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Updated: 17 min 34 sec ago

Vulnerable Migrants, Conflict-affected Yemenis to Benefit from Enhanced Humanitarian Support

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 10:58

Sana’a – Today (15/08), IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and partners are announcing three new major interagency humanitarian programmes in Yemen targeting 255,354 people, including stranded vulnerable migrants and conflict-affected people. 

More than two years of conflict has devastated Yemen leaving 18.8 million people in need of assistance and protection, including 10.3 million who are in acute need of live-saving support. The protracted conflict is rapidly pushing the country towards social, economic and institutional collapse.

As of 15 August, 1,980,510 people are displaced within the country, 7 per cent of Yemen's total population. Some 946,044 people have returned to their areas of origin, 84 per cent of whom returned to 33 districts, out of 333. 

Acute protection and assistance challenges have been identified by IOM and partners in Aden, Lahj, Taiz, Sa’ada and Sana’a Governorates, including increased cases of human trafficking. Some 101,680 Yemenis affected by the enduring conflict in those areas, including internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and host community members, will receive medical assistance, including cholera treatment, from IOM and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC). Through this programme, 3,600 children will be vaccinated.  

Over 30,000 Yemeni children, their families and members of host communities will receive psychosocial support. This programme will provide reintegration support to children. Children affected by or vulnerable to gender-based violence or human trafficking will also be supported through the programme.

Government authorities estimate that the total population of refugees, asylum seekers (300,000–400,000) and migrants in Yemen could reach as high as 1.7 million to 2 million people. Often unaware of the extreme dangers facing them and sold false ideas by smugglers, an estimated 10,000 migrants enter war-torn Yemen each month with the hopes of reaching the Gulf countries. Since the start of this year, IOM estimates that around 55,000 migrants left the Horn of Africa, mostly from Ethiopia and to a lesser extend Somalia, to come to Yemen. The majority of arrivals are in dire need of basic humanitarian assistance and protection.

IOM will be partnering with the Danish Refugee Council, NRC, Handicap International and Intersos to implement a large programme providing 96,275 vulnerable migrants with emergency support. Over the next three years, vital assistance will be provided to sick and injured migrants, migrants with special needs, victims of human trafficking and migrants in detention.   

The enhanced humanitarian programming will cover Lahj, Taiz, Aden, Abyan, Shabwah, Sana’a, Al Hudaydah, Sa’ada, Hajjah, and Al Jawf Governorates. Assistance projects will be developed in locations along the south and western coast where migrants arrive in Yemen, as well as along migration routes through the country. Some 57,399 Yemenis living on the route will be provided with water, sanitation and hygiene support. These host communities will also be targeted with campaigns on migrants’ rights aiming to mitigate possible conflict with migrants due to competition over increasingly scarce resources.

Local authorities, such as ministerial officials, border and prison authorities, the coast guard, health authorities and representatives of countries of origin, transit and destination, will also receive training in effective and dignified migration management. 

IOM will expand its displacement tracking to monitor movement and the needs of people throughout the whole country. The Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) will monitor internal displacements, returnees and migrants’ movements, and locations.

To be implemented in partnership with the Government of Yemen, civil society organizations and other UN agencies, the three programmes aim to identify and reduce the vulnerabilities of conflict-affected displaced people, host communities and migrants in Yemen, as well as reducing their morbidity, mortality and suffering. 

These new programmes are funded by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 16:53Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

At the Al Sab’een Hospital in Sana’a, Yemen, a doctor checks on a girl suffering from cholera. Photo: UNICEF/Fuad

IOM teams assist vulnerable internally displaced (IDP) households with shelter and non-food relief items in Aden and Abyan governorates. File photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2015

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, Japan Hand Over New Water Purification Facility in Sierra Leone

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 10:53
Language English

Freetown – IOM, the UN Migration Agency and the Government of Japan last week (10/08) handed over the first water purification facility in Sierra Leone to the resettled community of Mile 6, Koya Rural.

The facility, located about 50 kilometers outside Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital, will provide safe drinking water to the population resettled at Mile 6 in the aftermath of the flash floods that ravaged Freetown in September 2015.

Those floods caused widespread property damage and displaced thousands from their homes.

In Sierra Leone, “40 per cent of 30,000 hand pumps and boreholes are not functioning due to lack of maintenance and spare parts,” an official of the Sierra Leonean Ministry of Water Resources explained.

The plant would improve the inhabitants’ well-being by addressing the problem of inadequate sanitary facility. Hitherto, the inhabitants have relied on using water fetched from unprotected wells and running streams located miles away from their settlement.

Prior to being launched in Sierra Leone, the water purification plant had been tested for feasibility in Tanzania and successfully introduced by IOM in Somalia. The water plant uses the same component, Poly Glu, to convert dirty and polluted water to safe and good quality water for human consumption. Poly Glu is a ‘coagulant’ that attracts the dirt and takes it to the bottom. As a result, the clean drinkable water will be on top. The plant is simple, safe and effective to utilize for small-scale treatment of drinking water. The water produced using this system has been certified as safe for drinking by the Sierra Leone Ministry of Water Resources.

Commenting on the sustainability of the project, Sanusi Savage, IOM Sierra Leone Head of Office, said, “Water is life. From this moment on, I would like to encourage the leadership of this community to take ownership of this facility and sustain it for the sake of our children.”

Margaret S. Kargbo, Deputy Chairperson of the Western Area Rural District Council, highlighted the importance of women’s leadership for maintaining the water treatment facility because of their strategic role at home as well as in the community.

The plants are part of the project, Strengthening Disaster Preparedness and Response in Sierra Leone. IOM installed the water plants in collaboration with the Office of National Security (ONS), through funding provided by the Government of Japan. The four other water plants are scheduled to be operational within six months.

For more information, please contact:
Sanusi Savage, IOM Freetown, Tel: +232 99606066, Email: ssavage@iom.int or Brima Bendu, Tel: +232 76530884, Email: bbendu@iom.int or Yuki Daizumoto, Tel: +232 99606066, Email: ydaizumoto@iom.int  

Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 16:49Image: Region-Country: Sierra LeoneThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsMigration HealthMigration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentDefault: 
Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Proposes New Integrated Approach to Reintegration of Migrants

Tue, 08/15/2017 - 10:48

Geneva - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, published today (15/08) a paper outlining a new approach to support sustainable reintegration of migrants following their return home. The Integrated Approach towards Reintegration in the Context of Return recognizes the complexity of factors that affect returning migrants at the individual, community and structural levels.

Each year, IOM assists migrants in their voluntary return process. In 2016 alone, 98,403 returnees received support from IOM. The integrated approach proposes that facilitating sustainable reintegration should include supporting returning migrants in reaching not only economic self-sufficiency back home, but also social stability within their communities and psychosocial well-being so that they can better help returning migrants cope with possible (re)migration drivers. The integrated approach offers recommendations for policy and programmatic interventions. It also calls on all relevant stakeholders in the areas of migration management, development cooperation and humanitarian assistance to work together.

“Return is at times mistakenly oversimplified. While some migrants go back to welcoming and reintegrate in a smooth manner, many present vulnerabilities and face challenges they cannot overcome on their own,” said Nicola Graviano, Senior Specialist at IOM’s Migrant Assistance Division (MAD) in IOM Headquarters in Geneva. “The coordinated efforts of actors with different mandates and priorities are necessary to ensure that individual needs are addressed and that communities and countries of return have the capacities to provide an environment conducive to successful reintegration,” added Graviano.

Through the paper outlining the approach, IOM intends to contribute to the debate surrounding the topics of return and reintegration, and to broaden the scope of its interventions in these areas. The paper presents thematic expertise on one of the core themes of the 2018 Global Compact for Migration.

To read, ‘Towards the Integrated Approach to Reintegration in Context of Return’, please click here.

For more information on IOM’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programmes, please click here.

For more information, please contact IOM HQ in Geneva:
Karolina Krelinova, Tel: +41 22 717 9585, Email: kkrelinova@iom.int or Jorge Galindo, Tel: +41 22 717 95205, Email: jgalindo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 16:41Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationMigration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

German Chancellor Meets Heads of UN Migration and Refugee Agencies to Discuss Migration

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 11:50

Berlin – German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, on Friday (11/8), met with William Lacy Swing, United Nations Migration Agency (IOM) Director General and Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Berlin to discuss international migration. The conversation mainly focused on the situation for migrants in Libya.

“Each time I am in Germany, I am impressed with the responsible manner in which the Federal Republic is managing the migration challenge,” said Director General Swing. “Germany’s migrant and refugee policy approach is something of which the German people can rightfully be proud, especially as it stands in stark contrast to so many others. Germany continues to be very generous and flexible in support for humanitarian and life-saving activities in Libya.”

The meeting comes at a crucial time when there are different migratory flows moving through and towards Libya, driven by underdevelopment, state fragility, marginalization and security threats in West Africa, East Africa and the Middle East. The migration situation is compounded by political insecurity and conflict in Libya, which is further exacerbating existing vulnerabilities of all affected communities in the country, including Libyans themselves. Fostering a stable environment to bring about a much-needed holistic approach to migration governance is now a priority. 

Although there have been some improvements in the situation in Libya over the past few months, the security situation in the country still remains dire, with only marginal improvements, for all of its residents – Libyans and migrants and refugees.

All three parties to the meeting welcomed Fayez Mustafa al-Sarraj’s, the Chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya and Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord of Libya, call promise of efforts to achieve peace and reconciliation. They also underscored the critical importance of the international community returning to Libya as their presence, in itself, would serve as a stabilizing element.

IOM has 200 staff in all parts of Libya, supporting migrants and the Government in a comprehensive manner. IOM in April launched a three-year Action Plan for Libya with two key objectives. The first is to provide evidence based humanitarian assistance and protection to both displaced Libyans and migrants. The second objective is to stabilize Libyan communities, as well as to build Libyan capacities in migration management. IOM has also assisted more than 6000 migrants to return home voluntarily from Tripoli (with a target of 12,000 to 15,000 this year) and some 3,000 from its way station at Agadez in neighbouring Niger.

For more information, please contact Sabine Lehmann at IOM Germany, Tel. +49 30 278 778 17 Email: slehmann@iom.int or Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int

 

Language English Posted: Monday, August 14, 2017 - 17:30Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

From left: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and UN Migration Agency (IOM) Director General William Lacy Swing meeting in Berlin on 11 August 2017, to discuss international migration. Photo: Federal Government of Germany / Jesco Denzel 2017

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Trauma Experienced by West African Migrants Highlighted in UN Migration Agency Report

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 10:27
Language English

Niamey – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has released a new report, via its Niger office, profiling migrants passing through its transit centres in West Africa.

The report, funded by the European Union, is based on more than 6,000 voluntary testimonies collected in 2016 from the migrants IOM assisted at its five transit centres across Niger and on analysis by the IOM Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) in Berlin.

The report reveals widespread misinformation (or lack of information) about what awaits migrants on their journeys and the living conditions in countries of temporary residence, particularly Libya.

In Niger, IOM offers migrants information about the potential risks of irregular migration through its community mobilizers and EU-funded orientation offices in Agadez, Arlit and Dirkou.

One of the main highlights of the report are the risks that many of these migrants who embark on this route face during their journeys through the desert and their stay in Algeria, Libya or Niger. More than 60 per cent of the migrants who resided in either Libya or Algeria testified to having been subject to various types of violent or abusive treatments. Physical violence as well as different types of threats and psychological abuse were the types of ill treatment most frequently reported by migrants.

The report aims to contribute to a better understanding of recent migration trends and experiences from West and Central Africa to North Africa. This information will improve IOM’s programme and policy responses to protect migrants in vulnerable situations and address the challenges of irregular migration and migrant smuggling.

The full report, 2016 Migrant Profiling Report, can be accessed here. The questions were designed around socio-demographic information, vulnerability status, migratory intentions, migratory journey and economic opportunities.

Most of the migrants were West African nationals who arrived in IOM transit centres, having resided in Algeria or Libya, largely with the intention of returning to their countries of origin.

In terms of socio-demographic profiles, 93 per cent of the migrants were male, while 72 per cent of the migrants were between 18–29 years old. Almost half of the migrants assisted across the four transit centres in 2016 came from Guinea (24 per cent) and Senegal (21 per cent).

The majority of women assisted came from Niger (36 per cent) and Nigeria (27 per cent) and most of them had been residing in Niger before arriving at IOM’s transit centres.

The interviews bring evidence of the lack of economic opportunities for many West and Central African migrants. Almost 90 per cent of the migrants interviewed reported they left their countries of origin in search of better livelihood opportunities and, contrary to the 2014 trend when most of the profiled migrants had no education, 60 per cent of the migrants interviewed across the four transit centres declared they had received some type of formal education.

Among those who experienced abuse, more than one in three in Libya or Algeria were subject to violent treatment, and more than one in three in Niger said they faced a number of threats and psychological violence. Other common types of abuses were food deprivation, confiscation of salary, confiscation of money, or restriction of movement.

“Migrants take this journey in the hope of finding a better life and to support their families back home,” IOM Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism (MRRM) Programme Manager, Alberto Preato, declared. “We must put ourselves in their shoes and imagine how the lack of opportunities back home is pushing them to take tremendous risks, and how difficult it is to make their way back,” he stressed.

The number of migrants assisted in 2016 was the highest recorded in three years, a three-fold increase compared to 2014. This is not only an indication of IOM’s efforts to expand its assistance activities in the country, but also may be an indication that return flows, particularly from Libya, are on the rise, due to the exacerbation of violence and the greater dangers faced by migrants residing in the country.

Although the report highlights the harsh realities of this route, it also shows that after what they experienced, 68 per cent of the migrants who had taken this route had no intention of continuing their migratory journeys.

All migrants profiled in the report were assisted by IOM Niger in 2016 through the assisted voluntary return and reintegration programme.

Several migrant testimonies are available to read here and here.

For more information, please contact Alberto Preato at IOM Niger, Tel: +227 8053 5933, Email: apreato@iom.int.

Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 - 15:48Image: Region-Country: NigerDefault: Multimedia: 

Dirkou Transit Centre, Agadez Region, Niger. Photo: Monica Chiriac / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

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Mosul Crisis: Population Movement Analysis Report Published - IOM

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 10:26

Erbil – The IOM Iraq Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) has published its latest in-depth report: Mosul Crisis: Population Movement Analysis, tabulating the chronological population movements – especially displacement and returns – that have occurred in northern Iraq since the beginning of the Mosul military operations to 29 June.

The report, published this week, contextualizes an overview of the displacement history preceding the military operations and then the dislocation and return movements of Iraqis during the Mosul crisis.

Based on the DTM cumulatively, 1,084,134 individuals (180,689 families) have been displaced from both East and West Mosul as of 10 August 2017.
Of these people displaced by Mosul operations, at least 839,490 individuals (139,915 families) continue to be displaced, while some 244,644 by now have returned to their place of origin.

“Iraqis in Mosul witnessed extreme violence, lived under unbearable conditions and were forced to flee their homes, leaving their communities behind,” IOM Iraq Chief of Mission, Thomas Lothar Weiss, said this week. “While military operations have ceased, the Mosul Crisis continues to affect hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, who have not yet been able to return to their areas.”

He added: “We hope that this Mosul population movements analysis will facilitate better understanding of the scope of the crisis, and the scale of humanitarian assistance and infrastructure rehabilitation that is needed to prepare communities for return.”

The analysis in this report is based on data collection exercises conducted by IOM Iraq DTM through its Emergency Tracking methodology (ET), from October 2016 to the end of June 2017.

Three phases of displacement were identified to facilitate this analysis: an initial phase (17 October to 1 November 2016), when hostilities mainly impacted the rural areas around Mosul; East Mosul displacement (1 November 2016 and 25 February 2017); and West Mosul displacement (25 February to end of June 2017). An analysis of the return movement trends across these three phases also is provided. 

At the time the Mosul military operations started on 17 October 2016, Iraq had been in conflict for almost three years. ISIL occupied territories in Anbar Governorate at the end of 2013, rapidly expanding to Ninewa and Salah al-Din, followed by Kirkuk and Diyala Governorates. The city of Mosul and Ninewa Governorate had been under ISIL’s control since as early as June 2014.

In October 2016, the DTM had identified 3.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Iraq at that time, of whom 1.2 million were originally from Ninewa Governorate including approximately 600,000 individuals who had been displaced between June and July 2014 when ISIL captured the city of Mosul and significant portions of Ninewa.

At the beginning of the operations in West Mosul, 223,968 individuals from East Mosul had been forced to leave their homes: of these, more than 161,718 were still in displacement by 23 February, while 62,250 had returned by the same date. Over 60 per cent of those IDPs came from the city of Mosul itself with the remainder from several rural areas around the city having not yet returned to retaken areas.

By 24 January Iraq’s Prime Minister publicly announced all neighbourhoods in East Mosul had been retaken. During the following weeks, displacement from the east side of the city continued. Security remained precarious, while many houses did not have running water, electricity or heating in the middle of the winter.

Returns to the city of Mosul were reported as of the second half of December 2016 and increased moderately until mid-January 2017, intensifying more rapidly after the Iraqi Prime Minister declared East Mosul retaken.

On 19 February 2017, the Iraqi Government announced the launch of military operations to retake West Mosul.

The first weeks concentrated around sparsely populated areas, but on 23 February when the clashes reached inhabited neighbourhoods, displacement began to be recorded

West Mosul neighbourhoods were more densely populated and their urban, crowded setting proved more challenging for military actions, whereas a significant number of East Mosul residents were able to remain in their homes despite the difficult conditions.

From January 2017, as soon as access to East Mosul was granted, the DTM initiated a close collaboration with local authorities in East Mosul and supported the establishment of a joint information collection system that gathers data on IDPs displaced within the city of Mosul. DTM staff were seconded to local authorities to conduct joint field visits and collect direct information – at the neighbourhood level – on IDPs who fled West Mosul.

While until the beginning of the West Mosul offensive most IDPs who displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas were hosted in camps, the scenario was different during the West Mosul operations that brought a noticeable shift to out-of-camp settings.

As of 29 June, DTM estimated that 797,508 IDPs were identified after 23 February when the offensive on West Mosul began.

The governorate hosting almost the total number of IDPs from the Mosul operations remains Ninewa, with 95 per cent (800,868 individuals), the majority of whom continue to be hosted in the city of Mosul itself, mostly in East Mosul city.

“In cooperation with our humanitarian partners, the Government of Iraq and donors, IOM Iraq will continue to provide lifesaving humanitarian assistance to civilians displaced from Mosul,” IOM’s Weiss said.

IOM’s DTM actively monitors displacement across Iraq. These DTM products and information about DTM methodology can be found on the DTM portal: iraqdtm.iom.int

The Mosul Crisis population movement analysis report is available at this link:
http://iomiraq.us10.list-manage1.com/track/click?u=3e0b28a713df5a494bfed23b2&id=9523daa9d9&e=d5b0503a33

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

For more information, please contact IOM Iraq:
Hala Jaber, Tel: +964 751 740 1654, Email: hjaberbent@iom.int
Sandra Black, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: sblack@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 - 15:47Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

Emergency site established by IOM at Qayara Airstrip in Mosul. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 117,795 and 2,408 Deaths in 2017

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 10:26

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 117,795 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 9 August, with almost 83 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 264,381 arrivals across the region through 9 August 2016.

 

IOM Rome reported Thursday that according to official figures of the Italian MOI, 96,861 migrants have arrived by sea to Italy this year, which is a 3.46 per cent drop from the same period in 2016 (see chart below).

        

IOM Libya reported Thursday that on 9 August 143 migrants (including 18 women and two children), a majority from Nigeria, Senegal, Mali and Guinea Conakry, were rescued at sea off Azzawyah by the Libyan Coast Guard. IOM press officer Christine Petré added her office is still waiting for data from reports surfacing regarding a rescue operation Thursday. So far in 2017, she added, 12,838 migrants have been rescued in Libyan waters.

IOM Athens reported Thursday that 478 migrants and refugees arrived at various Greek locations (Samos, Lesvos, Chios, Rhodes, Megisti) during the three days (7-9 August). According to the Hellenic Coast Guard, during the reporting period there were two incidents off the islands of Chios and Rhodes that required search and rescue operations; the Hellenic Coast Guard managed to rescue the 80 migrants to the respective islands.

The total number of arrivals by sea to Greece as of 9 August, is 12,191. This compares with 161,232 at this time last year.

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported the total number of new sea arrivals to Spain has risen to 8,385; adding that as to arrivals by land, there were these recent crossings through the border point in El Tarajal, Ceuta: 74 people on 31 July and 187 people on 7 August.

Deaths off Spain through 9 August are at 121 men, women and children, compared with 97 during the same period last year. For all of 2016, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reported 128 deaths in Spanish waters of migrants seeking to enter Europe by sea. There was one death off the coast of Ceuta this week.

This latest fatality in the region brings the total for the Mediterranean in 2017 to 2,408. Although this figure trails the number of deaths (3,194) recorded at this time last year, it nonetheless marks the fourth consecutive year migrant deaths in the Mediterranean Sea have exceeded 2,400.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 3,501 fatalities in 2017 through 9 August, which is nearly 100 deaths since IOM’s report of 2 August (see chart below). The Mediterranean region continues to account for well over half of all fatalities worldwide; however, IOM reported a surge in deaths this week in the Horn of Africa region where over the last two days MMP has reported 70 fatalities in the Gulf of Aden in two incidents.

Additionally, there were seven deaths this past week at the Syrian/Turkish border.


 

The latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration,iom,int/docs/MMP/170811_Mediterranean_Update.pdf
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 - 15:46Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

Over 600,000 Displaced Syrians Returned Home in First 7 Months of 2017

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 10:21

Geneva – Between January and July 2017, 602,759 displaced Syrians returned home according to reports from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and implementing partners on the ground. Findings indicate that the vast majority of the people returning (84 per cent) had been displaced within Syria. The next highest number of people (16 per cent) returned from Turkey, followed by Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. Refugees returning from Turkey and Jordan reportedly returned mainly to Aleppo and Al Hasakeh Governorates.

An estimated 27 per cent of the returnees stated that they did so to protect their assets or properties and 25 per cent referred to the improved economic situation in their area of origin. Other factors people gave IOM and partners as their reasons for returning included the worsening economic situation in the place where they were seeking refuge (14 per cent), social or cultural issues such as tribal links, political affiliations or any obstacle preventing integration in their area of displacement (11 per cent), and the improvement of the security situation in their area of return (11 per cent).

Half of all returns in 2016 were to Aleppo Governorate. The report shows that similar trends have been observed in 2017. Consequently, an estimated 67 per cent of the returnees returned to Aleppo Governorate (405,420 individuals), 27,620 to Idleb Governorate, and 75,209 to Hama Governorate, 45,300 to Ar-Raqqa Governorate, 21,346 to Rural Damascus and 27,861 to other governorates.

Within the Governorates mentioned, Aleppo city, received the most returnees, followed by Al Bab sub-district in Aleppo Governorate, Hama sub-district in Hama Governorate, Menbij sub-district in the northeast of Aleppo Governorate, and Al-Khafsa sub-district also in Aleppo Governorate.

According to reports, almost all (97 per cent) returned to their own house, 1.8 per cent are living with hosts, 1.4 per cent in abandoned houses, 0.14 per cent in informal settlements and 0.03 per cent in rented accommodation.

Access of returnees to food and household items is 83 per cent and 80 per cent respectively. Access to water (41 per cent) and health services (39 per cent) is dangerously low as the country’s infrastructure has been extremely damaged by the conflict.

The report indicates that an increasing number of Syrians displaced within the country appear to be returning home. The total figure by end of July this year was already close to the 685,662 returns identified in the whole of 2016. However, of those returnees, an estimated 20,752 and 21,045 were displaced again in 2016 and 2017 respectively. This means that around 10 per cent of those who returned ended up as internally displaced persons (IDPs) once again.

While trends of returns increase, Syria continues to witness high rates of displacement. From January to July 2017, an estimated 808,661 people were displaced, many for the second or third time, and over 6 million in total currently remain displaced within the country.

IDP returns have mainly been spontaneous but not necessarily voluntary, safe or sustainable. As such, they cannot, at present, be considered within the context of a durable solutions framework. Find out more about this at: https://www.iom.int/progressive-resolution-displacement-situations.

These data have been collected by IOM’s implementing partners, who use a set of tools and methods to identify, assess and monitor different population categories throughout Syria, in relation to needs and mobility dynamics at a community level.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 22 717 9435, Email: oheadon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 - 15:50Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationHumanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM distributes hygiene kits in Damas, Syria last May 2017. File photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

The city of Zabadani in Syria taken last June 2017 during an IOM assessment. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

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Thailand Opens Stakeholder Dialogue on Global Migration Compact

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 10:14

Bangkok - The Royal Thai Government, with support from the UN Migration Agency (IOM), today (11/8) opened the first of four stakeholder dialogues as part of a national consultation process to prepare for future negotiations on the Global Compact to Promote Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration.

The Compact, which was announced at the United Nations in September 2016 as part of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, is expected to be finalized and adopted by UN Member States at an intergovernmental conference in late 2018.

The first stakeholder dialogue in Mae Sot, close the Myanmar border, is being attended by over 50 delegates from the central, provincial, and district government, NGOs and academia. It focuses on the smuggling of migrants, trafficking in persons and international cooperation to combat the problem.

Three more dialogues between now and November in Ranong, Samut Sakhon and Bangkok will focus on migrant rights and the recognition of migrant work.

Thailand is among the first countries worldwide to carry out national consultations ahead of the Compact negotiations. The outcomes are expected to clarify and shape Thailand’s priorities at a regional preparatory meeting in Bangkok in November.

The consultation process is being led by the by Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). IOM is providing technical support.

MFA Deputy Director-General Supart Prongthura, who heads the International Organizations Department, reaffirmed the Thai government’s commitment towards effective and inclusive migration management. He identified collaboration between national government agencies, societal actors, and the international community as a key factor to be taken into account during negotiations on the Compact.

IOM Thailand Chief of Mission Dana Graber Ladek welcomed the inclusive and transparent nature of the consultations. “With an estimated migrant population of five million, Thailand faces a diverse range of migration challenges. The dialogues constitute an important platform to promote policy dialogue, cooperation and partnership on migration issues among key stakeholders,” she said.

For more information, please contact please contact IOM Thailand:
Dana Graber Ladek, Email: dgraber@iom.int, Tel: +66 2 343 9301
Reuben Lim, Email: rlim@iom.int, Tel: +66 2 343 9370.

Language English Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 - 15:45Image: Region-Country: ThailandThemes: Capacity BuildingGlobal CompactGlobal Compact on MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM is supporting the Royal Thai Government in its first stakeholder dialogue in Mae Sot with 50 participants from various sectors. Photo: Yotesak Nasua/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Mr. Supark Prongthura, Deputy Director-General of the Department of International Organization, Ministry of Foreign Affairs giving his opening address at the stakeholder dialogue in Mae Sot. Photo: Yotesak Nasua/UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

IOM, Lagos-Abidjan Corridor Organization Strengthens Cross-border Coordination on Infectious Disease Outbreaks

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 10:14

Aflao – A cross-border meeting was organized this week (09/08) by IOM Ghana and the Lagos–Abidjan Corridor Organization (ALCO) in Aflao on the Ghana-Togo border to strengthen cross-border communication and coordination between the two countries.

Improving the cross-border communication should help Ghana and Togo to prevent, detect and respond to infectious diseases and other potential public health issues.

The Ebola outbreak in the region had highlighted the weakness in disease surveillance and health security at points of entry and border communities across the region. To address such challenges, the two countries want to formalize the cross-border and regional public health information-sharing protocols. These protocols are put in place to enhance real time cross-border information sharing and coordinated response to public health issues.

The participants at this week’s meeting assessed the components of the Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response System in both countries, as well as outlined Standard Operating Procedure (SOPs) for cross-border communication and notification of epidemic–prone diseases.

Elliot Agbenorwu, the Municipal Chief Executive of the Ketu South Municipality, stressed the need for cross-border information-sharing “as key to the control and prevention of diseases between the two countries, particularly due to the fact that there are only imaginary borders. You have Togolese who live in Togo and attend school in Ghana and likewise Ghanaians; so it is vital that there is coordination amongst the agencies as we are one people with common problems.”

Dr. Viviane Akakpo, Representative of the Ministry of Health for Togo, noted that “the Ebola epidemic in West Africa taught us two important things. First, the spread of Ebola was fuelled among other things by the inability to control and screen population movements across borders and second, sick travellers should be swiftly identified and cared for with extra caution.”

This initiative was undertaken under IOM’s Global Health Security Project funded by the United States’ Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The key priority of the project this year is to strengthen cross-border disease surveillance and coordination amongst neighbouring countries. As such, IOM is taking a multilateral and multi-sectoral approach to strengthen both global and local capacities in their ability to prevent, detect and respond to human and animal infectious disease threats.

For further information please contact Papa Kwaw Mensah at IOM Ghana, Tel: +233302742930, Email: pkmensah@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 - 15:44Image: Region-Country: GhanaThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

A group picture of frontline agencies from both Ghana and Togo  at the IOM/ALCO joint cross border on joint efforts in enhancing cross border surveillance and information sharing. Photo: David Pwayidi / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

160 Ethiopian Migrants Forced into the Seas off Yemen by Smugglers Today, Following Death of Up to 50 Yesterday

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 21:12
Language English

Aden – 160 Ethiopian migrants were violently forced into the sea off Yemen’s coast this morning (10/08). This comes one day after the presumed death of 50 Ethiopian and Somali migrants during a similar incident. As with yesterday, this tragedy took place off the coast of Shabwa, a Yemeni Governorate along the Arabian Sea – although in a different location and closer to the shore.

Staff from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, found six bodies on the beach – two male and four female. An additional 13 Ethiopian migrants are still missing (unaccounted for). IOM provided emergency medical assistance to 57 migrants today. IOM also provided food, water and other emergency relief assistance to the surviving migrants. 84 migrants (in addition to the 57) left the beach before IOM arrived.  

Every year, thousands of migrants risk their lives on this life-threatening route towards the Gulf countries through Yemen, a country in crisis. The journey and the situation in Yemen is extremely dangerous for migrants. The psychological effect these experiences have on children can be enormous. This is why IOM has psychologists embedded in their patrolling teams on Yemen’s beaches. The deadly actions of the smugglers today bring the total number of presumed dead over the last two day close to 70. More information on yesterday’s incident can be found in our previous release: http://www.iom.int/news/50-somali-ethiopian-migrants-deliberately-drowne.... IOM is aware of 114 dead or missing in 2017 off the coast of Yemen (Gulf of Aden and in the Red Sea en route to Yemen) and 109 in 2016. The actual total is likely to be higher.

Survivors from both incidents described their journey with the smugglers to IOM: Throughout the journey, migrants had been brutally treated by the smugglers. They were forced to squat down for the entirety of the trip from Ambah Shore in Somalia, which sometimes takes between 24-36 hours, so that the smugglers could increase the number of people in the boat. The migrants were not allowed to move inside the boat. They were not allowed a private or separate space to use the bathroom and had to urinate on themselves. In some cases, the smugglers tied their hands so if something did happen, they would not be able to run or swim or save their lives. If one of the migrants accidentally moved, he would be beaten or even killed. The migrants were not allowed to take enough food or water on the journey to fulfill their basic needs. They were only allowed to take one to two litres of water and one small meal. They also faced many dangerous during the journey in the windy season.

Migrant survivors from other smuggling journeys have told IOM that usually smuggler networks coordinate when migrants arrive in Yemen so that they would have a pick up location. Some migrants who are able to pay extra money are taken by car to unknown destinations. Others, who do not have money, walk for long distances, without knowing where they are headed.

“Recently, smugglers have been pushing migrants out of the boats, fearing that the security forces might arrest them. This is what happened the past two days in Shabwa,” said Lina Koussa, IOM’s Emergency Response Officer in Aden.

“We condemn the acts of smugglers off the coast of Yemen – 120 Somali and Ethiopian migrants were forced from a boat yesterday, and another 160 today, the death toll is still unknown,” said William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General.

“The utter disregard for human life by these smugglers, and all human smugglers worldwide, is nothing less than immoral. What is a teenager’s life worth? On this route to the Gulf countries, it can be as little as 100 USD. There is something fundamentally wrong with this world if countless numbers of children can be deliberately and ruthlessly drowned in the ocean, when they are no longer an easy source of income, and nothing is done to stop it from ever happening again,” continued DG Swing.

“It should never have happened in the first place. We should not have to wait for tragedies like these to show us that international cooperation must be enhanced to fight human smuggling – not just through policy but through real action along these smuggling routes. This is a busy and extremely dangerous smuggling route. Yemen is suffering one of today’s most dire humanitarian crises. Countries experiencing conflict or crisis like Yemen need greater support to reinforce law enforcement and humanitarian border management with the aim of protecting vulnerable migrants like these 16 year old kids. My thoughts are with their families and loved ones in Ethiopia and Somalia. I am making a promise to them that IOM will not forget them and will continue to fight to protect the rights and dignity of future generations of migrants,” concluded DG Swing.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM HQ in Geneva, Tel: +41794035365, Email: oheadon@iom.int

Posted: Friday, August 11, 2017 - 03:11Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Human SmugglingDefault: 
Categories: PBN

Up to 50 Somali, Ethiopian Migrants Deliberately Drowned by Smugglers off Yemen

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 19:25

Aden – Early yesterday morning (09/08), a human smuggler, in charge of the boat, forced more than 120 Somali and Ethiopian migrants into the sea as they approached the coast of Shabwa, a Yemeni Governorate along the Arabian Sea. The migrants had been hoping to reach countries in the Gulf via war-torn Yemen.

Shortly after the tragedy, staff from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, found the shallow graves of 29 migrants on a beach in Shabwa, during a routine patrol. The dead had been quickly buried by those who survived the smuggler’s deadly actions. IOM is working closely with the International Committee of the Red Cross to ensure appropriate care for the deceased migrants’ remains.

IOM’s medical staff also provided urgent care to the 27 surviving migrants, both females and males, who had remained on the beach. IOM provided initial health checks and assistance, including food, water and other emergency relief. Some of the survivors (approximately 42 in addition to the 27 survivors IOM spoke to) had already left the beach before being assisted. Twenty-two migrants are reportedly still missing and unaccounted for. The approximate average age of the passengers on the boat was 16. 

"The survivors told our colleagues on the beach that the smuggler pushed them to the sea, when he saw some ‘authority types’ near the coast," explained Laurent de Boeck, the IOM Yemen Chief of Mission. "They also told us that the smuggler has already returned to Somalia to continue his business and pick up more migrants to bring to Yemen on the same route. This is shocking and inhumane. The suffering of migrants on this migration route is enormous. Too many young people pay smugglers with the false hope of a better future," continued de Boeck.

Since January 2017 to date, IOM estimates that around 55,000 migrants left the Horn of Africa to come to Yemen, most with the aim of trying to find better opportunities in the Gulf countries. More than 30,000 of those migrants are under the age of 18 from Somalia and Ethiopia, while a third are estimated to be female.

This journey is especially hazardous during the current windy season in the Indian Ocean. Smugglers are active in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, offering fake promises to vulnerable migrants. IOM and its partners operate across the region to support these migrants and provide lifesaving assistance to those who find themselves abused or stranded along the route.  

For more information, please contact:

Lina Koussa at IOM Aden, Tel: +967 73 770 0120, Email: lkoussatdy@iom.int
Olivia Headon at IOM HQ in Geneva, Tel: +41794035365, Email: oheadon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Thursday, August 10, 2017 - 01:15Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Human SmugglingDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff tend to the remains of a deceased migrant on a beach in Yemen. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

IOM staff assist Somali, Ethiopian migrants who were forced into the sea by smugglers. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

IOM staff assist Somali, Ethiopian migrants who were forced into the sea by smugglers. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

IOM Responds as Rainy Season Threatens Further Spread of Cholera in South Sudan

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 10:01

Juba – As the rainy season progresses in South Sudan, rapid responses are critical to stemming the cholera outbreak that has affected the country for over a year. The outbreak has compounded already dire humanitarian needs. Approximately four million people have been displaced by the conflict that erupted in December 2013.

Since 18 June 2016, over 18,000 cholera cases - including 328 deaths - have been reported in South Sudan. IOM health and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) teams continue to respond to the outbreak through case management and preventive measures across the country.

Disease outbreaks are particularly dangerous for displaced and vulnerable populations, such as children under five years of age, who account for more than one in five cholera cases reported in 2017.

Many locations experiencing outbreaks are in proximity to the Nile River, increasing the impact of the rainy season on the cholera outbreak and threat of spreading further.

“In a country with mass displacement and severe levels of food insecurity, the effect of the continued cholera outbreak on the health of vulnerable populations is acute,” explained Dr. Beldina Gikundi, IOM South Sudan Migration Health Emergency Officer. “As we saw the outbreak continue even during the dry season in 2017, we expect to see the trend persist throughout the rainy season, which leaves as much as 60 per cent of the country inaccessible by road. Sustained and flexible responses are crucial to stemming the continued transmission of the disease in this extremely challenging context.”

An IOM WASH team has been on the ground in Kapoeta, Eastern Equatoria, since May to help stem the outbreak that began in April, with more than 4,200 cases reported.

To date, the team has repaired 84 boreholes, distributed cholera response kits—including jerry cans, water treatment supplies and soap—to more than 2,600 households, as well as conducted water quality monitoring and treatment at water points and distributed soap and household water treatment supplies during hygiene promotion sessions.

Since the outbreak began, IOM teams have been deployed to cholera-affected areas across the country. Teams continue to conduct hygiene promotion, core relief item distribution and borehole repairs in Bentiu and Rubkona towns, and Wau town and surrounding areas, as well as in UN protection of civilian sites across the country.

IOM health teams, in collaboration with partners, are leading oral cholera vaccination (OCV) campaigns across the country, recently reaching more than 39,900 people in parts of Jonglei and Unity in an effort to reduce the number of cholera cases in outbreak areas.

IOM is currently on the ground in Warrap, preparing to lead an upcoming OCV campaign targeting more than 189,000 people in Tonj East County.

Through the USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) Rapid Response Fund (RRF), managed by IOM, partners have been deployed on 14 missions to respond to and promote prevention of cholera cases since the outbreak began in 2016. Seven RRF partners are currently on the ground in three states to provide health and WASH assistance to cholera-affected communities.

IOM conducts multi-sector humanitarian responses across South Sudan, where over 7.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. The scale of needs is unprecedented, with approximately one in three South Sudanese displaced from their homes today, compared to 1 in 12 during the first year of the crisis.

For more information, please contact Ashley McLaughlin at IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211 912 379 793, Email: amclaughlin@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 15:27Image: Region-Country: South SudanThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia: 

Children fetch water from a repaired borehole in Bentiu town. File photo: Ashley McLaughlin / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

IOM conducts WASH activies in Kapoeta, South Sudan. File photo: UN Migration Agency 2017

IOM conducts WASH activies in Kapoeta, South Sudan. File photo: UN Migration Agency 2017

A woman carries clean water at the Wau protection of civilians site in South Sudan. File photo: Ashley McLaughlin / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

132 Guinean Migrants Return Home Safely from Libya with UN Migration Agency Help

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 10:01

Conakry – On 3 August, 132 Guinean migrants, including six unaccompanied children, returned voluntarily to Guinea from Libya with the support of IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in collaboration with Guinean and Libyan authorities.

William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General, who was in Libya at the time, saw them off at Tripoli’s Mitiga Airport on Thursday. The returnees arrived in Conakry that same evening.

“Many of these migrants just really want to go home,” said Ambassador Swing from the airport tarmac. “We have voluntarily returned nearly 6,000 people so far this year and we hope to have helped at least 12,000–15,000 migrants get home safely from Libya through voluntary humanitarian return assistance by the end of 2017.”

Prior to departure, IOM Libya conducted interviews and medical checkups with the migrants. They also received additional assistance, such as kits containing clothes and shoes.

At Conakry airport, the returnees were welcomed by teams from IOM, the National Service for Humanitarian Actions (SENAH), the Red Cross, representatives of the Ministry in charge of Guineans Living Abroad, and of the Ministry of Social Affairs. Apart from providing psychosocial support, IOM interviewed the returnees to obtain deeper insight into the profile of irregular migrants – why they left their country, their migratory pathway and living conditions in Libya. Among the migrants assisted, three patients received medical assistance from the Red Cross upon arrival at Conakry. The three were then transferred by ambulance to a medical facility in a special unit prepared for returning migrants.

Further support will be provided as part of the IOM programme, Enhancement of Migration Governance and Support for the Sustainable Reintegration of Migrants in the Republic of Guinea funded by the European Union.
Several returnees were interviewed, including Habib*, who had been working as a tailor in Libya for the last five years and owned a sewing workshop with his two brothers. He recounted how a police officer came over one day and asked him to adjust a uniform that was too large. The outfit was so large that Habib explained to him it was impossible. The officer lost his temper, stabbed Habib and ordered his imprisonment.
Amadou* left for Italy in one of five boats that set sail at the same time. Once they entered international waters, they were intercepted and captured by robbers/bandits. The sea was so rough that one of the boats capsized and sank with roughly 150 persons on board, most of whom were Guineans.

Mamadou* (14 years old) had left Boké several months earlier with money from a motor bike he had sold. His family had thought he was dead but some Guinean returning migrants told them he was at the Ghryian detention centre. IOM teams in Guinea and Libya joined efforts to locate and identify Mamadou. His family recognized him from a photograph taken by IOM at the detention centre. His elder brother came to meet him at the airport.

From 1 January to 19 July, IOM helped 5,546 migrants, 17 per cent of whom were women, return from Libya to their countries of origin. Three-quarters of these returnees had been held in detention centres. 2,221 were eligible for reintegration assistance. So far since January 2017, IOM has organized six flights of this nature from Libya to Guinea. These numbers of people returning add to other Guinean returnees from Benin, Cameroon, Egypt, Morocco and Niger.

The programme, Enhancement of Migration Governance and Support for the Sustainable Reintegration of Migrants in the Republic of Guinea was launched in April 2017 for a three-year period covering six administrative regions of Guinea: Conakry, Boké, Mamou, Labé, Kankan and N’Zérékoré. Under this project, IOM Guinea will support returning migrants, depending on their profiles and needs, by facilitating the creation of a small business, involving them in a collective and/or community business initiative, or providing them with vocational training.

*The names of the migrants have been changed to protect their privacy.
For more information, please contact Lucas Chandellier, at IOM Guinea, Tel: +224 628 33 86 53, E-mail: lchandellier@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 15:26Image: Region-Country: GuineaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Since January 2017, IOM has organized six flights returning Guinean migrants home from Libya. Above is a photo of Guinean migrants arriving home last June 13 via a flight chartered by IOM. File photo: Lucas Chandellier / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

Armenian Disaster Response Simulation Supported by UN Migration Agency

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 10:01

Yerevan – On 2 August, the first inter-agency simulation exercise on humanitarian relief and disaster preparedness between Armenia and Georgia took place with the support of IOM, the UN Migration Agency.

At the request of the Armenian Ministry of Emergency Situations, IOM organized a simulation for 30 participants from concerned agencies at the Gogavan crossing on the Armenian-Georgian border. The exercise aimed to build the capacity of Armenian officials in humanitarian crisis response, including conflict-induced displacement.

The initiative comes on the heels of increased migration to Armenia, including from Syria, and rising concerns of climate-induced displacement.

“The mountainous part of the South Caucasus is one of the most seismically active regions in the world,” noted Ilona Ter-Minasyan, Head of the IOM Yerevan office. “As such, earthquakes, floods and landslides have the potential to devastate local populations and economies. The risk of hostilities in the region underlines the importance of joint simulations. It is crucial that border officials are well prepared.”

The Armenian officials taking part included representatives of border management, police, health, and agricultural agencies, who focused on striking a balance between humanitarian responsibility, the safety and dignity of migrants, and facilitating orderly migration through improved registration and protection. Georgian officials participated as observers.

The simulation created a small camp just a few kilometres from the Gogavan border crossing point, where participants worked together to discuss shelter, access to food and clean water, sanitation facilities, and the medical needs of migrants.

“Such exercises should be conducted in the most realistic way possible in order to expose existing shortcomings and correct them,” said Davit Tonoyan, Armenia Minister for Emergencies, at the simulation.

For more information, please contact Ilona Ter-Minasyan at IOM Armenia, Tel: +37410583786, Email iterminasyan@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 15:25Image: Region-Country: ArmeniaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants of the inter-agency simulation exercise on humanitarian relief and disaster preparedness between Armenia and Georgia. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

IOM organizes a simulation at the Gogavan crossing on the Armenian-Georgian border aiimed to build the capacity of Armenian officials in humanitarian crisis response. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Participants of the inter-agency simulation exercise on humanitarian relief and disaster preparedness between Armenia and Georgia. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 116,692 in 2017; 2,405 Deaths

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 10:00

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 116,692 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 6 August, with almost 83 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 263,436 arrivals across the region through 6 August 2016.

IOM Rome reports that according to official figures of the Italian MOI, 96,438 migrants arrived in Italy by sea this year, which is slightly (3.3 per cent) fewer than last year during the same period, when 99,727 arrived, highlighting a trend that IOM has observed of slower traffic to Italy during mid-summer, and fewer deaths.

The Italian MOI also released an updated chart comparing the monthly arrivals by sea in Italy between 2017, 2016 and 2015.

According to data collected by IOM Regional Officers at the Greek islands, it is estimated that among migrants, who arrived by sea to Greece in 2016, there were approximately 42 per cent male, 21 per cent female and 37 per cent children. Their main country of departure was Turkey and their main landing points were the islands of Lesvos, Kos, Samos, Rhodes, Kalymnos, Megisti, Leros and Chios.

The total fatalities in the Mediterranean in 2017 have risen to 2,405. Although this figure trails the number of deaths (3,193) recorded at this time last year, it nonetheless marks the fourth consecutive year migrant deaths in the Mediterranean Sea have exceeded 2,350.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 3,420 fatalities in 2017 through 6 August (see chart below) with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – over two-thirds of the global total.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration,iom,int/docs/MMP/170808_Mediterranean_Update,pdf
For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration,iom,int/europe
Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants,iom,int
For more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: ADODEVSKA@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 15:24Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

Thai Consular Officials Trained by UN Migration Agency to Aid Nationals Abroad During Crises

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 10:00

Bangkok – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, is today (8 August) organizing a workshop for over 100 consular officials from the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) on how to assist Thai nationals abroad in times of crisis.

The Migrants in Countries in Crisis (MICIC) workshop is taking place during the Thai MFA’s World Consuls’ Meeting, which is being held from 7–10 August in Bangkok.

The training aims to strengthen Thailand’s crisis management capacity when dealing with potentially vulnerable Thai migrants living or working abroad in countries experiencing crises such as conflicts or natural disasters.

It focuses on the implementation of a set of guidelines developed by the Migrant in Countries in Crisis (MICIC) government-led initiative – co-chaired by the United States and the Philippines – to provide practical guidance for States, private sector actors, international organizations and civil society to protect migrants in times of crisis.

IOM hosts the international secretariat of the MICIC initiative and supports the dissemination of the MICIC Guidelines and the development of related capacity-building tools worldwide.

Dana Graber Ladek, IOM Thailand Chief of Mission, sees MICIC’s role as critical for vulnerable migrants abroad.

“Migrants are often affected disproportionally in times of crisis due to a lack of access to sufficient information and resources to protect themselves,” said Ladek. “The inclusion of migrants in the crisis management frameworks of countries both of origin and of destination can help reduce these vulnerabilities,” she said.

The workshop follows a series of capacity-building trainings carried out in 2016 by IOM with the Thai Ministry of Interior’s Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation (DDPM) to improve coordination and better assist migrants during emergencies in Thailand.

An estimated one million Thai nationals are believed to be living, working or studying abroad. The majority are in the United States, Taiwan (Province of China), Germany, Australia and the United Kingdom.

For more information, please contact please contact IOM Thailand:
Dana Graber Ladek, Tel: +66 2 343 9301, Email: dgraber@iom.int
Reuben Lim, Tel: +66 2 343 9370, Email: rlim@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 15:23Image: Region-Country: ThailandThemes: Capacity BuildingMigrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

Dana Graber Ladek, IOM Thailand Chief of Mission, speaking at the Migrants in Countries in Crisis workshop in Bangkok, attended by over 100 consular officials from the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Photo: Reuben Lim / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency, ICAO Cooperation Enhances Effective Border Management through African Capacity Building

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 10:00

Moshi –The UN Migration Agency (IOM)'s African Capacity Building Centre (ACBC) in Tanzania hosted a training course on travel document security and fraud detection from 31 July to 4 August.

The training was jointly implemented by IOM and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) with the objective of building the capacity of African States on border control and migration management. The trainees were border control management and aviation systems officials from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

The two UN agencies collaborate to promote and facilitate the safe and orderly development of international civil aviation in global air travel and in border and identity management. This collaboration, including in the area of traveller identification management, is underpinned by the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the two UN agencies in November 2016.

IOM and ICAO assist Member States in meeting the growing operational challenges of migration management, advancing the understanding of migration issues, encouraging social and economic development through migration, and upholding the human dignity and well-being of migrants through efficient immigration and border management policies and structures.

Dr Qasim Sufi, IOM Tanzania Chief of Mission, spoke (in Swahili) at the conclusion of the training.

“This training is one of the most important and concrete steps forward so far in achieving the objectives of the signed MoU between the two UN agencies, especially in the domain of border control and migration management,” said Sufi in his closing remarks.

The training was composed of two sessions: Part I – the ICAO Training Package “Control of authenticity and validity of travel documents at airport borders - Level 1” carried out by ICAO qualified instructors; and Part II – the ACBC Passport Examination Procedure Manual II (PEPMII) and biometrics conducted by an IOM ACBC expert. The training enhanced the knowledge and skills of participants in performing efficient travel document examination and traveller risk assessment with the aim of intercepting high-risk individuals while expediting legitimate traveller movements across international borders.

The ICAO/IOM training session was carried out thanks to funding from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the implementation of the ICAO Comprehensive Regional Implementation Plan for Aviation Security and Facilitation in Africa (AFI SECFAL Plan) and is the first of three training courses planned for African Member States under this initiative.

The ICAO Training Package, “Control of the authenticity and validity of travel document at airport borders – Level 1”: https://www.icao.int/Training/Pages/TDexam.aspx

The IOM Training Manual on Passport Examination Procedure II (PEPMII):
https://publications.iom.int/books/passport-examination-procedure-manual-second-edition

For more information, please contact Nelson Goncalves at IOM Tanzania, Tel: +255688700090, Email: ngoncalves@iom.int  and Eric Henri Segura at ICAO, Tel: +221338692424, Email: Esegura@icao.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 15:22Image: Region-Country: United Republic of TanzaniaThemes: Capacity BuildingIntegrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) hosted a training course on travel document security and fraud detection for border officials from Kenya,Tanzania and Uganda. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Participants of the training course on travel document security and fraud detection facilitated by IOM pose for a group photograph. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categories: PBN

UN Migration Agency Presents “Granma” at 70th Locarno Film Festival

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 10:00

Rome – The first screening of the film “Granma”, produced in the framework of the ‘Aware Migrants’ information campaign – developed by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and financed by the Italian Ministry of the Interior – was held yesterday (7 August) as part of the 70th Locarno Film Festival in Switzerland.

The 35-minute-long film describes the story of Jonathan, a young boy from Lagos, who receives news of the death of his cousin. Jonathan undertakes a long journey to inform the grandmother about the tragedy of his cousin drowning at sea. The film reflects the complexity of migration in relation to young dreams and hopes, needs, realities, social pressure and search for freedom. It also highlights how very often the risks, which could be faced during the journey, are forgotten.

Developed from the original idea of director Gianni Amelio and directed by the Italian Daniele Gaglianone and the Nigerian Alfie Nze, “Granma” was filmed entirely in Nigeria, between Lagos and the village of Badagry. It was filmed with a Nigerian troupe and cast and its soundtrack, which includes the song "Challenging death", is also featured in a music video promoted on social media, especially in Nigeria.

"When we launched Aware Migrants last year with the Ministry of the Interior, we explained that the objective is to inform potential migrants about the risks and dangers linked to irregular migration across the Sahara Desert and Mediterranean Sea," said Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean. "Thousands of people challenge death each year to reach safety and many become victims of violence and abuses along the way. The campaign has grown remarkably and, this year, it will expand and consolidate its outreach to the main countries of origin of the migrant population in Italy.”

"The campaign features many types of media products and we realized that the testimonies and videos we have produced so far are so effective that they can also become a tool to raise public awareness in Europe and spread empathy on the violence and abuses faced by migrants. With Aware Migrants, we are actually trying to show the real face and real stories of migrants, who too often are dehumanized and reduced to mere numbers and statistics," continued Soda.

This objective is reflected in "Granma", a film that aims to enhance the cultural debate on the issue of migration in Europe and in Africa through its participation in film festivals and screenings in Europe and Africa.

For more information, please contact Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 15:21Image: Region-Country: ItalyThemes: IOMOthersDefault: Multimedia: 
Categories: PBN

Young Libyan Media Professionals Trained by UN Migration Agency to Encourage Informed Reporting

Tue, 08/08/2017 - 10:00
Language English

Tunis – IOM, the UN Migration Agency is, holding a three-day (7–9 August) media training for 19 young Libyan media professionals.

The training, which is being held in Tunisia’s capital, Tunis, is part of the IOM Regional Development and Protection Project (RDPP) for North Africa, Development Pillar, funded by the European Union. It covers sessions on Media and Migration Public Opinion, the Power of an Image, Recommendations and Good Practices, as well as Migration Terminology and the Global and Local Context of Migration. Facilitators include Christos Christodoulides, Project Manager, IOM Nouakchott, and Paola Pace, RDPP Senior Project Manager, IOM Tunisia.

Joel Millman, IOM Spokesperson and Senior Press Officer, welcomed the participants. He congratulated them for having been successfully selected amongst over 150 young media professionals who had applied.

"We know why we are attracted to migration coverage," Millman explained. "It's exciting and it's dramatic. It's about stories of some of the world's most interesting people: pioneers striving to change their lives to make a better future for their families."

During a busy question-and-answer session following the welcome speech, Ali Jibreel Salih, a veteran Libyan journalist, made an emotional appeal to a new generation of migration reporters.

"They must go out and meet the migrants and tell their stories," Salih explained. "Thirty years ago, I shot a video of African migrants crossing the desert, some of them were dying. Today the tragedy continues but it's more organized, more systematic."

Salih, now a Media Advisor to Libya's Government of National Accord, served on the IOM panel which selected the training participants. The panel also included Khaled Gulam, Director of the Media lab of Tripoli University, as well as a representative from IOM. 

Media reporting of migration is often complicated by stereotypes and misinformation, which fosters prejudices and misconceptions of migrants. The aim of the training is to contribute to a more informed migration discourse in Libya.

The agenda also includes sessions on Libyan media coverage of migration, as well as sessions on human smuggling by Zakariya El Zaidy, migration expert on Libya, and investigative journalist and researcher, Mark Micallef.

“I am already in the human rights field but would like to receive more information on how to cover migration from a humanitarian perspective,” explained 26-year-old Fatma Al Omrani, one of the participants from the Libyan coastal city of Zuwara. “I would also like to receive more information on international terminology of migration and statistics in order to be able to better analyse migration trends in Libya.”  

For more information, please contact IOM Libya:
Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600 389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int
Karolina Edsbacker, Tel: +216 29 202 896, Email: kedsbacker@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 15:20Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Capacity BuildingIOMDefault: 
Categories: PBN

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