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Georgia Takes a Fresh Look at Migration and Rural Development

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/09/2019 - 09:41

Tbilisi – “Migration has effected every village in our municipality - many are almost empty. Before, only one family member would emigrate; now, whole families are leaving.” 

That lament at a recent IOM workshop in rural Georgia, where some municipalities are seeing depopulation of up to 40 per cent, is increasingly common. 

To counter this trend, IOM is focusing on using the economic and social potential of migration for local economic development by strengthening the connection between the diaspora and returned migrants. 

A series of workshops with regional administrations and municipalities in the worst-hit provinces of Kakheti and Imereti explored how to leverage migration to boost the local economy. More than 50 people from 20 municipalities participated. 

“Both these regions have great potential for developing agriculture, tourism and the service sectors, providing opportunities for returned migrants and diaspora to engage professionally and contribute to local development," noted IOM Georgia Chief of Mission Sanja Celebic-Lukovac.   

The workshops were a follow-up to basic training courses organized by IOM for the local authorities of the Kakheti and Imereti regions in June 2018. IOM will continue facilitating the dialogue with the support of the European Union and active involvement of the Secretariat of the State Commission on Migration Issues and Diaspora Relations Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia.  

For more information please contact Ana Kakushadze on +995 32 225 22 16. Emailakakushadze@iom.int 

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 15:00Image: Region-Country: GeorgiaThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Officials from Georgia’s remote rural regions discuss diaspora and development 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Thousands of Young People to Benefit from Partnership Between IOM and Government of Japan in Sierra Leone

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/09/2019 - 03:45

Freetown – At least 2,000 Sierra Leonean youths facing chronic unemployment or underemployment will receive market-driven vocational training over the next three years under a project funded by the Government of Japan. 

“IOM has a long-standing experience addressing issues related to youth, migration and employment,” said Sanusi Savage, Head of the IOM Office in Sierra Leone. “We hope that through this new initiative, we can unlock the entrepreneurship potential of Sierra Leonean youths and help them contribute to the development of the country.”  

More than 60 per cent of Sierra Leonean youths are unemployed or underemployed. The West African country has been slowly recovering from the devastation caused by an 11-year civil war (1991 – 2002) and the recent Ebola crisis (2013 – 2016), which has led to massive rural-urban mobility, especially among young people.  

This population growth in urban areas has impacted infrastructure and essential service delivery, including housing, schools, jobs, water, health, electricity, sanitation, etc.  

Funded by the Government of Japan, Reducing the Risk of Irregular Migration through Employment Promotion and Entrepreneurship Support for the Youth will be implemented over three years from 2019 to 2022. 

The new project will contribute to youth and women’s empowerment through vocational and entrepreneurship skills training. A partnership will be developed with Sierra Tropical, a Sierra Leone-based juice manufacturing company, to provide internships and on-the-job training to young people and women across the country.  

Two hundred and forty youths will also receive entrepreneurship trainings, business start-up kits, and long-term mentoring from industry professionals to ensure the sustainability of their ventures. 

Mohamed Bangura, Minister of Youth Affairs for Sierra Leone, said this new project will support the country’s National Development Plan: “[The project] will help provide young people with the skills in areas relevant for the job market, reduce rural-urban and irregular migration and contribute to economic growth and development,” he explained. 

Since 2017, more than 950 vulnerable Sierra Leoneans have returned home with IOM’s assistance. The project will also develop activities to raise awareness on the risks and dangers of irregular migration and human trafficking.  

“Over the years, the Government of Japan has been very committed in providing support to Sierra Leone, and we are very happy also to support this wonderful project,” added Tsutomu Himeno, Japan’s Ambassador to Sierra Leone. 

For more information, please contact IOM Sierra Leone: 
Alhaji Sanusi Tejan Savage, Email: ssavage@iom.int 
Kunikazu Akao, Email:  kakao@iom.in

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 09:44Image: Region-Country: Sierra LeoneThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Chief of Mission (5th from the right), Ambassador of Japan (5th from left) pose after the signing ceremony. Photo: IOM 2019

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

E-visa Will Facilitate Travel in Djibouti

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/09/2019 - 03:44

Djibouti City — Djibouti is strategically located near some of the world's busiest shipping lanes, with access to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. It serves as a key refuelling and trans-shipment centre and is the principal maritime port for imports from and exports to neighbouring Ethiopia. 

The Government of the Republic of Djibouti has set up a secure electronic online visa system (e-Visa) that will make it easier to travel to the country. 

Djibouti’s first e-Visa counter was launched at Djibouti International Airport on 7 April. This means visitors to the country can now apply for the visa in advance and get it on arrival, at the airport. 

The facility will ensure uniform access and approval of Djiboutian visas and facilitate full integration with immigration and border management systems. 

“The E-Visa will allow a more secure management of the migration, but also gives the possibility to the Republic of Djibouti to better facilitate the entry and exit on its territory through an electronic platform,” said Lalini Veerassamy, IOM Chief of Mission in Djibouti. 

The country’s new visa system has been developed through the Directorate General of the National Police with support by IOM and the Better Migration Management (BMM) programme. BMM is a regional, multi-year and multi-partner programme funded by the EU Trust Fund for Africa and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), coordinated by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). 

IOM is one of the main implementing partners alongside UNODC, GIZ, Expertise France, Italian Department of Public Security, CIVIPOL and the British Council. Apart from Djibouti, BMM also covers Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda. 

For more information please contact IOM Djibouti:
Lalini Veerassamy at Email: lveerassamy@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 09:42Image: Region-Country: DjiboutiThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Lalini Veerassamy, IOM Chief of Mission in Djibouti, speaking during the launch of E-Visa. She said the E-Visa will ensure migration is managed more securely.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

In North-East Nigeria, Access to Water Paves the Way for a Brighter Future

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/09/2019 - 03:42

Maiduguri – Ongoing hostilities in north-east Nigeria has caused the displacement of 1.8 million women, men and children, hampering their access to vital resources including water.  

Following the reestablishment of Nigerian forces in some locations in the region, 1.56 million individuals have returned to their communities since August 2015. However, the infrastructure in these areas is still severely damaged or destroyed and essential services have not been restored. People in Gwoza town, Borno State for example, spend several hours a day under the scorching sun searching for water, often in unsafe, hand-dug wells. The lack of infrastructure leaves no other option. 

That is beginning to change. 

Last week, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) completed the rehabilitation of two boreholes in Gwoza and Konduga as part of a project funded by the Republic of Korea. The initiative aims to revitalize these communities by ensuring that people affected by conflict are returning to safe and dignified living conditions.  

“We used to travel for about 12 kilometres to fetch water from an unprotected well before the new borehole was reopened,” said Bakin, one of the beneficiaries. 

According to the Humanitarian Response Strategy for Nigeria 2019-2021, an estimated 7.1 million people affected by the conflict are in acute need of protection and life-saving assistance in the region. 

On the occasion of the reopening of these water facilities, Lee In-tae, Ambassador of the Republic of Korea to Nigeria, stated that in 2018, Korea donated USD 7.5 million to support women and girls in Borno State while joining multilateral efforts to tackle humanitarian needs via IOM and other agencies.  

“The Korean Government will continue to strengthen efforts by providing support to vulnerable people, especially women and girls, continuing capacity-building of government officials, and promoting education and health of Nigerian youth,” he added.  

The rehabilitation project has improved the access to water for 13,500 individuals voluntarily returning to their communities of origin. Access to clean water in these areas of return has been achieved through the drilling, installation, maintenance and rehabilitation of boreholes, all of which are powered by solar energy. 

“Our aim is to improve access to community infrastructure and basic services and to ensure that these rehabilitation activities are sustainable,” said Dave Bercasio, IOM Nigeria Head of Sub-office. “That is why we are engaging the beneficiaries by forming community-based water, sanitation and hygiene committees,” he added. 

These committees, comprising local elders, women, men and youth, will be tasked to conduct regular water quality monitoring activities, provide maintenance of the boreholes and conduct sensitization activities to raise awareness about the rehabilitated facilities and how to use them.    

IOM has completed the drilling of an additional borehole in Damboa, as well the rehabilitation of a community market in Konduga and two primary schools in Mandarari and Pulka benefitting approximately 6,000 individuals. 

The project approach is guided by the IOM Progressive Resolution of Displacement Situation (PRDS) framework. Starting on 1 November 2018, the project has a duration of seven months with the objective to promote pre-conditions for safe, dignified and voluntary return in identified areas of return.  

For more information, please contact IOM Nigeria: 
Jorge Galindo, Tel: +234 803 645 2973, Email: jgalindo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 09:40Image: Region-Country: NigeriaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

Before the rehabilitation was completed, women and children in Gwoza had to travel long distances to fetch water from unprotected wells. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Long-term Solutions Needed for Ukraine’s Displaced

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/09/2019 - 03:40

Kyiv – A single mum spending most of her income to rent a room. A young woman and her mother living in a garage at a cemetery, as they do not earn enough to rent any other accommodation. A family with teenage children staying at a barn with no running water and just an electric heater to keep them warm in winter.  

These are real stories told by internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Ukraine to IOM, in its latest survey.   

As the conflict in the east of the country enters its sixth year, the number of affected people is 5.2 million, according to humanitarian organizations in Ukraine. About 1.3 million IDPs are registered with the Ministry of Social Policy.  

In addition to the provision of humanitarian, livelihood and social cohesion assistance to conflict-affected people in Ukraine, IOM has been assessing the needs of displaced women, men and children with the help of its global tool, the Displacement Tracking Matrix.  

The latest round of IOM’s survey was conducted with funding from the European Union and the United States Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM). Results were presented in the capital Kyiv today (9 April), in cooperation with the Ministry of Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs, and the Ministry of Social Policy. 

Deputy Minister of Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDPs of Ukraine, Heorhii Tuka, thanked IOM for its long-term cooperation in assessing the needs of displaced people. “Despite remaining challenges, the consolidation of efforts of the Government, local authorities, IDP host communities, international partners and IDPs themselves is bringing positive change,” he said.  

“IDPs are Ukrainian citizens, willing to start from scratch and contribute to their new communities. This is a great human and intellectual potential for development.”  

IOM data shows that two out of three IDPs, have resided in their current location for over three years. The share of those who declare their intention not to return to their previous homes even after the end of the conflict has grown from 29 per cent in March 2017 to 34 per cent in December 2018.  

“Protracted displacement requires long-term solutions to the challenges faced by IDPs, with housing being the top-one of them,” said Stefano Pes, IOM Ukraine Emergency and Stabilization Coordinator.  

“The share of IDPs who managed to purchase their own dwelling has been unchanged for over a year at 12 per cent, while 63 per cent of displaced people still rent flats, houses or rooms.”  

According to the IOM survey, 44 per cent of IDPs are employed, while before displacement about 60 per cent of those currently uprooted had jobs. 

As of early April, the USD 162 million Humanitarian Response Plan for Ukraine, prepared by humanitarian partners, has been funded to the tune of just six per cent.  

“Five years of protracted crisis has substantially exhausted the resources of displaced people and conflict-affected communities, so recovery and development efforts in Ukraine should be scaled up. IOM is committed to further support vulnerable populations in the country,” said IOM’s Pes.  

IOM has been conducting surveys of IDPs in Ukraine on a regular basis since March 2016. In the latest 12th round, conducted in October-December 2018, a total of 2,403 respondents were interviewed face-to-face, and 4,044 by telephone. 

For further information, please contact IOM Ukraine: 
Varvara Zhluktenko at e, Tel: +38 044 568 50 15, +38 067 447 97 92, Email: vzhluktenko@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 09:36Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM-supported displaced woman, a mother of three, heating her mobile accessories shop in Ukrainsk, Donetsk Region Photo: IOM/Volodymyr Shuvayev

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Addresses Migration Health Policy Coherence at the United Nations Commission on Population and Development

PBN News Germany - Mon, 04/08/2019 - 09:13

New York – Evidence-informed discussions that promote the health of migrants and address the determinants of health — including migration — are needed to better inform policy decisions on migration and health at national and global levels. Acknowledging the importance of migration health across all targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) lays the foundation for human rights and equity perspectives on the path towards promoting the health of migrants. It also facilitates the involvement of migrants, including health workers, as co-developers of health services and contributors to development.

In this context, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), organized a side event at the 52nd Session of the Commission on Population and Development (CPD) in close collaboration with the governments of Bangladesh, Mexico, the Philippines and Thailand, and UN partners including WHO, UN Women, UNAIDS and UNICEF. Experts on migration and health from national governments, the United Nations system, civil society and academia took part.

The rich discussions during this event provided an opportunity for delegates to take stock of several recent policy developments that can contribute towards promoting health of migrants, including in the implementation of health-related actions and commitments of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration and for achieving migrant-inclusive Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

The dialogue included remarks from Mr. Ernesto M. Pernia, Secretary for Socioeconomic planning in the Philippines; Dr. Carlos Cavonas, Secretary General of the National Council for Population, Mexico; Mr. Masud Bin Momen, Ambassador and Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of Bangladesh to the UN; Mr. Supark Prongthura, Ambassador and Deputy Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of Thailand to the UN; Mr. Simon Bland, Director of the UNAIDS New York Liaison office; Ms. Verena Kraus, Senior Adviser, Children on the Move, UNICEF HQ; Ms. Sylvia Hordosch, Policy Advisor, UN WOMEN; Mr. Werner Obermeyer, Deputy Executive Director, WHO Office at the UN, and Ms. Monette Zard, Director, Forced Migration and Health programme, Columbia University.  

The event was moderated by Dr. Poonam Dhavan, Senior Migration Health Policy Advisor at IOM, who stated: “The speakers here today have truly represented multisectoral experience and expertise from governments, UN system and academia. It has been encouraging to find a commitment on continued collaboration for promoting health of migrants.”

This event enabled sharing of experience and evidence from good practices, challenges and national migration health realities with a view towards contributing to an evidence-informed discourse on migration health at key upcoming UN discussions including the High Level Political Forum in July 2019, and the High-Level Meeting on UHC in September 2019. 

Watch on UN Web TV here.

For more information please contact:
Xin Guo, Tel: +1 212 681 7000 (ext. 236), Email: xinguo@iom.int
Eliana Barragan, Tel: +41 22 717 9506, Email: ebarragan@iom.int

Language English Posted: Monday, April 8, 2019 - 15:11Image: Region-Country: United States of AmericaThemes: Migration HealthMigration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Expresses Alarm for Safety of Libyan Civilians and Migrants in Detention

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/05/2019 - 14:59

Geneva - The International Organization for Migration today raised concerns for Libyan civilians as well as detained migrants, as military convoys approached the capital Tripoli. 

During clashes in August 2018, more than 14,000 civilians were displaced and over 2,000 migrants caught up in fighting. 

“The safety of migrants in detention is especially concerning should there be an escalation in military action. The fate of all Libyan civilians and the safety of humanitarian workers also remains an overriding concern,” said IOM Director General António Vitorino. 
“Migrants, including men, women and children who are being held in often sub-human conditions amid a rapidly deteriorating security situation are particularly vulnerable,” he said, noting that “Libya is not a safe place to return migrants who have tried and failed to make their way to Europe.” 

So far this year, 1,073 migrants, among them 77 children, have been returned to Libya after interception and rescue at sea and placed in arbitrary detention. 
Earlier in Tripoli, UN Secretary General António Guterres made a “strong appeal” for a de-escalation and the end to deployments by military factions across the country. He also underscored that migrants in detention “are not only Libya’s responsibility, they are the responsibility of the whole international community.” 

Mr. Guterres visited Ain Zara Detention Centre yesterday where there are currently over 600 detainees, speaking to men, women, and children who have been held there for months. The UN Chief said he was shocked by the level of suffering of migrants and “especially by the level of despair that I found”. 

For further information please contact  

Leonard Doyle at IOM Geneva: +44 79 285 7123, email ldoyle@iom.int  

Safa Mselhi at IOM Libya: +216 22 241 842, smselhi@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, April 5, 2019 - 14:45Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Migrants RightsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Appeals for USD 7.2 Million to Meet Humanitarian Needs in Zimbabwe after Cyclone Idai

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/05/2019 - 13:21

Harare – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is appealing to the international community for USD 7.2 million for the next six months, to provide multi-sectorial humanitarian assistance to individuals affected by Cyclone Idai in Zimbabwe. 

Cyclone Idai, a Category Four tropical storm, made landfall in Zimbabwe on 15 March, bringing heavy rains and strong winds that caused massive destruction in the Manicaland, Masvingo, and Mashonaland East provinces.

According to a Government of Zimbabwe report from Tuesday (2 April) 270,000 individuals need assistance across all sectors. The death toll is rising in Manicaland, Masvingo and Mashonaland East Provinces, and could continue to rise as search and rescue operations continue. Over 200 people have been reported injured in the towns of Chimanimani and Chipinge, while over 500 people are still missing in Rusitu Valley, Chimanimani District, where rescue efforts are hampered by damaged access roads. Staff members in Zimbabwe are working independently to verify these numbers.

IOM is appealing for funds to scale up its response in the following sectors: Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM); Health; Protection; Displacement Tracking; Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS); Early Recovery; Shelter and non-food Items (NFI).

“[The Organization] is working to support communities affected by Cyclone Idai through technical assistance in shelter, CCCM and Information Management through DTM (Displacement Tracking Matrix),” said IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission Mario Lito Malanca. “Our DTM teams are now on the ground rolling out needs assessments through our mobility tracking tool in [Chimanimani, Chipinge, Mutare and Buhera districts] in Manicaland province, and will extend the scope of its action where necessary in Masvingo district.”

Shelter support is the most urgent, and IOM is working to help displaced populations; 90,000 individuals — or 18,000 households — have emergency shelter needs. As the global cluster lead for displacement in natural disaster emergency settings, the Organization will take the lead in the S/NFI Cluster as well as in the CCCM response. So far, IOM has distributed 743 tents in Chipinge and Chimanimani districts; a further 257 tents are ready for distribution.

IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) team is on the ground to provide information about the locations and numbers of internally displaced persons to support a well-informed, coordinated humanitarian response.

IOM’s Appeal for Zimbabwe is available here.

For more information please contact: 

Mario Lito Malanca, IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission, Email: mmalanca@iom.int

Varaidzo Mudombi at IOM Zimbabwe, Tel: +263242704285, Email: vmudombi@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, April 5, 2019 - 19:17Image: Region-Country: ZimbabweThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Teams Race to Complete Two New Temporary Accommodation Sites in Beira, Mozambique

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/05/2019 - 10:55

Beira — Work was nearly completed this week to allow displaced Mozambicans in this ravaged coastal city to shelter in two new sites. This work is being carried out thanks to assistance from the International Organization for Migration's (IOM) local and global partners — including government and humanitarian donors from Italy, Turkey and Brazil — under the leadership of the national disaster management authorities. 

The two new sites will house nearly 2,000 men, women and children whose homes were destroyed on 14 March when Cyclone Idai made landfall across a vast swath of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. 

Yesterday (4 April) an IOM team supervised the final installation of 56 tents donated by the Italian Agency for International Development and Cooperation (AICS) on the outskirts of Beira at Sao Pedro Claver parish grounds, on land made available by Beira’s Catholic diocese. The site was graded with earth movers and tents were put up with the assistance of 25 firemen deployed by Brazil’s national army. 

The Sao Pedro site is one of several consolidated sites on the outskirts of Beira being established to allow thousands of Mozambicans to vacate the public-school and hospital buildings where many displaced families sought safety after Cyclone Idai swept through the region three weeks ago. The government of Mozambique’s National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) has asked IOM and other international humanitarian agencies to provide shelter and clean school grounds so classrooms can reopen for students and teachers beginning this week. 

Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s Director of Operations and Emergencies visited the Sao Pedro site on Wednesday with IOM Mozambique Chief of Mission Katharina Schnoering.  

“We are very grateful for the many donors who have come on board, including African countries who have shown solidarity in providing in-kind assistance,” Abdiker said. “What is missing right now is financial support towards the appeal, which is currently only funded at 18 per cent for all agencies.” 

So far, IOM and its humanitarian partners have provided shelter assistance to more than 38,000 people in Mozambique, but more support is needed to assist the more than 400,000 people whose houses were damaged or destroyed. 

As of 4 April, the death toll in Mozambique from the natural disaster has reached 598, with as many as 130,000 now living in 129 temporary emergency sites across Sofala province where Beira is the largest city. The death toll is expected to rise as flood waters recede and search and rescue operations continue in the coming days. 

Beira and surrounding areas have also been hit by an outbreak of cholera with 276 laboratory-confirmed cases. A weeklong vaccination campaign targeting 900,000 Mozambicans began on Wednesday (3 April) including at emergency sites established by IOM. 

IOM is preparing a second temporary accommodation centre for displaced persons at the Samora Machel secondary school closer to Beira’s commercial centre. The site will shelter 1,400 Mozambicans thanks to a large donation of tents provided by Turkey’s Red Crescent. Student volunteers working with Mozambican soldiers supported setting up the tents. 

IOM’s site planner, a secondee provided by Switzerland’s Development Cooperation Agency, directed teams placing the tents to ensure the site adheres to safety standards and allow enough room for installation of water and sanitation facilities. 

For further information please contact:  
Katharina Schnoering at IOM Mozambique, Email: kschnoering@iom.int  
Joel Millman, IOM Geneva (currently in Mozambique), Tel: +41 79 103 8720. Email: jmillman@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, April 5, 2019 - 16:53Image: Region-Country: MozambiqueThemes: ResettlementShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

Two new shelter sites will house nearly two thousand men, women and children whose homes were destroyed in March when Cyclone Idai made landfall. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Emotional Scenes as First Resettled Refugees Arrive in Portugal from Turkey

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/05/2019 - 10:53

Lisbon – Thirteen refugees arrived safely in Lisbon on Wednesday to an emotional welcome from waiting family members, after leaving Turkey as part of Portugal's 2018-2019 refugee resettlement programme, facilitated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). 

Watch video here.

“We’re very pleased to see the first resettlement of refugees from Turkey to Portugal this week and the strong collaboration between IOM, the government of Portugal and UNHCR," said IOM Director General António Vitorino.  "We remain committed to ensuring the resettlement process is conducted in a safe and dignified manner and wish this latest group success building their new lives in Portugal.”  

The new arrivals, the first to be resettled through the programme, included three families from Syria and one individual from Iraq. One family is from Damascus and the others are from the countryside near Aleppo.  

In Istanbul, the refugees, including six children, told IOM that they were excited to join their families and start a new life where, as one couple said, “My child will live in a country where there are human rights, freedoms, democracy, law and a future.” 

“Here in Turkey, they call us ‘refugees’ and this identity follows us all the time wherever we go… I don’t want my son to be a refugee or to be called ‘refugee’,” said another prior to boarding the flight to Portugal. 

In Lisbon, IOM staff and joyous family members welcomed the refugees at the airport together with the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF). IOM accompanied the new arrivals through immigration and arrival procedures that were conducted by the SEF and the High Commissioner for Migration (ACM). After leaving the airport, they were accompanied by their hosting institutions to accommodations in Braga and Lisbon. 

At the start of the process, IOM is responsible for the preparation and implementation of selection missions. It then conducts full health assessment and pre-embarkation medical screenings to assess fitness to travel before departure and carries out three-day pre-departure orientation sessions to help ease their entry into Portugal. This is followed by airport assistance at departure and arrival.  

At the same time, IOM conducts information sessions to help local actors prepare to receive refugees in the designated Portuguese municipalities. This is done by sharing the general profile of refugees, explaining the contexts in their countries of origin and first asylum, and by imparting knowledge on how to create empathy with people from diverse origins and with a refugee background. 

Between 2016 and 2017, IOM also supported the resettlement to Portugal of 142 refugees from Turkey and 40 from Egypt. 

For more information please contact IOM Portugal: Sónia Pereira, Email: spereira@iom.int, Tel: +351 21 324 29 40 or Bárbara Borrego, Email: bborrego@iom.int, Tel: +351 21 324 29 40 

Language English Posted: Friday, April 5, 2019 - 16:51Image: Region-Country: PortugalTurkeyThemes: ResettlementDefault: Multimedia: 

Syrian refugees with family at Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado Airport after their resettlement from Turkey. Photo: IOM 2019 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Awareness-Raising Caravan Sets Off for Month-long Trip Across Niger

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/05/2019 - 10:51

Niamey – An awareness-raising caravan called In da na sa’ni (“If only I had known” in Hausa) left Niamey yesterday (04/04) for a monthlong trip to raise awareness of the risks of irregular migration and its alternatives. The caravan will stop during its 2,300-kilometer journey in areas with a high migrant population, such as Tahoua, Agadez and Arlit, hoping to reach 150,000 people. 

The caravan is part of a comprehensive awareness-raising strategy based on behaviour change communications and interpersonal communication which can ultimately contribute to social change. The concept was initiated by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and falls under the framework of the Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism, supported by the European Union

“The aim of such initiatives is to create a meaningful dialogue instead of limiting ourselves to one-way communication,” said Stephanie Eeckman, Community Outreach Officer at IOM Niger.  

IOM has been providing migrants in transit and potential migrants with access to life-saving information since 2016 when its first orientation office opened in Agadez. This and other awareness-raising activities are implemented through IOM’s four orientation offices in Agadez, Arlit, Dirkou and Niamey, and their 50 community mobilizers (MobComs).  

Since the beginning of the year, IOM’s mission in Niger has been leading several innovative outreach activities that have reached close to 35,000 people, bringing the total of migrants and community members reached to 275,000 since 2016. 

“We all have a brother, sister, cousin, neighbour who has been through hell trying to cross the desert or the sea. If we do not take the responsibility to give them the correct information before they make their decision, then we have failed them,” said Harouna Koudou Abdourahmane, the agent representing the artists taking part in the caravan. 

Over 350 people participated in the In da na sa’ni inauguration event – which included a film screening, debates, quizzes, performances and a concert by Nigerien rap artist, Kamikaz Limane – organized at Niamey’s Hôtel des Postes. 

“Tonight, you made me reflect on my choices. I should have done it before I left, but it’s never too late, is it?” said Komi, a 23-year-old Togolese migrant who is currently transiting through Niger on his way to Europe. Nearly 200,000 migrants crossed Niger in 2018 and 70,000 in 2019. “I might not change my mind tonight, but I will think hard before I decide to continue the journey,” he added. 

The caravan will use a variety of tools and will work with local NGOs, community associations and artists for its various outreach activities along the route in order to engage both migrants and host community members.  

“I will never take that road. Watching the documentary and hearing that man talk about how he almost died on this journey makes me wonder, why take that risk? No dream is worth dying over,” said Salimat, a 19-year-old who has already pondered leaving his native Niger looking for better opportunities. 

IOM’s outreach activities are supported by the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA) and the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the framework of the Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism (MRRM), funded by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa. 

For more information, please contact Monica Chiriac at IOM Niger at Tel: +227 8931 8764, Email: mchiriac@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, April 5, 2019 - 16:49Image: Region-Country: NigerThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

The ‘In da na sa’ni’ awareness-raising left Niamey on 4 April for a month-long journey around the country. Photo: IOM 2019/Daniel Kisito Kouawo

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Hosts Global Meeting of Inter-State Consultation Mechanisms on Migration

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/05/2019 - 10:48

Geneva – Inter-State consultation mechanisms on migration are ongoing information-sharing and policy dialogues among States interested in promoting cooperation in the field of migration. They include regional consultative processes, interregional forums, and global processes on migration. The concept emerged in the 1980s, as informal dialogues to fill in the gaps of formal regional and global forums on migration. Since then they have played a significant role in contributing to the migration policy debate and enhancing cooperation in migration management and governance. 

Currently there are 31 active inter-State consultation mechanisms on migration: over 200 countries and territories are engaged with at least one, while some countries participate in as many as 10 such policy dialogues. 

The Eighth Global Meeting of Chairs and Secretariats of Inter-State Consultation Mechanisms on Migration (GRCP 8) is taking place today (05/04) in Geneva, Switzerland. This year’s event will focus on the important and often pioneering role of these State-led policy dialogues in advancing a common understanding of migration governance.  

The meeting will bring together representatives of 28 inter-State consultation mechanisms on migration. Participants will consider the achievements of these consultations over the past few decades, and their renewed role in the modern era of migration governance.  

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) engages with various regional, interregional and global dialogues on migration around the world and since 2005 it has endeavoured to bring them together on a regular basis to encourage interactions among the various dialogues (previous meetings were held in Thailand, Peru, Botswana and Egypt). 

The outcome document of the meeting will acknowledge the policy impact, sustainable structures, and partnership models of these dialogues, and reinforce the continued relevance of these consultations.  

For more information please contact Kristina Galstyan at IOM HQ, Tel: +41227179419, Email: kgalstyan@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, April 5, 2019 - 16:48Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Migration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Director General António Vitorino delivers his remarks at the GRCP 8 meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. Photo: IOM 2019/Natalie Oren

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Tanzania, Ethiopia, Kenya Agree on Roadmap for Addressing Irregular Migration

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/05/2019 - 10:47

Dar es Salaam – "Facilitating simplified consular assistance that in turn will enable easier access to irregular migrants in prisons": this is one of the recommendations agreed to at a high-level inter-governmental meeting between the United Republic of Tanzania, the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Republic of Kenya. 

Evidence shows that many irregular migrants from the East and the Horn of Africa continue to use the ‘Southern Route’, hoping to reach South Africa. Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya fall on this route as origin and transit countries. Migrants travelling in this way can fall foul of immigration authorities for crossing without the requisite documents.  

Officials from the Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya met from 2-4 April 2019 to deliberate on how to strike a balance between managing irregular migration flows to southern Africa while ensuring that the human rights of migrants are respected and protected. 

During the tripartite meeting, technical participants developed 27 key recommendations for addressing detention conditions and alternatives to detention, as well as preventing irregular and dangerous migration, and sustainable approaches to return and reintegration. 

The recommendations were adopted on the third day of the meeting and include the harmonization of anti-human trafficking and smuggling laws within the three countries, as well as the sensitization of the diaspora of the countries of origin on the risks of irregular migration. They are in line with the objectives of the Global Compact for Migration which calls for stronger cooperation and comprehensive responses to migration challenges. 

The meeting was a culmination of previous efforts aimed at addressing migration issues on the Southern Route. It brought together a high-level audience from the Governments of Tanzania, Ethiopia and Kenya, including the Tanzanian Minister of Home Affairs Kangi Lugola; the Ethiopian State Minister for Peace Zeynu Jemal; and Kenyan Ambassador Michael Oyugi of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Representatives for the EU Delegation, donor embassies and UN agencies in Dar es Salaam were also present. 

Trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants in the region were discussed during the meeting; participants shared best practice advice and developed holistic approaches for addressing irregular migration on the Southern Route. They also explored better coordination mechanisms to protect vulnerable migrants, and strategies for improving existing voluntary return and reintegration processes and policies. 

Tanzania’s Home Affairs Minister Kangi Lugola commended the decision by Ethiopia to open a Consulate Office in Dar es Salaam in October 2018. He said the move has enhanced cooperation between the two countries particularly on migration management.  

“Since its opening, a total of 301 Ethiopians who were in different prisons in Tanzania have been returned back home; the move signals the concerted efforts of both the Ethiopian Embassy and the Tanzania Immigration Department to address issues of irregular migrants," Lugola said. 

 Lugola added: "As we are forging ahead, we should cherish our cooperation on issues of mutual concern and interests on migration-related matters as agreed. At this juncture, l appeal to our governments to expedite the implementation of the agreements on areas of migration matters."  

The meeting was financed under the European Union (EU) – International Organization for Migration (IOM) Joint Initiative in the Horn of Africa. The programme is part of the larger EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration which facilitates orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration management through the development of rights-based and development-focused policies and processes on protection and sustainable reintegration. The EU-IOM Joint Initiative, backed by the EU Trust Fund, covers and has been set up in close cooperation with a total of 26 African countries.   

The EU is committed to supporting an effective management of South-South mixed migration flows. 

For more information please contact Julia Hartlieb at IOM’s Regional Office for East and Horn of Africa, Email: jhartlieb@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, April 5, 2019 - 16:46Image: Region-Country: United Republic of TanzaniaThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

Migrants from the Horn of Africa who had taken the Southern Route prepare to return home from Zambia. Photo: IOM 2018 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM, UNHCR Collaborate to Protect Migrant Populations in Mauritania

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/05/2019 - 10:45

Nouakchott – Nouadhibou is a key port in Northern Mauritania where over an estimated 32,000 migrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers are living. In October 2018, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees established a joint bureau to support migrants, refugees, and asylum-seekers’ access to protection and assistance services following a referral mechanism between the two UN agencies. Both agencies also carried out joint trainings to build the capacities of law enforcement authorities and strengthen migrant, refugee and asylum-seeker protection. 

Last weekend, Stefano Manservisi, Head of the European Union Delegation and Director-General for the European Commission’s International Cooperation and Development (DEVCO) visited the IOM-UNHCR joint bureau.  

“Collaboration between IOM and UNHCR is the fundamental approach that we want to adopt in the management of mixed migratory flows,” said Stefano Manservisi during his visit.  

Services provided include shelter, medical assistance and referrals as well as durable solutions as part of the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration programmes. 

The increasing number of migrants in Nouadhibou prompted IOM to launch its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) in November 2018 to collect data and profile the migrant populations in the city in order to better understand and address their needs. Based on 544 interviews with migrants and key informants, the first DTM survey reveals that the main needs of migrants in Mauritania include better job opportunities and access to protection and health services.  

IOM is currently conducting a second round of data collection to identify gaps in protection assistance and is working with authorities on more inclusive public health policies. In December 2018, UNHCR also carried out a survey piloting a new tool for data collection and case management (SMMART) supported by a large number of protection interviews.  

Since February 2019, both UN agencies initiated a coordination panel on mixed migration to strengthen efforts, efficiency and effectiveness between all stakeholders with due regard to human rights and international conventions and agreements and continue their efforts to strengthen coordination with local authorities. 

For more information, please contact Alexandra Schmitz at IOM Mauritania, Email: aschmitz@iom.int or Jose Manuel Caceres at UNHCR Mauritania, Email: caceres@unhcr.org 

Language English Posted: Friday, April 5, 2019 - 16:44Image: Region-Country: MauritaniaThemes: Refugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM analyst surveys a migrant in the streets of Nouadhibou for the Displacement Tracking Matrix. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 12,174 in 2019; Deaths Reach 356

PBN News Germany - Fri, 04/05/2019 - 10:44

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that 12,174 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 3 April. Deaths on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes have reached 356 individuals (see table below). 

IOM Italy  

Yesterday (4/4) IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo reported that a total of 532 migrants have reached Italy by sea in 2019, according to the Ministry of Interior (see table below). IOM staff members are deployed at the main landing points in Sicily (including Lampedusa), Calabria and Apulia. 

Since the start of the year, 1,073 migrants have been returned to Libya by the Libyan Coast Guard. (See chart

Di Giacomo reported that the NGO Sea-Eye’s ship (“Alan Kurdi”) rescued 64 migrants on Wednesday in the waters between Libya and Europe. It is still unclear where and when the boat will be allowed to land. For the moment no European State has granted authorization to dock. The rescue operation was carried out on the same day that clashes were reported south of Tripoli, Libya – a country that is not considered a safe haven for rescued migrants. 

While the number of migrants returned to Libya has reached 1,073, and 776 have reached Europe (532 in Italy and 244 in Malta), the death ratio in the central Mediterranean route in 2019 is now about 10 per cent which means 1 in 10 people who attempt the crossing is reported dead or missing. This represents a notable increase compared to the death ratios of 2.6 per cent and 3.5 per cent respectively registered in 2017 and 2018. 

In the last two weeks there have also been reports of two boats departing from Libyan shores, carrying 41 and 50 people on board. Neither vessel has been found by Libyan authorities or Italian, Maltese or NGO boats. There are growing concerns about the increasingly limited search and rescue capacity in the Central Mediterranean that needs to be further reinforced. 

IOM Spain  

IOM Spain reported that 5,600 men, women and children have arrived irregularly in Spain by sea since the start of this year (through to 31 March). 

IOM Greece  

IOM Greece reported on Thursday (3/4) that 5,621 migrants have reached Greece by sea this year. Most migrants accounted for in the data set come from Turkey. IOM staff is present in Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Leros, Kos and Crete Island.

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 (MMP). Since the beginning of 2014, the Project has recorded the deaths of 31,626 people, including 667 in 2019. Due to the challenges of collecting information about these people and the contexts of their deaths, the true number of fatalities during migration is likely much higher. Therefore, MMP records should only be viewed as indicative, rather than representative across time or geography.   

In the Western Mediterranean, the remains of a man washed ashore near Aguadú, Melilla on 19 March. Just a few days later, on 22 March, the body of a woman was recovered nearby, in Playa de Horcas Coloradas, Melilla. The recovery of these remains is not linked to any known shipwreck in the area, as there have been no reports of a boat capsizing near this Spanish autonomous region in Northern Africa.  

On 1 April, 13 people were rescued from a sinking boat adrift in the Gibraltar Strait by Spanish rescue services. A young man showed signs of severe hypothermia. He tragically died upon disembarkation in the Port of Tarifa, Cádiz.  

A day later, on 2 April, the Moroccan Association for Human Rights reported that local fishermen from Nador found the remains of a man entangled in their fishing nets off the coast of Al-Hoceima. No information on the identities, age, or country of origin of the deceased is available. At least 136 people have died or gone missing in the waters between North Africa and Spain since the beginning of the year, including five children and 13 women.  

The waters between Haiti and the Turks and Caicos Islands became the site of a tragic loss of life when a ship carrying more than 30 Haitian migrants capsized off the coast of West Caicos on 31 March. The Royal Turks and Caicos Coast Guard rescued 14 survivors and recovered the remains of 17 people. It is believed two people remain missing. In early February, another shipwreck claimed the lives of 31 Haitian nationals off the coast of the Bahamas. In the first three months of 2019, the Missing Migrants Project has recorded the deaths of 50 Haitians who left their homes searching for a better future and did not survive.  

On the US-Mexico border, two Ecuadorian migrants died in a car accident shortly after crossing the border into Laredo, Texas on 24 March. Twenty-three-year-old Elsa Fanny Guamán Cajilema and her brother-in-law, 17-year-old Luis Fernando Bravo, were both from Alausí, in Ecuador’s province of Chimborazo. They were hoping to join Elsa’s husband and Luis’ brother in the US. Elsa leaves behind two children, who stayed with family members in their hometown. In Mexico, a 41-year-old man from El Salvador fell out of a moving vehicle while transiting through Villa de Cos, Zacatecas on 3 April. 

In Europe, two deaths were reported in late March. In the early hours of 31 March, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi man died, and 14 others were injured when the driver of the vehicle in which they were travelling forced them to jump out of the van in order to avoid a police control. The tragic incident happened along the regional road Udovo-Demir Kapija, near the Vodisirska river, in North Macedonia. Six of the 14 survivors, who originate from Pakistan and Bangladesh, suffered severe injuries and were transferred to hospitals in Gevgelija and Kavadarci.  

On the same day, a man of unknown nationality was found dead inside a mountain crevice by the Croatian mountain rescue service, in a forest area north of Javornik, Croatia. 

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

See contacts here

Language English Posted: Friday, April 5, 2019 - 16:34Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

First resettled refugees arrive in Portugal from Turkey

PBN News Germany - Thu, 04/04/2019 - 11:50

Lisbon – Thirteen refugees from Syria and Iraq, including six children, arrived safely in Lisbon on Wednesday (03/04) after leaving Istanbul, Turkey, as part of a Portuguese refugee resettlement programme for 2018-2019, supported by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and IOM, the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
 
The new arrivals are the first to be resettled to Portugal from Turkey, under the program, where they have previously been hosted after fleeing conflict in their home countries.
 
They include three families from Damascus and Aleppo in Syria and an individual from Iraq. The families will join extended family members that are already living in Portugal.
 
“Through IOM’s offices in Portugal and Turkey, we have been supporting the Government of Portugal towards its overall commitment to receive 1,010 refugees by October this year,” said IOM Portugal’s resettlement focal point Sónia Pereira. “Forty more refugees are expected to arrive from Turkey under the programme this month.”

“UNHCR has been supporting Portugal strengthen its resettlement scheme, deploying a resettlement expert to Lisbon and working with Portuguese authorities to identify and refer at-risk refugees in Egypt and Turkey as part of the program,” said UNHCR’s Regional Spokesperson for Southern Europe, Carlotta Sami.
 
One hundred and twenty seven refugees have now been resettled in Portugal from Egypt, as part of its most ambitious resettlement program, since December 2018.
 
Resettlement is available only to a fraction of the world’s refugees. Typically, less than one per cent of refugees worldwide are ever resettled.
 
With developing regions hosting 85 per cent of the world’s refugees, or 16.9 million people, ensuring a more timely, equitable and predictable sharing of responsibilities by increasing access for refugees to move to third countries is a key objective of the Global Compact on Refugees.
 
For this week’s new arrivals to Lisbon, IOM staff welcomed the refugees at the airport together with the Immigration and Borders Service (SEF). IOM assisted the new arrivals with luggage collection and accompanied them through immigration and arrival procedures that were conducted by the SEF and the High Commissioner for Migration (ACM). After leaving the airport, they were accompanied by their hosting institutions to their new accommodations.
 
Municipal authorities and NGOs throughout Portugal are supporting refugees arriving through this programme, who will be offered initial support with housing and basic needs while they learn the Portuguese language and pursue employment. The refugees will have access to healthcare and education, as well as professional and vocational training.
 
IOM Media Contact:
Marta Bronzin - IOM Portugal Head of Office MBRONZIN@iom.int +351 21 324 2940
 
UNHCR media contacts are:
In Rome, Federico Fossi, fossi@unhcr.org +39 349 084 3461
In Geneva, Shabia Mantoo, mantoo@unhcr.org +41 79 337 7650
  

Language English Posted: Thursday, April 4, 2019 - 11:44Image: Region-Country: PortugalThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Renovated Police Base Opens on Haitian-Dominican Border

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 10:11

Port-au-Prince — Every week, more than 100,000 border Haitians travel to the Dominican Republic irregularly for petty trade activities. Every month, more than 10,000 Haitians are deported or repatriated from the Dominican Republic, several thousand of whom are in a vulnerable situation. In addition, according to the Haitian government, the country loses USD 200 million to USD 400 million a year due to contraband on the border. 

The cross-border dimension of migration requires an integrated response at the national, binational and international levels. In order to accompany and reinforce the initiatives of the Haitian Government at the border, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) — in coordination with its United Nations partners and the National Haitian Police (PNH) — organized an official inauguration ceremony for the newly-renovated Morne Casse base. 

The renovated base, formerly a UN peacekeeping compound, is a dormitory and operational space from which the border police can launch its mission to better secure the Haitian-Dominican border, protect migrants and refer vulnerable migrants to partners for assistance. In 2018, for example, more than 510 unaccompanied children were recovered and transferred to the IOM Border Resource Centre near Morne Casse by the Haitian Border Police (POLIFRONT). 

This inauguration ceremony is part of the Border Police strengthening project (POLIFRONT) in the Northeast Department of Haiti funded by Global Affairs Canada and the United States Embassy in Haiti.  

During the official ceremony in Morne Casse, the Director General of the PNH was accompanied by the Director of POLIFRONT, the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations in Haiti, the Police Commissioner of MINUJUSTH, the IOM Chief of Mission, the Ambassador of the United States in Haiti, the Chief of Cooperation of the Embassy of Canada in Haiti and a Representative of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Haiti. 

For the United States, Ambassador Michele J. Sison said: “The United States works closely with Haiti to combat transnational crime.  Since it was first deployed in January 2018, POLIFRONT has strengthened Haiti’s effort to fight against the trafficking in persons, seized contraband, and reduced other forms of illicit trafficking.” 

"This structure, renovated after the departure of MINUSTAH troops in 2017 with the support of the United States and Canadian embassies, has enabled POLIFRONT officers to work under the best conditions to carry out their mission since January 2018,” added Helen La Lime, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General. 

Carlos Rojas-Arbulu, Head of Canadian Cooperation in Haiti, added: "Thanks to this project, smugglers have been arrested, minors have been referred to the Ouanaminthe CRF and several million US dollars in smuggled goods have been seized at the border. It is essential to support the officers of the Polifront and to continue to build their capacity so that they can help the most vulnerable migrants at the border. Canada is proud to support this initiative and congratulates all those involved in making the border a safe and secure place for all." 

IOM Haiti Chief of Mission, Giuseppe Loprete underscored the importance of this event: “The Polifront was created by the joint effort of MINUSTAH then MINUJUSTH and IOM. When the base was donated to the police, the U.S. and Canadian Governments joined us to rehabilitate it,” he said. “Now Morne Casse accommodates over 100 Polifront officers who are deployed daily to the North-East border for counter-trafficking and anti-smuggling activities, with excellent results so far.” 

SRSG La Lime emphasized, “It is important to accelerate the deployment of POLIFRONT women and men in areas close to the country's other major border crossings — Anse-à-Pitres, Belladère, and Malpasse — because the work of this HNP unit is essential to the development of Haiti and its economy.” 

For more information please contact Emily Bauman at IOM Haiti, Email: ebauman@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 16:00Image: Region-Country: HaitiThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

A high level visit and inauguration ceremony of Haiti’s first border police base included the DG of the Haitian National Police, Dir. POLIFRONT, Special Representative of the UNSG in Haiti, MINUJUSTH Police Commissioner, IOM Haiti Chief of Mission, the Ambassador of the United States, Chief of Cooperation of the Embassy of Canada, with mayors and local officials.  

100% of the Haitian Border Police recently deployed in Haiti’s north received specialized training and capacity building on migrants’ rights and counter-trafficking from IOM. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Shelter Aid from IOM Helps 20,000 in Mozambique in First Weeks of Response to Cyclone Idai

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 08:21

Beira — A total of 37,720 Mozambicans have now received shelter aid—either tarpaulins to replace destroyed roofs, or full tents—in a concerted international response to devastation brought by Cyclone Idai, one of the worst natural disasters to strike this African nation in decades. 

More than half of those beneficiaries —at least 20,450 people— have been directly assisted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and its international partners, including Oxfam, Save the Children, Red Cross, Care, World Vision and Samaritan’s Purse. Since the start of the humanitarian response, IOM has received in kind contributions of shelter material and non-food items from Italy, United Kingdom, the USA and Switzerland. On behalf of the shelter cluster, IOM is coordinating the distribution of those materials via its partners. 

Two and a half weeks after Cyclone Idai made landfall in Mozambique, its impact can be seen everywhere in this port city: downed power lines; forests uprooted and trees scattered across roads and farmland; thousands of families waiting for shelter in schools that were set to open this week for spring classes.  

To those obstacles here in Mozambique’s second-largest city, there are others to mention, even more dire. Reports of malaria are being added to an earlier-reported scourge, cholera.  

To respond, IOM has deployed more than 30 national and international staff. They have come not just to Beira, but also to Maputo and Tete. The latter is a rural zone in the country’s highland north, where rains before Cyclone Idai swept through settlements only recently established for some 12,000 Mozambicans who fled into Malawi during a surge of civil conflict in 2016 and have been putting their lives back together (although some have since returned home or moved to nearby communities).  

United Nations and government officials agree at least 1.85 million people have been affected by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique. IOM is appealing for USD 36.4 million for its emergency response for the next six months. The United Nations is urgently seeking an additional USD 282 million of relief aid over the next three months through to 30 June 2019.  

Parallel to shelter distribution, IOM is also actively supporting the government on camp set-up and camp coordination. IOM has identified over 105,000 needy Mozambicans in 115 temporary settlements in Sofala, the province whose largest city is Beira.   

On Friday (29 March) IOM worked in partnership with a fire brigade sent by the government of Portugal to remove fallen trees and other debris from farmland next to the Ifapa school compound near Beira’s airport. With chainsaws buzzing amid the sounds of tree branches crashing to the ground, sixteen fire-fighters cleared enough debris from a field of newly-harvested cassava plants to place at least 50 emergency tents donated to IOM by UK Aid. The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has seconded two staffers, logistics expert Julian Rust and site planner Andreas Cippa.    

“The challenge here is to face the overwhelming need, and at the same time channel the huge amount of incoming cargo that has been donated and is still coming in,” said Julian Rust. “Working with so many organizations in our logistics cluster has been inspiring for me. These people really know what they’re doing. Everyone is working hard.”   

For more information please contact Katharina Schnoering at IOM Mozambique, Email: kschnoering@iom.int or Joel Millman, IOM Geneva (currently in Mozambique), Tel: +41 79 103 8720. Email: jmillman@iom.int  

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 16:20Image: Region-Country: MozambiqueThemes: Migrant AssistanceShelterDefault: Multimedia: 

Aid supplies arriving in Nhamatanda District. Photo: IOM/Patricia Ocaña

USAID donation arriving in Beira on Saturday, 20 March 2019. Photo: IOM 

USAID donation arriving in Beira on Saturday, 20 March 2019. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Statement: Protecting Migrants in Libya Must be our Primary Focus

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 08:19

Rome — With regard to its activities in Libya, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) would like to clarify that we follow the UN position indicating that Libya cannot yet be considered a safe port. 

IOM in Libya is present at the disembarkation points to deliver primary assistance to migrants that have been rescued at sea. However, following their disembarkation, migrants are transferred to detention centres under the responsibility of the Libyan Directorate for Combatting Illegal Migration (DCIM) over which the Organization has no authority or oversight. The detention of men, women and children is arbitrary. The unacceptable and inhumane conditions in these detention centres are well documented, and IOM continues to call for alternative solutions to this systematic detention. 

The number of migrants returned to Libyan shores has reached over 16,000 since January 2018, and concern remains for their safety and security in Libya, due to the conditions in the detention centres. 

IOM only has access to centres to provide direct humanitarian assistance in the form of non-food items, health and protection assistance, as well as Voluntary Humanitarian Return support for migrants wishing to return to their countries of origin. 

IOM’s access to detention centres in Libya is part of the Organization’s efforts to alleviate the suffering of migrants but cannot guarantee their safety and protection from serious reported violations. IOM advocates for alternatives to detention including open centres and safe spaces for women, children and other vulnerable migrants. A change of policy is needed urgently as migrants returned to Libya should not be facing arbitrary detention. 

The security and humanitarian situations in the country remain dangerous, and IOM reiterates that Libya cannot be considered a safe port or haven for migrants. 

For more information please contact Flavio di Giacomo at IOM Rome, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int or Safa Msehli at IOM Libya, Tel: +216 22 241 842, Email: smsehli@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 16:15Image: Region-Country: ItalyThemes: IOMDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania Seek Solutions to Irregular Migration on Southern Route

PBN News Germany - Tue, 04/02/2019 - 08:16

Dar es Salaam – Irregular migration from the East and Horn of Africa to southern Africa, presents countries along this route with a new challenge: how to manage these flows while ensuring that the human rights of migrants are respected and protected.  

The ‘Southern Route’ – as this migration route is known – is used by scores of irregular migrants journeying southward in the hope of reaching South Africa.  

To better manage these irregular migration flows, the Governments of Ethiopia, Kenya and the United Republic of Tanzania have held several bilateral and trilateral technical meetings since 2014.  

The latest is taking place this week between the three countries in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the European Union (EU). Running from Tuesday to Thursday, (April 2-4, 2019), the high-level inter-governmental consultation is expected to deliver a final comprehensive roadmap to address the situation of stranded migrants on the Southern route.   

The meeting is taking place with the support of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa. The programme, backed by the Africa Trust Fund, covers and has been set up in close cooperation with a total of 26 African countries.  

Technical experts from the three countries, with the support of IOM, will develop a draft outcome document to be adopted by the states at senior political level on the third day.  

The proposed roadmap will address issues pertaining to the trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants in the region, as well as the sharing of good practices and developing holistic approaches with regard to addressing irregular migration on the Southern Route.  

The roadmap will also consider alternatives to detention practices and explore better coordination mechanisms to protect vulnerable migrants while improving existing voluntary return and reintegration processes and policies.  

“IOM appreciated the efforts of both the United Republic of Tanzania and Ethiopia to jointly assist migrants who are stranded in the country. Hopefully the donor community will continue to step forward to support efforts for the safe return and reintegration of vulnerable migrants,” emphasized Dr. Qasim Sufi, IOM Chief of Mission in Tanzania.  

A key priority of the Joint Initiative is to support partner countries in the region to develop capacities for safe, humane and dignified voluntary return as well as sustainable reintegration processes. 

For more information please contact Julia Hartlieb at IOM’s Regional Office for East and Horn of Africa, Email: jhartlieb@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 16:10Image: Region-Country: United Republic of TanzaniaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

South Africa is the destination for many irregular migrants using the Southern Route. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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