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IOM Laments Wreckage of Ships, Disappearance of More Than 80 Venezuelans in the Caribbean

PBN News Germany - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 13:09

Curacao – More than 80 Venezuelans have died or disappeared in the Caribbean Sea the past two months in three shipwrecks reported by NTN24 and other media outlets and confirmed by the Venezuelan authorities. The first boat capsized on 23 April and the second on 16 May, both heading towards Trinidad and Tobago, and an estimated 51 to 67 Venezuelan refugees and migrants disappeared in these disasters. The third boat, headed to Curaçao, disappeared on 8 June. At least twenty-one Venezuelans are still missing, with total losses rising possibly to 32. 

According to testimonies of survivors and relatives of the missing Venezuelans, these trips are organized by smugglers. Migrant smugglers take advantage of the Venezuelans’ desperate search for better living conditions to sell these trips in heavily overloaded vessels, unsuitable for passenger transport in open sea. 

“The International Organization for Migration (IOM) deeply regrets the deaths and disappearances of so many Venezuelan nationals,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America and the Caribbean. “These unfortunate incidents highlight the desperate measures Venezuelans are willing to take to reach their destinations, even risking their lives at the hands of smugglers.” 

The most recent vessel that sank had set sail clandestinely from the town of Aguide, which is in Venezuela’s Falcón state.  

“Considering that smuggling networks operate in cross-border settings, it becomes necessary that we all work in a coordinated manner. Cooperation between countries becomes essential for the provision of a comprehensive response,” Pisani added. 

These irregular routes and smuggler-provided services put Venezuelans in situations of additional vulnerability in which they can become victims of all types of abuse and exploitation. They pay high prices without a guarantee of their safety or arrival to their destination. In many cases the trips are made in boats that surpass their transport capacity, making them likely to capsize. 

“Today, more than ever, there is a need of a regional perspective to combat smuggling in the case of the Venezuelan mixed flow. This is very well reflected also in significant increase in migratory flows throughout the Caribbean,” Pisani added.  

More than 4 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants have left their country since 2015. Over 110,000 of them reside in the Caribbean. 

Missing Migrants Project 

2019 is the sixth year of IOM’s efforts to systematically record deaths on migration routes worldwide through its Missing Migrants Project. Since the beginning of 2014, the project has recorded the deaths of 32,046 individuals, including 1,089 in 2019 (see chart below). 

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

This month has been marked by several tragedies on the US-Mexico border, where at least 23 people have died since 30 May, or more than one per day. We learned just in the past few days of a six year-old girl from India dying of dehydration in Arizona after crossing into the United States from Mexico. We learned of a 12 year-old, from El Salvador, shot to death near Coatzacoalcos, in the southern Mexico state of Veracruz, also of a drowning this past weekend near Piedras Negras on the Texas-Mexico border. 

The US Border Patrol has reported remains found across the Río Bravo waterway. On Monday, 10 June, authorities found the bodies of three men in a storm-water drain near Ascarate Park, in El Paso. That same day, the body of a fourth man was found in a canal near Upper Valley Road. The remains of a woman were found on Saturday, 8 June, in a canal along Passmore Road, also in El Paso. On Wednesday, 13 June the bodies of an adult man and a little girl were recovered from a canal in the Lower Valley. Water levels in the Río Bravo and its canals have been rising recently with the release of water from dams upstream, which happens annually for the summer irrigation season.  

Not counting other unverified reports—some 42 potential fatalities IOM’s Missing Migrants Project considers still under investigation in Mexico, and several dozen more regarding refugees and migrants crossing the Darién Gap in Panamá — to date at least 380 people have lost their lives in the Americas in 2019, compared with 241 recorded through mid-June in 2018.   

The mark of 300 deaths, surpassed on 12 June, is the earliest so many fatalities have been recorded on Western Hemisphere migration corridors during the past four years. Last year, 300 deaths were not recorded until past mid-July (24/07), while in 2017 the mark was hit in late June (29/06) and on 15 July in 2016. 

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrants’ deaths and disappearances are collected, click here. For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, click here. Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project.   

For more information, contact Jorge Andrés Gallo at IOM's Regional Office in San Jose, Tel: +506 2212 5300, Mobile: +506 7203 6536, Email: jgallo@iom.int 

Julia Black at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2019 - 18:50Image: Region-Country: Costa RicaThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

Refugees and migrants from Venezuela arrive daily at various ports especially in borderline countries within the southern area of the Caribbean. Photo: IOM Guyana

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Joint message by the Members of the UN Network on Migration on the occasion of the International Day of Family Remittances

PBN News Germany - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 14:41

16 June 2019 

On the occasion of the International Day of Family Remittances (IDFR), proclaimed by the General Assembly in June 2018, the United Nations Migration Network (UNMN) joins the global community in recognizing the crucial contribution of migrant workers and their families to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.  

Remittances are a vital source of income for millions across the world, allowing families to improve their access to health and nutrition, to education as well as to housing, water and sanitation. Steady flows of remittances also promote the financial inclusion of households. The productive use of remittances positively impacts local communities through savings, investments and job creation.  

In 2018, migrant workers sent home an estimated US$529 billion to their families in low- and middle-income countries, an increase of 8.8 per cent compared to 2017, according to the World Bank. Remittance flows rose in all regions, most notably in Europe and Central Asia.  

In times of crisis and protracted displacement, remittance flows play a crucial role in helping families and communities survive and overcome extreme poverty, both in countries of origin as well as in refugee hosting countries.  In Africa, remittances have comprised the largest, and most stable, source of international financial flows to the continent since 2010.   

In 2018, for the first time, private remittances—a source of capital from individuals, which should not be conflated with other international financial flows—represented at least three times the amount of official development assistance offered worldwide, while also surpassing foreign direct investment.  

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2018, affirms the role of migration in promoting positive development outcomes, and calls on Member States to leverage the contribution of migrants to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

In Objective 20, the Compact encourages the global community to find ways to “promote faster, safer and cheaper transfer of remittances and foster financial inclusion of migrants” by building partnerships, engaging with the private sector and improving the regulatory environment.  

Despite increased attention to the developmental potential of remittances, challenges to harness their benefits remain.  

In the first quarter of 2019, the global average cost of transmitting remittances stood at roughly 7 per cent, more than twice the target of 3 per cent set by SDG 10.c. Lack of transparency about fees for transferring remittances, limited competition between service providers, the prevalence of informal remittance markets and difficulties in accessing formal financial services, especially in rural areas, constitute some of the major reasons why the cost of sending remittances remains excessive in many corridors.  

Financial literacy of migrant worker senders and their recipients is essential to foster informed and rational choices about the use of remittances and remittances-linked services. This can help leverage remittances for development purposes. These are important steps towards achieving the objectives outlined in the Global Compact for Migration, which is rooted in the 2030 Agenda and the SDGs.  

On the occasion of the International Day of Family Remittances, the United Nations Migration Network, bringing together 38 United Nations entities, reaffirms its commitment to advocate for the important contributions that migrants can make to reaching the sustainable development goals. 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 14, 2019 - 14:26Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: Labour MigrationDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

At UN Headquarters, IOM hails the contributions of migrants to sustainable development through remittances

PBN News Germany - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 13:04

New York – International Day of Family Remittances will be celebrated this Sunday (16 June).

Today, to mark the occasion, the International Organization for Migration (IOM)—together with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), and the 2019 Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) Chairmanship—is hosting a high-level meeting at the UN Headquarters.

Titled “Helping One Billion People Reach Their Own SDGs,” this event is being called to recognize the contributions of migrants globally, and to strengthen current partnerships to promote the development impact of remittances worldwide. In numerical terms, there are more international migrants around the world than at any other period in history, and most of them are migrant workers.

Financial remittances are private transfers of funds by an overseas worker to an individual in his or her country of origin. Financial remittances have been recognized as playing a key role in reducing poverty and improving the lives of both migrants and their families.

“IOM gladly joins partners from UN, governments, broader society and migrants themselves to observe the International Day of Family Remittances. As we meet on 16 June every year, let’s look critically at the progress we are making towards our 2030 remittance targets: cost reduction, increased transparency and ensuring migrants’ equal access to financial education and empowerment, including those offered by digitalization and new forms of finance,” said Marina Manke, Head of IOM’s Labour Mobility and Human Development Division welcoming the event participants.

She spoke on behalf of IOM Director General and UN Migration Network Coordinator, Antonio Vitorino.

The World Bank estimates that in 2018, USD 529 billion was transferred in financial remittances to low-and middle-income countries—and forecast this trend to continue upwards. One in every seven people around the world is directly supported by remittances, according to IFAD estimates.

Which is why The United Nations in 2016 designated 16 of June as its “International Day of Family Remittances,” to raise awareness on the transformative impact that migrant remittances have across the Sustainable Development Goals—particularly poverty reduction and access to basic services at the household level.

“I believe that the issue of remittances is at the very heart of the interconnection between human mobility and sustainable development,” said Ambassador Santiago Chávez, Vice Minister for Human Mobility, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ecuador and GFMD 2019 Chair.

“This is why it has figured prominently throughout past GFMD Chairmanships. One of Ecuador’s thematic priorities this year is to shed light on linkages between human mobility and urban, as well as rural, development strategies with remittances playing a central role,” he added.

In recent years, IOM has been scaling up its support to governments and migrants to help reap the development benefits of migration. Launched in September 2018, the iDiaspora platform is an online platform to facilitate contact and collaboration between migrant communities around the world. Currently, IOM is engaged in several remittance-related projects globally, notably through an IOM/Universal Post Union (UPU) and Burundi Post initiative to reduce remittance costs in Burundi and the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP)European Union (EU) Migration Action — that provides tailored technical support on remittances to ACP countries and regional organizations.

The goal of SDG target 10.C is to, by 2030, reduce to less than 3 per cent the transaction costs of migrant remittances and eliminate remittance corridors with costs higher than 5 per cent. By achieving target 10.C and directly benefitting remittance recipients, it could help to reach SDG targets 3 and 4 related to education, health care and development, among others.   

Remittances can help to increase household incomes. Facilitating cheaper remittances could therefore help to meet poverty eradication targets defined under SDG target 1. Improving remittance flows can also lead to higher household savings and investments, which would help to reach SDG target 1.5 and others. Meeting SDG target 10.C could also encourage investment in specialized initiatives and activities that boost local, national regional development.  However, IOM notes that remittances are private monetary transfers, and senders and recipients are free to decide on their use.

The objective 20 of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) promotes faster, safer and cheaper remittances by further developing existing conducive policy and regulatory environments that enable competition, regulation and innovation on the remittance market and by providing gender-responsive programmes and instruments that enhance the financial inclusion of migrants and their families.

For further information, please contact Deepali Fernandes at IOM LHD/Department of Migration Management, Tel: +41 22 7179547, Email:  dfernandes@iom.int 

Or Olivier Grosjean at IOM RO Brussels/ACP EU Migration Action, Tel: +32 2  287 78 17, Email: ogrosjean@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, June 14, 2019 - 12:58Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: Labour MigrationDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

EU Provides Additional EUR 2M to IOM Iraq for Critical Infrastructure Improvements in Camps

PBN News Germany - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 11:09

Erbil – Five years after the onset of the ISIL crisis and the subsequent massive internal displacement, over half a million Iraqis continue to live in camps.  

The European Union (EU) has awarded an additional EUR 2 million to IOM in Iraq to make critical infrastructure improvements in camps for internally displaced persons. This brings the total EU humanitarian contribution IOM Iraq has received in 2019 to EUR 5 million.  

With this additional allocation, in coordination with the Government of Iraq and local authorities, IOM will be able to improve the living conditions of camp residents. IOM will rehabilitate deteriorating road and drainage networks in three Jad’ah camps, near Mosul in Ninewa governorate. 

The Jad’ah camps currently host over 8,600 households, around 35,000 individuals, the majority from the districts of Hatra, Mosul, Al-Ba’aj and Telafar in Ninewa. These families are among the most vulnerable in Iraq; return to their areas of origin is not feasible in the near future for a variety of reasons, including damage to their houses, continued insecurity, limited access to employment opportunities, and limited basic services in their hometowns.  

“While many displaced families have been able to return, we cannot forget about those who remain in camps. Ensuring that those displaced by fighting have access to humanitarian assistance remains a priority for the EU in Iraq,” said Christos Stylianides, the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management.  

During the height of the 2014–2017 crisis, IOM and humanitarian partners in Iraq developed camps to house tens of thousands of families fleeing ISIL, often constructed quickly due to pressing emergency circumstances.  Infrastructure in those camps has since become worn and needs upgrades and repair.  

“With our contribution we hope to improve the living conditions of Iraqis who are still in protracted displacement, and we encourage other partners in the humanitarian community to do the same. In 2019, we look forward to continuing to address these pressing needs in partnership with IOM,” Commissioner Stylianides added.  

This humanitarian contribution by the EU will complement the previous allocation of EUR 3 million, received in March 2019, being used to conduct critical maintenance activities in camps across Iraq, to replace basic household items for camp populations and provide basic relief kits, including kitchen sets, blankets and mattresses. 

“The conditions in many camps in Iraq have worsened over the last year due to natural wear-and-tear and limited investments. Camps have remained in service for longer than initially expected and now need upkeep and improvement,” said IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Gerard Waite. 

“This additional allocation from the EU will enable IOM to provide much needed support in some of the most populous camps, which are housing displaced families who are among the most vulnerable, with no immediate or medium-term prospect of returning home.”  

Return is especially difficult for vulnerable families, including those in a situation of protracted displacement, who after years of displacement have exhausted their resources and are not able to afford to rebuild their homes. 

The EU, through its EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid department, and IOM Iraq have been in a strategic partnership to provide camp management, camp maintenance, infrastructure upgrades and shelter and non-food items response in and out of camps in Iraq since 2014, with a total budget of over EUR 36 million, assisting altogether more than 700,000 direct and indirect beneficiaries. 

Both organizations continue to play a leading role in advocating for continued support to families in protracted displacement while coordinating to find longer-term solutions for these internally displaced populations. 

Across Iraq, more than 1.6 million Iraqis continue to be displaced following the conflict with ISIL. Of those who were displaced, more than 4.2 million have been able to return to their areas of origin, according to IOM Iraq’s Displacement Tracking Matrix. 

For figures and analysis on displacement in Iraq please visit: http://iraqdtm.iom.int/ 

For more information please contact Sandra Black at IOM Iraq, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: sblack@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 14, 2019 - 17:06Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsMigrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

Displaced Iraqis at Qayara Airstrip camp, south of Mosul, cart away non-food items they received from IOM. Photo: IOM

Laylan Camp, east of Kirkuk, was previously only connected to the national power grid; the tents and latrines were lit just for a few hours per day; with support from EU the camp was connected to local generators to increase availability of electricity, especially at night. Photo: IOM/Anjam Rasool

With support from the EU, IOM connected Laylan Camp – especially the latrines and public areas –to local generators to increase electricity hours especially during the night. Photo: IOM/Anjam Rasool

Some 7,000 displaced Iraqis live in Laylan camp, east of Kirkuk, most of them have been living there since 2014. The camp was only connected to the national power grid; the tents and latrines were just lit for a few hours per day. With support from the EU, through its EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid department, IOM connected the camp to local generators to increase electricity hours especially during the night. Photo: IOM/Anjam Rasool

Some 7,000 displaced Iraqis live in Laylan camp, east of Kirkuk, most of them have been living there since 2014. The camp was only connected to the national power grid; the tents and latrines were just lit for a few hours per day. With support from the EU, through its EU Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid department, IOM connected the camp to local generators to increase electricity hours

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

“In Limbo” – Poor identification of Missing Leaves Bereaved Families of Mediterranean Migrants

PBN News Germany - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 11:05

Berlin – A new briefing from IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) shows that thousands of people lost in the Central Mediterranean crossing have not been identified. 

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project database has recorded over 15,000 fatalities in the Central Mediterranean route between North Africa and Italy since 2014. Yet remains of fewer than 5,000 of those who lost in the dangerous sea crossing – fewer than 1 in 3 – have been recorded as recovered. 

Moreover, even among those bodies that have been found, net identification rates in Italy and Malta range around 22 per cent between 1990 and 2013.  

By comparison, the Pima County (Arizona) Office of the Medical Examiner – one of the best practices identified in the report – identified 62 per cent of all migrant bodies found between the years 1981 and 2018 in the desert north of Mexico. 

This new IOM report points to both the lack of outreach by the Italian authorities and to the absence of a visible and centralized entity to provide support, feedback and transparency for families reporting missing persons as two reasons behind the poor identification rates. 

Among the few successful identifications of migrant bodies, well over half of those rendered in Italy are not done forensically. Rather, authorities rely on “visual” identification, usually by families viewing a corpse or examining photographs of the remains. This technique is prone to producing false identifications, while limiting identification to cases in which family members are available to be near sites of shipwrecks in Italy. 

For three high-profile shipwrecks, the Italian Special Commissioner for Missing Persons has mobilized a high-quality forensic operation. Even in these limited cases, where comprehensive forensic data have been collected from migrant bodies, few identifications have been made. 

Despite a dedicated state-of-the-art forensic operation for the 3 October 2013 shipwreck, in which at least 366 people lost their lives, net scientific identification rates remain at only 8.5 per cent. When surviving family members provided ante-mortem data samples, identification was far more successful: 58.5 per cent of these cases were identified. 

The crisis of migrant deaths in the Mediterranean has prompted media attention on the shocking reality of shipwrecks and the bodies they produce, but relatively little focus on the impacts on the families of the dead who are awaiting news of their loved ones. These families are also the victims of the humanitarian disaster ongoing in the Central Mediterranean. 

“Thousands of families of missing migrants remain in limbo,” said Frank Laczko, Director of IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre. “They face the disappearance of a loved one that may never be acknowledged or confirmed.” 

For more information, please contact Julia Black at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 14, 2019 - 17:03Image: Region-Country: GermanyThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

Migrants on an inflatable raft in the Channel of Sicily. © Francesco Malavolta/IOM 2015 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Local Entrepreneurs Learn Construction, Business Skills as Bangladesh Refugee Camps Offer Economic Opportunities

PBN News Germany - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 10:59

Cox’s Bazar – When four young Bangladeshis living near the world’s largest refugee camp – home to nearly a million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar – heard about a free programme teaching construction and business skills, they immediately saw an opportunity.  

“Lots of people had come over the border [since 2017] and houses were going up everywhere. But there weren’t enough contractors and the ones here didn’t have much experience,” said Reza.  

“We had talked about starting our own contracting business, but with nobody teaching business or construction skills it seemed impossible. I grew up here and there are no good schools. Most of the craftsmen just make it up as they go along,” he added.  

That changed when a new IOM training facility teaching construction and business skills opened on the outskirts of Cox’s Bazar’s giant Kutupalong refugee camp. The intensive 25-day, 84-hour programme offered training in everything from how to mix cement, to masonry, basic accounting and employee relations. 

The school is linked to the Site Maintenance and Engineering Project or SMEP – a joint IOM, UNHCR and WFP initiative to improve infrastructure in the refugee camps, which are spread over miles of hilly terrain which was once forest. The refugees live at continual risk of landslides and flooding during the monsoon.  

Reza’s friend Anan, 29, who also completed the course, said that the area also poses unique construction challenges. There are virtually no rocks for construction or to secure structural foundations. Concrete slabs therefore have to be used for securing flood-prone houses and making pavements.  

“We learnt how to make concrete slabs. The techniques of how to mix the cement correctly and the proportions and types of sand were actually new to us,” said Anan, who had previously worked in construction, but with no formal training.  

When Reza and his friends graduated from the programme they felt ready to launch their own company: Star Construction. In addition to offering its services to aid agencies working in the camps, the company plans to serve the local community in Cox’s Bazar and to hire local workers.  

The training facility is one of various initiatives launched by the international community to help the “host community” in Cox’s Bazar, a previously isolated border area where the refugee relief effort has brought in technical experts from around the world.     

IOM sees training the local community in skills ranging from construction to computers and administration as a key element in localizing the delivery of relief services in Bangladesh, according to IOM Bangladesh Deputy Chief of Mission Manuel Pereira. 

With the success of its first training facility, IOM plans to expand its efforts with the addition of a two-story workshop in Kutupalong. On offer will be basic skills training in metal working, mechanics and possibly welding, he added. 

For more information please contact George McLeod at IOM Bangladesh, Tel: + +880 18 7071 8078, Email: gmcleod@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, June 14, 2019 - 16:58Image: Region-Country: BangladeshThemes: Migration and DevelopmentRohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

After graduation, Reza and his friends established their own company – Star Construction. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Entrepreneurship in Niger: 75 Start-up and Business Owners Meet to Dialogue on Youth Employment

PBN News Germany - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 10:56

Niamey – Every year a lack of job opportunities, extreme weather and extreme poverty push young Nigeriens to leave their country to search for a better life, either seasonally or indefinitely.  

To support Nigerien youth, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in January 2018 launched the “Initiatives for the Development of the Enterprise” (IDEE) project. IDEE aims to support local businesses creating job opportunities for young Nigeriens. 

On Thursday (13/06), in Niamey IOM organized its third national meeting for the 75 beneficiaries supported by the IDEE project, attended by more than 100 people, among which local and international authorities. 

Through its activities, the IDEE project helps sensitize youth on the creation of local work opportunities and entrepreneurial activities as alternatives to irregular migration, while also considering the needs of vulnerable groups such as women and people with disabilities. 

The IDEE project encourages young people to pursue higher education, to develop other sectors of the economy such as IT or fashion, and thus, to create innovative job opportunities for their peers. More than 75 per cent of Nigeriens currently employed work in agriculture (UNDP HDI 2018), the main sector for job creation in Niger. 

Two types of beneficiaries in three different cities of intervention (Niamey, Tahoua, Zinder) are being targeted through the project: young Nigerien entrepreneurs already in business, and young start-uppers who are looking to learn the technical skills they need to launch their businesses. 

The IDEE project supported 36 Nigerien entrepreneurs this past year; an additional 39 young graduates with innovative business ideas recently have been selected as beneficiaries.  

Each beneficiary was able to present their business during yesterday’s event, and to share their thoughts on the strengths and challenges of the project. Three beneficiaries received awards of recognition for their hard work and remarkable progress. 

“In all honesty, I don’t know where I would be today without the IDEE project,” says Naffissa, one of IDEE’s business owners in Niamey. Naffissa has a catering company in Niamey which she has been expanding since becoming an IDEE beneficiary. “I didn’t expect this award today, but I have given everything to my business, so this recognition today only makes me want to give more.”  

The meeting gave both groups an opportunity to meet and get to know each other, and also to build trust and professional momentum. Networking, the IDEE project believes, is a key component, and as such encourages beneficiaries to discuss among themselves and provide services for one another. 

“The IDEE project never limited itself to material support. Since its conception, a great importance has been given to an integrated support system,” said Martin Wyss, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Niger during the meeting. “Today we are here to promote mutual support and experience-sharing.” 

The IDEE project is funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development (AICS) and implemented by IOM in partnership with the Ministry for Youth Entrepreneurship in Niger, incubator CIPMEN, Capital Finance and the NGO Terre Solidali. 

Background information 

With socioeconomic and developmental indices situating Niger at the bottom of the pile (189/189 UNDP HDI 2018), the country sees 40 per cent of its population living below the poverty line. 

The high growth rates (an average of 7.6 children per woman) create a high dependency rate with almost 70 per cent of Niger’s 21.5 million inhabitants being under the age of 24. 

More than 100,000 people transited through Niger in 2018 on their way up north to either Libya, Algeria or further up, according to IOM’s Flow Monitoring Points in Niger – an estimate of 90 per cent of them of Nigerien nationality. 

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

 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 14, 2019 - 16:54Image: Region-Country: NigerThemes: Migration and YouthDefault: Multimedia: 

IDEE’s 75 beneficiaries met this Thursday (13/06) in Niamey to share experiences with youth entrepreneurship. Photo: IOM/ Daniel Kisito Kouawo 

IDEE’s 75 beneficiaries met this Thursday (13/06) in Niamey to share experiences with youth entrepreneurship. Photo: IOM/ Daniel Kisito Kouawo 

Kabirou is one of IDEE’s 36 business owners and one of the three beneficiaries to receive an award of recognition this Thursday (13/06) in Niamey. 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mopti: Over 50,000 People Displaced Amid Inter-communal Violence

PBN News Germany - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 10:53

Mopti – The deadly attack on Sunday (09/06) in the village of Sobane in central Mali, which killed 35 villagers – and 60 are still missing – continues to displace people to Mopti, one of the largest towns in central Mali.  

Four days after the attack, more than 100 internally displaced persons (IDPs) from Sobane had already been registered by officers of Mopti’s Regional Directorate for Social Development (DRDS). This number comes on top of the almost 50,000 IDPs, of which 58 per cent are children, already registered in the cities of Mopti, Sévaré and Fotama, in central Mali, since January 2019. 

These IDPs have all fled inter-communal violence to seek shelter from host populations, which are struggling to meet the IDPs’ basic needs.  

“One night, while I was in Bamako, my eldest son called to inform me about the arrival at home of families saying that their villages had been attacked, ransacked and burned out and that they had left everything behind to seek refuge in,” Hawa explains. 

Hawa, a teacher and mother of three, has sheltered in her house in Mopti, in central Mali, 172 IDPs who have fled intercommunal conflicts in March 2019.  

“We are in need of food, water, tents because people keep coming,” she adds. 

The 711 IDPs already registered since March 2019 on the site of Soukoura, the IDP camp run by the Government of Mali, in Mopti region, and the IDPs living in makeshift camps (such as that of Hawa’s family) have already received immediate assistance. 

But this assistance is not enough anymore as internal displacements continue.  

“There is an urgent need to address water and sanitation issues as well as problems posed by the rainy season and flooding which present a threat to these displaced persons,” says Boubacar Diallo, Head of Social Protection Division at the Regional Directorate of Social Development and Economy in Mopti.  

“The situation requires our attention in terms of food, water, sanitation and shelter provisions. We must coordinate our actions and strengthen our response capacity to address these emergencies,” said Pascal Reyntjens, Chief of Mission of IOM Mali.  

Starting next week, IOM will provide 50 tents with a capacity of 10 people per tent and is ready to strengthen the DRDS IDP profiling team. 

The remaining 334 survivors who are still living in the village attacked on Sunday will also receive non-food item kits (mats, mosquito nets, sanitary items, water storage containers, cooking utensils, etc.). 

Since 2012, the humanitarian situation in the country is very volatile due to the growing insecurity caused by inter-communal conflicts and violent attacks against civilians in the North and Centre of the country.  

Government authorities, the Civil Protection, the Malian Red Cross, civil society organizations and UN agencies (UNICEF, UNHCR, WFP, OCHA and IOM) are working together to assist these thousands of IDPs in need of immediate assistance (hospitality, profiling, food, shelter, non-food assistance and health care). 

Since 2012, IOM Mali has been working in Mopti region by addressing IDPs’ needs through the provision of shelter, water, and sanitation. As part of community stabilization projects, IOM has already built a multifunctional centre for women in Konna, rehabilitated the Community Health Centres (CSCOM) of Debere, Hombori and Diona in Douentza, as well as schools in Kourarou, Hombori and Youwarou. 

As of May 2019, the number of IDPs in Mali had reached 120,067 among which 49,426 are in Mopti region. 

For more information, please contact Seydou Tangara at IOM Mali, Tel: +223 76 42 63 59, Email: stangara@iom.int,  or Florence Kim at the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa, Tel: +221 78 620 62 13, Email: fkim@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 14, 2019 - 16:46Image: Region-Country: MaliThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

Children IDPs in Soukoura IDP camp in Mopti Region IDP camp in Soukoura, Mopti region. Photo credit: IOM/Seydou Tangara 

Children IDPs in Soukoura IDP camp in Mopti Region IDP camp in Soukoura, Mopti region. Photo credit: IOM/Seydou Tangara 

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 24,645 in 2019; Deaths Reach 555

PBN News Germany - Fri, 06/14/2019 - 10:45

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reports that 24,645 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through 12 June, roughly a 33 per cent decrease from the 36,612 arriving during the same period last year. Arrivals to both Spain and Greece account for 82 per cent of all arrivals, with the balance arriving this year in Italy, Malta and Cyprus.  

Deaths recorded on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through 163 days of 2019 are at 555 individuals – or less than two thirds of the 875 deaths confirmed during the same period in 2018 (see chart below). 

IOM Spain 

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported on Thursday (13/06) that sea arrivals in the Western Mediterranean are now at 8,523 men, women and children through 12 June. That is well below the total for this same period last year when 9,315 irregular migrants had arrived in Spain by the Western Mediterranean route.  

While Spain was the Mediterranean’s busiest irregular migration route in 2018, activity in these waters appears to have tapered off significantly after a fast start earlier this year. June arrivals this year through almost two weeks are just 467 men, women and children – or just under 40 per day, Dodevska reported. Last year through 30 days of June the total was entering Spain for the month was 6,926 – or 230 per day to Spain via this same route (see charts below). 

IOM Greece 

IOM Greece’s Christine Nikolaidou reported on Thursday (13/06) that from Tuesday (11/06) up to date, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported at least eight incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Lesvos, Kos, Samos, Leros, Farmakonisi and Alexandroupoli’s port. The HCG rescued a total of 234 migrants and transferred them to those respective spots. 

Those arrivals, others arriving between 10 June and 12 June, bring to 11,683 the total number of sea arrivals to Greece this year (see chart below). Greece’s 2019 arrivals now are now virtually even with the 11,812 arrivals to Greece through this same period in 2018. 

Missing Migrants Project 

2019 is the sixth year of IOM’s efforts to systematically record deaths on migration routes worldwide through its Missing Migrants Project. Since the beginning of 2014, the project has recorded the deaths of 32,046 individuals, including 1,089 in 2019 (see chart below). 

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

During the past week in the Mediterranean, Missing Migrants Project recorded the deaths of 12 people. In the Eastern Mediterranean, seven people drowned on 11 June, when a seven-metre rubber boat capsized in the sea area of Pamfyla, 2.5 miles off the port of Mytilene, Lesvos. According to the Hellenic Coast Guard, the victims – four women, two young girls and one man – were rescued from the water unconscious and transferred to the local hospital, where their deaths were confirmed. The boat was carrying a total of 64 migrants, among them 57 survivors. Most survivors come from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, while some originated from Cameroon and Angola.  

In the Western Mediterranean, the deaths of five people were reported. On 12 June, Spanish rescue services rescued 49 people (39 men, 4 women and one little boy, with five others whose ages and genders have not been described) from a boat sinking 22 miles off the coast of Motril, Granada, after they had been adrift for more than a day in the Alboran Sea. They reported that four people had fallen overboard and drowned before the rescue. Their bodies have not been recovered. Five survivors had to be medically evacuated by helicopter to a hospital in Almería. Tragically, one of them, a man whose identity is not known, died on the way. The four others, all men, were transferred to the intensive care unit of the hospital where they remain in serious condition. Nine survivors were transferred to the local hospital in Motril, Granada, as some of them, including a little boy and his mother, were admitted with severe burns.  

This past week was marked by several tragedies on the US-Mexico border, where 23 people have died since 30 May, or one per day.  

Several deaths were recorded on private ranch lands in Texas last week. The US Border Patrol reported that they found the remains of a 20-year-old Mexican woman on a ranch near Carrizo Springs, in Dimmit County. Two days later, the remains of a man were found near a ranch gate also in Carrizo Springs. Near Eagle Pass, the bodies of two men were found floating in the Río Bravo by US Border Patrol agents on 7 June.  

Further upstream, the remains of eight people have been found in El Paso border canals over the past few days. The deaths occurred amid rising water levels in canals and the Río Bravo, a normal occurrence during the summer. On Monday, 10 June, authorities found the bodies of three men in a storm-water drain near Ascarate Park, in El Paso. That same day, the body of a fourth man was found in a canal near Upper Valley Road. The remains of a woman were found on Saturday, 8 June, in a canal along Passmore Road, also in El Paso. On Wednesday, 13 June the bodies of an adult man and a little girl were recovered from a canal in the Lower Valley. Water levels in the Río Bravo and its canals have been rising recently with the release of water from dams upstream, which happens annually for the summer irrigation season.  

In the Caribbean, families reported that 32 Venezuelans are missing after the boat they were travelling on sank on its way to the island of Curaçao. The migrants left from Venezuela’s north-western state of Falcón on Friday, 7 June. Authorities in Curaçao recovered the body of a man on Sunday, 9 June near Bullenbaai. Forensic experts determined that he died 12 hours before his remains were recovered. The island’s coast guard is still investigating whether he was part of the boat reported missing by family members in Venezuela.  

These deaths are not yet included in the MMP totals, as the team is trying to verify reports of the sinking. Likewise, reports of another sinking that may have happened in mid-May are still pending verification. Families from the community of Güiria in Venezuela reported that 22 people went missing off the coast of Trinidad and Tobago on 18 May. On 24 April, another shipwreck was recorded off the coast of Trinidad and Tobago, in which one person died and 22 went missing. Coast Guard units rescued 11 survivors.  

If these reports are confirmed, as many as 77 Venezuelans may have drowned while fleeing the county since mid-April. The MMP team has recorded 82 confirmed deaths in the Caribbean in 2019, compared to 19 during the same period of 2018.  

On the sea crossing between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, reports emerged of a tragic incident in early June, when 13 people were rescued by the Dominican Navy from a boat in distress 22 miles off Punta de los Nidos. Survivors reported that seven people had drowned before they were rescued, but their bodies were not recovered. A 43-year-old pregnant woman died in the hospital a day after the rescue.  

Not counting the unverified reports mentioned above—potentially some 54 missing migrants—as well as another 42 potential fatalities IOM’s Missing Migrants Project considers still under investigation in Mexico, to date at least 316 people have lost their lives in the Americas in 2019, compared with 223 recorded through this point in 2018.   

The mark of 300 deaths, surpassed on 12 June, is the earliest so many fatalities have been recorded on Western Hemisphere migration corridors during the past four years. Last year, 300 deaths were not recorded until past mid-July (24/07), while in 2017 the mark was hit in late June (29/06) and on 15 July in 2016. 

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrants’ deaths and disappearances are collected, click here. For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, click here. Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project

 See contacts here

Language English Posted: Friday, June 14, 2019 - 16:35Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Operation off Lesvos, Greece - 7 Confirmed Drowned, 57 Rescued on Mediterranean’s Busiest Route

PBN News Germany - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 12:32

Christine Nikolaidou of IOM Greece’s Athens office confirmed Tuesday morning these details of a deadly shipwreck off the island of Lesvos in Greece’s Aegean Sea. The location of the tragedy appears to have been approximately 2.5 miles away from the Lesvos’ port of Mitilene, in an area known as Pamfyla.

The rescue operation began at 7:00 am Tuesday morning, with forces from the Hellenic Coast Guard, Frontex and the Hellenic Air Force searching waters for victims. The HCG reported the operation finished at 11:30 AM, adding that it knows of no victims who remain missing.

Authorities say at least seven people have drowned after the capsizing of a seven-meter rubber dinghy believed to have left the Ayvalık region of Turkey’s coastline after midnight Tuesday morning.

The victims are four adult women, one adult male and two young girls. No additional information has been released so far about the victims’ nationality or age.

According to Greek authorities, the victims were retrieved from the water unconscious and were rushed to a local hospital, where their deaths were confirmed.

IOM Greece reports that the boat was carrying a total of 64 migrants, among them 57 survivors. According to unofficial information more than half the passengers came from three Sub-Saharan African countries: The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon and Angola.

These deaths would bring to 41 this year’s totals on the so-called Eastern Mediterranean route linking Africa and the Middle East to Europe. That compares with 46 drownings on this route through 9 June 2018. The Eastern Mediterranean route is also 2019’s busiest sea crossing lane for irregular migrants trying to reach Europe, with 9,660 arrivals to either Greece or Cyprus through 9 June, a slight increase over the 9,352 arrivals reported through 9 June last year (see chart below).

For further information, please contact Christine Nikolaidou, IOM Greece, Tel.:   +30 210 99 19 040 Email: cnikolaidou@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 12:30Image: Region-Country: GreeceThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Awareness Raising Campaign Seeks to Protect Venezuelan Migrants and Refugees from Trafficking and Smuggling Networks

PBN News Germany - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 11:22

Bogotá – #TuVidaCambia (Your Life Changes) awareness raising campaign has been launched in Colombia to protect Venezuelan migrants and refugees from falling prey to trafficking and smuggling networks. This is a common danger Venezuelans face as they migrate through Colombia, as they seek places to settle, or while in transit to other South American destinations, including like Chile, Ecuador and Perú. 

Implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), with financial support from the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), this new campaign is based on a song--#TuVidaCambia—which is, itself, an adaptation of a Venezuelan folk song, Sentir Zuliano*.  

The song easily transmits prevention messages during the long and exhausting journeys of refugees and migrants crossing the country who are at risk of becoming victims of human trafficking given their significant levels of vulnerability. 

Ana Eugenia Durán Salvatierra, IOM Chief of Mission in Colombia explained: “The new version of the song is performed by the band Vos y yo, formed by Venezuelan migrants residing in Colombia.” 

She added: “The adapted lyric and other components of the campaign, including live presentations and printed and digital materials with prevention messages, support our goal to provide relevant information to raise awareness among refugees and migrants on the dangers of being deceived and compelled to work under forced labour conditions, becoming victims of sexual exploitation or mendicity, among other forms of trafficking in persons crimes.” 

Vos y yo, the band that recorded the track, also travelled between Cúcuta, Colombia, the city on the border with Venezuela, and Bogotá, performing before over 1,000 people in some 20 live shows last week. 

Venezuelan refugees and migrants received additional messages to prevent them from falling into human trafficking networks. This crime violates human rights and pursues economic or other benefits by exploiting people, both in and outside Colombia. 

As of June 2019, over four million Venezuelans have left their country, with neighboring Colombia thus far their main destination, according to the Coordination Platform for Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants (R4V). As reported by the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, by 30th April 2019 nearly 1.3 million Venezuelans remain in Colombia. 

Ministry of Interior data reveal that between 2013 and 2018, there were 422 cases registered as victims of trafficking in persons in Colombia. Women accounted for 84 per cent of victims and sexual exploitation was the most frequent modality (60%), followed by forced labour (25%). Out of such cases, 58 per cent of the victims were 18 to 30 years of age. 

Since the mid 1990s, IOM together with its global partners has provided protection and assistance to nearly 100,000 men, women and children victims of human trafficking for the purpose of sexual and labour exploitation, slavery and other similar practices, such as domestic servitude or organ removal. 

Campaign messages may be disseminated and replicated among refugee and migrant communities, with the hashtag #TuVidaCambia

* Norberto Pirela and Joseito Rodríguez composed the original song Sentir Zuliano

For further information please contact IOM Colombia: Andrea López Pinilla, Email: anlopez@iom.int, or Karen Mora, Tel: 57)1 639 7777, Email: kmora@iom.int 

Read the Spanish Press Note published in Colombia

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 17:19Image: Region-Country: ColombiaThemes: Human SmugglingRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

The band performing in Cucuta, a Colombian city on the border with Venezuela. Photo: IOM

Refugees and migrants receiving information to prevent trafficking. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Reintegrating Migrants While Rehabilitating the Environment

PBN News Germany - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 11:17

Addis Ababa – Competition for scarce living space is a driving force in global migration, especially within Africa.  

For migrants who opt to return to their countries of origin, coming home to confront the same land pressures that contributed to their initial migration can be quite disheartening. 

Climate change and environmental degradation can result in serious, economic challenges for populations that are highly dependent on rain-fed agriculture. Migration can be an effective adaptation strategy but can also place people in situations of grave vulnerability if not managed in a safe and regular way. 

A degraded environment is just one issue returning migrants often must contend with, especially in countries with acute land demands, like Ethiopia. The adverse impacts of climate change in Ethiopia, particularly droughts and floods, displaced almost 300,000 people in 2018, according to research conducted by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre.  

A new intervention, known as “Integrated Sustainable Reintegration Assistance Project for Ethiopian Migrant Returnees in Amhara Region,” is designed to address this reality, by seeking change through a community-based approach. 

The project was launched last week in Kombolcha town, in Ethiopia’s Amhara region, as part of/under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration. 

IOM will implement the initiative in partnership with the Ethiopian Evangelical Church. The  Mekane Yesus Development and Social Service Commission (EECMY DASSC) falls within the purview of the North Central Ethiopia Synod Branch Office, an NGO that has strong grassroots networks, having worked with local communities in these regions for the last three decades. 

The intervention aims to create an enabling environment that ensures sustainable reintegration for vulnerable Amhara returnees. It plans to promote sustainable economic, social and psychological reintegration through increased livelihoods and employment opportunities. Referral systems and counselling services are being designed to improve social cohesion between returnees and their communities of origin. 

At the same time, a different arm of the community project is due to be implemented to help reduce land degradation in selected watershed areas in two kebeles (wards) of Habru Woreda (district), North Wollo Amhara region. Fruit tree cultivation will play a key role for identified community members and returnees.  

Community members, along with returnees, will develop 70 hectares of water sheds whereby suitable soil conservation structures will be constructed to harvest rain water and trap silt sediments. That, in turn, will improve soil fertility and promote the productivity of trees and grasses that can help restore lost vegetation cover in these arid spots. 

Fruit tree cultivation also will generate income. The sale of seedlings from the established nursery as well as the fruit itself may begin in about four years. In addition, over 240 community members will participate in “community conversations” that will discuss land degradation.  

Dejene Bayu from the office of the Amhara Regional Government Bureau of Finance and Economic Cooperation (BOFEC), welcomed the projects, saying: “We have seen and reviewed the project documents; we support (it) and will continue to do so. The projects are very important as they touch on the core challenges that affect this region.” 

Addisu Alamirew, the director of the implementing partner EECMDSS, explained: “This new community-based project will not only address environmental and economic challenges faced by local people, but it will also extend to other societal issues affecting this region including climate change awareness, migration, gender and public health, through the community focus group activities.” 

“The community-based approach to programming through community focus groups ensures that the project does not only benefit returnees but also influence those who may be considering irregular migration, as they will be engaged in conversations about safe, regular and orderly migration during the focus group meetings,” added Endashaw Kassa, EECMY DASSC programme officer on the project. 

The EU-IOM Joint Initiative in the Horn of Africa is a EUR 43 million programme funded by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and currently in its third year of implementation. It aims at facilitating safe, regular and responsible migration management through the development of rights-based and development-focused procedures and processes, focusing on migrant protection and sustainable reintegration. It is active in 26 African countries. 

For more information please contact Helina Mengistu on: hmengistu@iom.int and Lisa Lim Ah Ken on: llimahken@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 17:13Image: Region-Country: EthiopiaThemes: Migration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Community leaders and returnees following proceedings during the official launch.

Community leaders and returnees following proceedings during the official launch.

Panelist from government, IOM and the implementing organization taking questions from the audience.

Government official Mr. Dejene Bayu speaking during the official launch.

Local farmer Mohamed Hassen standing in front what’s left of his degraded farm

Community leaders showing the level of degradation caused by seasonal flooding

Farming land left unproductive following decades of degradation.

Farming land left unproductive following decades of degradation.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Caribbean Countries, IOM Address Climate Change and Human Mobility Challenges

PBN News Germany - Tue, 06/11/2019 - 11:12

Port of Spain – The growing frequency and intensity of tropical storms and other natural disasters have pushed Caribbean countries to prioritise their response planning. Tackling the challenges of human mobility in the context of disasters and climate change in the region has become a top concern.  

This was the focus of a meeting in Trinidad and Tobago, where 18 Caribbean countries and territories and 12 international and regional organizations, as well as observers, gathered last week (6-7 June). 

Organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) under the framework of the Caribbean Migration Consultations (CMC), the recent event also was supported by the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) and the UN Refugee Agency, marking the second regional meeting aimed at supporting technical specialists and government officials to identify gaps related to disasters and displacement and developing policies to enhance the region’s overall preparedness and response capacity.  

“The participation of so many Caribbean countries and territories demonstrates the importance that the region places on addressing together the impacts of climate change on human mobility,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for Central America, North America and the Caribbean. “Regional cooperation represents a key opportunity for the future. The Caribbean Migration Consultations foster these exchanges on migration issues. Our hope for the CMC is that it enables discussions on migration and climate change and will build on the momentum created from this conference.” 

The discussions focused on four thematic issues: managing disaster displacement risks and the inclusion of human mobility into national and regional disaster risk reduction (DRR) policies and adapting planning processes; migration as adaptation to environmental and climate change; protection challenges in the context of human mobility in countries affected by disasters; and addressing cross-border disaster-displacement (migration law and policies).  

“Caribbean countries and regional institutions have made great advances in preventing and addressing environmental migration,” says Pablo Escribano, IOM regional specialist on Migration, Environment, and Climate Change. “Consolidating these initiatives and sharing best practices represent great opportunities to design a way forward and address the challenges together.” 

Among the participants were representatives from countries and territories such as Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cuba, Curaçao, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos Islands.  

Other institutions were also represented at the event, such as the embassies of the United States, Switzerland, and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, as well as international and regional organizations such as CARICOM IMPACS, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, CDEMA, OECS, UNHCR, ECLAC, PDD, the German Development Cooperation, academic institutions and other key actors.  

To learn more about the event, go to https://caribbeanmigration.org/events/regional-consultation-towards-framework-regional-cooperation-human-mobility-context-disasters.   

For more information, please contact Brendan Tarnay at the IOM Regional Office for Central America, North America and the Caribbean, Tel: +506 2212 5304, Email: btarnay@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2019 - 17:10Image: Region-Country: Trinidad and TobagoThemes: Migration and Climate ChangeDefault: Multimedia: 

Representatives of 18 Caribbean countries and 15 international organizations gathered in Trinidad and Tobago to tackle issues on human mobility in the context of disasters generated by climate change.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM’s Vitorino, UNHCR’s Grandi Discuss Challenges Ahead with EU Home Affairs Ministers

PBN News Germany - Sat, 06/08/2019 - 14:46

BRUSSELS – Today, Antonio Vitorino, the IOM Director General and Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, attended a lunch with EU Ministers participating in the first Justice and Home Affairs Council in Luxembourg after the European Parliament elections to discuss the challenges ahead on asylum and migration.
 
The Director General and High Commissioner called for leadership on asylum and migration and underlined that safe, orderly and regular migration is best achieved through a whole-of-government approach and in close cooperation with partners.
 
Despite the substantive decrease in the arrival of asylum seekers and migrants to Europe since 2016, a comprehensive approach to these issues remains lacking. A number of key areas were identified, where leadership is urgently needed.
 
The deterioration of the situation in Libya was highlighted as requiring more urgency in the responses, while peace efforts are sustained. The Director General and High Commissioner reiterated that Libya is not a safe place for disembarkation given the current conditions which make this country a dangerous and unsuitable place for refugees and migrants. In addition, the conditions in the detention centres to which people are transferred are appalling. More support is needed for those trapped in Libya, including more active support for the emergency transit mechanism from Libya generously facilitated by Niger, and alternatives to disembarkation in Libya.
 
In this context, more responsibility-sharing is required and the EU was strongly encouraged to lead by example. The Director General and High Commissioner welcomed the progress made on temporary arrangements for disembarkation within the EU. However, once again they reiterated their proposal for a predictable mechanism noting that it was not yet in place. Every boat adrift in the Mediterranean is further evidence that this simply cannot go on. They equally noted the progress made in North Africa on the development of protection space, and called for a change in narrative that focuses on partnership with countries beyond the EU, and responsibility sharing at the global level.
 
At the same time, they called for more and smarter funding to help displaced people to rebuild new lives in host countries where they live and to support conditions in countries of origin for return in safety and dignity. A comprehensive reintegration policy is key to achieving sustainability.
 
While welcoming the fact that EU Member States have increased the number of resettlement arrivals in recent years, the Director General and High Commissioner pointed to the need for additional opportunities for resettlement and legal migration pathways.
 
The Director General and High Commissioner equally expressed the hope that in these critical times, with a new European Commission in formation, the reform of the Common European Asylum System can gain a fresh momentum.
 
It is time truly to learn from the lessons of recent years and put in place systems that work. The Director General and High Commissioner strongly expressed their commitment to support the EU and Member States in these efforts.
 
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT:
IOM: Ryan Schroeder
+32 (0)492 25 02 34
RSCHROEDER@iom.int

UNHCR: Gabriela Romero Alvarez
+32 (0)474 96 29 59
romerog@unhcr.org
 

Language English Posted: Saturday, June 8, 2019 - 14:27Image: Region-Country: BelgiumThemes: migrants in vulnerable situationsDefault: Multimedia: 

Photo: IOM Libya / Mansour Duffani

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM’s 2019 Emergency and Recovery Appeal to Assist 1.5 Million People in Need in Ethiopia

PBN News Germany - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 10:59

Geneva – Mass internal displacement throughout Ethiopia due to consecutive years of drought and conflict have left nearly nine million people in need of humanitarian assistance and protection. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is appealing to the international community for USD 50 million to continue offering lifesaving assistance to 1.5 million people in need.  

Today’s request by IOM is part of the comprehensive inter-agency 2019 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) for Ethiopia, which aims to raise USD 1.3. billion to support 8.3 million people. Half-way through the year, less than one-third of the HRP has been funded.  

“IOM has been steadfast in its commitment to assisting the people in need of humanitarian assistance throughout Ethiopia,” said Maureen Achieng, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Ethiopia. “With the threat of an impending drought that is feared to be just as bad if not worse than the one in 2016-2017, the international community must continue to focus on saving lives and supporting the protection and safety of millions of people in need.”   

The strongest El Niño phenomenon on record led to an extreme drought in 2016 and 2017, that left over 16 million people in need of food and nutritional assistance, access to safe drinking water and livelihoods support. 

In 2018, IOM significantly increased its humanitarian response in Ethiopia to address emergency needs in multiple conflict-induced internal displacements along the Somali-Oromia border in Dire Dawa, and in Gedeo (SNNP) and West Guji (Oromia) Zones. To better serve the Gedeo-Guji inter-agency response, IOM manages humanitarian hubs in both zones.  

In addition, IOM assisted a total of 190,000 Ethiopian migrants to voluntarily return from Saudi Arabia last year. Nearly 9,000 of the most vulnerable returnees received immediate post-arrival assistance.  

The second largest refugee hosting country in Africa, Ethiopia is hosting some 900,000 refugees primarily from South Sudan, Somalia and elsewhere, with additional refugees continuing to arrive. Transportation of newly arrived refugees from border entry points remains critical, as well as the provision of shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and livelihood support.  

“With continued support from our donors and partners, IOM hopes to continue the multi-sector life-saving assistance that has helped mitigate the worst effects of the crisis in previous years,” added Achieng. 

Funds received from this year’s appeal will allow IOM to offer shelter, non-food items, WASH assistance, protection, mental health and psychosocial support to affected populations. It will also allow IOM to continue its work in cluster coordination, site management support and refugee movements, as well as managing its Rapid Response Fund and Displacement Tracking Matrix.  

Resources for ensuring durable solutions through community stabilization, conflict resolution and peacebuilding, and durable shelter initiatives are also prioritized in the 2019 response plan.   

Download IOM’s 2019 Emergency and Recovery Appeal for Ethiopia here

For more information, please contact please contact Alemayehu Seifeselassie, Tel: +251.91.163.9082, Email: salemayehu@iom.int  

Language English Posted: Friday, June 7, 2019 - 16:58Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM distributes shelter materials and blankets to displaced people in Gedeb, Ethiopia.  Photo: IOM/Olivia Headon

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

IOM Supports Communities in Dominica to Prepare for Upcoming Hurricane Season

PBN News Germany - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 10:54

Roseau – More than 200 community members in Dominica received emergency preparedness training from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), on the eve of start of the Atlantic hurricane season. The training activities include topics such as first aid, fire safety, community emergency response training (CERT), gender-based violence, psychosocial support and emergency shelter management. 

“The objective of the training activities is to ensure that disaster coordinators from the Department of Local Government, Public Health, the Police, Fire Service, Youth Division, and other areas of the public service, active community members and responders in general, apply best practices in responding to community needs before, during and after an emergency,” said Maxine Alleyne-Esprit, Community Engagement Officer for IOM Dominica.  

The training builds on previous activities undertaken by IOM since the devastating Hurricane Maria in 2017, which focused on meeting the needs of people who were displaced from their homes by the disaster. IOM supported more than 700 families with house repair and house construction, and has also repaired 16 emergency shelters, which have been supplied with non-food items, household equipment and safety supplies.   

Shelter managers, local authorities and government officials were introduced to participatory strategies for managing shelters, the humanitarian principles that should underpin shelter management, and the “Emergency Shelter Manual” which contains recently standardised guidelines and tools for Emergency Shelters in Dominica.  

This manual has been developed by IOM under the leadership of the Local Government Division, Office of Disaster Management (ODM) and Ministry of Disaster Management, in close consultation, experienced shelter managers and other key stakeholders and will be formally presented to the government early in June.  

IOM joins the ODM in urging all residents to be prepared at all times for an emergency, as preparedness is key to saving lives. 

“My dream is that we have community-managed disaster risk reduction,” said Jan Willem Wegdam, team leader at IOM Dominica. “Communities should be in charge. Communities can do the assessments. Communities ask for support. Communities repair their shelters or take care of their fellow citizens.”   

Visit www.odm.gov.dm for information on hazards that affect Dominica, and the recommended actions before, during and after these events.   

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

Language English Posted: Friday, June 7, 2019 - 16:52Image: Region-Country: DominicaThemes: Migration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Participants during the ham radio training session.

Participants with their certificates, at the end of the training.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

US, IOM Support Madagascar Review of Multiyear Counter-Trafficking Efforts

PBN News Germany - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 10:52

Antananarivo – “All I wanted was to go home,” recalls a Malagasy woman in the capital of the island nation of Madagascar, off south-eastern Africa. She is one of the many victims of trafficking assisted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) during the recent months’ upsurge in repatriation cases.  

Trafficking in Persons (TIP) remains a significant challenge here. According to research by IOM and its partners, women are particularly vulnerable and subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour in the domestic sector. 

Thousands of Malagasy women are employed as domestic workers in Lebanon, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia and often face exploitation. They sent under false promises of legitimate work to China and end up exploited in forced labour and sometimes sold as brides.  

In the first six months of 2019, more than 160 women victims of trafficking have been assisted to return to Madagascar, a record. 

To review efforts in the country’s implementation of its counter-trafficking response, IOM supported the government body in charge of the Coordination of the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons in holding a national conference of evaluation of the nation’s first quadrennial National Action Plan on TIP, which was developed in 2015 and is coming to term this year. 

The national conference – held in Antananarivo this week under the Prime Minister’s patronage – gathered close to 80 participants from government and other public entities, representatives from the country’s 22 regions, UN agencies, and civil society to review and assess the progresses in the Madagascar’s implementation of the plan of action, and to pave the way for a new generation of action plan to be developed and implemented from 2020 and onwards. 

Over three days, participants unpacked challenges and opportunities with regard to prevention of trafficking in persons, protection of victims of trafficking, prosecution of traffickers, and partnerships within the country – as well as internationally.  

Oly Ratrimosoa, the Executive Secretary of the National Coordination Office for the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons, noted: “As the first Action Plan comes to its term, a proper review of our action is necessary to inform a renewed drive for effective counter-trafficking response in Madagascar in the years to come.” 

This event was organized by IOM under the broader Strengthened Capacities for Improved Coordination, Protection, and Prosecution on Trafficking in Persons in Madagascar project, which is funded by the United States State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP).  

It is also under this project that IOM has in recent years, provided comprehensive technical support towards the criminal justice system’s response to Trafficking in Persons through victim-centred investigations and prosecutions of cases; strengthened coordination for more effective implementation of the national anti-trafficking response; and improved data collection and reporting. 

For more information please contact Daniel Silva y Poveda, IOM Madagascar at Tel: +261 32 56 54 954, Email: dsilva@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 7, 2019 - 16:50Image: Region-Country: MadagascarThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: 

 IOM supports beneficiaries to reintegrate – here a beneficiary victim of trafficking who was supported to set up a grocery store.

Participants during the opening of the national conference under the patronage of the Prime Minister of Madagascar.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Canada, IOM Co-host First Global Conference on the Regulation of International Recruitment and Protection of Migrant Workers

PBN News Germany - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 10:49

Montreal — The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is co-hosting the first-ever global conference on the regulation of international recruitment and protection of migrant workers, in partnership with the Government of Canada, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the US Department of State and the Province of Quebec. 

The conference brings together 100 participants from 30+ countries around the world for two days to examine challenges, opportunities and good practices to improve regulation and enforcement related to cross-border labour recruitment. Senior policymakers, leading experts and practitioners representing the Ministries of Labour, Foreign Affairs and Immigration will lead a global dialogue to co-create clear, practical guidance to better monitor the private recruitment industry and protect migrant workers throughout recruitment, deployment and employment. 

“IOM is delighted to host this first-of-its-kind global conference on recruitment regulation,” said Dr. Marina Manke, Head of IOM’s Labour Mobility and Human Development Division. “The enthusiastic response from governments across the world shows a growing interest among regulators to better understand and address challenges related to cross-border placement of workers.” 

“Private recruitment agencies play a vital role in connecting labour supply and demand, but in many jurisdictions, they operate with minimal or no oversight, placing migrants at significant risk. This conference – which will contribute to the creation of global policy recommendations – will enable governments to take a vital step forward in monitoring international recruitment and protecting migrants,” she added. 

IOM helps governments and partners to harness the development outcomes of migration by inter alia focusing on the protection of migrant workers and seeking to enhance the benefits of labour migration for all parties. The division operates the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS) — a global multi-stakeholder initiative designed to promote ethical recruitment with the support of governments, civil society, the labour movement, private sector and ethical recruiters. 

For more information please contact Philip Hunter, Tel: +41 79 582 22 83, Email: phunter@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Friday, June 7, 2019 - 16:38Image: Region-Country: CanadaThemes: IOMLabour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Migrant workers like these in Nepal are often vulnerable to exploitation by recruitment agencies.

Migrant workers like these in Nepal are often vulnerable to exploitation by recruitment agencies.

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Refugees and Migrants From Venezuela top Four Million: IOM and UNHCR

PBN News Germany - Fri, 06/07/2019 - 09:45

Geneva – The number of Venezuelans leaving their country has reached four million, IOM, the International Organization for Migration, and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, announced today. Worldwide, only Syrian refugees, at 5.6 million, surpass Venezuelans as the largest population displaced from their country.
 
The pace of the outflow from Venezuela has been staggering. From 646,134 at the end of 2015, the number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela had skyrocketed to 3,929,560 by mid-2019, according to data from national immigration authorities and other sources. In just seven months since November 2018, the number of refugees and migrants increased by one million.
 
Latin American countries are hosting the vast majority of Venezuelans, with Colombia accounting for some 1.3 million, followed by Peru, with 768,000, Chile 288,000, Ecuador 263,000, Argentina 130,000, and Brazil 96,000. Mexico and countries in Central America and the Caribbean are also hosting significant numbers of refugees and migrants from Venezuela.
 
“These alarming figures highlight the urgent need to support host communities in the receiving countries,” said Eduardo Stein, joint UNHCR-IOM Special Representative for Venezuelan refugees and migrants. “Latin American and Caribbean countries are doing their part to respond to this unprecedented crisis, but they cannot be expected to continue doing it without international help.”
 
Governments in the region have established mechanisms for coordinating their response and facilitating the legal, social and economic inclusion of Venezuelan citizens. Chief among them is the Quito Process, which has brought together Latin American countries affected by the outflow of Venezuelan refugees and migrants. To complement these efforts, a humanitarian Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RMRP) was launched last December, targeting 2.2 million Venezuelans and 580,000 people in host communities in 16 countries. So far, the RMRP is only 21 percent funded.
 
For more information on this topic, please contact:
 
For IOM
In Geneva, Paul Dillon, pdillon@iom.int, + 41 79 636 98 74
In Buenos Aires, Carolina Celi, cceli@iom.int, +54 11 3232 11384
 
For UNHCR:
In Geneva, Liz Throssell, throssel@unhcr.org, +4179337 7591
In Panama, William Spindler, spindler@unhcr.org, +50763827815
In Panama, Olga Sarrado, sarrado@unhcr.org, +50766400185
For background information please consult the Regional Inter-Agency Coordination Platform website: R4V.info

Language English Posted: Friday, June 7, 2019 - 09:39Image: Region-Country: Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)Themes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

Venezuelan people crossing from Colombia to Ecuador, Rumichaca International bridge. Photo: IOMEcuador

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

Tragedy Averted Following Fire at Bosnian Migrant Centre

PBN News Germany - Tue, 06/04/2019 - 14:24

Sarajevo – A tragedy of horrific proportions was avoided over the weekend by the quick action and cool thinking of an International Organization for Migration (IOM) staffer on duty at the Miral Temporary Reception Centre in Velika Kladuša, Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

At 06:20 Saturday, a fire broke out on the first floor of a building accommodating 247 migrants and refugees. The first person to react was IOM’s Edvin Kaloper, who was working the night shift with his colleague Haris Pajalic. Kaloper noticed smoke coming out from the top floor of the dormitory and immediately called the local fire brigade, who were on the scene within minutes. 

“The first thought I had was a memory of our training: ‘Do not try to extinguish the fire, save lives!’” said Kaloper. 

All of the people in the building were brought out safely; however, 28 suffered non-life-threatening injuries, 19 of which required hospitalization. Eight migrants remain in hospital today, including two who jumped out of windows. 

IOM staff trained to respond to such events are always present in the centre.  

“IOM staff organized a swift evacuation within a few minutes,” said Peter Van der Auweraert, IOM Chief of Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sub-Regional Coordinator for the Western Balkans. 

“Also, the rapid response by Velika Kladuša firefighters ensured that there were no casualties and the fire was quickly put under control. This is a good example of collaboration in crisis at its best.” 

The Miral migrant centre was established in November 2018, following an increasing need for emergency accommodation for migrants and refugees trying to reach the European Union. Prior to that, migrants stayed at a nearby informal camp in appalling conditions.  

Miral provides shelter, food and basic necessities for each migrant, with the EU’s financial support. IOM staff and partners are ensuring that the migrants and refugees who were affected by the fire have new accommodation and everything else they need. 

Additional personnel are working around the clock to set up temporary tents to accommodate the migrants and to get the part of the centre affected by fire habitable again as soon as possible. 

For more information please contact Edita Selimbegovic on +387 61 215 839, Email: eselimbegovic@iom.int  

 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, June 4, 2019 - 14:08Image: Region-Country: Bosnia and HerzegovinaThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff race to prepare tents to serve as temporary accommodation for fire-affected migrants in Velika Kladusa, Bosnia.  Photo: IOM 

 

Charred bunk beds at the Miral migrant centre following Saturday’s fire in Velika Kladusa, Bosnia. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categories: PBN

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