Tripoli - Nearly three weeks of fighting in the Libyan capital has displaced close to 35,000 people, claimed over 200 lives, and injured more than 1,000. Further insecurity, continued displacements and large-scale humanitarian and protection needs are expected as the conflict continues to intensify.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has provided emergency assistance to all affected populations since hostilities began but funding shortfalls are now affecting the Organization’s ability to meet the critical needs of both migrants and the local families displaced by the fighting.
"Families are fleeing their homes as fighting in southern Tripoli rages,” Othman Belbeisi, IOM Libya Chief of Mission said Tuesday. “With thousands of people running for safety every day, and more than 3,000 detained migrants who remain at high risk, immediate action is needed to provide crucial support to vulnerable civilians in Tripoli."
IOM is appealing to the international community today for USD 4.3 million to allow for the delivery of multi-sectoral lifesaving assistance to individuals affected by the on-going conflict for the next three months. The interventions will target over 38,000 migrants and persons displaced as a direct consequence to the armed clashes.
IOM’s request comes as part of a more comprehensive inter-agency appeal. All civilians in Tripoli and especially detained migrants, among them children and women, are at risk.
IOM has provided non-food Items (NFIs), emergency food for detained migrants, primary health care, support for voluntary humanitarian return (VHR) and improving living conditions of detained migrants at DCIM detention centers in close coordination with humanitarian actors to ensure an effective and efficient delivery of assistance. IOM also continues to advocate for the closure of migrant detention centres.
The ability of the IOM and its humanitarian partners to deliver assistance has been greatly enhanced by use of the Organization’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) which provides daily updates about the number and location of internally displaced people and their specific needs.
For further information please contact IOM Libya: Safa Msehli, Email: email@example.com Tel: +216 22 241 842Language English Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 15:25Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia:
IOM is appealing for international support for its efforts to deliver assistance to migrants and displaced persons affected by the ongoing hostilities in Tripoli. Photo: IOMPress Release Type: Global
Guara Guara, Mozambique – Over 600 people displaced by Cyclone Idai returned to their home town over the weekend for the first time since the tragedy five weeks ago in a movement organized by the Government of Mozambique with the support of IOM and its humanitarian partners.
Click here to watch a video on the Guara Guara movement.
“When the cyclone hit, I was out fishing. The water was too high for me to return home to our house in the city of Buzi. The area was full of water, well over our heads,” said Franki, who was among a group of 100 families who traveled to Buzi district 145km southwest of Beira on Saturday. “I was rescued by helicopter that brought me here to Beira. I am very anxious to be back in Buzi to look for my wife and daughters, to see if they are alive.”
A further 125 families travelled on Sunday to the same temporary accommodation site in Guara Guara, where all the families will remain until the reconstruction of their houses can begin. Led by the Government of Mozambique’s National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC), IOM supported transportation logistics and is providing site management support at Guara Guara. The movement received support from Shelter Cluster and Protection Cluster partners, UN agencies and local NGOs.
Sarah, her baby Willinesio and husband also made the four-hour trip to Guara Guara.
“The cyclone was very bad. Water entered my house; the roof collapsed, and walls fell. We climbed and stayed on top of a tree. We did not have water to drink or food to eat. The rain fell night and day. I was trying to breastfeed but stopped producing because I was not eating,” remembered Sarah. “We were very scared. A helicopter picked us up after seven days. We were brought to Beira; it is my first time here. Beira is a nice city, but we are suffering. We are so happy to go to Guara Guara. At home in Buzi we can provide for ourselves.”
Katharina Schnoering, IOM Mozambique Chief of Mission said, "IOM is pleased to support the Government of Mozambique in their efforts to help displaced families return to their areas of origin in safety and dignity, in the recovery from Cyclone Idai.” She continued, “Thousands of families are still displaced, and after losing everything in the Cyclone, they need comprehensive humanitarian support to return home and restart their lives. The needs are extensive; a collective and concerted recovery effort from partners is needed.”
IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) teams in cooperation with Mozambique’s INGC and the Ministry of Health recently conducted a return intention survey in Beira District, interviewing over 500 heads of household at 18 displacement sites.
According to survey responses, the homes of nearly two-thirds of displaced households residing in Beira were completely destroyed, while others were severely or partially damaged. Just over half of the displaced households want to go back to their place of origin, and more than one third intend to go to a different place. Among the households indicating a desire to return to their places of origin, nearly half intend to return within a week, and a majority of others intend to return within the month.
The latest United Nations figures show that more than 1.85 million people continue to be in need in Mozambique following Cyclone Idai.
According to the latest DTM needs assessment in the four affected provinces (Manica, Sofala, Tete and Zambesia), the population of the 79 sites accommodating displaced families is nearly 68,000 individuals.
Click here to read a story about IOM’s support for the temporary accommodation site Samora Machel in Beira.
Link to Return Intention Survey
Link to recent Site assessments: Tropical Cyclone Idai Site Assessments, Manica, Sofala, Tete and Zambezia (18 April 2019)
DTM documents on Mozambique are available at: https://www.globaldtm.info/mozambique/MozambiqueThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia:
Busloads of Buzi residents were delighted to be heading back to their home town over the weekend. Photo: IOM/Sandra Black
Busloads of Buzi residents were delighted to be heading back to their home town over the weekend. Photo: IOM/Sandra Black
Cyclone Idai Response: Return to Buzi
Lilongwe – The terror and fear were real, the damage devastating—the response swift and effective. Over three days last week, South Africa-based staff from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with the Governments of Malawi and South Africa, assisted 57 Malawian nationals with voluntary return to their homes, following an outbreak of violence in the Durban area of KwaZulu-Natal.
Support for these vulnerable migrants was provided under a project funded by the European Union (EU) called “Pilot Action on Voluntary Return and Sustainable Community-Based Reintegration.” According to press reports and several human rights NGOs, migrants of other nationalities—notably Congolese, Burundians and Tanzanians—also were targeted by xenophobic mobs, suffering injury, theft and damage to their property.
“My house was broken into, and I was beaten, and robbed of my belongings”, said Martin to the Malawian media upon arriving at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe.
Durban’s violence led to the displacement of about 300 Malawian nationals. Of those, 105 Malawians expressed willingness to voluntarily return to Malawi. Later, after noting the violence had receded, about half of those decided to return to their homes in Durban.
“This support extends our global commitment to provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in need, including refugees and internally displaced people. The situation in Durban exposed migrants to violence, and we, as the UN Migration Agency, took the initiative to provide an option for those who no longer felt safe, and thus wished to voluntarily return back to Malawi,” said Lily Sanya, IOM Chief of Mission in South Africa.
While still in South Africa, returning migrants were provided with counselling to help them make informed decisions about their return, also assistance in securing travel documents in collaboration with their respective Consulates and Embassies in South Africa. IOM also assisted in the booking and payment of air tickets and offered transit assistance within South Africato returnees living outside Johannesburg.
IOM assisted the returnees in batches, with the first group of 19 migrants (18 males, one female) leaving just over a week ago (8 April), the second group of 22 male and one female, 22 males departing two days later and a final group of 15 males leaving Friday, 12 April. All three groups were received by senior government officials and IOM in Malawi.
“IOM condemns the actions of the criminal elements in the community and urge the migrants in the community to respect the laws of the country. IOM is actively engaged with the Government of South Africa and Malawi to facilitate the safe, orderly and voluntary return of the migrants affected by the violence to their home country” said Mpilo Nkomo, IOM Head of Office in Malawi.
Kennedy Nkhoma, Chief Director for the Ministry of Homeland Security, added that “the Malawi Government is saddened by the violence that occurred in Durban, and is fully engaged with its counterpart, South Africa, to support the nationals that have been affected by the violence. We are very grateful to the IOM and the EU Delegation to Malawi for assisting the affected nationals.”
The issue of violence against foreign nationals in South Africa has engaged stakeholders including the diplomatic community, business and religious groups, community leaders, and foreign nationals themselves.
“We continue to strive for durable solutions that ensure the peaceful coexistence of our communities,” said Thenjiwe Mtintso the South African High Commissioner to Malawi. “Many Malawian nationals are visitors to—and are living in South Africa--and many more are attracted to pursuing prosperity in our country.”
Added EU Ambassador Sandra Paesen: “The EU Delegation in Malawi is a key partner of voluntary return and reintegration assistance to migrants and deplores the breach of physical integrity suffered by migrants in South Africa. The Head of EU Delegation in Malawi encourages the Government to pursue this objective in line with both national and international best practices.”
IOM, in collaboration with the Government of Malawi, has assisted a total of 231 Malawian nationals with voluntary return from South Africa, under the Pilot Action.
The Mayor of Durban and representatives from the Malawian High Commissioner in South Africa encouraged the community members to live together in peace and harmony and use the existing structures to address issues in the community instead of taking the law into their hands. The community indicated that they were ready to receive the Malawians back into the community.
For more information, please contact:
Jacqueline Mpeni, Communication Officer, IOM Malawi Office, Tel: +265 99 180 6444, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgLanguage English Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 15:41Image: Region-Country: MalawiThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia:
Last group of Malawians arrive in Lilongwe on 12 April 2019.
Last group of Malawians arrive in Lilongwe on 12 April 2019.Press Release Type: Global
Beira – One month after Cyclone Idai made landfall through Mozambique and neighbouring countries, despite the concerted efforts of humanitarian organizations, many families remain in need, and without assistance they lack the resources to repair and rebuild their homes. Latest figures indicate that more than 1.8 million people are in need, and nearly 240,000 houses were affected, half of those partially destroyed, and the other half totally destroyed.
The sun is shining in Beira, making it hard to imagine the sustained 180–220km per hour winds and intense rain that pummelled the area one month ago, but a drive through the city reveals extensive damage to homes and infrastructure – with trees still leaning into buildings, dents in industrial storage drums, and damage to roadways, especially in seaside areas. The city hosts 17 of the 59 temporary accommodation sites located across the four affected districts, which shelter over 71,000 people (nearly 16,000 households), as identified by IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix.
IOM is supporting the Government of Mozambique, as the co-lead of the Shelter Cluster. IOM is coordinating with more than 20 partners for the storing, handling, transportation and distribution of shelter kits, plastic sheeting as well as non-food item (NFI) kits, with the support of the Logistics Cluster, Beira Airport and Disaster Management Agency in order to improve conditions in homes, schools and health centres.
Plastic sheeting, funded by USAID, was distributed yesterday to an orphanage in Beira to support mending the roof. “The children were scared and surprised by the cyclone; they were wet but okay. They are resilient. Half of the roof of one of our buildings is gone, several roof panels from the children’s dormitories blew off, and over 100 trees that we had planted fell,” said Father Francisco, who runs the orphanage, managed by Padres Somascos. “The plastic sheeting will be a good help. This plastic sheeting is provisional, but in this emergency, it helps us out a lot.”
With implementing partners supporting the shelter response in the four affected provinces with more than 25 locations, IOM has via its implementing partners provided shelter support to more than 21,000 households and has distributed more than 25,000 tarpaulins and 10,000 NFI kits (such as kitchen sets, blankets, solar lanterns).
Temporary accommodation sites have been set up, but are seen as a measure of last resort, when it is not yet possible for families to return to their homes. Where necessary IOM is supporting the National Institute of Disaster Management (INGC) in setting up new sites to bring internally displaced persons (IDPs) out of schools into new sites. In order to improve sites, IOM and humanitarian partners have in the past week installed additional latrines, showers, and set up child friendly spaces and communal shade and kitchen spaces.
IOM is working together with the Government social services to establish protection centres in four temporary accommodation sites in Beira. IOM is supporting the Government in providing training for local staff and raising awareness about available referral pathways for vulnerable cases, such as victims of gender-based violence.
IOM Regional Director for Southern Africa, Charles Kwenin and IOM Director of Emergency Operations, Mohammed Abdiker both recently came to Beira to review challenges and progress of the Cyclone Idai response effort. They each visited accommodation centres and affected communities and met humanitarian partners.
“The wide spread destruction caused by Cyclone Idai is apparent across numerous communities and in stories of those affected,” said Kwenin. “The humanitarian response is extensive, but even more comprehensive support is needed for families to restart their lives in dignity.”MozambiqueThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia:
Baby Ernesto was born the day before the cyclone; his family’s home was destroyed. They are now living in Samora Machel site. Photo: Amanda Nero
Cholera awareness performance takes place in communal space at Samora Machel site. Photo: Amanda Nero
Press Release Type: Global
London – Ten thousand people separated by conflict and persecution have been reunited with their families in the United Kingdom under a British Red Cross (BRC) and International Organization for Migration (IOM) family reunification programme.
Since 2011, when the joint BRC-IOM The Family Reunion Travel Assistance Programme began, 90 per cent of the arrivals have been women and children joining husbands and fathers in the UK. The Programme helps to support refugees who are eligible to be reunited with their close family but cannot afford the costs of travel.
Most who were reunited came from Syria or Sudan, followed by the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
“Ten thousand people who are fathers, mothers, sons or daughters are once again together, often after years of separation and hardship,” said Dipti Pardeshi, IOM Chief of Mission in the United Kingdom. “IOM is proud to be a part of the family reunification process; reaching 10,000 people reunited here in the UK is a significant achievement.”
IOM is aware that more and more people are seeking to access their right to reunite with family each year, according to Pardeshi.
“While I am heartened to see programmes like the joint IOM-BRC family reunification programme here in the UK, more must be done. This affects families around the world, and so countries should look at possibilities to bridge the gap between current legislation and the significant needs that exist,” she continued.
As it stands, the programme provides one of the few safe routes for families who have been torn apart by conflict and persecution to be together again. For those eligible, the effort can potentially keep people from taking dangerous journeys – such as by sea across the Mediterranean – to join loved ones. According to IOM’s Missing Migrants Project, six people died daily in 2018 attempting the journey. So far this year, the casualty rate is approximately three people per day.
For Syrians, like ‘Khaled’, the danger of the journey was the reason he chose to travel alone, leaving a three-year-old son, Ali, in Lebanon with his grandmother.
“There were 55 of us on a boat that only had room for 15,” Khaled recalled. “I sat next to 70-year-old woman who had a two-month-old baby in her arms.”
He continued: “Then the boat sank. I swam for five hours before I saw the lights of the rescue boat. If my son was there, I’m sure he would have died, I was so glad I hadn’t brought him with me. I thought of the lady and the baby and felt helpless.”
Eventually Khaled reached the UK, where he was granted refugee status. He contacted the British Red Cross, which was able to bring his son to the UK under the joint BRC-IOM Family Reunion programme.
“I felt huge happiness when I saw Ali at the airport. It is something I will remember forever. I said: ‘I want to kiss you’. He said: ‘Daddy, I’m scared’.
“I told him ‘don’t be scared, you are safe here’. I held him in my arms and kissed him.”
While reuniting 10,000 people with their loved ones is a positive milestone for us, the costs, complexity and current rules make this pathway to protection out of reach for so many families – families who have already been apart for too long, separated by the most terrible circumstances,” said Alex Fraser, Director of Refugee Support and Restoring Family Links at the British Red Cross.
“Being apart like this is incredible traumatising for people who are already dealing with the effects of war and conflict. These families belong together, which is why we are calling on the government to widen the criteria of those who can apply for family reunion,” he continued.
Being able to afford travel is not the refugees’ only obstacle. The Red Cross and IOM partners see many more families who have been separated due to conflict or persecution but who cannot be together due to current legislation. This includes young refugees who arrive in the UK alone and are not eligible to sponsor parents to join them.
“Under current rules, young refugees who arrive in the UK alone are not allowed to bring their parents to join them. Every day that these children are separated from their parents is a day they will not get back,” Fraser explained.
To support the British Red Cross to reunite more refugees with their loved ones, donate to the charity’s Global Refugee Fund. To support the International Organization for Migration to continue their work in the UK with migrants and refugees, please donate here.United KingdomThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia:
Khaled is reunited with his son at the airport under the IOM-British Red Cross Family Reunification programme. Photo: British Red CrossPress Release Type: Global
Ankara – As the world’s largest migrant and refugee-hosting country, Turkey hosts over four million migrants, seeking a different life from the instability, uncertainty and poverty they have left behind. Many struggle to integrate due to legal, financial, and language barriers, or lack of support. There comes a time when they realise they cannot continue to stay in Turkey and that going home is the best option.
Today (16/04), IOM Turkey and the EU Delegation in partnership with the Government of Turkey, launched a new phase of a project that provides assistance to migrants living in Turkey who opt to return to their country of origin. The Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) of Irregular Migrants in Turkey project helps migrants get home and settled in a safe and dignified way.
This was true for Zarghona Balkhi and her young daughter Raihan who IOM helped return from Turkey to Afghanistan. After a two-week ordeal organized by smugglers crossing Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Turkey, they arrived in Istanbul with Zarghona’s son (Raihan’s older brother) who later disappeared just weeks later. “I tried to find work here but without speaking Turkish and not having an education, it is too difficult for me. My son was my only livelihood and without him it is impossible to stay,” said Zarghona. With IOM assistance, Zarghona and Raihan returned to their home city of Mazar-i-Sharif and were reunited with their family.
“Safe options for migrants to return home are crucial, without the stigma of deportation. AVRR assistance brings a complementary option for stranded or vulnerable migrants to return home in dignity and safety with the opportunity to reintegrate sustainably in their home communities,” says Lado Gvilava, IOM Turkey’s Chief of Mission.
Through the programme, migrants can make an informed decision and take ownership of the voluntary return process. In addition, through IOM’s vast network of offices worldwide, returnees can receive tailored support to overcome challenges relating to their reintegration or address specific vulnerabilities that they face.
The new phase of the project will be implemented together with the Turkish Ministry of Interior, the Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM), and the Central Financing and Contracting Unit (CFCU) and will aim to assist a minimum of 3,500 migrants to be provided with assistance, with approximately 20 per cent of the most vulnerable to be provided with reintegration support.
IOM will also implement a series of capacity-building activities and study visits, with to support DGMM’s efforts to strengthen the national AVRR mechanism in line with national and international standards.
IOM has a long history and extensive experience implementing AVRR programmes since 1979, running projects in all regions of the world. In 2015, IOM assisted 69,540 migrants to return (the highest level for the past 15 years) from 97 host/transit countries to 156 countries of origin.
In Turkey specifically, IOM has helped 8,098 stranded migrants with assisted voluntary return and 438 with reintegration assistance from 2009–2018. Working alongside government partners, IOM AVRR programming is guided by the principles of voluntariness, migrant-centred response, safety, sustainability of reintegration, confidentiality, and evidence-informed programming.
Learn more here.
For more information, please contact Lanna Walsh at IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 533 698 7285, Email: email@example.comLanguage English Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 15:50Image: Region-Country: TurkeyThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia:
Zarghona and her daughter took shelter in this small room behind a car wash stand in Istanbul where two Afghan friends were working. Photo: IOM/Nadine Al Lahham
Zarghona and her daughter look out the window from their temporary shelter in Istanbul. Photo: IOM/Nadine Al LahhamPress Release Type: Global
Sana’a – With more than 3.6 million people displaced, a crumbling economy and an overstretched health care system, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen continues to get worse. To support communities affected by the conflict, the Government of Japan has contributed USD 2,500,000 to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to reach over 100,000 people through emergency health services.
As the conflict enters its fifth year, just over 51 per cent of health facilities in Yemen are fully functional and approximately 19.7 million people are in need of health care.
Even during peacetime, most public health facilities were strained. Today, lack of financial resources, doctors, medicine and medical equipment has caused further deterioration and the increased number of people seeking medical assistance has overwhelmed medical facilities.
With Japan’s contribution, IOM will ensure lifesaving and basic health services in two hospitals and four health care centres across five governorates: Al Mahwit, Sa’ada, Hajjah, Taizz and Shabwah. Through this project, IOM will improve access to a full package of primary health services, as well as referrals to emergency secondary and tertiary level care, for the most vulnerable communities in remote locations.
“We are sincerely concerned about the continuous deterioration of the health situation in Yemen due to the prolonged conflict,” said a representative from the Embassy of Japan to Yemen. “This assistance to IOM comes to alleviate Yemeni people’s suffering in the current difficult situation, as part of a new package of humanitarian and stabilization efforts of Japan to the Yemeni people, amounting to approximately USD 32.8 million.”
“This contribution from the Government of Japan is coming at a vital time for the people of Yemen, as they are facing increased numbers of cholera cases,” said David Derthick, IOM Yemen Chief of Mission.
“The country’s health care system is almost at breaking point, while health needs continue to grow. As humanitarians, it is our duty to alleviate this immense suffering to whatever extent possible. These funds will support our health assistance in some of the hardest to reach areas in Yemen,” he added.
The Government of Japan and IOM have a long history of partnership in responding to humanitarian crises around the world. In 2016, IOM implemented a large-scale Government of Japan funded project centred on providing humanitarian assistance to displaced and conflict-affected Yemenis in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and health care.
IOM provides health care to people in Yemen through mobile responses and by supporting public health facilities across several governorates. In 2018, the Organization conducted 688,279 medical consultations for displaced people, conflict-affected communities and migrants.
For more information, please contact IOM Yemen:
Saba Malme in Sana’a, Tel: + 967 736 800 329, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Olivia Headon in Sana’a, Tel: + 967 730 552 233, Email: email@example.comLanguage English Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2019 - 15:45Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia:
IOM reaches displaced and vulnerable populations in Yemen with lifesaving health care. Photo: IOM
One of the IOM nurses providing health care to migrants in Sana’a city. Photo: IOM
IOM provides a medical consultation for a displaced woman in Amran governorate, Yemen. Photo: IOMPress Release Type: Global
Geneva—The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is asking international humanitarian donors for USD 3.15 million to help the people of Malawi impacted by Cyclone Idai last month. The appeal is to assist IOM teams in Malawi to reach an estimated 110,110 targeted individuals through the end of September 2019.
In early March, a severe weather system formed off the eastern coast of Mozambique and struck Malawi with heavy rain and strong winds. The system further intensified into Cyclone Idai and made landfall in Malawi on 14-15 March, which led to severe flooding across Malawi’s southern districts.
According to the Government of Malawi’s figures, more than 868,900 people have been affected, including more than 86,980 displaced, with 60 deaths and 672 injuries recorded. In total, fifteen districts in southern Malawi have been impacted.
IOM is appealing for USD 1.65 Million for Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI), USD 750,000 for Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) and USD 750,000 for teams from IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM).
“IOM is appealing for funding support that it aims to use in providing shelter support for the most vulnerable affected populations using the build back better (BBB) model as a resilience strategy that will afford future use of the same structures by affected populations in the event of another disaster,” Said Mpilo Nkomo, IOM Malawi’s Head of Office. “Additionally, camp coordination & camp management and DTM activities are being rolled out to build the capacity of office bearers on managing camps, support the establishment of district camp management committees and strengthen the Department of Disaster Management Affairs information management system through application of the DTM.”
Site assessments conducted by IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) teams in the four districts with the highest displacements—Zomba, Nsanje, Chikwawa, and Phalombe— from 25 March to 6 April 2019, recorded that 110,110 individuals (24,887 households) have been displaced throughout 103 sites. Almost all displacement sites are collective centers, where populations fled to existing structures such as churches or schools and are sheltering in and around these buildings.
However, living conditions are quickly deteriorating, due to overcrowding and the lack of access to basic services.
With agriculture being the main source of livelihood for the rural population in Malawi, the heavy rains and floods have impacted agricultural activities. As fields are inundated, recently planted crops have been destroyed. Some districts are already reporting food insecurity. According to DTM assessments, the primary need for displaced people is food, followed by shelter.
IOM recognizes that camps are the last resort, and notes that even now populations report the desire to return home. Only the lack of shelter remains their primary barrier.
IOM is a member of the Shelter/ NFI / CCCM cluster, led by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development and the Malawi Red Cross. IOM has been the main partner in CCCM activities since the 2015 floods and has worked closely with the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA) to provide capacity building at national and regional level.
To ensure a more robust and targeted response by the humanitarian community, IOM will implement its DTM program to provide key information and critical insights into the situation on internally displaced and affected persons in Malawi. Specifically, DTM will provide humanitarian stakeholders with a mapping of displacement sites, demographics of the most affected, mobility tracking as populations move to and from sites towards return and relocation, as well as detailed inter-sectorial information on all assessed sites to support strategic decision making around resource allocation. The DTM products will include maps, dashboards, narrative reports and raw data which will be shared with humanitarian partners on a regular basis.
Similar data is currently being collected for Mozambique and Zimbabwe, ensuring a regional perspective is integrated in the data analysis, including assessment of cross border needs and linkages in the movements of persons affected by the crisis.
For further information please contact: Mpilo Nkomo, IOM Malawi Head of Office. Tel: + 2715 534 1314. Email: MNkomo@iom.intLanguage English Posted: Friday, April 12, 2019 - 14:23Image: Region-Country: MalawiThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Tripoli – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) continues to provide Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) assistance to migrants stranded in Libya and wishing to return home, despite the backdrop of continuing armed conflict in in Tripoli and the challenging conditions on the ground.
Last night (11/04) IOM in Libya organized a charter flight to Mali carrying 160 migrants, with an onward journey to Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso. The 160 migrants on board included a mixture of nationalities including 99 Malians, 51 Ivorians and 10 Burkinabe. Among the returnees were 16 children and 20 women.
The flight departed from Mitiga airport in Tripoli, arrived in Bamako at midnight. The migrants from Ivory Coast, and Burkina Faso are to continue their journey on 12 April. These 160 migrants are among 188 whom IOM assisted just since 5 April, when the current violence surged, returning those individuals home safely from Tripoli to Sierra Leone, Somalia, Mali, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso.
During most of this past week airport security has been of some concern, with the Mitiga airport operational only between the hours of 19:00 (PM) and 7:00 AM.
Amid the ongoing clashes, IOM staff in Libya coordinated very closely with Libyan authorities to ensure the safe arrival of all migrants coming from different detention centres and different urban areas in Tripoli to Mitiga airport. The airport was briefly affected by the armed conflict this week.
“We continue to support a safe and dignified return for migrants to their home countries,” said Othman Belbeisi, IOM Libya Chief of Mission. “Our teams are working around the clock to provide much needed humanitarian support in Tripoli and across Libya.”
“I have been in Libya for four years now, but the situation is difficult. I miss my children and my wife, and I think it is time for me to go home to my family. I can already picture their faces when they see me,” said a passenger named Ali before boarding the flight.
In Mali arriving migrants were received by IOM staff, Malian government representatives and the European Union Delegation in Bamako. IOM coordinated with the Malian authorities, who supported the transit of the charter through Bamako on its way to Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso.
So far this year 3,175 migrants from detention centres and urban settings were able to return home via VHR, with Charters leaving from Benghazi, Sabha, Misrata and Tripoli.
“Receiving stranded migrants back from Libya, helping them reintegrate in their communities and identifying their specific needs is key,” says Pascal Reyntjens, IOM Chief of Mission in Mali. “This coordinated mechanism including the Malian authorities, the IOM specialists as well as the support to local actors is the way forward for these people to rebuild their future,” he added.
Prior to their departure, the migrants were provided with medical check-ups, as well as protection screenings and core relief items. Upon arrival, IOM provided them with immediate assistance and medical screenings. IOM will then provide tailored reintegration support to the returnees to assist them re-establish economically within their communities of origin.
This return was made possible thanks to the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration implemented by IOM.
Some of the 160 Malian migrants, prior to departing from Tripoli. IOM/Moayad Zaghdani
Some of the 160 Malian migrants, prior to departing from Tripoli. IOM/Moayad ZaghdaniPress Release Type: Global
Harare – Post-cyclone emergency response operations in Zimbabwe this week were boosted by USD 200,000 in contributions from the Government of Japan and the International Organization for Migration's own internal funding mechanisms.
The assistance will go towards Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFI), Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM), Health, Protection, Displacement Tracking, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) and Early Recovery. IOM will take the lead in the Shelter and NFI/CCCM cluster.
The flooding caused by Cyclone Idai has so far left 268 people dead. Some 270,000 were affected with an estimated 21,000 displaced in the country’s eastern Chipinge and Chimanimani districts. The affected persons who are now residing in collective centres such as schools, hotel conference rooms and vacant shops are in urgent need of assistance.
Following the aftermath of the cyclone, IOM this month brought a high-level delegation to the hardest hit areas of Zimbabwe. The delegation – IOM Regional Director Southern Africa Charles Kwenin, IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission Mario Lito Malanca, and IOM Director of Operations and Emergencies Mohammed Abdiker – met with government officials and affected people in Chimanimani and Chipinge districts to establish the needs and challenges faced by the communities affected by Cyclone Idai.
In a visit to Kopa and Ngangu, two communities of Chimanimani where the most displacements took place, the IOM delegation noted that Kopa, a once flourishing growth point with more than 77 households, was reduced to rubble with surviving residents seeking shelter in surrounding households. To date 305 people remain missing.
Upon seeing the level of destruction caused by the cyclone, the Director of Operations and Emergencies authorised USD 100,000 from IOM’s internal emergency mechanism to Zimbabwe to cater for shelter and NFIs.
“At IOM, we are looking at best ways to assist the affected communities especially in terms of shelter, psychosocial support and non-food items. We are here to support the people of Zimbabwe in the best way that we can,” said Abdiker.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan also responded to the IOM appeal and supported the mission with USD 100,000 to alleviate the situation of Cyclone Idai affected communities. The Japanese funding will support IOM’s work in Shelter/NFI and activities.
IOM Appeals for USD 3.15 Million to Assist Cyclone Idai Affected Communities in Malawi
Lilongwe – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has appealed for USD 3.15 million from the international community to enable the Organization to provide multi-sectorial humanitarian assistance to those affected by Cyclone Idai in Malawi.
When Cyclone Idai made landfall in Malawi on 14-15 March 2019, it brought heavy and persistent rains which led to severe flooding across country’s southern districts. According to the Government of Malawi figures, more than 869,900 people have been affected, including more than 86,980 displaced, with 60 deaths and 672 injuries recorded. In total, fifteen districts in southern Malawi have been impacted.
The site assessments conducted by IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) team in the four districts with the highest displacements – Zomba, Nsanje, Chikwawa, and Phalombe – from 25 March to 6 April 2019, recorded that 110,110 individuals (24,887 households) were displaced throughout 103 sites.
Almost all displacement sites are collective centres, where populations fled to existing structures such as churches or schools and are sheltering in and around these buildings. However, living conditions are quickly deteriorating, due to overcrowding and the lack of access to basic services.
With agriculture being the main source of livelihood for the rural population in Malawi, the heavy rains and floods have impacted agricultural activities. As fields are inundated, recently planted corps have been destroyed. Some districts as Nsanje are already reporting food insecurity.
According to DTM assessments, the primary need for displaced people is food, followed by shelter. Displaced people report the desire to return home as soon as the rains cease. However, their homes have been destroyed and they do not currently have the means to rebuild them.
Until they are able to return home and re-cultivate their crops, the displaced population will be reliant on humanitarian assistance and forced to live in collective centres and spontaneous sites and endure substandard living conditions.
According to the DTM site assessment, half of collective centres are located in schools meaning that learners are unable to continue their education and displaced communities living in schools are able to relocate to another location.
Find the full Malawi appeal here.
For more information, please contact Mpilo Nkomo, IOM Malawi at Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Language English Posted: Friday, April 12, 2019 - 16:30Image: Region-Country: MalawiZimbabweThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia:
IOM teams are providing support to affected communities in Zimbabwe’s Chimanimani district. Photo: IOM
IOM teams are providing support to affected communities in Zimbabwe’s Chimanimani district. Photo: IOM
Aerial view of Nsanje district, one of the southern districts of Malawi highly affected by Cyclone Idai. Photo: Department of Disaster Management Affairs of MalawiPress Release Type: Global
Beira – Hundreds of displaced Mozambicans affected by Cyclone Idai voluntarily moved to a new temporary displacement site in Beira this week with the assistance of the International Organization for Migration or were provided with shelter kits that allowed them to return home.
A total of 143 families (424 individuals) were moved in an orderly fashion on Wednesday from two schools that are scheduled to reopen to Samora Machel, a temporary displacement site. IOM and INGC established the temporary site in collaboration with other humanitarian partners including the British and Spanish Red Cross who provided the WASH facilities, and youth volunteers who set up tents.
“I lived in Praia Nova with my husband and my two kids," said Ines, a new resident of Samora Machel site who lost her home to the cyclone. "The night of the cyclone the wind was so strong that it blew the roof away. It kept raining for two weeks; we were wet day and night. I am relieved to be in the camp; to have a place to sleep is a lot for someone who has lost everything. We want to restart a new life.”
Following the recent Ministry of Education directive to resume school across cyclone-affected areas, IOM offered support to the Government of Mozambique through INGC to assist in the voluntary and dignified movement of people.
“IOM is committed to responding to immediate humanitarian needs in cooperation with the Government of Mozambique, and supporting efforts to facilitate voluntary, dignified, sustainable returns. IOM is also committed to support INGC in maintaining temporary relocation sites until the affected population are able to return,” said IOM Mozambique Chief of Mission Katarina Schnoering.
The CCCM Working Group, a Task Force on relocation/movement was created to help the the government in these activities. During this movement, Task Force members ensured that those who move are well informed before, during and after the movement.
“IOM does not promote encampments but in this case, this camp provides a temporary solution until the affected population are able to rebuild their cyclone-damaged homes,” said Rafael Abis, IOM CCCM Expert and CCCM working group coordinator. “Several people who moved to this site report that their houses were severely damaged and therefore they need shelter support in order to start rebuilding.”
Also on Wednesday in Beira, some 350 families who had been recently moved from Matadoro secondary school into the temporary relocation site in San Pedro Parish, returned to their homes after receiving assistance, including shelter kits from IOM, food packs from WFP, and hygiene items from UNICEF, in coordination with the shelter, WASH and food clusters. Through its shelter support package and CCCM support for return movement, IOM aims to support people to return to normalcy as quickly as possible.
In the first week of April, IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) teams in coordination with Mozambique’s INGC conducted a rapid assessment in 41 displacement sites in Beira, Nhamatanda, and Dondo Districts, to produce the “IOM DTM Site Assessment Round 2 – Cyclone Idai” (10 April 2019).
The assessment aims to provide information for humanitarian partners including demographics, needs, and vulnerabilities for each site. Over 52,000 individuals were identified in the displacement sites; 22 of the displacement sites are schools and 7 are community centres. The assessment indicates that primary needs of the displaced people in these camps are food, shelter, and latrines; secondary needs include clothing and blankets.
To access this report:
Site Profiles showing specific demographics, needs, and vulnerabilities for each site.MozambiqueThemes: ShelterDefault: Multimedia:
IOM is assisting vulnerable families affected by cyclone Idai, including with shelter support, and support for returns. Photo: IOM/Amanda NeroPress Release Type: Global
Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 12,546 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through10 April, a 22% decrease from the 16,218 arriving during the same period last year. Arrivals to both Spain and Greece stand at close 5880 each, with the balance arriving in much smaller numbers to Italy, Malta and Cyprus. Deaths on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through 101 days of 2018 are at 407 individuals—or about three-quarters of the 558 deaths that occurred during the same period in 2018. (see chart below)
IOM joined the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and UNICEF to express serious concern over the situation of the 62 migrants and refugees rescued on 3 April by the Alan Kurdi, a vessel operated by NGO Sea Eye. Those individuals by late Thursday had still not been guaranteed a safe port for disembarkation.
According to IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo, in the last three days two women had been disembarked from the ship – which is currently off the coast of Malta – including one who is pregnant and who reportedly suffered an epileptic fit on Thursday. Her husband apparently remans on board.
Weather conditions and the many days spent at sea are making the situation difficult for those on board. Further, all the migrants and refugees who departed from Libya already have experienced being victims of serious human rights violations.
“The Agencies reaffirm the absolute priority of saving lives at sea and guaranteeing safe and timely disembarkation,” IOM affirmed in the joint statement, adding “The situation in Libya makes it absolutely necessary to establish disembarkation mechanisms that are predictable and in line with all international conventions, under which the North African country cannot be considered a safe port.”
IOM Greece Veatriki Aravani reported on Thursday (12/04) that since last Friday, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) performed at least three incidents requiring search and rescue operation off the islands of Chios and Lesvos. The HCG rescued a total of 96 migrants and transferred them to those respective ports.
Those arrivals were among some 175 IOM recorded in the days between 04 and 09 April arriving at the islands of Lesvos, Samos and Oinouses and bringing to 5,796 the total number of sea arrivals to Greece this year. (see chart below).
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 31,690 people, including 731 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.
The waters of the Aegean Sea became the site of a tragic loss of life over the past weekend, when an 8-year-old Syrian child was found dead in the boat in which he was travelling with 41 other people to the Greek island of Lesvos from Dikili, in Turkey’s Izmir province. At least 15 people have lost their lives trying to reach Greece by sea in 2019, including seven children.
Several deaths were recorded on the US-Mexico border over the past few days. On 5 April, a man died in a vehicle accident in Laredo, Texas. He was found with fatal injuries after the van in which he was travelling with 11 others crashed while fleeing US Border Patrol agents in Highway 83. A similar incident cost the lives of two people the following day (06/04), when a van carrying 11 migrants overturned near mile marker 131 on New Mexico’s State Road 9 after a high-speed chase by USBP agents. Two people died in that crash, while nine were injured.
The unpredictable currents of the Río Bravo cost the life of a 30-year-old man who attempted the crossing from Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas to Texas. His remains were found on 5 April by Mexican civil protection authorities. Additionally, a man drowned in Briar Canal, around seven miles east of the Calexico Port of Entry in Imperial County, California. He was travelling with his brother, who alerted local authorities. Tragically, he was unresponsive when he was rescued from the canal and was pronounced dead on 8 April.
In Mexico, a 15-year-old Guatemalan teen fell from the freight train in which he was travelling north to the US and was killed near the municipality of Nopala de Villagrán, Hidalgo on 7 April.
In the first three months of 2019, the Missing Migrants Project has recorded the deaths of 190 people during migration in the Americas.
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.
See contacts here.Language English Posted: Friday, April 12, 2019 - 16:00Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Antalya – A country surrounded by regional conflict and mass displacement, Turkey houses four million refugees and migrants. This produces countless challenges, not least among them huge increases in human trafficking.
Turkey has seen a rise in the number of victims of trafficking from Syria, with the massive influx of migrants from there in recent years. Syrian victims are typically forced into labour and begging. Cases of child marriage, early marriage and forced marriage are also common, due to vulnerable conditions and shortage of livelihood opportunities faced by migrants.
Human trafficking, and related phenomena, are among the top issues IOM is working on with Turkey’s Directorate General for Migration Management (DGMM), established six years ago Thursday (11/04).
For this week’s anniversary, experts from across Turkey gathered in the southern city of Antalya for seminars on how to more effectively identify victims of trafficking and assist them in line with international anti-human trafficking protocols and procedures. These sessions were supported by IOM and the governments of Norway and Sweden.
“It is very important for us to prevent any type of exploitation, especially human trafficking, with a focus on women and girls. We have rapidly developed our capacity over the six years since we were founded to help victims of trafficking and punish criminals,” said Abdullah Ayaz, Director General of DGMM.
Overall, DGMM reports that trafficking in Turkey is predominantly for purposes of sexual exploitation with victims mainly coming from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc countries. To date, IOM has offered more than 1,400 victims a range of support including shelter, psychosocial support, and assisted voluntary return and reintegration. Read more here.
Hatice Yesiloz Ozbek, a 36-year-old Migration Expert from the Izmir Provincial Department of Migration Management, shared her experience interviewing cases of victims of trafficking. “I speak with migrants from many countries and learn about the tragedies they faced. Turkey is a helping country and I feel good that I can contribute to relieving migrants’ anxieties about being in a foreign place. Their stories always stay with me – they even come back in my dreams.”
One of the training sessions focused on examining case studies of human trafficking and sexual abuse. Another session covered linkages and differences between human trafficking and child marriage, early marriage and forced marriage.
“Turkey has opened its doors to migrants and refugees escaping conflict in their home countries, while others come lured by traffickers with the promise of a better life. Our strong working partnership with DGMM is paramount in the fight to prevent trafficking and provide protection to victims, ensuring they receive the support they need to recover and restore their dignity,” said Lado Gvilava, IOM Turkey Chief of Mission.
The Government of Turkey provides a range of help and services to the victims of trafficking, including residence permits, free health services, legal support, and providing accommodation at migration centres. In 2017, DGMM reported that 303 victims received assistance.
IOM has worked in partnership with government since 2004 to prevent trafficking and develop effective counter-trafficking responses. These include implementing activities to raise awareness among vulnerable migrants, as well as with law enforcement officials, judges, prosecutors and other authorities. Technical cooperation between IOM, government and civil society partners aims to strengthen counter-trafficking legislation, policies, and procedures.
For more information, please contact Lanna Walsh at IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 533 698 7285, Email: email@example.comLanguage English Posted: Friday, April 12, 2019 - 16:02Image: Region-Country: TurkeyThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia:
Hatice Yesiloz Ozbek, Migration Expert from the Izmir Provincial Department of Migration Management, participated in IOM’s Training of Trainers and shared her experience interviewing cases of victims of trafficking. Photo: IOM/Lanna WalshPress Release Type: Global
Juba – Seven months after the signing of the revitalized peace agreement in South Sudan, some communities uprooted from their homes are on the verge of going home. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) embraces this prospect of stability in the world’s youngest country and is scaling up its response to returnees across the country.
The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) recently awarded funds of USD 2.6 million that will allow IOM to ensure that internally displaced persons (IDPs) who choose to return are met with basic services enabling them to rebuild their lives – particularly in Western Bahr el Ghazal, Western Equatoria and Unity States.
Multiple years of conflict in South Sudan have displaced nearly two million within the country. Approximately 180,000 IDPs have found refuge on six UN bases, called Protection of Civilian (PoC) sites, where humanitarian agencies, like IOM, offer relief.
“We remain cautiously optimistic about the prospect of sustainable returns for IDP communities in South Sudan,” said IOM South Sudan Chief of Mission, Jean-Philippe Chauzy. He added: “While it’s still premature to scale up these operations en masse, newly offered services should be available in areas where people are willing and able to return.”
Besides surveying IDPs, IOM also monitors mobility trends through its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). In its latest round of mobility tracking – covering 87 per cent of the country and reaching 1.2 million IDPs – DTM identified over 860,000 returnees, of whom a third returned last year.
Through close engagement with local governance structures and partners in the PoC sites, IOM will ensure returnees start their journeys home with relevant information and adequate assistance.
IOM also will provide construction materials to more than 50,000 returning households so they can rebuild burnt, looted or damaged homes. And the Organization will provide small grants to returnee communities, allowing them to invest in local markets.
More than half of the South Sudanese population lacks access to health care services. IOM Mobile Health Clinics will thus target returnees in hard-to-reach areas – providing maternal and child health services, immunizations, as well as mental health and psychosocial support.
The rehabilitation of boreholes and latrine construction activities by IOM – along with other water, sanitation and health activities – will help prevent and mitigate water-borne diseases ahead of the coming rainy season.
Clashes and displacement continue throughout the country, so for many displaced communities safe and sustainable return is not yet an option. IOM’s DTM found that 20 per cent of people currently displaced were forced to flee in the last year, mainly by conflict and communal clashes.
One example: Wau County. Relative stability reigns in Wau Town, which has enabled increased returns. In surrounding areas such as Baggari, Beselia and Kuarjena, ongoing violence has triggered new influxes of IDPs to PoC sites and collective centres.
“While UN protected sites are not a durable solution, they remain a lifesaving, last resort for many vulnerable people caught in the conflict. IOM remains committed to humanitarian assistance centered on the needs of affected populations, both in displacement sites and areas of return,” said Chauzy.
IOM and partners will continue to monitor carefully these evolving return trends and intentions, identify gaps in services and infrastructure, and work to improve conditions in areas of return.
For more information, please contact Angela Wells in IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211 912 376 902, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgLanguage English Posted: Friday, April 12, 2019 - 16:00Image: Region-Country: South SudanThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia:
IOM will offer increased assistance to returnee communities in South Sudan, allowing them to rebuild their homes and access essential services. Photo: IOMPress Release Type: Global
Nouakchott – The Hodh Ech Chargui region of Mauritania faces challenges linked to access to water and animal health, with livestock being the only means of subsistence. More than 50,000 refugees who live in the camp and the host communities as well as the host populations are cattle farmers.
To address some of these challenges, Mauritanian government officials, UN agencies and NGOs gathered on 11 April 2019 to answer the question: “How can governments and the international humanitarian community improve the living conditions of refugee and host communities?”
During the meeting, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) presented the results of the three-phase project, a project critical to providing support to both refugees and host communities, reduce tension over scarce resources like water and the health of livestock.
In Mauritania, IOM has established a presence in the Hodh Ech Chargui region to respond to the influx of Malian refugees after the outbreak of the crisis in 2012. IOM’s activities in the region include community stabilization and community dialogues.
Implemented since 2015, the project allows refugees to substantially improve their livelihoods and help host populations by establishing mechanisms to prevent and manage conflicts of scarce resources. In total, around 20,000 refugees – and 35,000 members of the host population – have benefited from support for income-generating activities, access to water, support for family rearing and inter-community dialogue, through this project.
"Our understanding of proven approaches would allow us to have an impact in our way of serving and assisting populations in need in Mbera, in the Hodh el Chargui, and beyond," stressed the Ambassador of the United States of America to Mauritania, Mr. Michael Dodman.
"The constant support provided by the United States of America through PRM demonstrates its understanding of the vital needs of refugees and host populations in the Hodh Chargui, who today need more than ever to improve their livelihoods and prevent conflict over natural resources. I take this opportunity to launch a call for contributions from donors to fill the important gaps in the livelihoods sector in and outside the M'bera refugee camp," said Laura Lungarotti, IOM Mauritania Chief of Mission.
Increasing Livelihood Opportunities for Malian Refugees and Selected Host Communities in Hodh Ech Chargui is funded by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) and implemented in Mauritania.MauritaniaThemes: Refugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia:
A woman pumping water in Bassikounou, at the Mauritanian-Malian border. Photo: IOM/Geoffrey Reynard.Press Release Type: Global
Vienna – Technology and trafficking were on the agenda at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna this week during the 19th Alliance against Trafficking in Persons Conference in Vienna.
IOM’s Vienna Regional Office participated as a speaker at a side event under the auspices of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Belarus to the OSCE and the UNODC, addressing the influence of digital technologies on trafficking in persons, especially child trafficking.
Sacha Chan Kam, IOM Senior Regional Migration Protection and Assistance Specialist outlined how the influence of technology had changed the modus operandi of traffickers in recent years.
“Traffickers have become more sophisticated in their use of technology as a tool for recruiting and exploiting victims. Children are particularly vulnerable as eager consumers of all the latest technology that lets them connect and communicate with their friends,” said Chan Kam. “While technology opens amazing opportunities for youth all over the world, it also enables traffickers to more easily target those who are active online.”
“The very same technologies that many of us use on a daily basis are thus being co-opted for the purposes of exploitation,” Chan Kam explained.
There is an upside to the technology/trafficking nexus, he noted, with new technology playing a significant role in addressing data gaps, particularly in the context of law enforcement and services for victims. Technology also can improve data visibility and increase the efficiency of data flows, leading to more effective use of resources and coordination between business, government and civil society.
“Hundreds of relevant and rich datasets, including administrative data, have not so far been made publicly available, thus limiting their use,” he continued. “Modern technology is allowing us to overcome these obstacles and make data accessible to through sophisticated anonymization, data protection, and data sharing techniques.”
Chan Kam pointed to two current initiatives which aimed to fill the data vacuum. IOM, in partnership with the NGO Polaris, launched the Counter-Trafficking Data Collaborative in November 2017. That partnership is the first global data hub on human trafficking, with data contributed by counter-trafficking organizations worldwide. The network now has primary, de-identified data on nearly 90,000 victims of human trafficking, from 170 nationalities exploited in 170 countries.
These data are from cases assisted by IOM, the US human trafficking hotline operated by Polaris, and Liberty Asia’s NGO partners.
In addition, IOM is also making use of its proprietary Displacement Tracking Matrix to identify potential and actual risks of trafficking in several countries and to respond to the needs of both identified victims and at-risk populations, especially children.
“Trafficking is an organized crime that necessitates an organized response,” Chan Kam concluded. “We have to strengthen our partnerships in the fight against trafficking, or we risk duplicating efforts, ignoring significant gaps, and missing opportunities to leverage our comparative strengths in pursuit of our common goal of combating human trafficking and protecting vulnerable migrants.”
A panel discussion organized by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the Strategic Police Matters Unit of the OSCE Transnational Threats Department brought together representatives of ODIHR, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, the Commissioner of the President of Ukraine for Children’s Rights, the Spanish National Police, Western Union, Thorn, a non-profit group working to combat child trafficking, and a trafficking survivor leader.
“Technology has played a pivotal role in providing easy access to traffickers for the recruitment and exploitation of victims of trafficking. At the same time, today we clearly see that technology can be effectively utilized to identify victims of trafficking and gather evidence to convict traffickers,” said Ingibjörg Sólrún Gísladóttir, ODIHR Director during the discussion. “All OSCE participating States should both promote and prioritize the use of technology to combat the trafficking of human beings.”
Speakers and participants highlighted that only a small fraction of the estimated 40 million victims of trafficking in human beings have currently been identified. As technology and globalization increasingly connect the world, traffickers’ ability to recruit and exploit their victims, especially children, has also exponentially increased and moved online.
For more information please contact Joe Lowry at IOM’s Regional Office in Vienna, Tel: +43660 3776404, Email email@example.comLanguage English Posted: Friday, April 12, 2019 - 15:57Image: Region-Country: AustriaThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: Multimedia: Press Release Type: Global
Japan, IOM Partner to Address Drivers of Instability and Fragility in Displacement and Return Locations in Iraq
Baghdad – Iraq is at a critical juncture, emerging from a brutal conflict with ISIL and a long history of internal conflict, which has resulted in massive displacement and a setback in the country’s economic and social development. Today, Iraq grapples with the cumulative effects of past conflicts on its development, which has left the country vulnerable to the recurrence of conflict.
Earlier this month, IOM and the Government of Japan launched an innovative project that aims to address the drivers of instability and fragility in locations of displacement and return in Iraq. Offering a timely response to the challenges facing Iraq, this project will support the Government of Iraq to tackle the drivers of instability in both the security and development domains, thereby building more resilient communities and improving trust and confidence in government institutions.
In close collaboration with local government authorities and community leaders, IOM will establish community policing forums (CPF) to improve communication and trust between community members and law enforcement agencies on local security and development issues; roll out social cohesion and peacebuilding activities to strengthen local capacity to resolve conflict peacefully; and support small and medium sized enterprises to address the critical lack of job opportunities. A particular focus will be on engaging self-demobilised former combatants who, with the end of active combat with ISIL, are now seeking to re-establish their lives in their areas of origin.
“In the words of UN Secretary General Guterres, prevention of conflict is not merely a priority, but the priority”, said IOM Chief of Mission in Iraq, Gerard Waite. “In many of its key policy documents, the Government of Iraq recognizes the linkages between security and development, which is often referred to as the security-development nexus. This project will support the Government to operationalize this nexus by simultaneously and holistically addressing economic, social and security drivers of fragility in vulnerable communities.”
The project will build on the rich history of cooperation between IOM, the Government of Japan, and the Government of Iraq. In 2018-19, with the support of the Government of Japan, IOM trained local government and civil society partners on ways to mitigate tensions and rebuild relations in communities in areas of return. IOM also partnered with different Iraqi universities to better understand Iraq’s cycle of conflict and violence and identify ways in which the cycle can be broken.
Naofumi Hashimoto, Ambassador of Japan to the Republic of Iraq said: “Japan has recently decided a new assistance package for Iraq amounting to USD 63 million, including this project as a contribution to achieving a peaceful society and economic development in Iraq under a new approach of integrating security and development initiatives. With this package, the total amount of Japan’s assistance to the people affected by the crisis reaches USD 500 million.”
For more information please contact Sandra Black at IOM Iraq, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgLanguage English Posted: Wednesday, April 10, 2019 - 11:13Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Internally Displaced PersonsMigrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia:
This public park in Telafar was in poor condition after the town was retaken from ISIL. Through funding from the Government of Japan, IOM rehabilitated the park with new fencing, benches, and playsets in order to provide a safe space for the community and for children to play. Photo: Mardin Sleman / IOM IraqPress Release Type: Global
Tripoli - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is aware of erroneous reports that IOM Libya has suspended its operations.
IOM Libya has not suspended activities in Tripoli and continues its emergency operations on the ground targeting all populations affected by the conflict.
We are monitoring the security situation very closely and coordinating our responses with other UN agencies and humanitarian actors in Libya.
“We are deeply concerned about the safety of Libyans and migrants caught in the clashes,” said IOM Libya Chief of Mission Othman Belbeisi.
“Our operations continue to ensure lifesaving support is provided to displaced populations and migrants in Tripoli and across Libya.”
IOM condemns violence against all Libyan civilians and migrants and it remains our priority to provide needed humanitarian assistance to conflict-affected civilians.
For further information please contact Safa Msehli at IOM Libya: +216 22 241 842, email@example.comLanguage English Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 17:36Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central Asia/RomaniaThemes: IOMDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Beira – The streets of this busy port city are returning to life as Mozambique approaches the one-month anniversary of Cyclone Idai’s March 14 landfall, while the search for survivors continues in neighbouring Zimbabwe.
Freighters and other heavy sea vessels ply the lanes along Beira’s waterfront and debris from fallen trees and other windblown wreckage can be seen stacked neatly along downtown sidewalks. Beachfront bistros again are attracting enough business to cause traffic jams over the weekend.
The challenge now is shifting to the outlying countryside, especially the Buzi River districts southwest of Beira, which largely were accessible only by helicopter until little over a week ago. It remains unknown how extensive the damage to housing has been in the region—and how many deaths still have gone unreported since March 14.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) will begin sending assessment teams out into Buzi this week. Precise destinations are still being planned, but searchers can expect four-to-five-hour drives on mostly dirt roads, and to be staying several days at a time in rural villages.
IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) teams also have been working through the forested areas of Manica and Macate provinces assessing needs of internally displaced people living in dozens of temporary shelter locations.
The death toll in Mozambique from the natural disaster was set Monday at 602 individuals. Some 2,772 cases of cholera have been reported, with six cholera deaths reported.
In Manicaland, Zimbabwe, IOM’s Director of Operations and Emergencies, Mohammed Abdiker, joined Regional Director for Southern Africa Charles Kwenin and IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission Mario Lito Malanca on a visit last week (4 April) to the Chimanimani and Chipinge districts to assess needs and challenges faced by those communities affected by Cyclone Idai.
Flooding affected 270 000 persons with an estimated 21 000 persons displaced in Chipinge and Chimanimani districts.
While visiting Kopa and Ngangu, two communities of Chimanimani where many displacements took place, the IOM team learned more than 77 households were reduced to rubble and that survivors still struggling find at least 305 missing people.
In response to the crisis in Zimbabwe, IOM has launched an appeal (LINK) to the international community for USD 7.2 million to enable the Organization to provide multi-sectorial humanitarian assistance to 90,000 individuals across the following sectors; Shelter and -food Items (NFI), Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM), Health, Protection, Displacement Tracking, Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS) and Early Recovery.
In Beira, as people’s lives start getting back to normal, schools are beginning to relocate the internally displaced families who sought shelter there in the first hours of the cyclone. As classes resume, Beira’s streets are filling again with children in fresh uniforms, carrying books and sports equipment.
Fifty families—255 individuals, all told—were relocated this past weekend from the Matadouro school to the Sao Pedro emergency camp prepared in recent days by IOM. The camp’s preparation on Beira’s outskirts was assisted by a unit of military firefighters sent to Mozambique by the Brazilian Armed Forces. Land for the settlement was provided by Beira’s Catholic diocese. Tents were donated by Italy.
Closer to Beira’s center, IOM joined in the rollout of a much larger IDP camp on the grounds of the Samora Machel secondary school. On Monday (8 April), IOM assisted in the installation of a flexible reservoir (known as a “water onion”), holding 30,000 liters of potable water.
Antonio, an installer with the government-owned utility, FIPAG (Portuguese: Fundo de Investimento e Património do Abastecimento de Água), told IOM, “My colleagues and I are working early morning until evening, seven days a week to help bring water to affected communities.”
Antonio added that he, too, had been forced to flee his home during recent conflict in Mozambique.
“I was displaced to Malawi, so I know very well how difficult it is to be displaced,” he explained. “While I was in Malawi I volunteered and worked with the Red Cross. It feels really good to be able to help.”
Beginning today (9 April) the Samora Machel camp will start receiving families. Ultimately it will house between 1,400 and 1,500 displaced Mozambicans.
For further information please contact:
Mario Lito Malanca, IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Varaidzo Mudombi at IOM Zimbabwe, Tel: +263242704285, Email: email@example.com
Abibo Ngandu, IOM Pretoria, Tel. +2712 3422 789 ext. 412; Mobile 27712 4492 91 Email: ANgandu@iom.int
Joel Millman, IOM Geneva, Tel: +41 79 103 8720. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The roof of Pekina’s house blew off on the first day of Cyclone Idai. Rain continues to leak through the sheets and plastic that were pieced back together. Despite these challenges, she is spending time to set up tents for displaced families in Beira, Mozambique
IOM’s Director of Operations and Emergencies, Mohammed Abdiker (2nd from r) and Regional Director for Southern Africa, Charles Kwenin (right) visit the Cyclone affected Chimanimani and Chipinge districts in Zimbabwe.Press Release Type: Global
Kisoro, Uganda – Preparation and putting in place measures and strategies ahead of time to mitigate the spread of a health risk once it has been identified are the keys to preventing an outbreak of disease from becoming a pandemic.
To that end, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has launched a project to bolster national preparedness and surveillance at the points of entry along the country’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where an outbreak of Ebola eight month ago has claimed the lives of nearly 680 people according to the World Health Organization.
To prevent the outbreak from spreading to neighbouring Uganda, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) recently approved a grant of USD 717,000 to IOM to focus on national preparedness and public health response strategies with comprehensive population mobility-related information. IOM is implementing the project in synergies with other UN agencies and partnership with the Uganda Government.
“The health system through the leadership of Ministry of Health is building on strategies and structures that will be the foundation for a stronger disease surveillance system that will look not just at Ebola outbreaks, but also to all diseases that may be spreading within and across a country,” IOM Uganda Chief of Mission Ali Abdi said during a launch event for the new initiative last week in south-western Uganda.
“The volunteers and health workers that we are training will be also our future resources as capacities cannot disappear but will grow stronger with experience.”
Although none of the nine previous outbreaks in DRC were transmitted outside the country, the WHO has assessed the risk this time as “very high” due to the proximity to urban centres and international borders. Transportation and trade links are also deemed potential conduits along which the disease may spread.
Countries like Uganda and Rwanda also host and continue to receive Congolese refugees and asylum seekers. These factors have heightened the need for DRC’s neighbours to be improve preparedness to contain a potential outbreak across the borders without inhibiting travel or trade.
The CERF-funded project Improving National Preparedness and Information Management for Ebola Virus Disease Surveillance at Ugandan Points of Entry was launched 2 April in Kisoro, one of the districts bordering DRC.
Thirty-two mobile telephone handsets and four computers have been handed over to targeted districts to support the capture and relay of population mobility-related data to the district headquarters in the region and to the national emergency operation centre in Kampala. IOM is also deploying data analysts to each of the districts.
Such enhanced national and local capacity at points of entry to effectively prevent detect and manage EVD and other health risks will be augmented by training border and health personnel in screening and surveillance techniques, as well. IOM will also strengthen the capacity of officials to raise alerts and improve reaction to possible health threats across the border through improved coordination on points of entry at the local and national levels.
Presiding at the project launch was Assistant Commissioner Allan Muruta, the Ebola Incident Commander in Uganda’s Ministry of Health, with whose personnel IOM will work in the south-western districts of Kisoro, Kanungu, Rukungiri and Rubirizi to boost preparedness at the points of entry to prevent, detect and respond to a potential outbreak of Ebola.
Further IOM interventions in Uganda include:
- training border officials on managing borders during humanitarian emergencies,
- screening refugees confirmed for resettlement and
- establishing flow monitoring using IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM)
DTM data inform the response as knowledge of population mobility dynamics is crucial for rendering epidemiology and public health decisions that aim to prevent, detect and respond to public health events. IOM also has harmonized standard operating procedures at points of entry to reinforce collaboration and impact.
During the 2013-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, IOM developed the Health, Border and Mobility Management Framework (HBMM) for use in locations where the risk of disease transmission is high between migrant and sedentary communities. The framework empowers governments and communities to prevent, detect and respond to health threats at points of origin, transit, destination and return.
For more information please contact Richard M Kavuma at IOM Uganda, Tel: +256 772 709 917 / 700 646 403, Email: email@example.comLanguage English Posted: Tuesday, April 9, 2019 - 15:30Image: Region-Country: UgandaThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia:
IOM Uganda Chief of Mission Ali Abdi (centre) and Assistant Commissioner Dr. Allan Muruta speak to reporters after the launch. Photo: IOMPress Release Type: Global