remain detained in inhumane conditions in Libya. Over 3,000 are detained in areas of active conflict where they are at heightened risk.

While IOM continues to provide humanitarian assistance to vulnerable and conflict-affected persons across Libya, the increasing reports of abuse and human trafficking from detention centres are truly alarming.

Concern over the humanitarian situation in Libya must now be transformed into immediate action. All sides must act to put an end to the suffering of civilians in Libya, especially detained migrants.

For more information, please contact Safa Msehli, IOM Geneva Tel.: + 41 76 613 3175 Email: Or Leonard Doyle, IOM Geneva, Tel. +41-792 85 7123, Email:

Language English Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019 - 16:50Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM doctor providing medical assistance to migrants upon disembarkation @IOM Libya 2019 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Offers Real-Time Information for People Displaced by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas

Fri, 09/20/2019 - 10:46

Nassau – Almost three weeks after Hurricane Dorian decimated Abaco and Grand Bahamas islands, almost 2,000 persons evacuated from these islands remain in shelters in New Providence, a few kilometres west of Nassau. Many more are temporarily accommodated with family and friends. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is exploring with the government of The Bahamas the implementation of a cloud-based system which can be used to facilitate shelter management and family reunification.

“After a disaster like Hurricane Dorian, reliable information is one of the most critical components of response and recovery efforts.  Sadly, as the pressure builds to address humanitarian needs, it is often overlooked,” said Jan-Willem Wegdam, IOM team leader in The Bahamas. “To ensure that IOM implements efficient and relevant programmes, the emergency response team has engaged in several dialogues with government officials, local NGOs and other international humanitarian partners to exchange ideas and finalise project concepts.”

On Wednesday, 18 September, IOM staff in Nassau met with representatives of the Department of Social Services – the institution in charge of managing government-run shelters. During the meeting, the Government officials outlined their current information management practices and shared the needs of the institution in that regard.  Thereafter, IOM presented methodologies and products to support the ministry with managing information on evacuees and other displaced individuals and their needs. 

One such product was the Integrated Shelter Registration System (SIRA) – an electronic system used to connect Government approved collective centres under a single cloud-based system which can be used to facilitate shelter management.  If implemented, the system would allow the department to generate real-time report on the status and needs of the population living in collective centres.

“Capturing that type of data is important because the population in the collective centres is changing constantly,” IOM Information Management and Research Officer, David Morales, said. “So updated information is fundamental to support the humanitarian response of all the partners."  Following the meeting, IOM has shared a detailed proposal for a comprehensive data collection strategy to be implemented over the next few months in support of recovery and rehabilitation efforts.

Considering how the exchange of information between humanitarian partners, officials, emergency managers and those impacted by Hurricane Dorian, is so vital, IOM on Thursday (19 September), met with the Ministry of Financial Services, Trade & Industry and Immigration.  The dialogue was considered as an opportunity to start what will hopefully be a long-lasting conversation between the Government and IOM, as well as the rest of the humanitarian community, on challenges and options to address the needs of affected persons of Haitian descent, in both regular and irregular status.

“Challenges and issues related to migration status and cultural diversity have already come up as part of people’s access to all forms of assistance in the aftermath of the hurricane” said Lorenzo Guadagno, manager of IOM’s MICIC (Migrants in Countries in Crisis) capacity building activities, “anticipating and addressing them will be essential to successful response and recovery for the migrants as well as for the whole community.”

For more information please contact Vynliz Dailey in the Bahamas, Email:, Tel +1 (767) 615-6681.

Language English Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019 - 16:45Image: Region-Country: BahamasThemes: Disaster Risk ReductionDefault: Multimedia: 

Category 5 Hurricane Dorian left 52 death and 1,300 missing persons in The Bahamas. Thousands were evacuated to Nassau and neighboring locations, where they remain in temporary shelters. IOM is offering the roll out of its Integrated Shelter Registration System (SIRA) to facilitate shelter management and family reunification. Photo: IOM/Jorge Gallo 

Category 5 Hurricane Dorian left 52 death and 1,300 missing persons in The Bahamas. Thousands were evacuated to Nassau and neighboring locations, where they remain in temporary shelters. IOM is offering the roll out of its Integrated Shelter Registration System (SIRA) to facilitate shelter management and family reunification. Photo: IOM/Jorge Gallo 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Decades-Old Conflict Over Water in Yemeni Village Comes to an End

Fri, 09/20/2019 - 10:46

Lahj – More than 20 million people in Yemen are food insecure and water is a scarce resource, with access further restricted by over four years of conflict. This is especially challenging for farmers who depend on water for a good harvest.  Through support from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in partnership with the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), access to water has been improved for Yemeni farmers living across nearly 4,000 acres of agricultural land in the coastal governorate of Lahj.

In the area of Al Faradha, improved access to water for 2,000 farmers, as reported by the local community, has also meant an end to a 37-year-old local conflict.

In 1982, a large flood surged into Al Faradha causing great damage to an irrigation channel used by local farmers, who solely depended on rain passing through the channel to irrigate their farms. When the channel was damaged, many of them were deprived of access to water for their farms.

“The farms were nourished with water, the crops were abundant, and the farms were green, but when the flood destroyed the channel, farmers could not irrigate their lands and stopped farming,” explained Sami Saleh, the Secretary General of the Water User Association in Al Faradha. Years of fighting have meant that there are little resources available for the maintenance to public infrastructure like irrigation channels, and in a country like Yemen where7.4 million people require services to treat or prevent malnutrition, ensuring that farmers can grow crops is of paramount importance.

In a desperate attempt to irrigate their lands, farmers in Al Faradha changed the path of the channel by connecting it to other nearby main channels, diverting the water flow. The detour, while increasing access for some farmers, decreased the water flow to the farmlands of others. The flow became too little and was shared by too many farms, and upstream in the channel flooding would take place with the excess watering running into the sea and being lost by the community. The farmers livelihoods were heavily affected, and a dispute arose between more than 500 farmers from Al Faradha and others living in nearby areas. A dispute that lasted for nearly 30 years.

Through funding from the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund, IOM partnered with FAO to support the community in Al Faradha solve their long running water access issues. The UN organizations worked with the local Water User Association to kick start the process. The three partners met the parties involved in the local conflict to understand their issues and work together on possible solutions.

“This is truly a community-led project, with IOM and FAO merely listening to the community about their needs and problems and facilitating them in addressing their water access issues,” said Abeer Aboras, a member of IOM’s team in Yemen. “It’s also important to note that women, who work side-by-side with men in farms or are often heads of rural households, had an essential role in resolving Al Faradha’s water access problems,” added Aboras.

Before this project, the Al Faradha Water User Association, established in 2004, had never included any women on its board. During the project, the Association members came to believe in the positive impact of including women in conflict resolution. To work specifically on resolving the water conflict, IOM established a Conflict Resolution Committee (CRC) in Al Faradha, which consisted of two women and two men to begin negotiations in order to come up with a solution.

The Association and Committee, with local farmers, decided to build a dam to stop the water from flowing away from local farmlands, reconstruct water gates and remove sediment from the channel to increase its capacity to contain more water.

“The water is enough water for everyone living off these irrigation channels now, so the dispute subsided between the farmers, and their agricultural productivity has increased greatly,” added Thamer Bin Shoa’ib, an IOM Yemen Field Engineer, who worked with the community in Al Faradha.

Today, an IOM partner supervises the operation of the dam, ensuring every farm gets its fair share of water.

IOM and FAO implemented this UN Peace Building Fund project in both Sana’a and Lahj governorates. As a result of the project, thousands of farmers have improved access to water through rehabilitated irrigation channels in seven sites throughout Lahj governorate’s Turban Valley, with around 400 people from local communities employed during the construction work.

The irrigation channel rehabilitations have not only assisted farmers in rebuilding their livelihoods and given vulnerable households an income but helped communities end age-old local conflicts.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon in IOM Sana’a, Tel: +967730552233, Email:

  Language English Posted: Friday, September 20, 2019 - 16:40Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: ShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM and FAO support communities in Yemen to rehabilitate irrigation channels and solve long-running local conflicts over water access. Photo: IOM 

IOM and FAO support communities in Yemen to rehabilitate irrigation channels and solve long-running local conflicts over water access. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN