IOM Calls for Accelerated Action on Environmental Migration at the 2021 International Dialogue on Migration
New York/Geneva – The first International Dialogue on Migration (IDM) session of 2021 will take place virtually between 25 and 27 May 2021 from 9:00 to 12:00 EST. Building on the 2008 and 2011 IDM meetings, this session focuses on “Accelerating integrated action on sustainable development: migration, the environment and climate change”. This comes at a time of increasing political urgency, and in view of the deep impacts of the COVID-19 health crisis linking climate and migration to current and future development issues.
Environmental change and disasters have always been major drivers of migration. However, climate change predictions for the 21st century indicate that even more people are expected to be on the move. Extreme weather events such as floods, droughts, and storms, become more frequent and intense, and changes in precipitation and temperature patterns impact livelihoods and human security.
In 2020, 30.7 million people across 149 countries and territories were displaced in the context of disasters, according to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre. Looking at the future, World Bank projections indicate an estimated 143 million internal climate migrants by 2050 if no climate action is taken.
COVID-19-related lockdowns and border closures are also affecting people moving in the context of disasters, climate change and environmental degradation and their ability to access income opportunities. People can become trapped, not being able to flee disasters or return home following a disaster. Those depending on seasonal migration in the agriculture section, pastoralism or remittances are also affected.
In the 2008 and 2011 IDM meetings, governments and practitioners acknowledged the impacts of the environment on migration, including climate change. They also identified the areas to be addressed, including data and research, policy development and policy coherence, capacity building, and operational responses. Ten years after, in 2021, we are at the moment of accelerating these actions and implementing the commitments made.
“We owe all those affected our full commitment to implement the principles adopted in the Paris Agreement, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration,” said the Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), António Vitorino.
IOM, as the leading intergovernmental organization in the field of migration, has been at the forefront of operational, research, policy, and advocacy efforts, seeking to bring environmental migration to the heart of international, regional, and national concerns in collaboration with its Member States, observers and partners.
With this first IDM session of the year, IOM aims to contribute to the political momentum building towards the 26th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP26), taking place in Glasgow in November 2021. The IDM will also contribute to the preparations for the 2022 International Migration Review Forum (IMRF), which will provide an opportunity for the international community – including both states and non-state partners – to reflect on the progress made in strengthening migration governance through the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM).
The IDM discussions will assess the links among migration, environment, climate change, COVID-19, and the humanitarian, development and peace nexus. The IDM offers a space to promote international as well as regional and local action, and to engage the public and private sectors.
António Vitorino, the IOM Director General, will open the dialogue jointly with Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama, the Prime Minister of Fiji; Nasser Bourita, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the African Cooperation and Moroccans Living Abroad of the Kingdom of Morocco; Runa Kahn, the Founder and Executive Director of the Friendship NGO, Volkan Bozkir, the President of the 75th Session of the United Nations General Assembly; Amina J. Mohammed, the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations.
The IDM will benefit from contributions of countries championing action on migration and climate change through the addresses of the Ministers of Bangladesh, Egypt, Morocco, North Macedonia, and the United Kingdom.
The dialogue will also include the views of governments, experts and practitioners, including senior governmental representatives of Argentina, Burundi, Chile, the European Union, France, Mexico, the Netherlands, Indonesia, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sweden, and Tajikistan; senior representatives of UN agencies and conventions –UNFCCC, UN Habitat, UNHCR, UNICEF, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, and WHO–; representatives of the African Development Bank, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, the United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth, and the International Council of Voluntary Agencies; senior academics from University College London, and Georgetown University; as well as diaspora and private sector representatives from Scatec, and Sow Ranch. The event also benefits from support of key IOM partners, including the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD), the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) and the Mayors Migration Council (MMC).
The results and recommendations from this dialogue will be captured in the IDM Red Book, which will be shared broadly with Member States and practitioners worldwide.
For additional information on the agenda and meeting documents, please check the International Dialogue on Migration webpage here.
For more information on IOM’s work on migration, environment and climate change, please visit the IOM Environmental Migration Portal here.
Follow the discussion on social media: #IDM2021 #environmentalmigration #COP26
For more information, please contact the IDM Workshop team at IOM HQ,
Tel: +41 227 179535, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgLanguage English Posted: Friday, May 21, 2021 - 13:00Image: Region-Country: GlobalDefault: Multimedia: Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: COVID-19Emergency Relief and ProtectionEnvironment and Climate ChangeInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration Management
Geneva – This week, the United Nations in Zambia established its Network on Migration, bringing the total number of country Networks to 50. Maximizing the collective expertise and capacity of the United Nations (UN) system, these Networks provide support to Member States and all partners in their implementation, follow-up, and review of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM), the principal international cooperative framework for strengthening migration governance for the benefit of all.
“The GCM recognized that for migration to work for the benefit of all, it cannot simply exist in debating chambers in New York or Geneva but must make a tangible impact where it most matters – on the ground,” said António Vitorino, Director General of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Coordinator of the United Nations Network on Migration. “Through the creation of now 50 (and counting) country networks on migration, the United Nations system recognizes this reality and has committed its full support to partners in pursuit of migration that is safe, orderly and regular.”
The first International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) will be held in 2022. The IMRF will provide an essential opportunity for the international community – both states and non-state partners – to reflect on the progress made in strengthening migration governance through the GCM, and in protecting the rights of all, particularly those most vulnerable. Through showcasing tangible instances of how the GCM can benefit the lives of migrants and their communities, and how the UN system can support this common endeavour, the IMRF presents a vital opportunity to cement a landmark multilateral achievement in the field of migration.
Strengthening migration governance for everyone requires cooperation at all levels by all actors. Recognizing this reality, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the GCM in 2018 through its resolution 73/195. In addition, the GCM welcomed the Secretary-General’s decision to establish the United Nations Network on Migration to support their implementation of the Compact. The International Organization for Migration serves as the Coordinator and Secretariat of the Network.
For more information, please contact Florence Kim at the secretariat of the UN Network on Migration: Email: email@example.com; Tel: +41 79 748 0395.Language English Posted: Wednesday, May 19, 2021 - 23:11Image: Region-Country: GlobalDefault: Multimedia: Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Global Compact on MigrationUN Network on Migration
Geneva – Government policies, operational realities and administrative requirements like identification cards and residency permits may be impeding access to national vaccination efforts for some migrants in 53 of the more than 160 countries where the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has collected information on access so far. Irregular and undocumented migrants and those forcibly displaced are at particular risk.
“We have been impressed with efforts made in dozens of countries to make vaccination roll-outs as equitable as possible, but barriers to health services have been systemic since before the pandemic and remain a reality for too many migrants in too many places,” said IOM Director General António Vitorino.
“What we are seeing in some cases is a disconnect between what is being committed to on paper and what is actually happening in practice."
Some 47 countries have already taken concrete steps to ensure that migrants, including those in irregular situations, can access the vaccine. Many nations are still awaiting doses to begin their vaccination roll-outs. Even when they start, IOM has identified more than 53 countries, territories or areas where current policies and operational realities will make vaccine access unattainable for the most vulnerable.
Administrative, communication and logistical hurdles
IOM notes with particular concern close to 40 countries where administrative processes – such as requirements to present a national ID or valid residence permit, or to pre-register with national insurance schemes – may present an obstacle for some categories of migrants and forcibly displaced persons.
Other types of barriers have been identified in several locations, including prioritization of citizens and exclusion of non-nationals from vaccination campaigns; the lack of a “firewall” between health providers and immigration authorities which leads many migrants in irregular situations to fear arrest or deportation should they seek immunization; general vaccine hesitancy due to insufficient targeted outreach through linguistically and culturally appropriate channels; continued mobility as a challenge for vaccines requiring two doses, and the need to have a smartphone, a computer or an internet connection to enroll.
Good practices identified
The Organization’s ongoing review of migrant access in practice – which differs from desk reviews of the national deployment and vaccination plans being undertaken by other stakeholders – has also brought to light the many encouraging initiatives taken by governments who recognize that vaccine equity is critical to overcome the health, economic and mobility crises posed by this pandemic.
Among the good practices noted are:
- Accepting any form of identification document, no matter its expiration date, with no questions asked about the person’s immigration status.
- Pro-actively reaching out to migrant communities, in tailored languages and through relevant communication channels to build trust and create vaccine demand.
- Deploying mobile vaccination teams to reach remote areas where primary health services remain scarce.
- Guaranteeing that there will be no reporting to immigration authorities following immunization.
- Granting residency rights or visa extensions for migrants in irregular situations, to ensure they can access social benefits, including health care.
Working hand-in-hand with national health authorities, the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), Gavi (the Vaccine Alliance), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other key partners, IOM has been advocating for such measures to bridge the gaps, and has been providing governments with technical, policy and operational support, upon request.
“There is still time to course-correct for vaccine equity wherever there is the political will to do so,” said Director General Vitorino. “It is often in the day-to-day processes and administrative requirements in health centres that the fight for true inclusion is won or lost, so I call on all governments to clear the path towards COVID-19 immunization for all.”
The report Migrant Inclusion in Covid-19 Vaccination Campaigns is available here.
For more information, please contact:
Paul Dillon, Managing Editor & Spokesperson, at IOM Geneva, Tel: +41 79 636 9874, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Yasmina Guerda, Public Health Information Officer, Tel: +41 79 363 17 99, Email: email@example.comLanguage English Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2021 - 09:33Image: Region-Country: GlobalDefault: Multimedia:
IOM is providing vaccinations at five health centres in Aden, Ma’rib, Shabwah, Taiz and Lahj. Photo: IOM 2021/Majed MOHAMMEDPress Release Type: Globaltags 2021: COVID-19Emergency Relief and ProtectionHealthInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration Management
Cox’s Bazar – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has launched an Appeal for USD 140 million to support over 1.3 million host community members and Rohingya refugees residing in Cox’s Bazar District in Bangladesh.
For the nearly 900,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, 2021 marks the fourth year since their mass displacement from Myanmar, preceded by decades of influxes spurned by systematic discrimination and targeted violence.
While the Government of Bangladesh and the international community have maintained the provision of immediate life-saving assistance, the needs are immense and complex challenges continue to emerge and reshape the nature of the response.
“Under the leadership of the Government of Bangladesh, we will continue to work closely with our partners and uphold our commitment to safeguard the well-being and dignity of both Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh and their host communities,” said António Vitorino, IOM Director General.
“At the same time, the international community must continue to advocate for sustainable solutions in Myanmar that would eventually facilitate what all Rohingya refugees have consistently voiced as their main concern — to return home.”
The humanitarian community swiftly shifted priorities in 2020 to respond to the impact of COVID-19 on the Rohingya residing in the 34 congested refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar district. COVID-19 interventions were scaled up, and other humanitarian services adjusted, according to guidelines on access and presence to reduce the spread of infection.
A recent UN survey revealed a decrease in shelter maintenance and livelihoods, and deterioration in the protection environment. These challenges, and others such as monsoon and cyclone preparedness and response, will remain at the forefront of the response in 2021.
IOM will continue to provide life-saving emergency shelter and core relief items to support households affected by the recent devastating fire, monsoon and other disasters and shocks. The team will strengthen safe and dignified living conditions through rationalized and participatory site planning and through environmentally conscious construction and site maintenance initiatives.
The activities outlined in the appeal promote equitable access to mental health and psychosocial support services for all crisis-affected individuals. IOM also aims to encourage the use of essential healthcare packages among refugees and host communities by countering misinformation and supporting community engagement.
The impact of the crisis on the affected areas in Cox’s Bazar District likewise requires concerted efforts to support host communities affected by price increases and strained livelihoods.
IOM will enhance the livelihoods and resilience of women, girls, men and boys who are part of vulnerable host communities, and support social protection interventions in cooperation with the Government of Bangladesh. The organization will also continue to address the urgent cooking fuel needs of refugees through the provision of alternative clean fuel and technology.
“Together with the Government and our local partners, we will contribute to the peaceful coexistence of Rohingya refugees and host communities,” said Giorgi Gigauri, IOM Chief of Mission in Bangladesh. “Ensuring a community-based approach to the response, the teams will continue to improve the participation of affected people through community feedback and collective data analysis.”
IOM’s Global Crisis Response Platform provides an overview of IOM’s plans and funding requirements to respond to the evolving needs and aspirations of those impacted by, or at risk of, crisis and displacement in 2021 and beyond.
Download the IOM Bangladesh 2021 Appeal here.
For more information, please contact:
In Cox’s Bazar: Monica Chiriac, Tel: +880 18 8009 4048, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In Bangkok: Itayi Viriri, Tel: +66 65 939 0934, Email: email@example.com
In Geneva: Angela Wells, Tel: +41 79 403 5365, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Over 1.3 million host community members and Rohingya refugees are in dire need of assistance in Cox’s Bazar. Photo: IOM/Mashrif Abdullah
IOM Republic of Korea Hosts Seminar on the Private Sector Engagement and Innovation for Strengthened Disaster Preparedness and Response in the Asia-Pacific Region
Seoul, Republic of Korea – The scale and frequency of natural disasters has noticeably increased in recent years worldwide. The growing needs and challenges necessitate more extensive collaboration beyond the traditional boundary of disaster response and call for innovative approaches and solutions including the engagement of the private sector.
The role of the private sector is becoming a critical part of global efforts to reduce risks and enhance the effectiveness of interventions, by providing not only financial resources but also advanced technologies and technical expertise.
The Asia Pacific region, in particular, shows great potential for such collaboration. While being one of the most affected and vulnerable regions to climate hazards and natural disasters, it is also home to a thriving private sector which presents various untapped potential for innovative partnership across borders.
The Philippines has been chosen for this pilot initiative as the country not only faces multiple challenges but also demonstrates strong collaboration with the private sector in disaster risk reduction and response.
To further encourage participation of ROK private businesses in cross-border cooperation for disaster risk reduction, resilience-building, and emergency response through innovative solutions in the Asia Pacific region, IOM ROK hosted ‘Seminar on the Private Sector Engagement and Innovation for Strengthened Disaster Preparedness and Response in the Asia-Pacific Region’ on 29 April 2021.
Experts from UN agencies, an international think-tank, governments, and the private sector joined the seminar as speakers and gave a comprehensive overview of the private sector engagement in global development and humanitarian agenda as well as actual partnership examples.
“ IOM strongly believes in the power of private sector engagement and, as all UN agencies, plans to greatly expand relationships with the private sector. This collaboration has become more important given the ever-increasing number of people affected by humanitarian crises.” said IOM ROK Chief of Mission, Steve Hamilton. “The increasing involvement of business has transformed entire elements of humanitarian action, including cash transfers, telecommunications, and logistics. The continued growth of this involvement, at all stages, will help save lives and create a more sustainable future.” Hamilton added.
In the first session, Sha Song, Specialist, World Economic Forum Beijing started by introducing the global risks of 2021 and some examples of private-led innovative solutions including the trends in environmental, social, government (ESG).
Timothy Wilcox, Program Management Officer, United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR) Regional Office for Asia Pacific, delivered a presentation on the key global agendas such as Sendai Framework, SDGs, Paris Agreement and Humanitarian Agenda and business participation in fostering these global efforts. Wilcox also introduced Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies (ARISE) initiative.
Byungil Jang, Chief Project Officer to Green Idea Lab and Joseph Intsiful, Senior Climate Information and Early Warning Systems Specialist to Green Climate Fund (GCF) presented an overview of global financing mechanisms for relevant sectors and furthered to funding opportunities and modalities for public-private partnership projects in disaster risk reduction and climate-resilience-building.
The last part of the seminar was showcasing private sector partnership and innovation examples in diverse angles from United States Agency for International Development (USAID); World Food Programme; IOM, Philippines Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF) and Doosan Mobility Innovation.
The seminar was attended by 15 ROK private sector companies with disaster preparedness-related skills or an interest in the area.
Following the seminar, an online consultation and networking session was organized between selected ROK private sector participants and the PDRF and the Department of Social Welfare and Development from the Philippines - to exchange information and build up the base for future collaboration. Due to cross-border travel restrictions posed by the current pandemic situation, the event was delivered in a hybrid format of live videoconferencing and on-site gathering.
Since 2015, IOM ROK has been providing capacity-building support for ROK humanitarian actors with financial support from USAID Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA). The seminar was organized as part of this capacity-building support program.
For more information, please contact Eunice Jieun KIM, IOM Republic of Korea Mission, Tel.: +82 70 4820 0291, Email: email@example.com.Language English Posted: Wednesday, May 12, 2021 - 10:41Image: Region-Country: Republic of KoreaDefault: Multimedia:
Photo: IOMPress Release Type: Localtags 2021: Environment and Climate ChangeMigration Management
Aden – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has begun its support to the United Nations (UN) COVID-19 vaccination roll-out in Yemen where cases have recently surged. The Organization is providing vaccinations at five health centres in Aden, Ma’rib, Shabwah, Taiz and Lahj.
Yemen received 360,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses through the COVAX Facility on 31 March. The roll-out of the vaccination campaign began on 20 April.
COVID-19 has had severe consequences for the health, well-being and income of people in Yemen. The full impact can never be truly known, however, due to limited testing and reporting across the country.
The monthly rate of positive COVID-19 cases reached over 2,400 in March, which was the highest confirmed in one month since the start of the pandemic. In April, the case rate continued to be higher than in previous months with more than 1,500 cases. As of early May, the case fatality rate reached over 19 per cent — the highest in the region.
“Achieving wide-reaching immunity is vital to stopping the COVID-19 pandemic in its tracks, " said Christa Rottensteiner, IOM Yemen Chief of Mission. "IOM is happy to support the vaccination campaign in Yemen to help reach that very aim”.
“It is extremely important that all vulnerable communities in Yemen have access to the COVID-19 vaccine. IOM welcomes the Government of Yemen’s decision to take an inclusive approach to the vaccine roll-out by including migrants in need. Our communities will not be healthy until everyone is healthy.”
So far, over 18,500 health workers and people with medical conditions have been vaccinated across Yemen. In the next rounds of the vaccination campaign, migrants are expected to be included as per the national plan. IOM estimates that more than 32,000 migrants are currently stranded across Yemen, with limited access to health care, hygiene or other COVID-19 prevention and treatment resources.
The vaccines being administered by IOM in the five health centres are provided through the COVAX Facility, which is a partnership between the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the United Nations’ Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Prior to the start of the vaccination campaign, IOM doctors were trained in administering the vaccine by WHO, UNICEF and the Ministry of Public Health and Population.
The health centres where IOM is helping to carry out the vaccination campaign are already supported by the Organization through other means, including the provision of medicine, supplies, equipment, salary support and training. IOM is able to work with these health centres thanks to support from USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance (BHA) and the Government of Japan.
For greater effectiveness of vaccination campaigns across the world, IOM calls for the removal of any barriers that migrants and forcibly displaced persons may face in accessing the jab.
The Organization has been supporting governments through health system strengthening, outreach to share information and combat vaccine hesitancy among communities, and operational support for transport and storage of doses, among other activities.
IOM has also been implementing an extensive response to the COVID-19 pandemic since its start in 2020 through other health services such as the construction of quarantine centres, enhancing COVID-19 diagnostics through PCR testing, risks communication and community engagement and health worker training.
For more information, please contact IOM Yemen:
Arabic: Rami Ibrahim, Tel: + +967739888756, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
English: Olivia Headon, Tel: +967730552233 Email: email@example.comLanguage English Posted: Tuesday, May 11, 2021 - 16:31Image: Region-Country: YemenDefault: Multimedia:
IOM is providing vaccinations at five health centres in Aden, Ma’rib, Shabwah, Taiz and Lahj. Photo: Majed Mohammed IOM 2021Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: COVID-19Emergency Relief and ProtectionMigration Management
Bangkok – With 55 per cent of the world’s population (over 4.3 billion), over 42 million international migrants, nearly 84 million of its residents, migrants abroad, and with an estimated USD 302 billion in remittance inflows in 2019, the Asia and the Pacific region’s need for a reliable, nuanced and harmonized evidence base, reflecting both current and historical migration developments has been imperative for some time – notably when it comes to policy-making, planning and operational purposes, and informing the public discourse on migration.
This is one of main reasons why the International Organization for Migration (IOM)’s Asia-Pacific Regional Data Hub (RDH) has published the Regional Secondary Data Review which provides an overview of the main data sources available at the regional level to understand migration dynamics, drivers, impacts and policies in Asia and the Pacific region.
The Review launched today (10/05) by IOM Asia Pacific Regional Director, Dr Nenette Motus also highlights gaps and limitations associated with existing data analysis and collection, and references existing reports that make use of it. Crucially, this set of resources is designed to be a live document to which new information sources can be added in future editions.
Speaking at the virtual launch, Dr Motus said, “I am very pleased that we now have this Regional Secondary Data Review, which should serve as a reference that allows us to establish an information baseline identifying official quantitative sources of knowledge related to migration trends, policies, drivers, impacts and characteristics in the Asia-Pacific region.”
She noted that the Review also outlines the main challenges which remain in terms of data availability, accessibility, comprehensiveness, quality and comparability. “Overall, strengthening of regional data coverage of various types of migration and vulnerabilities and development related to migration is needed, and this Review provides a very creditable first step,” Dr Motus added.
Notably the Review also presents the availability and limitations of existing data at the regional level in multiple migration themes and sub-themes.
“When it comes to primary data collection, data harmonization across countries and representativeness of the sample populations are to be stepped up. As for secondary data compilation, these challenges come down mainly to the quality of national statistics, for which international coordination and standardization in data collection methodology is needed,” said Chandan Nayak, Asia-Pacific RDH team lead.
During the launch, the IOM Global Migration Data Analysis Centre also launched overviews of migration data in Southern and South-eastern Asia on the Global Migration Data Portal. These sections discuss available data sources, their strengths and limitations and the role of regional processes.
They also highlight main migration trends such as the share of female migrants from Southeast Asian countries being higher than the global average and that, before COVID-19, nearly 20 per cent of all remittances globally were received in South Asian countries.
The Regional Secondary Data Review is the first product of the Asia-Pacific RDH, aimed at consolidating regional capacity to implement the IOM Migration Data Strategy, which aims to strengthen regional evidence base on migration, Capacity development of IOM Offices and relevant Government partners and Ensure more evidence-based IOM and UN-wide engagement.
Another main objective of the Asia-Pacific RDH is to facilitate IOM’s country offices and Governments in monitoring national progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Global Compact for Migration (GCM), SDG indicators with explicit reference to migration and GCM objectives are prioritized in this review.
Download the Regional Secondary Data Review here:
No countryDefault: Multimedia: Press Release Type: Localtags 2021: Migration Management
Quthing, May 5 2021: IOM has been implementing the regional projects funded by UK-Aid titled ‘’Humanitarian response to vulnerable and stranded migrants in Southern Africa region’’ as part of the COVID-19 response. The countries which are implementing are South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and Lesotho. IOM Lesotho has been working closely with Ministry of Social Development (MoSD), DISCOSEC (District COVID-19 Secretariat) and District Disaster Management Team (DDMT) to identify vulnerable returnees and their family members, as well as other extreme vulnerable youth in Mohales Hoek, Quthing and Qacha’s Nek districts and provide skills training to restore their livelihood.
Among the 180 beneficiaries who received skills training by the project, 60 of them have already graduated from College of Cooperative Entrepreneurship and Business Studies (CCBES) in February and March 2021 and started their own business in their respective districts. On May 1, additional 60 have gradated from St. Mary Mazzarello Vocational Training Centre (VTC). On May 5 2021, the final 60 beneficiaries have graduated from Technical Institute of Leloaleng. 17 beneficiaries learned automotive (14 male, 3 female), 15 beneficiaries learned carpentry (7 male, 8 female), 12 beneficiaries learned electric installation (9 male, 3 female) and 16 beneficiaries learned leather work (10 male, 6 female).
Speaking on behalf of the entire beneficiaries, Mr. Tholang Mahlekele, Student representative, thanked IOM and Technical Institute of Leloaleng for the skills training opportunity, and patience, understanding and support by the teachers of Leloaleng. He confirmed that the experience they have received was not only education, but also the life experience where each person has to respect one another to have a harmony at the school. He appealed; ‘’Please consider supporting us with the tool kits so that we can start utilizing the skills once we are back to our district’’.
In her remarks, Head of Office IOM Lesotho, Ms. Eriko Nishimura acknowledged the students’ commitment and tireless efforts to gain new skills, as well as teamwork as they lived together for few months. She asked the student, ‘’Please reflect where you were in prior to the skills training. I am aware that many of you have gone through the very difficult life. You were the vulnerable youth at that time, but now, you are confident and empowered youth with skill.’’ She also reminded the students saying; ‘’The school fee was not free. The accommodation and meals you were provided, the uniform and transport was not free of charge. Somebody has paid for you, and we need to appreciate our donor – UK Aid and Japanese Government’’.
In his remarks, The Director of Technical Institute of Leloaleng, Mr. Rutang Santi congratulated all the students to have successfully completed their skills training. He stated: “When you go back, you have to become a model in the community. Not only the skills, but the behaviour that you were taught as important at Leloaleng Institute, please continue to apply a good behaviour.’’ The Director also mentioned how the technical institute can support when they need additional documentation and if they are interested in the future study to master certain skills.
The skills training was funded by a generous support from UK Aid and the Government of Japan. For further information, please contact IOM Lesotho (firstname.lastname@example.org).Language English Posted: Monday, May 10, 2021 - 16:09Image: Region-Country: LesothoSouth AfricaDefault: Multimedia: Press Release Type: Localtags 2021: Return and Reintegration
Maputsoe - Leribe, May 1 2021: IOM has been implementing the regional projects funded by UK-Aid titled ‘’Humanitarian response to vulnerable and stranded migrants in Southern Africa region’’ as part of the COVID-19 response. The countries which are implementing are South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and Lesotho. IOM Lesotho has been working closely with Ministry of Social Development (MoSD), DISCOSEC (District COVID-19 Secretariat) and District Disaster Management Team (DDMT) to identify vulnerable returnees and their family members, as well as other extreme vulnerable youth in Mohales Hoek, Quthing and Qacha’s Nek districts and provide skills training to restore their livelihood.
Among the 180 beneficiaries who received skills training by the project, 60 of them have already graduated from College of Cooperative Entrepreneurship and Business Studies (CCBES) in February and March 2021 and started their own business in their respective districts. On 1 May 2021, another 60 beneficiaries have graduated from St. Mary Mazzarello Vocational Training Centre (VTC). 17 beneficiaries learned catering and decoration, 13 beneficiaries learned computer, 13 learned sawing / fashion design, and 17 learned hairdressing and manicure. Graduates are from Qacha’s Nek (17 persons), Quthing (18 person), Mohales Hoek (21 persons) and Mafeteng (4 persons) districts.
In her remarks, The Principal of the St. Mary Mazzarello, Sister Cecillia Motanya stated, ‘’St. Mary Mazzarello VTC was established in early 1990’s when women had no access to secondary education and women’s rights were not recognized in the society. Our objective is to empower women through skills training and transform them to be a woman of honour, a woman who can stand for their rights and bring positive changes to their community.’’ She further stated; ‘’We are happy for our partnership with IOM in this project as the empowerment of young women and men is what we believe is our mission’’.
In her remarks, Head of Office IOM Lesotho, Ms. Eriko Nishimura acknowledged the students’ commitment and tireless efforts to gain new skills at St. Mary Mazzarello VTC and congratulated on their successful completion of their skills training. She stated, ‘’Money can be consumed even today and it will be gone. Skills you have gained will not disappear and it will remain with you forever. Skills training have transformed you completely. When you came here, you were vulnerable youth, but now, you are a confident and empowered youth who can bring positive changes to your community where you are coming from’’.
Speaking on behalf of the Ministry of Education, TVET, Mr. Thabang Mokotjo said; ‘’Leadership is influence. When you go back to your community, you are young community leaders as you now have a skill. So you can influence your community and market your products’’. He also said; ‘’Hairdressing and manicure is one of the skills in demand. I am happy that St. Mazarello VTC is among the first VTCs to offer this training’’. Lastly, he commented that the Ministry of Education is always ready to support the growth of VTCs, reduce the skills mismatch between the VTC and industrial needs, and once again congratulated students and St. Mary Mazarello VTC on the successful completion of the skills training.
Speaking on behalf of the entire beneficiaries, Ms. Mammopa Masiloane, Student representative, thanked UK Aid and the Government of Japan for availing the skills training opportunity. She stated; “What we have learned here in the past three months will not go to waste. We have become leaders in our own right and we shall demonstrate this in our communities to empower other young people. Our dreams have become a reality because of this opportunity and we are forever indebted to UK Aid and the Government of Japan for their support.’’
The skills training was funded by a generous support from UK Aid and the Government of Japan. For further information, please contact IOM Lesotho (email@example.com).Language English Posted: Monday, May 10, 2021 - 16:03Image: Region-Country: LesothoSouth AfricaDefault: Multimedia: Press Release Type: Localtags 2021: Return and Reintegration
Dhaka – On 5 May 2021, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) – in close coordination with the Government of Bangladesh – facilitated the safe return of 160 Bangladeshi migrants stranded in Libya via its Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) programme.
The flight left Benghazi, Libya, on 4 May and landed safely at Dhaka’s Hazrat Shajalal International Airport (HSIA) the following day. The migrants were stranded in Libya due to COVID-19 and the challenging security situation in the country. IOM worked closely with Libyan authorities and the Embassy of Bangladesh in Libya to assist these people in getting home.
Prior to departure, the migrants underwent health checks, and IOM provided them with pre-departure transportation assistance, counselling services and protection screening. They also received personal protective equipment (PPE) and took COVID-19 tests (PCR) before commencing the return to Bangladesh.
“The COVID-19 pandemic in Libya triggered a chain of events that led to significant loss of livelihoods for thousands of migrants. IOM’s VHR programme is the only safe and regular channel for migrants who want to leave Libya and return home in a safe, regular and dignified manner,” said Federico Soda, IOM Libya Chief of Mission. “These operations are complicated and made possible by the tripartite collaboration between IOM, the Embassy of Bangladesh in Libya and the Libyan authorities in Benghazi. This collaboration is financially supported by the European Union.”
In Dhaka, Bangladeshi Government officials and IOM staff received and supported the migrants at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, where they received cash assistance for onward transportation to their respective destinations.
The returnees will each receive a reintegration grant to help them re-establish themselves in their communities. This reintegration support is particularly important for migrants who, in some cases, experienced physical and psychological trauma while stranded in Libya.
“It is our priority to provide those wishing to return to their country with a safe and dignified pathway to do so, and to support their reintegration. To do this, we continue to work closely and constructively with the Government of Bangladesh, and I thank them for their ongoing efforts” said Giorgi Gigauri, IOM Bangladesh, Chief of Mission.
According to one of the returnees, “life in Libya was very dangerous as hostilities continued there; I decided to return to my country as I could not earn enough money. It was very difficult to stay over there.”
IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return Programme is often seen as a lifeline for stranded migrants opting to return home and rebuild their lives. Since 2015, more than 2,900 Bangladeshi migrants have returned from Libya through the Programme, which is a part of the larger EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration.
IOM’s return assistance is grounded in a rights-based approach focusing on the well-being of individual returnees and their communities throughout the return and reintegration process. The Organization’s approach puts individuals and the protection of their rights at the centre of all efforts.
For further communication, please contact Md. Sariful Islam, National Communications Officer at IOM Bangladesh, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +880 1915631608Language English Posted: Friday, May 7, 2021 - 15:12Image: Region-Country: LibyaBangladeshDefault: Multimedia:
An IOM staff is facilitating the return at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport, Dhaka. Photo: IOM
COVID-19 test for a migrant prior to departure from Libya. Photo: IOMPress Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionMigrants in Vulnerable Situations/Migrants RightsMigration ManagementReturn and Reintegration
Geneva – The International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) flagship publication has launched a dynamic new webpage that connects fact-based narratives on migration with interactive data visualizations on some of the latest global migration data and information. It is the first microsite of its kind since the World Migration Report (WMR) series began more than two decades ago.
“The WMR’s usefulness as a tool for policy officials, researchers, journalists, academics and others interested in global migration issues and trends has been greatly enhanced by these new interactive elements that include the very latest data from the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs,” said Marie McAuliffe, IOM’s head of research and WMR editor.
“It will be updated in the coming months ahead of the launch of the 2022 WMR later this year.”
The platform contains some of the latest global and regional international migrant stock estimates, allowing users to interact with data and quickly identify important migration trends and patterns over the last 30 years across all the six global regions.
In addition to providing global and regional data, the site displays country-level migration statistics and maps, interactive visualizations of the migration corridors – including the top receiving and sending countries – and the main remittance recipient and source countries since 1995.
The microsite is available in the three IOM official languages (English, French and Spanish). IOM’s most read and downloaded publication, the WMR is freely available in 10 languages either as a full publication or by chapter. Other resources related to the report such as videos and toolkits can also be accessed through the new webpage.
The 2022 WMR will follow the same two-part format as the previous two publications, providing key data and information on migration and migrants, and delving into complex and emerging migration issues. As in the past, the report is the product of a collaboration between IOM experts, practitioners and some of the leading migration researchers in the world.
For more information about the World Migration Report (WMR), please contact:
Marie McAuliffe at IOM Geneva, Email: email@example.com
Language English Posted: Wednesday, May 5, 2021 - 15:53Image: Region-Country: GlobalDefault: Multimedia: Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Data and Research
800,000 South Sudanese May Face Reduced Access to Life-Saving Primary Health Care by June, IOM Warns
Juba – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) warns that more than 800,000 people in South Sudan who rely on IOM for their health care may face reduced access to life-saving services by June if urgent calls for humanitarian funding are not met.
Internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and conflict-affected populations already living in dire situations may soon face even greater danger to their lives and health due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the onset of the rainy season and floods.
Women and children, the elderly and people living with disabilities are at risk of losing access to primary health-care services. These services include maternal and child health, including the screening of children under five to detect malnutrition; sexual and reproductive health services and testing and treatment for HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis.
IOM provides these essential services in former UN Protection of Civilian sites, host communities as well as remote and hard-to-reach locations serviced by the Organization’s mobile rapid response teams. The upcoming rainy season brings with it higher risk of cholera, malaria and respiratory infections which can have devastating impacts.
“In the past year, we have learned the hard way that when some people don’t have access to health services, everyone can be at risk,” said Jacqueline Weekers, Director of Migration Health for IOM.
“Health is not a luxury, it’s a right and a necessity. We must mobilize to ensure no one is left behind.”
Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, South Sudan’s health system was already overwhelmed and heavily dependent on humanitarian actors who now face troubling funding shortfalls.
Today (04/05), IOM has issued an urgent appeal for funding to be able to continue providing impactful, cost-effective health-care services to the most vulnerable populations in South Sudan.
IOM is a key partner providing health services in the country and, should the Organization no longer be able to provide these services due to lack of funding, it will leave a huge gap and put the vulnerable in a desperate situation.
“Our capacity to respond depends on the availability of resources; should we have to withdraw our services, we could have an even bigger humanitarian crisis on our hands,” said Peter Van der Auweraert, IOM’s Chief of Mission in South Sudan.
”We also risk losing the gains made in providing access to adequate primary health care in South Sudan and toward the realization of the Sustainable Development Goals. Never has it been more important for us to rally together and show our support to the hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese whose lives are at risk.”
IOM requires USD 744,175 per month to continue to provide life-saving health care. This amounts to roughly USD 11 per beneficiary per year, significantly lower than the price approved by the Health Cluster of USD 63.50 per beneficary per year, attesting to the cost-effectiveness of the Organization’s work which is critical in an already constrained funding landscape.
Click here to read the Urgent Appeal for Funds for Health Activities in South Sudan.
For more information, please contact:
LiatilePutsoa at IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211 929 4444 02, Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgLanguage English Posted: Tuesday, May 4, 2021 - 14:21Image: Region-Country: South SudanDefault: Multimedia:
A new-born baby receives its first vaccination at an IOM-operated clinic inside the Protection of Civilians site in Malakal, South Sudan. Photo: IOM 2021/Aleon Visuals
IOM doctor prescribes medicine at an IOM-operated Primary Health Clinic in Bam, Malakal, South Sudan. Photo: IOM 2021/Aleon Visuals
Inside the pharmacy at an IOM-operated primary health care centre in the Malakal Protection of Civilians site in South Sudan. Photo: IOM 2021/Liatile PutsoaPress Release Type: Globaltags 2021: HealthMigration Management
USD 87 Million Needed to Support Equitable Vaccine Access, Mitigate Effects of COVID-19 in East and Horn of Africa
Nairobi – The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the lives of thousands of migrants, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and host communities throughout the East and Horn of Africa, leaving many individuals, communities and economies vulnerable and in need of additional support and protection.
COVID-19 induced movement restrictions and measures are directly impacting the daily lives of IDPs, refugees and host communities, especially in countries where many people rely on remittances.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is seeking approximately USD 87 million to support vital response and recovery activities in the East and Horn of Africa.
The funds requested in the COVID-19 Strategic Response and Recovery Plan (SRP) 2021 for East and Horn of Africa will ensure the continuation and scale up of essential health and other services. Funds will allow IOM to mitigate the long-term effects of the pandemic and inform response and recovery efforts by tracking the impact of COVID-19 on human mobility, and strengthening evidence-based decision-making.
IOM will also continue to advocate for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccination for vulnerable populations, including migrants, IDPs, and affected communities.
“Even as countries start to roll out vaccination programmes to curtail the pandemic, migrants and other vulnerable groups risk being left out,” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa.
“Migrants remain among the most vulnerable to the loss of economic opportunities, eviction and homelessness, as well as stigmatization and exclusion from essential services.”
Throughout the region, livelihoods have been interrupted and access to healthcare remains limited. Many communities hosting IDPs lack adequate investment into health, water and sanitation. They often live in overcrowded areas with limited access to adequate shelter, resources and reliable information.
The region also hosts countries experiencing complex humanitarian crises and protracted conflict which have further been compounded by the pandemic.
IOM will work with governments and partners to support the inclusion of migrants in recovery and development planning, and medium and long-term socioeconomic recovery measures.
The COVID-19 SRP is aligned to the IOM Global Strategic Response and Recovery plan.
IOM’s Global Crisis Response Platform provides an overview of IOM’s plans and funding requirements to respond to the evolving needs and aspirations of those impacted by, or at risk of, crisis and displacement in 2021 and beyond.
For more information, please contact Yvonne Ndege, Regional Communications and Spokesperson East and Horn of Africa, Tel: +254797735977, Email: email@example.comLanguage English Posted: Friday, April 30, 2021 - 17:59Image: Region-Country: KenyaGlobalDefault: Multimedia:
IOM team providing medical assistance to migrants arriving from Yemen in Obock, Djobouti. Photo IOM Djibouti 2020Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: COVID-19Emergency Relief and Protection
Berlin – When a person goes missing, the existing laws, procedures and inter-state cooperation enable families to make the necessary arrangements and reach closure about the loss of their loved ones.
A new report from the International Organization of Migration (IOM)’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre and Missing Migrants Project shows this is not the case for people across the United Kingdom who have missing migrant relatives.
“The families who participated in the research in the UK are some of the tens of thousands of people living worldwide with the pain of not knowing the fate of their loved ones who went missing or died during migration journeys,” said Frank Laczko, Director of IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) in Berlin.
Over the past two years, IOM GMDAC has carried out qualitative research funded by Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs with families searching for missing migrants in several countries. The twin aims of the research are to amplify the voices of the families of missing migrants and develop a series of recommendations to drive action to support them.
This new report shows that cases of missing migrants in the UK extend far beyond the English Channel.
Nearly 300 people are known to have died since 1999 along the northern coast of France, Belgium and the Netherlands, in the English Channel or shortly after crossing into the United Kingdom, according to records collected by IOM’s Missing Migrants Project and the Institute of Race Relations. But the number of missing migrants en route to the UK is likely to be much higher. Many of the families involved in the research did not know the whereabouts or fate of their relatives in the Mediterranean Sea crossing and elsewhere.
“Besides the emotional toll, we know that the lives of people related to missing migrants may be forever marked by the many psychosocial, legal and financial impacts,” said Dipti Pardeshi, Chief of Mission of IOM in the UK.
“When I came here... I would cry every morning... I was crying over my loss and also because the future was uncertain then. I did not know what was going to happen,” said Emeka, a Nigerian woman living in the UK who is looking for her husband.
“I didn’t know if I would get residence here, or if I was going to be deported. That was what I was facing then apart from the loss of family,” she continued.
With the exception of the tracing service offered by the British Red Cross and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in the United Kingdom there are no agencies or policies specifically dedicated to help report, locate or identify cases involving migrants who went missing while in transit to the country. As a result, families primarily seek information about the missing and rely on support from informal channels and networks, members of the diaspora abroad, and community-based associations.
The research, carried out in collaboration with Dr. Samuel Okyere at the University of Bristol and IOM UK, found that families of missing migrants in the UK may be migrants themselves with fears that searching for their loved ones could lead to being prosecuted due to their uncertain immigration status.
IOM calls for action in the UK, and elsewhere, to support these families. Objective 8 of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) specifically calls on states to identify those who have died or gone missing, and to facilitate communication with affected families. The report includes 10 recommendations for how families of missing migrants in the UK can be better supported to trace their relatives and to cope with the impacts of loss.
Find the new report “Families of Missing Migrants: Their Search for Answers, the Impacts of Loss and Recommendations for Improved Support ” here.
“Living Without Them – Stories of families left behind” is a four-part podcast series produced by IOM about the research project with families of missing migrants. Listen to the third episode about the stories of families of missing migrants in the UK here.
For more information, please contact:
In London: Abir Soleiman, IOM UK, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +44 (0) 7470195306
In Berlin: Kate Dearden, IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre, Email: email@example.com, Tel: +49 3027 877832
In Brussels: Ryan Schroeder, IOM Regional Office for the EU, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +32 (0) 492 25 02 34Language English Posted: Friday, April 30, 2021 - 16:22Image: Region-Country: GlobalDefault: Multimedia:
Most families in the UK seeing information about loved ones who went missing while in transit to the country are forced to rely on informal channels and networks, members of the diaspora abroad, and community-based associations. Illustration: Salam Shokor, 2021Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionMigration ManagementMissing MigrantsReducing Global Inequalities
IOM’s Emergency Director in Mozambique: Communities Uprooted by Recent Violence in Palma Require Greater Support
Pemba – Nearly 30, 500 people displaced by recent violence in northern Mozambique face increased hardship as the humanitarian situation intensifies across Cabo Delgado province. Funds are urgently needed to respond to the emergency, which has displaced nearly 700,000 since the onset of violence in October 2017.
IOM’s Director of Operations and Emergencies, Jeff Labovitz, visited Mozambique this week to express condolences to the families of those who lost loved ones in the recent attacks in Palma, and solidarity with displaced and affected communities in Cabo Delgado.
“Cabo Delgado has seen unprecedented, rapidly increasing levels of displacement over the past year. Displaced people are vulnerable and in need of urgent and comprehensive humanitarian assistance,” said Labovitz.
“IOM is working with UN and non-governmental partners and supports the Government of Mozambique to alleviate the suffering of people who’ve been suddenly driven from their homes and communities.”
Labovitz met with humanitarian partners and government representatives, including from ministries and local authorities in the capital, Maputo, and in Cabo Delgado. He also visited resettlement sites in Metuge District and the Transit Site in Pemba, which hosts people recently displaced from Palma.
He spoke with host families and with displaced people. Many expressed their desire to move to a safer place where they could resettle.
At the Transit Centre Labovitz spoke with Rabia, a woman displaced from Palma who recounted her harrowing experience:
“My husband was killed, but my two children and I survived. We moved between locations for several days without food or money. We made our way to Afungi and from there we boarded a flight to Pemba.”
“I am going to persevere, but the situation is very difficult. I don’t know how I’m going to provide for my children without a space to live or equipment to start farming,” she added.
IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) continues to record, on a daily basis, increased numbers of people displaced from Palma to safer areas. Several days in the last month have seen more than 1,000 arrivals per day. Of the displaced, 75 per cent are women and children – including pregnant women and unaccompanied children – and more than 1,000 of the total have been elderly.
“Remarkably the communities of Cabo Delgado – who themselves have increasing humanitarian needs – host the vast majority of displaced individuals. Support from the international community is needed to relieve some of this pressure and focus more attention and support,” continued Labovitz.
He commended the government’s provision of land for displaced families in resettlement sites, which enable families to cultivate land and restart their lives. IOM-supported efforts to establish these sites aim to ensure more dignified living conditions for residents.
IOM is working together with humanitarian partners to carry out multi-sectoral assessments in order to guide the delivery of humanitarian supplies, including in hard-to-reach areas. The situation in Cabo Delgado remains critical, especially in areas that, due to the security situation, are inaccessible to humanitarian actors.
“Sadly, calls for greater funding for this emergency have gone largely unmet. We need to come together to ensure that people have access to water and sanitation, shelter and food and are protected from gender-based violence and other forms of abuse,” Labovitz said.
IOM continues to provide support to people displaced from Cabo Delgado through the provision of psychosocial support, protection assistance, support and referrals for health services, shelter and non-food items, camp coordination and camp management. The Organization is also tracking populations and their needs through DTM to inform the response. Most recent displacement figures are available here.
In 2021, IOM requires USD 58 million to support emergency and post-crisis efforts in Mozambique under IOM Mozambique Crisis Response Plan, which includes USD 21.7 million to respond to immediate lifesaving humanitarian needs in northern Mozambique through this year’s Humanitarian Response Plan.
IOM’s Global Crisis Response Platform provides an overview of IOM’s plans and funding requirements to respond to the evolving needs and aspirations of those impacted by, or at risk of, crisis and displacement in 2021 and beyond.
For additional information, please contact Angela Wells at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 403 5365, Email: email@example.com; or Sandra Black at IOM Mozambique, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +258 85 216 2278 or Manuel Mabuiangue at IOM Mozambique, Tel: +258 847345420, Email: email@example.com
View IOM reporter video here.Language English Posted: Friday, April 30, 2021 - 16:01Image: Region-Country: MozambiqueDefault: Multimedia:
IOM’s Director for Operations and Emergencies listens to communities affected by the recent violence in Cabo Delgado, northern Mozambique. Photo: Sandra Black/IOMPress Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and Protection
Joint Press Release UNHCR/IOM
Madrid/Geneva – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), are warning today of the continued increase of refugee and migrant deaths at sea after the latest reports of at least 17 people dying in the North Atlantic while attempting to reach the Canary Islands.
According to initial reports, the Spanish search and rescue teams came to the aid of a vessel in distress detected some 500 kilometers south of the Canary Island of El Hierro on 27 April afternoon. A Spanish Air Force helicopter found only three survivors on board the vessel, two men and a woman, and 17 bodies on the deck of the boat.
The helicopter crew lifted the three severely dehydrated survivors to safety and took them to hospitals of the island of Tenerife, where the ill-fated boat is also being towed for identification of the deceased.
Some 200 people are estimated to have lost their lives at sea this year along the route to the Canary Islands and the Western Mediterranean route to Spain. Of those, nearly 90 perished at sea en route to the Canary Islands, including at least eight children and six women.
Since January, more than 4,300 migrants and refugees, including unaccompanied children in need of protection, have arrived by sea to the Canary Islands. The rough seas at this time of year and the long distances travelled – from 400 to more than 1,500 kms depending on where along the coast of West Africa the journey began – make this route particularly dangerous. Boats may be adrift for days, running out of water and food.
UNHCR and IOM thank the Spanish authorities, Salvamento Marítimo and the State Security Forces and Corps for their life-saving work in search and rescue at sea. From Friday 23 to Sunday 25 April, authorities rescued more than 200 people in the sea south of the Canary Islands.
Both UN organizations call on all states to strengthen legal and safe pathways to provide alternatives to dangerous sea crossings. The states and all international, regional and local actors should also enhance their cooperation in the fight against human smuggling and trafficking networks that continue to profit from the desperation and vulnerabilities of migrants and refugees.
For more information, please contact:
Safa Msehli at IOM Geneva; Tel: +41 79 403 5526; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan Schroeder at IOM Brussels; Tel + 32 492 25 02 34; Email: email@example.com
Oussama Elbaroudi, at IOM Spain; Tel: +34 915 943 670; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
In Spain: Maria Jesús Vega; Email: email@example.com; Tel: +34 670 661263
In Geneva: Shabia Mantoo, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Tel: +41 (22) 739 7138Language English Posted: Thursday, April 29, 2021 - 02:54Image: Region-Country: SpainDefault: Multimedia: Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionMigration ManagementMissing Migrants
Dublin – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and National University of Ireland Galway (NUI Galway) today finalized a new partnership to provide free courses for journalists and students to encourage accurate reporting on migration and balance narratives that fuel the stigmatization and discrimination that migrants face around the world.
“The last 12 months have shown us all how important our news and news sources are for keeping us informed and educated,” said Simon Coveney, Ireland’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, speaking at Monday’s event.
“While fake news is a danger that more and more people are aware of, countering it or revealing it isn’t something that many know how to do. Therefore, I warmly welcome this important initiative from NUI Galway and Irish Aid to tackle misinformation and fake news being spread about migration.”
The Global Migration Media Academy (GMMA) initiative led by IOM supports efforts to tackle misinformation and promote diverse perspectives on this expansive topic. The project is co-funded by the IOM Development Fund and Irish Aid.
NUI Galway will provide an introductory course; a global overview of migration which will be made available free of charge online and in universities. Working with IOM country offices in Mexico, Morocco, the Philippines and Serbia, the university through the GMMA will also support media training programmes with a country and regional migration focus. The Academy will expand to other countries and regions as the project evolves.
The partnership was formalized at a special online event to acknowledge the new Global Cooperation Agreement between NUI Galway and IOM. The agreement also allows for NUI Galway to collaborate with IOM in other migration related projects in the future.
The production and promotion of positive narratives on migration has been identified as an effective way to counter misinformation and disinformation that incite fear and sow divisions that lead to stigmatization and discrimination, said IOM Ireland Chief of Mission Lalini Veerassamy.
“As we establish the GMMA, it is key to have a reputable academic institution such as NUI Galway working with us to develop standardized training tools on media and migration,” said Veerassamy.
The global foundation course, which will be contextualized to reflect different migration dynamics will equip journalists from all over the world with the necessary tools to develop more balanced and accurate narratives on migration which in turn will reduce the spread of misinformation.”
The GMMA will have a strong focus on training journalism students to identify and track disinformation and harmful content, including fact-checking techniques and data journalism.
“Our journalism academics are international experts in media literacy and it is an honour for them to work with the IOM and Irish Aid on this vitally important international project which will have far-reaching positive learning for society,” said Professor Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, President of NUI Galway
Courses will draw on migration research and data, as well as explore unfolding global developments like COVID-19 influencing the future of mobility and migration, including public attitudes.
Students are encouraged to explore this complex topic from different perspectives and publish compelling, nuanced and evidence-based stories.
View video here.
For more information, please contact:
IOM Geneva, Hannah Murphy, Tel: +447951538946, Email: email@example.com,
IOM Ireland, Marshall Patsanza, Tel: +353 87 337 6177, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NUI Galway, Ed Carty, Tel: +353864178175, Email: email@example.comLanguage English Posted: Monday, April 26, 2021 - 19:03Image: Region-Country: GlobalDefault: Multimedia:
The Global Migration Media Academy will provide student journalists around the world with the tools to develop balanced narratives on migration and reduce the spread of misinformation. Amanda Nero/IOM 2018Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Countering XenophobiaMigration ManagementMigration and the 2030 Agenda
Joint IOM-UNHCR press release
Geneva - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, are deeply saddened by the latest loss of at least two lives after a boat capsized off Venezuela’s shores on Thursday 22 April.
According to local authorities, at least 24 people including several children are believed to have been on board the boat heading towards the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago. Seven people were rescued by commercial Venezuelan vessels, and two bodies have so far been recovered, while rescue operations are ongoing to find other survivors among the 15 Venezuelans that are still unaccounted for according to authorities.
“The waters of the Caribbean Sea continue to claim the lives of Venezuelans,” said Eduardo Stein, Joint Special Representative of UNHCR and IOM for Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants. “As the conditions in the country continue to deteriorate – all worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic – people continue to undertake life-threatening journeys.”
This is the latest of several incidents involving the capsizing of boats carrying Venezuelan refugees and migrants towards Caribbean islands, the most recent reported near the Venezuelan city of Guiria in December last year.
With land and maritime borders still closed to limit COVID-19 transmission, these journeys take place mainly through irregular routes, heightening the dangers as well as health and protection risks.
“Shipwrecks, tragic deaths at border crossings and further suffering are avoidable, but only if immediate and concerted international action is mobilized to find pragmatic solutions that put saving lives and protecting human rights at the forefront of any response,” added Stein.
“The establishment of regular and safe pathways, including through humanitarian visas and family reunification, as well as the implementation of protection-sensitive entry systems and adequate reception mechanisms, can prevent the use of irregular routes, smuggling and trafficking.”
UNHCR and IOM reiterate their readiness to lend support and technical expertise in exploring practical solutions to provide regular pathways that also take into account COVID-19 prevention measures. UNHCR and IOM, as co-leaders of the Interagency Coordination Platform for refugees and migrants from Venezuela (R4V), work with at least 24 other partners and governments across the Caribbean to meet the needs of refugees and migrants in the sub-region.
There are over 5 million Venezuelan refugees and migrants around the world, 200,000 of whom are estimated to be hosted in the Caribbean.
For more information
Daniela Rovina, IOM, firstname.lastname@example.org, +507 6312-8294
Bryan Brennan, IOM, email@example.com, +507 6379-9450
William Spindler, UNHCR, firstname.lastname@example.org, + 507 6382 7815
Olga Sarrado, UNHCR, email@example.com, +507 6640 0185
Diana Diaz Rodriguez, UNHCR, firstname.lastname@example.org, + 507 6646 3469
Angela Wells, IOM, email@example.com, +41 79 403 5365
Aikaterini Kitidi, firstname.lastname@example.org, +41 79 580 8334
Language English Posted: Monday, April 26, 2021 - 10:53Image: Region-Country: Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of)Themes: Venezuela CrisisDefault: Multimedia: Press Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Missing Migrants
Geneva – UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are deeply disturbed by reports of a tragic shipwreck off the coast of Libya. Fears are that this latest incident could have claimed the lives of up to 130 people.
The rubber boat, which reportedly embarked from the Al Khoms area east of Tripoli, is said to have capsized due to bad weather and stormy seas.
The NGO SOS Méditerranée reported that the first distress call was received by authorities on Wednesday morning. SOS Méditerranée and commercial vessels searched the area on Thursday only to discover several bodies floating around the deflated rubber dinghy but no survivors.
This would be the largest loss of life recorded in the Central Mediterranean since the beginning of the year. So far in 2021 alone, at least 300 other people have drowned or gone missing in the Central Mediterranean. This is a significant increase compared to the same period last year, when some 150 people drowned or went missing along the same route.
IOM and UNHCR warn that more migrants and refugees may attempt this dangerous crossing as weather and sea conditions improve and living conditions in Libya deteriorate.
In Libya, migrants and refugees continue to be subjected to arbitrary detention, ill-treatment, exploitation and violence, conditions that push them to take risky journeys, especially sea crossings that may end up with fatal consequences. Legal pathways to safety, though, are limited and often fraught with challenges.
UNHCR and IOM reiterate their call on the international community to take urgent steps to end avoidable loss of lives at sea. This includes the reactivation of search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean, enhanced coordination with all rescue actors, ending returns to unsafe ports, and establishing a safe and predictable disembarkation mechanism.
For more information please contact:
Safa Msehli at IOM Geneva, Tel: +41 79 403 5526. Email: email@example.com
Ryan Schroeder at IOM Brussels Tel + 32 492 25 02 34. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Rome Tel: +39.347.089.89.96 Email: email@example.com
In Geneva, Aikaterini Kitidi, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +41 79 580 8334
For Libya, Tarik Argaz, Email: email@example.com, Tel: +216 29 961295Language English Posted: Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 00:14Image: Region-Country: LibyaGlobalDefault: Multimedia:
So far in 2021 alone, at least 300 other people have drowned or gone missing in the Central Mediterranean. Photo: IOMPress Release Type: Globaltags 2021: Emergency Relief and ProtectionMigration ManagementMissing Migrants
Addis Ababa – Over 1 million people are displaced across 178 accessible locations in Ethiopia’s Tigray region and neighboring Afar and Amhara, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) ’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM).
This data was collected through a monthly Emergency Site Assessment (ESA) which has been in place since the conflict in Northern Ethiopia erupted in November 2020.
The assessment, conducted from 02 March to 23 March, revealed that there are some 1,000,052 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Tigray region, another 45,343 in Afar region and 18,781 in Amhara region. The data suggests that IDPs are fleeing to towns and cities to seek humanitarian assistance and gain access to essential services. It is the fourth such assessment conducted by IOM in the area.
The data is only indicative of the displacement in areas accessible to IOM DTM surveyors. Many areas in Northwestern, Central, Eastern and Southern zones in Tigray region remain out of reach to humanitarian partners due to continuing insecurity.
The highest concentration of IDPs is in Shire, where 445,309 IDPs are residing in overcrowded collective shelters, including schools, within the host community and in open spaces. A majority of them are from Western and Northwestern Tigray. Other urban areas with high displacement concentrations included Adwa (129,524 IDPs), Mekelle (126,267), Adigrat (100,168) and Axum (60,115).
According to the surveys, some of the most urgent needs of those displaced are life-saving food assistance, emergency shelter, non-food items such as bedding sets and kitchen sets, access to healthcare services, access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), nutrition and protection services.
Significantly, 75 sites have reportedly not received food distribution since the conflict broke out. An estimated 60 of these sites (80 per cent) are in Tigray region.
Since the beginning of the crisis, IOM has been monitoring the humanitarian and displacement situation through monthly area-based assessments, which capture the number of displaced persons, their locations and needs to inform the wider humanitarian response.
IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix will continue to expand its assessment coverage in the north so that the needs of more internally displaced persons can be assessed. Since 2018, this matrix has been the official source for displacement numbers in Ethiopia. DTM works in collaboration with Ethiopia’s National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC).
IOM Ethiopia’s Emergency Site Assessment Round 4 Report can be found here.
DTM assessment activities are funded by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Government of Germany.EthiopiaDefault: Multimedia:
DTM staff are gathering data at a collective center hosting IDPs in Shire. Photo: IOMPress Release Type: Globaltags 2021: DTMEmergency Relief and ProtectionInternal DisplacementInternational Cooperation and PartnershipsMigration ManagementReducing Global Inequalities