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IOM, Suriname Government Launch Website to Engage Diaspora

IOM - News - Mar, 04/04/2017 - 11:24
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Guyana - IOM assisted the Government of Suriname in launching a website to gather information on the skills, experiences and interests of Surinamese diaspora members, and to engage it in contributing to the country's development. These will be through investment, trade and repatriation of skills.

The launch took place in the Surinamese embassy in The Hague, Netherlands, where approximately 347,700 persons of Surinamese origin (1st or 2nd generation) formally live. That’s compared to an estimated current population of Suriname of 585,000.

The site (www.diaspora.sr) also provides useful information regarding visas and the regulation of Persons of Surinamese Origin (PSA), a status established in 2014 for diaspora members, including people with parents or grandparents born in Suriname.

Additionally, the site will serve as a one-stop shop for diaspora community to access information on investment opportunities and development initiatives in the South American country.

IOM Regional Coordination Officer for the Caribbean, Robert Natiello, stressed how insightful data would encourage the Diaspora Engagement Strategy.

“The Government of Suriname recognizes the value its diaspora can bring to development efforts, and the website provides a viable way of attracting diaspora to support key sectors such as agriculture and technology,” he said.

The website is part of the “Mapping Suriname’s Diaspora Project”, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs initiative supported by the IOM Development Fund.

For further information please contact Peter Natiello at IOM Guyana, Tel: +592 231 6533. Email: rnatiello@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 16:33Image: Region-Country: AmericaGuyanaDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mosul Tops IOM’s 2017 Funding Appeal for Iraq

IOM - News - Ven, 03/31/2017 - 11:23
Language English

Iraq - As the Mosul battle to retake Iraq’s northern city approaches its seventh month, responding to the needs of affected people has become IOM’s top priority, according to the UN Migration Agency’s Iraq Crisis Funding Appeal.

To meet the urgent needs of nearly a million beneficiaries throughout the country, IOM-Iraq’s 2017 Funding Appeal needs USD 76.3 million, of which 38 percent (USD 28.8 million) is allocated for Mosul Crisis Response for the first six months of 2017.

“Many of those in need of urgent assistance are in close proximity of the battlefield, and some of them are still at great risk due to military operations in the western part of Mosul [under ISIL control],” said Thomas Lothar Weiss, the Chief of Mission for IOM in Iraq.

As of 30 March, more than 367,000 individuals in total have been displaced from Mosul and surrounding areas, and 287,000 are currently displaced, since the operation to retake the city from ISIL launched in October 2016.

Weiss added, “Many displaced Iraqis from Mosul relate frightening tales of living under extreme hardship, and enduring danger and exposure to the elements upon fleeing their homes. Having left their personal belongings and communities behind, displaced Iraqis are in need of comprehensive assistance. IOM endeavours to provide this life-saving assistance, in cooperation with the Government of Iraq and humanitarian partners.”

IOM Iraq’s Appeal contains six major segments, of which Shelter/NFI provision with the required funding of USD 59.4 million is the agency’s top priority for assisting more than half a million beneficiaries in the entire country. Funding is also requested for Camp Coordination and Camp Management, Health, Protection, Emergency Livelihoods and Coordination and Common Services.

According to IOM’s field assessments, many displaced Iraqis across the country have limited access to basic household items and shelter necessities, while 17 percent of them (more than 484,000) live in critical shelter arrangements, which include unfinished buildings and informal settlements.

Displaced Iraqis in camps and critical shelter arrangements are extremely vulnerable, living in inadequate shelter that does not sufficiently protect them from the harsh winter and summer weather conditions in Iraq, IOM Iraq’s Appeal explains, referring to over 50-degree temperature difference between the coldest months and the height of summer.

IOM Iraq’s Chief of Mission highlighted the significant role of donor countries in addressing the overwhelming needs of displaced Iraqis, host communities, and returnees across Iraq, and stressed that IOM will continue to provide relief and humanitarian assistance to conflict-affected families in cooperation with the Government of Iraq and humanitarian partners.

The Iraq Crisis Funding Appeal can be accessed on the IOM Iraq website:

http://iomiraq.net/article/0/iom-iraq-funding-appeal-2017

The latest DTM Emergency Tracking figures on displacement from Mosul operations are available at:

http://iraqdtm.iom.int/EmergencyTracking.aspx

For further information, please contact IOM Iraq:

Sandra Black, Tel. +964 751 234 2550, Email: sblack@iom.int or Hala Jaber, Tel. +964 751 740 1654, Email: hjaberbent@iom.int

Posted: Friday, March 31, 2017 - 16:42Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastIraqDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 27,850, Deaths: 655

IOM - News - Ven, 03/31/2017 - 11:05
Language English

Switzerland - IOM reports that 27,850 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 29 March, over 80 percent arriving in Italy and the rest in Spain and Greece. This compares with 165,697 through the first 89 days of 2016.

IOM Rome spokesperson Flavio Di Giacomo reported Thursday that on Tuesday, 28 March, the Iuventa ship of the German CSO “Jugend Retted” rescued 141 migrants, who were attempting to cross the Mediterranean crammed on a rubber dinghy. Their craft began to take on water and sink slowly. Many of those on board had fallen in the water and were trying to stay afloat. The Iuventa transferred 140 survivors onto the Italian Coastguard’s Unit “Dattilo” ship, while one other migrant – a 16-year-old Gambian boy found unconscious during the operation – was transferred onto the Spanish “Canarias”. That ship, operating under the EUNAVFOR MED Operation Sophia, had a larger medical team on-board to assist the young migrant.

On Tuesday night the Canarias brought the Gambian teen to Lampedusa, where – still in shock – he met IOM and other organizations to reconstruct the incident. He said he believed there had been about 147 people on board the sinking dinghy, and thought he was the sole survivor. IOM now calculates there remain five people still missing.

IOM was informed that the Dattilo arrived Thursday in Augusta, Sicily, with over 700 migrants on board.

IOM staff subsequently confirmed the presence of the 140 survivors on board, as well as the remains of one victim.

Di Giacomo further reported that on 30 March, more than 1,100 people arrived in Italy,  figures that are not included in the Italy arrivals total of 23,125 (see chart above) reported by Italy’s Ministry of the Interior. IOM calculates arrivals to Italy this year through 29 days of March already exceed three-month arrival totals to Italy from either of the last three years.

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported that on Tuesday (28 March), 140 migrants were rescued off Zuwara –  four  women and 136 men. That same day, 85 migrants were rescued off Az Zawiyah – three women and  82 men.  The remains of four migrants were retrieved during the course of these same incidents. The following day (Wednesday 29 March), remains of three other migrants were recovered on Sabrathah: two men and one woman.

This makes the total for this year 3,682 migrants rescued and 171 bodies retrieved.

On 30 March, IOM Libya reported that it helped 171 stranded Nigerien migrants including one woman and one unaccompanied minor to return home to Niger from Libya.

The charter, which is the third flight to Niger, was coordinated with the Libyan authorities, the Nigerien embassy in Tripoli and IOM Niger. “This charter flight involved migrants from three different locations, city premises and two detention centres, making it particularly challenging considering the security situation in the country,” explained IOM Libya’s Programme Officer Ashraf Hassan.

Additional assistance, including clothes and shoes, was provided to 95 migrants from two separate detention centres in Libya.

Furthermore, nine of the most vulnerable cases on the flight, including both the woman and the unaccompanied minor, were allocated reintegration assistance which will be provided with the assistance of IOM Niger.

In 2016, IOM Libya assisted 2,775 migrants to return home. Already this year, IOM Libya has helped 1,795 stranded migrants return to their countries of origin. The return assistance to Niger was funded by the UK Foreign Office and the Government of the Netherlands as part of IOM’s return assistance programme.

Last year at this time, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project recorded 740 Mediterranean fatalities, nearly half of those occurring off Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean. In 2017, so far 13 fatalities have been recorded on this route, including 11 recorded last weekend off western Turkey, with 47 recorded off Spain and 595 recorded in the waters between Libya and Italy. These data do not include seven bodies recovered this week in Libya.

Although deaths on the Mediterranean Sea remain quite high through the first three months of 2017, IOM data indicate fatalities at the beginning of this year are not the highest recorded during the current emergency. In 2015, 488 men, women and children were reported lost on the Mediterranean through March 31, while the following winter 749 fatalities were recorded in the Mediterranean through March 31.

The main difference between 2016 and 2017 is that total arrivals on the Mediterranean during those first months of 2016 were nearly six times 2017’s arrivals, due largely to the surge of traffic from Turkey to Greece. That eastern Mediterranean corridor accounted for just under half of all deaths in the region.

  Sea Arrivals in Italy and Greece 2014-2016   Country Total 2014 Total 2015 Total 2016

Italy

170,100

153,842

181,436

Greece

34,442

853,650

173,561

 

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project reports that fatalities through 30 March number 1,157 (see chart, below), with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – over half of the global total. That is around 300 fewer than at this same point in 2016. However, these data do not account for full reporting from North Africa and the Horn of Africa, two migration corridors where data collection tends to be slower than in other regions.

Global totals table of MMP data for 1 January – 30 March 2016 and 2017

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic:
http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/170331_Mediterranean_Update.pdf 

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe

Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For further information please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM Geneva, Tel: +41.79.103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
IOM Italy: Flavio Di Giacomo, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
IOM Germany: Sabine Schneider, Tel: +49 30 278 778 17 Email: sschneider@iom.int
IOM Yemen: Saba Malme, Sana’a, Tel: + 967 736 800 329 (mobile), Email: smalme@iom.int
IOM Greece: Daniel Esdras, Tel: +30 210 9912174, Email: iomathens@iom.int or Kelly Namia, Tel: +30 210 9919040, +30 210 9912174, Email: knamia@iom.int
IOM GMDAC: Julia Black, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
IOM Turkey: Abby Dwommoh, Tel. (Direct): +90 (0)312 454 3048, Mobile: +90 (533) 698 7285, Email: adwommoh@iom.int or Mazen Aboulhosn, Tel: +9031245-51202, Email: maboulhosn@iom.int
IOM Libya: Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int  or Christine Petré, Tel. (Direct):  +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int or Ashraf Hassan, Tel +216 29 794707, Email: ashassan@iom.int
IOM Niger: Alberto Preato, Tel: +227 8053 5933, E-mail: apreato@iom.int
IOM Morocco: Hicham Hasnaoui, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int

For information or interview requests in French:
Florence Kim, IOM Geneva, Tel: +41 79 103 03 42, Email: fkim@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int

Posted: Friday, March 31, 2017 - 16:40Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaSwitzerlandDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Tailored Village-specific Policies Bolster Fight against Traffickers in Indonesia

IOM - News - Ven, 03/31/2017 - 11:04
Language English

Indonesia - The fight against human trafficking begins with grassroots leadership, the representatives of 13 at-risk Indonesian communities were told at Wednesday’s unveiling of a series of innovative village-specific counter trafficking policies developed by a district anti-trafficking task force with IOM’s assistance.

“We believe the most effective protection efforts are initiated at the community level, so for the past six months we have been working closely with villages here to formulate policies tailored to the specific circumstances of each village,” IOM Deputy Chief of Mission George Gigauri told 250 local government officials and community leaders in Sukabumi, West Java.

“Trafficking flourishes where there are uneven levels of awareness of the risks and dangers of working abroad, and limited access to correct information. These new tools will help to reduce that gap.”

Roughly 1.5 million Indonesians are registered with the Government as overseas workers. The number of unregistered workers could be as high as 2.5 million in Malaysia alone, creating an environment where trafficking can flourish. One quarter of the roughly 8,500 victims of trafficking IOM Indonesia has assisted since 2005 came from the populous West Java province. Local officials acknowledge that the Sukabumi district, four hours south of the capital Jakarta, is a target for unscrupulous labour recruiters.

The new initiative included the creation of village regulations, customized to meet the circumstances of each of the participating communities. These are complemented by a handbook containing standard operating procedures (SOP) for integrating services for victims of or witnesses to trafficking, and a pocketbook to help frontline responders identify and assist victims and/or witnesses.

“Trafficking in persons often begins with unscrupulous recruitment; the labour authorities have recorded 4,000 cases in Sukabumi alone involving this practice. I am hoping, with the adoption of village regulations, Sukabumi communities can help fight against trafficking and actively report the practice to local authorities,” said Dr. Sujatmiko, Deputy of Women and Children Protection, Coordinating Ministry of Human Development and Cultural Affairs.

“The SOP and Pocket Book that we launch today are tools for all of you to properly identify victims and conduct referral for protection. So I am expecting to see an increase in the prosecution of offenders coming from this region,” Dr. Sujatmiko added.

Funded by the US Department of States, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, the launch was followed by a two-day skills training workshop for 65 village representatives.

For further information, please contact Paul Dillon, IOM Indonesia, Tel: +62 811 944 4612, Email: pdillon@iom.int

Posted: Friday, March 31, 2017 - 16:39Image: Region-Country: AsiaAfghanistanDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Nepal Assumes Colombo Process Leadership

IOM - News - Ven, 03/31/2017 - 10:57
Language English

Switzerland - This week (29/03) Nepal succeeded Sri Lanka as Chair of the Colombo Process (CP) at a ceremony at IOM Headquarters in Geneva. The Government of Sri Lanka was represented by Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka in Geneva, while Nepal was represented by Ambassador Deepak Dhital, the Permanent Representative of Nepal. Nepal will be CP Chair for the next two years.

The Colombo Process or in full, the Regional Consultative Process on the Management of Overseas Employment and Contractual Labour for Countries of Origin in Asia, was established in 2003. It brings together 12 South and Southeast Asian labour-sending countries in a member state-driven, non-binding regional consultative process on migration (RCP) to facilitate dialogue and cooperation on issues of common interest and concerns relating to labour mobility.

Ten years after chairing the CP for the first time, Sri Lanka assumed the CP Chair in 2013 under the theme International Labour Migration for Prosperity: Adding Value by Working Together. During its tenure, five thematic working groups have been set up for CP member states to work together to consider how to promote skills qualification and recognition; foster ethical recruitment; promote pre-departure orientation and empowerment, with an additional focus on migration and health; reduce the costs of remittances transfer; and track labour market trends.

In 2016 the CP agreed to consider expanding the thematic areas of focus by four more, namely:  enhancing consular support for migrant workers; promoting migrant health; operationalizing the migration-related goals in the SDGs; and promoting equality of women migrant workers.

A self-funding mechanism was also negotiated by the CP Member States in Geneva and unanimously adopted at the last CP Ministerial Meeting in August 2016. The period also saw an expansion in the relations between the CP and other migration related Processes and Partners, including the Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD), the European Union (EU), the Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD) and the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants.

In its capacity as the CP Chair for the next two years, Nepal is developing a program of priorities, including the CP potential contribution to the process of consultation on the Global Compact on Migration.

Ambassador Aryasinha said, “Sri Lanka can look back with satisfaction to this period of stewardship, confident that it sought to tackle some of the most pressing issues faced by labour migrants of CP member countries; put in place some of the best practices to mitigate and overcome their problems; developed some of the most vital linkages between the sources of supply and demand; and strengthened both the institutional and financial capacity for the CP to be better prepared for the future.”

During the ceremony, the IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing congratulated Sri Lanka on its dynamism and perseverance as the CP Chair, leading to numerous achievements – notably through the establishment of the 5 Thematic Areas Working Groups, the negotiation of a self-funding mechanism, the updating of its operating modalities, the expansion of its regional interlocutors. Ambassador Swing commended Nepal for taking up the lead of this dynamic and very active Regional Consultative Process on Migration adding that IOM stood ready to continue supporting the Chair of the CP. 

Ambassador Dhital noted Nepal’s gratitude to Sri Lanka for its outstanding leadership. “Nepal is honoured to have the opportunity to now serve as the CP Chair.”

Appreciating the progress and recent achievements of the CP, Ambassador Dhital also emphasized the importance of moving forward for further action based on consensus of the CP member states. He also expressed the need to fit the activities of the CP into the larger whole of international initiatives in the field of migration and its management, such as the Global Forum for Migration and Development (GFMD), the relevant goals and targets of the SDGs and the Global Compact on Migration preparatory process.

For further information, please contact Rachel Velasco, IOM HQ, Tel: +41 22 717 95 68; Email: rvelasco@iom.int

Posted: Friday, March 31, 2017 - 16:38Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaSwitzerlandDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM, UK to Provide Market Access on Tajik-Afghan Border

IOM - News - Ven, 03/31/2017 - 10:55
Language English

Afghanistan - IOM is investing in community infrastructure projects along the Tajik-Afghan border, and has just opened a new market in the Hamadoni district in southern Tajikistan, just one kilometre from the Afghan border. The market is one of nine such projects being built by IOM with the support of the United Kingdom this year.

Hamadoni market will serve a population of 7,500 people across five nearby villages.  There is space for 36 traders who will sell fruits, vegetables, meat, fish and textiles. The market was constructed by returning Tajik migrants from the Russian Federation, providing much needed employment in the area.

Preventing migration is arguably a more important part of migration management than responding to crises. Economic opportunities and access to literal markets help people remain near their homes, avoid dangerous journeys, and can also lower crime rates.

Prior to the market being built, local residents had to travel long distances to trade and generate income. The new market will act as an economic hub for five villages and stimulate commerce in a part of the Tajik-Afghan border area that is vulnerable to cross-border crime and drug smuggling.

Instability in northern Afghanistan has increased since 2014, posing a major challenge for communities living on both sides of the border. IOM has been working with the Government of the United Kingdom and the Government of Tajikistan to provide livelihood alternatives and economic opportunities for Tajik and Afghan border communities, through community infrastructure projects, in-kind grants, vocational training, and cross-border exchanges.

The opening ceremony was attended by Hugh Philpott, the UK Ambassador to the Republic of Tajikistan, who expressed confidence that Hamadoni market would “provide employment opportunities for local residents and returning migrants alike and also improve the general livelihoods of people in this area.”

His sentiments were echoed by Dragan Aleksoski, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Tajikistan, who noted “this is a tangible sign of IOM and the UK’s commitment to supporting Tajik and Afghan border communities. It’s an important part of giving people living along the border opportunities to engage in trade, support themselves and their families,  and contribute to their communities.”

The community and local government were involved at all stages of the inception and construction, assisted by an IOM engineer and project staff.

Since 2015, IOM and the Government of the United Kingdom have implemented 21 community infrastructure projects along the Tajik-Afghan border including markets, schools, irrigation systems, and health facilities.

For further information please contact Teddy Noel-Hill, Tel: +992 90 000 5028, Email: enoelhill@iom.int

Posted: Friday, March 31, 2017 - 16:37Image: Region-Country: AsiaAfghanistanDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM, Japan Support Internally Displaced Families in Libya

IOM - News - Ven, 03/31/2017 - 10:54
Language English

Libya - Japan, through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has committed USD 679,500 to support a 12–month project addressing the immediate needs of internally displaced families in Libya.

The project, Direct Assistance to Internally Displaced Persons in Libya, will provide much needed items to some of the most vulnerable families who are escaping the violent conflict in the country. The project seeks to improve the conditions of IDPs living in main areas of displacement through provision of direct humanitarian assistance.

“Last year, Japan committed USD 2.8 billion between 2016 and 2018 to assist refugees and migrants around the world,” explained Tsuneki Matsuda, Charge d'Affaires ad interim, Embassy of Japan in Libya. “We sincerely hope that our assistance will help alleviate the hardship IDPs in Libya are facing now.”

The needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and families are great. Hundreds of thousands have been displaced by violent armed conflict throughout the country. IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix identified more than 313,000 IDPs living in conflict areas. Recently, the UN issued a Flash Appeal requesting assistance for 79,000 families affected by violence in Sirte. Benghazi is another area of the country where IDPs are trying to return to their homes.

“Many times, when families return to their communities, they find their homes destroyed, damaged or occupied by others,” explained Othman Belbeisi, IOM Libya Chief of Mission. “These families have no other support, so the international community, led by IOM in partnership with the People of Japan and other generous donors, help us provide this vital support to those most in need.”

“Japan will continue to play an important role to bring solutions to the refugee and migrant issues in Libya by collaborating closely with the international community,” Matsuda said.

Through this project, as many as 5,000 IDPs (1,200 families) will receive items needed to support their daily living requirements.

“These families, many whom have lost everything, can receive mattresses, blankets, clothes, hygiene kits and other items needed to support daily life,” said Olfa Bakouch, Project Assistant. “We visit the areas where these families live, determine their immediate needs and provide assistance where we can.”

Last year, IOM provided life-saving humanitarian aid to 24,733 internally displaced persons in Libya. Displaced families in remote areas, and in areas in conflict, are often most at-risk. Therefore, IOM prioritizes its efforts in these places.

IOM established a presence in Libya in 2006 and has supported the needs of migrants, IDPs, returnees, refugees and asylum seekers ever since.

For further information, please contact IOM Libya, Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int

Posted: Friday, March 31, 2017 - 16:36Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastLibyaDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Joins UN Assessment Team to Support Emergency Response in Peru

IOM - News - Ven, 03/31/2017 - 10:50
Language English

Peru - IOM has joined the UN Evaluation and Disaster Coordination (UNDAC) team, in support of the Government of Peru, to assess the emergency caused by heavy rains, and mud- and landslides in several regions of the country.

The heavy rains that began in January 2017 have caused severe flooding in communities and urban areas across the country with several locations devastated by mudslides and falling rocks. This has left 124,000 people affected and 97 fatalities to date, according to the Government.

Twenty-four of Peru’s 25 departments have been affected and a state of emergency has been declared by the Government in 11 departments and one constitutional province.

The north coast of the country is the most affected area, particularly the departments of Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad and some districts of the capital, Lima. Other departments such as Ancash, Ica, Arequipa, Huancavelica, Cajamarca and Tumbes have also been affected. According to the National Civil Defense Institute (INDECI – its Spanish acronym), nearly 29,000 houses have collapsed or are uninhabitable. It is estimated that nearly 1,700 families are currently in temporary settlements.

The UNDAC team, composed of 10 international experts in emergencies including the IOM staff, is supporting the Government in coordination and information management issues.

“IOM, as part of the National Humanitarian Network, led by the INDECI and the UN System in Peru, is providing technical assistance, through its global lead on the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM), in order to have a clear view of the needs of the affected population,” said Jose Ivan Dávalos, IOM Peru Chief of Mission.

Maria del Carmen Sacasa, UN Resident Coordinator in Peru, explained that, in less than 24 hours, the UN had mobilized international experts from different parts of the world to strengthen the response capacity in the field. Sacasa stressed that all the UN Agencies, Funds and Programs in Peru are working together as “one force”.

The results of the UNDAC assessment, expected this week, will enable the level of needs and damages to be determined as well as the priority sectors for humanitarian assistance.

For further information, please contact Inés Calderón at IOM Peru, Tel: +51 1 633 0000, Email: icalderon@iom.int

Posted: Friday, March 31, 2017 - 16:35Image: Region-Country: AmericaPeruDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Canada Supports IOM’s Peace and Stability Initiatives in Northern Lebanon

IOM - News - Ven, 03/31/2017 - 10:50
Language English

Lebanon - IOM has received CAD 2.6 million from the Government of Canada, through its Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and Development (DFATD), to contribute towards the promotion of peace and stability in northern Lebanon.

The 24-month programme will enhance the local communities’ resilience and strengthen local government and civil society’s capacity to respond to urgent needs, mitigate tensions and avoid the escalation of conflict.

Five years after the start of the Syrian crisis, northern Lebanon collectively hosts an estimated 256,126 Syrian Refugees, representing more than 22 percent of the total population (excluding Palestinian refugees from Lebanon) of the region. More than half of these live in substandard shelters.

While long-standing ties between Syrians and Lebanese in these areas have had a positive influence on easing local tensions, the increasing strain on services is testing these bonds. Given the protracted nature of the Syrian conflict, humanitarian needs are spiralling as competition over scarce resources and jobs, rising rents and commodity prices, and increasing food insecurity has led to a consequent rise in inter-communal tensions.

Through a series of community-based interventions, including revitalization of essential infrastructure and basic service provision, conducted in close consultation with municipal authorities and host and displaced communities, the Canadian-funded project aims to enhance social cohesion and stability in the area.

Approximately 12,000 persons will benefit from identified priority community support projects. Each project will target vulnerable groups including at-risk youth, female-headed households and families living in informal shelters. Municipal government officials and local NGO partners will be involved in the overall supervision and facilitation of the collaborative implementation process, building their capacity to address community needs in the future.

“This programme, along with other stabilization projects implemented by IOM in the north, is a great opportunity to open the door to more projects focusing on promoting peace and stabilization,” according to Fawzi Al-Zioud, Head of IOM Office in Lebanon.

This is in line with the national and regional planning strategies, including the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan and the 3RP, and contributes to the United Nations Strategic Framework (UNSF) for Lebanon for the period 2017–2020.

IOM, through its participation in the UNSF, aims to support the Government of Lebanon and its people to ensure peace and security by promoting domestic stability and effective governance and to reduce poverty through sustainable development while still addressing immediate needs in a human rights and gender-sensitive manner.

For further information, please contact IOM Lebanon, Ahmed Mokhtar, Tel: +961 7688 8420, Email: amokhtar@iom.int or Fawzi Al-Zioud, Tel: +961 8179 5195, Email: fzioud@iom.int

Posted: Friday, March 31, 2017 - 16:34Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastLebanonDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Inaugurates Rehabilitated Migration Response Center in Obock, Djibouti

IOM - News - Ven, 03/31/2017 - 10:49
Language English

Djibouti - Created in 2011, the Migration Response Center (MRC) in Obock, Djibouti, has been rehabilitated with the support of the Government of Japan. New premises including shelters for women and Unaccompanied Minor Children (UMCs) and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities have been added to the previously existing structures.

The center directly managed by IOM hosts around 5,000 migrants annually as part of evacuation and voluntary return programs.

The inauguration ceremony of the new premises of the MRC was held on Thursday, 30 March 2017. This ceremony was attended by Djibouti’s Minister of the Interior, Hassan Omar Mohamed, the Ambassador of Japan, Tatsuo Arai, the prefect of Obock Region, Hassan Dabaleh, and the Chief of Mission of IOM Djibouti, Lalini Veerassamy.

“Obock will remain a strategic transit point for migrants seeking for better opportunities in the Gulf Council Countries. With the increased trend – noted in spite of the Yemen crisis – it was important that  IOM strengthens its capacity at the Migration Response Center for increased protection to these vulnerable migrants, with a high prevalence of Unaccompanied Minor Children,” said the Chief of Mission of IOM Djibouti.

The rehabilitation of the center was funded by the Government of Japan through the project “Strengthen Security in Djibouti and Safety of Migrants through Counter-trafficking, Marine Safety and Emergency Assistance”.

IOM and the Ministry of the Interior have been cooperating since 2009 in strengthening responses to the challenges posed by migration issues in the region. The Agreement between the two entities on direct assistance to migrants and management of the MRC has been renewed early this year.

For further information, please contact Lalini Veerassamy, IOM Djibouti, Tel: + 253 77 70 38 34  Email: lveerassamy@iom.int

Posted: Friday, March 31, 2017 - 16:33Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastDjiboutiDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Study: In Rural El Salvador, Many Unaccompanied Migrant Children Live in Unhealthy Conditions

IOM - News - Ven, 03/31/2017 - 10:47
Language English

El Salvador - IOM El Salvador this week released its Human Mobility Household Survey on Unaccompanied Migrant Childhood and Returned Children.

The data for the study was collected through the Human Mobility Household Survey in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, implemented by IOM between November 2015 and March 2016, with the aim giving priority attention to the younger population of migrants in vulnerable situations. The findings were presented by Jorge Peraza Breedy, IOM Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

Additionally, IOM signed a letter of understanding with El Salvador’s General Directorate of Statistics and Censuses (DIGESTYC). This agreement seeks to formalize the timely exchange of information that contributes to the effectiveness and visibility of gender-based migration. To strengthen DIGESTYC, IOM also officially donated computer equipment.

The survey was carried out within the framework of the Northern Triangle Information Management Initiative (NTMI) project, funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).  The project strengthens government's capacities to collect, analyze and share information on human mobility to support humanitarian action and the protection of vulnerable populations in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

IOM found that the majority of these children (64 percent) live in adobe houses with dirt floors in the rural areas of El Salvador, which leaves them vulnerable to parasitic diseases or illnesses.

The study showed that, in the rural areas, a quarter of the population of returned migrant children and adolescents live in these dwellings. According to the World Bank, ground floors are primary indicators of poverty.

According to the research, 74 percent of the families of unaccompanied migrant children returnees are homeowners. Nevertheless, these percentages drop when the head of household is a woman.

Furthermore, only 27 percent of the families that live in rural areas have a toilet connected to aqueducts, while 73 percent of families use latrines or toilets connected to a septic tank. This situation can contribute to the transmission of bacteria, viruses, and parasites present in the human excreta through the contamination of water, soil and food resources.

Likewise, the presence of latrines can represent security problems especially for girls, adolescents, and women, who are at risk of sexual harassment or sexual abuse at night. At the national level, in both urban and rural areas, 59 percent of the total of the families of returned unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents are affected by this vulnerability.

IOM’s analysis concludes that this population lives in conditions that promote diseases that affect their physical, nutritional and cognitive development.

In light of this, IOM has called on Salvadoran families, society and Government to guarantee the rights of all children and adolescents so that they can enjoy the highest possible levels of health and grow in a dignified environment where they can reach their potential. This is particularly important for the most vulnerable groups, such as unaccompanied migrant children and adolescents who have returned to the rural areas.

For further information, please contact José Miguel Gómez, Email miggomez@iom.int  or Alba Miriam Amaya at IOM El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Email aamaya@iom.int

Posted: Friday, March 31, 2017 - 16:32Image: Region-Country: AmericaEl SalvadorDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

286,000 People Displaced as Families Continue to Lose Loved Ones Due to Mosul Operations

IOM - News - Mar, 03/28/2017 - 11:21
Language English

Iraq - Since 25 February, when people from West Mosul first began to flee, the IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) has tracked a total of 27,634 families (165,744 individuals) in their location of displacement.

The largest group of these displaced people – 28,770 individuals – is sheltering in the Qayyara airstrip, constructed by IOM in cooperation with Iraq’s Ministry of Displacement and Migration (MoMD). The emergency site, the largest constructed for the Mosul crisis, is now home to 8,792 families in total (48,959 individuals), an increase of over 28,000 since the West Mosul operations started on 19 February.

Construction work continues at IOM’s second camp in Haj Ali with a capacity for 7,500 plots for families (45,000 individuals). Currently, 4,356 plots (19,880 individuals) are in use mostly by internally displaced persons (IDPs) from West Mosul.

More than 286,020 individuals have been currently displaced by Mosul operations, which began on 17 October 2016; this current displacement figure increased by 122,000 in the past month. Cumulatively, more than 350,000 individuals have been displaced by Mosul operations; however, as of 23 March, more than 76,000 have returned.

Thousands of displaced people are losing their lives while fleeing the fighting in Mosul. This is Sara Alaa’s story:

Bent over, sobbing quietly as he muttered incomprehensible words, Abdullah gripped the empty-looking body bag as if his life depended on it.

At first glance, the cadaver pouch that lay on a stretcher looked empty; large parts of it appeared hollow until Abdullah unzipped it.

Inside the adult body bag, lay five-year-old Sara Alaa.

The little girl looked like she was asleep. Her eyes half closed, her mouth slightly opened as if she was still breathing and her pretty face unscathed. Her black hair tied back from her face, she was dressed in a sweatshirt with little coloured flowers and the word “Love” printed on it.

Her grandfather, Abdullah, had rushed her to IOM’s field hospital in Hammam al-Alil after ISIL shot her while the family was trying to escape Mosul’s al-Jadeeda neighbourhood in the early hours of last Thursday morning (23 March). Abdullah, his wife and seven other family members, including two blind women and Sara’s relatives, were trying to flee when an ISIL sniper began shooting to stop them leaving.

“We froze in our tracks out of fear. The two blind women fell to the ground. Relatives started to drag them back to the safety of a nearby building,” said Abdullah’s nephew, Salah, who had accompanied Abdullah to the field hospital.

Another ISIL sniper appeared at the top of the street where they were hiding, spraying the area with machine gunfire to prevent families from running.

Abdullah instinctively grabbed a terrified Sara and held her in his arms.

“I took her into my arms embracing her body to protect it from the shooting,” he sobbed.

But the sniper was too quick. Two bullets were fired, one entering Sara’s tiny body from the back and exiting from her chest leaving a big hole near the heart. Another bullet hit Abdullah in the abdomen.

In the panic that ensued, Abdullah and his nephew, together with Sara, were put in a car and driven to the IOM and Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) hospital in Hammam al-Alil.

“When Sara arrived at the field hospital, she was already dead,” explained the surgeon on call that morning.

By late morning, Sara’s mother was en route to the hospital, unaware that her youngest child had been killed.

“I couldn’t tell her mother on the phone,” Abdullah said as he sobbed inconsolably. “She is in a taxi on her way here and does not know that her daughter is dead,” he said, burying his face in the body bag as he wept.

“We should have been celebrating the liberation of our neighbourhood having survived ISIL for two and a half years,” he said. “Instead we are grieving. Her life started with ISIL and was ended by them,” said Abdullah.

About 600,000 people are still in the areas of West Mosul held by ISIL, including 400,000 who are "trapped" in the Old City under siege-like conditions.

Throughout the morning, victims of the conflict arrived at the IOM and QRCS field hospital.

There was seven-year-old Ali, whose left foot had been amputated two days earlier and now needed post-operative treatment. His two aunts came with him as his mother, who had been injured, was now bedridden.

“Shhhh,” they whispered as Ali cried in pain. “He still doesn’t know he has lost a foot.”

Then came young Firas, 19, shot in the back by an ISIL sniper as he tried to flee Mosul al-Jadeeda that morning.

Another seven-year-old boy wailed in pain as the doctors checked the external metal fixators they had attached to his leg a week earlier. ISIL had fired mortar at his family’s house.

An elderly diabetic lady, Umm Omar, was wheeled in for post-operative care.

She was not a victim of sniper fire or shrapnel. Living under ISIL, especially in the last few months meant lack of access to medical support, insulin and healthy food, in addition to major stress. With no means of treating her medical condition, she developed gangrene and had to have both legs amputated below the knees.

Victim after victim, all from Mosul al-Jadeeda, streamed into the field hospital that morning telling a similar story – that ISIL deliberately shot at them as they tried to escape. They shot to kill, not differentiating between man, woman, child or the elderly.

The medical team at IOM’s field hospital worked tirelessly as the victims turned up. They soothed children and calmed adults while they cleaned, disinfected, treated and patched up the wounds.

But as the day progressed, the news worsened with reports emerging that over 130 civilians had been killed in the same neighbourhood, Mosul al-Jadeeda, by collation airstrikes.

ISIL has warned civilians about leaving the areas still under their control. In recent weeks as Iraqi forces advance in Mosul, they have imposed a mounting reign of terror on those civilians still entrapped.

With ISIL using civilians as human shields, even forcing their way into homes where families have gathered for safety and firing mortars from rooftops of houses with civilians in the lower floors, an increase in the number of innocent people being killed has been reported in recent weeks.

The IDPs and patients described the situation of many civilians still living inside West Mosul as extremely bleak. If they stay, the likelihood of being killed, either by coalition air strikes or Iraqi forces’ artillery, is high; if they leave, the chances that ISIL snipers, mortars and gunmen will kill them are high also.

But despite the risks of being shot by ISIL, many say the chance of making it out, however slim, is worth the try.

For further information, please contact IOM Iraq:

Hala Jaber, Tel. +964 751 740 1654, Email: hjaberbent@iom.int, or Sandra Black, Tel. +964 751 234 2550, Email: sblack@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 16:58Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastIraqDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 26,589, Deaths: 649

IOM - News - Mar, 03/28/2017 - 11:21
Language English

Switzerland - IOM reports that 26,589 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 26 March, with over 80 percent arriving in Italy and the rest in Spain and Greece. This compares with 163,895 through the first 86 days of 2016.

IOM Rome spokesman Flavio Di Giacomo said on Monday that 2,320 migrants were brought to land on 23 and 24 March. The main nationalities of those rescued included Nigerians, Gambians, Ivorians, Ghanaians, Malians, Senegalese and Guineans (both Guinea-Bissau and Conakry). He added that, on Saturday and Sunday (25 and 26 March), another 1,160 migrants had been rescued at sea and are being brought to land (these are not included in the table above).  One corpse was found on a dinghy, which was carrying 138 migrants.

Di Giacomo further reported on the  incident on Thursday when the NGO Proactiva OpenArms retrieved the remains of five migrants from a capsized dinghy – plus a sixth victim which the NGO said has since been retrieved near the original site of the shipwreck. These bodies were brought to Catania on Sunday morning and Di Giacomo said IOM now believes the dinghy found by OpenArms is the same one that IOM Libya reported was rescued by Libyan fishermen who saved 54 people on 21 March.

According to the 54 survivors brought to Libya, approximately 120 migrants were on board. Including the six known dead, IOM reports that 66 victims remain unaccounted for in that tragedy.

IOM Rome further explained that the vessel “Iuventa” of the German CSO “Jugend Rettet” said it had spotted another dinghy sinking six miles off the position of the “Golfo Azzurro,” but IOM has no further information about it. The Jugend Rettet is the vessel that retrieved the remains of the sixth victim.

“We are trying to understand whether the dinghy found by OpenArms is the same one that was rescued earlier this month by Libyan fishermen,” stated Federico Soda, director for IOM’s Mediterranean operations. “This may considerably change the number of missing migrants. For the moment, it is only possible to confirm that there are 66 victims.”

Soda went on to say, “However, this tragic event reminds us all of the massive loss of life in the tragedies occurring on the Central Mediterranean route: over 590 migrants have died this year alone. That is 418 more than last year on this route during the same period. In this context, the presence of many rescue ships at sea is crucial: without them, the number of fatalities would be inevitably higher.”

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported Monday that, since last Friday (24 March), IOM has received information about the remains of a 15-year-old African girl retrieved from the shores of Sabratah by the Libyan Red Crescent.

“That puts our total confirmed dead found on Libyan beaches this year at 164, of which 20 were retrieved in March.  The number rescued in 2017 by the Libyan Coast Guard and others totals 3,457.”

Last year at this time, IOM recorded 566 Mediterranean fatalities, roughly two thirds occurring off Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean. In 2017, so far 13 fatalities have been recorded on this route, including 11 recorded over the weekend off western Turkey in the province of Aydin. That incident resulted in the deaths of at least two women and five children, all believed to be Syrians.

IOM Iraq also reported yesterday (27 March) that three people died drowning in a swollen stream near Mergasur District in the Erbil governorate while trying to cross into eastern Turkey from Iraq. There were two survivors in that incident, believed to be from the same family as the victims.

Spokesperson Abby Dwommoh of IOM Turkey also stated that the number of migrants attempting to cross from Turkey has doubled this month, compared to January and February. As of 27 March, the Turkish authorities reported that 2,238 migrants were intercepted, compared to 1,075 in January and 1,014 in February.  Over the weekend (25–26 March), IOM staff provided humanitarian assistance to 117 migrants rescued in Cesme and 53 in Dikili, with funding provided by the EU through the humanitarian aid department (ECHO). 

“Since the Mediterranean Crisis began in 2015, Turkey has made tremendous efforts to rescue migrants at sea. These reports highlight Turkey’s ongoing efforts to provide rescue assistance to migrants attempting to make the dangerous journey. Although it’s too early to pinpoint the causes, historically increased attempts of irregular crossings often coincide with warmer weather and improving conditions,” said Lado Gvilava, IOM Turkey Chief of Mission.  

Kelly Namia of IOM Athens declared that 154 migrants or refugees had entered Greece by sea since Thursday (23 March), bringing this year’s total to 3,650. This compares with 149,390 entering Greece by sea at this same point in 2016 (see month-by-month charts below):

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project reports that fatalities through 27 March number 1,149 (see chart, below), with the Mediterranean region accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – over half of the global total. That is nearly 300 fewer than at this same point in 2016. However, these data do not account for full reporting from North Africa and the Horn of Africa, two migration corridors where data collection tends to be slower than in other regions.

 

Global totals table of MMP data for 1 Jan – 27 March 2016 and 2017

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic:
http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/170328_Mediterranean_Update.pdf 

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe

Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project at: http://missingmigrants.iom.int

For further information please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM Geneva, Tel: +41.79.103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Sabine Schneider at IOM Germany, Tel: +49 30 278 778 17, Email: sschneider@iom.int
IOM Yemen, Saba Malme, Sana’a, Tel: + 967 736 800 329 (mobile), Email: smalme@iom.int
IOM Greece: Daniel Esdras, Tel: +30 210 9912174, Email: iomathens@iom.int
or Kelly Namia, Tel: +30 210 9919040, +30 210 9912174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Abby Dwommoh, IOM Turkey; Tel. (Direct): +90 (0)312 454 3048, Mobile: +90 (533) 698 7285, Email: adwommoh@iom.int, or Mazen Aboulhosn, Tel: +9031245-51202, Email: maboulhosn@iom.int
IOM Libya: Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int  or Christine Petré, Tel. (Direct):  +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Hicham Hasnaoui at IOM Morocco, Tel: + 212 5 37 65 28 81, Email: hhasnaoui@iom.int

For information or interview requests in French:
Florence Kim, IOM Geneva, Tel: +41 79 103 03 42, Email: fkim@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 16:57Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaSwitzerlandDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Supports Ukrainian Border Guards Anti-Corruption Efforts and Staff Reform

IOM - News - Mar, 03/28/2017 - 11:21
Language English

Ukraine - The Ukrainian Border Guards Service has started recruiting some 800 staff to serve at the two major entry points to Ukraine under a new initiative supported IOM and launched today (28/03) at Boryspil airport near Kyiv. 

“Assisting the Ukrainian Border Guard Service to find new blood among young people with a good command of English, through a transparent recruitment system including use of a lie-detector, is very important for the Service’s anti-corruption efforts and its transformation into a modern law enforcement agency based on the best European standards and practices,” said IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission Manfred Profazi.

Head of the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, General Colonel Victor Nazarenko, noted that “Over 60 percent of the newly recruited border guards will be selected from external candidates through a new competence-based e-recruitment system.”

Boryspil airport and Krakovets on the Ukraine/Poland border are among the major entry points to Ukraine, with 17,000 and 10,000 travellers passing through them per day respectively.

“Soon, the staff of seven more border divisions in the West, East and South of Ukraine will be reformed along similar lines,” General Nazarenko said at the launch. “We are very grateful to our partners for funding and expert assistance they have provided,” he added.

IOM supported this reform with funding from the US Department of State by providing software and hardware for the e-recruitment system, developing modern selection procedures, updating training programmes for border guards (including English language courses) and assisting with recruitment advertising. IOM also facilitates the engagement of EU and national experts to ensure transparency and impartiality of the recruitment process.

Over the 20 years of its work in Ukraine, IOM has been providing assistance to the Ukrainian Government as it develops comprehensive migration and border management systems. This has included assisting the State Border Guard Service with enhancement of its legal framework, institutional setting and human resources management, as well as improving its infrastructure and equipment.

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

Posted: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 16:56Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaUkraineDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Launches Reintegration Projects for West African Migrants with EU Trust Fund Support

IOM - News - Mar, 03/28/2017 - 11:21
Language English

Niger - IOM Niger is launching 20 community-based reintegration projects for over 3,000 returning migrants in five of the primary countries of origin – Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Guinea Conakry and Cameroon – with support from the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and as part of the Migrant Response and Resource Mechanism (MRRM).

These activities will be carried out between March and September 2017, the implementation time estimated for the reintegration projects. An additional 3,000 members of local communities will benefit from these projects.

The Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism (MRRM) programme aims to contribute to the improvement of security and stability in Niger through the development of a comprehensive approach to managing mixed migratory flows.

The objectives of the programme are to provide direct assistance to migrants in transit centres and along migratory routes, and to support the sustainable and effective socioeconomic reintegration of migrants in their countries of origin.

The community-based reintegration activities will reinforce existing community development initiatives by placing migrants and potential migrants at the centre of the project, and by providing returning migrants, assisted by IOM Niger, with the possibility of engaging in the development of their own towns and villages.

In 2016, IOM assisted over 4,800 migrants to return to their communities of origin under the first phase of MRRM, and more than 70 reintegration projects were implemented in Senegal, the Gambia, Nigeria, Mali and Guinea Bissau.

In addition, in 2016, IOM Niger organized and implemented three vocational trainings in brick manufacturing, jewelry making and business management at the transit centre in Agadez for over 600 beneficiaries, including both migrants and members of the local community.

As part of phase II of MRRM, IOM is expanding its community reintegration activities by reinforcing the link between the assisted voluntary return activities and small development initiatives in countries of origin.

For further information, please contact Lavinia Prati at IOM Niger, Tel: +227 8931 8764, Email: lprati@iom.int.

Posted: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 16:55Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastNigerDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Supports Myanmar Communities to Manage Displacement

IOM - News - Mar, 03/28/2017 - 11:21
Language English

Myanmar - In the Kachin and northern Shan States of Myanmar, over 98,000 people are still displaced as a result of the conflict that erupted in June 2011. In Rakhine State, it is estimated that there are over 120,000 displaced people and over 70,000 have fled the state.

To improve the ability of the Myanmar Government, national and international organizations, civil society, faith-based organizations and displaced populations to manage and cope with displacement, IOM and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) conducted a five-day training of trainers (TOT) beginning 20 March. This initiative, which was held under the auspices of the national CCCM cluster in Myanmar, was funded by USAID and UNHCR.

Life in displacement can be significantly improved if those displaced can be part of the decision-making process with regard to the assistance they receive. It is equally important that the provision of basic services, such as food, shelter, health, water and sanitation, meet minimum SPHERE standards. Camp coordination and camp management (CCCM) is about improving the lives of displaced persons to help them live with dignity, even during displacement. The aim of the training was to increase the pool of trainers from Rakhine, northern Shan and Kachin States and will be added to a national roster of people capable to manage displacement in camp settings.

The Department of Relief and Resettlement State Director, U Soe Naing, opened the five-day training in Taunggyi, the capital city of Shan State. The initiative brought together 23 camp management practitioners who will be supporting various CCCM training needs in their respective States and also be deployed around the country to respond to displacement crises when needed.

During the five-day training, participants were introduced to CCCM tools, adult learning methods, coaching techniques, minimum standards and best practices in camp management in addition to strengthening their CCCM networks within Myanmar.

“This is a unique opportunity for me to improve my knowledge and develop the skills to help my community to cope with displacement,” says Maji Mung Hpan, a 25-year-old CCCM Facilitator from the Kachin Baptist Convention in Kachin State, Myanmar.

By promoting an understanding of the roles and responsibilities in CCCM, the camp management activities during the different phases of the camp life cycle and the role of community participation can ensure a more accountable provision of assistance and protection for displaced populations.

It is important to recognize that camps are designed to be temporary settlements and are the last places of refuge for people displaced through man-made or natural disasters. When camps are set up, all efforts have to be made to provide the displaced populations with the support they deserve.

For further information, please contact Kieran Gorman-Best, IOM Myanmar at Tel: +95 1210588, Email: kgormanbest@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 16:54Image: Region-Country: AsiaMyanmarDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

TB Control among Tajik Migrants Discussed in Dushanbe

IOM - News - Mar, 03/28/2017 - 11:20
Language English

Afghanistan - The Republic of Tajikistan is one of 27 high burden countries for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis and returned Tajik migrant workers have been identified by the National TB Control Programme as one of the key vulnerable population groups. State data shows that the levels of TB in Tajik migrants rose from 13.5 percent of all cases in 2011 to 19.7 percent in 2015.

Over half a million Tajiks left home to work abroad last year, the majority going to the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan. They are attracted by the steady supply of work, high wages, the absence of a visa regime, relatively low travel expenses and a familiar local language and culture. With the lack of targeted interventions focusing on TB prevention and control around cross border migration and population mobility, this increase in infections weakens the pace of progress towards the elimination of tuberculosis.

To help control the spread of the disease IOM in Tajikistan and the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Republic of Tajikistan are organizing a three-day meeting this week to discuss a “minimum package” on cross border TB control and care among Tajik migrants leaving to Russian Federation. The meeting started yesterday (27/03) and continues until Wednesday. It will be attended by health and migration authorities from both countries.

The minimum package comprises political commitment (including the implementation of a legal framework for TB cross-border collaboration), financial mechanisms and adequate health service delivery (prevention, infection control, contact management, diagnosis and treatment, and psychosocial support).

Participants will discuss a number of issues including the capacity of state TB services; international experience on pre departure medical examination in the countries of origin; engagement of diaspora to prevent tuberculosis among migrants; procedures for analysis of Tajik medical certificates in the Russian Federation; and the legal framework for developing bilateral documents to improve cross-border cooperation for TB prevention, control and care.

“We are very pleased to be able to host this meeting which is crucial to TB control in an area which is seeing an alarming rise in the occurrence of the disease, particularly among migrants,” said Dragan Aleksosi, IOM Chief of Mission in Tajikistan. “The meeting contributes to the implementation of several international initiatives such as the Minimum Package for Cross Border TB Control and Care from the Wolfheze Consensus Statement; the World Health Assembly Resolution 61.17 on the health of migrants and the WHO Post-2015 Global TB Strategy.”

For further information please contact Rukhshona Qurbonova at IOM Tajikistan, Tel + 992 90 505 43 00, Email: rqurbonova@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 16:53Image: Region-Country: AsiaAfghanistanDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Supports Zimbabwe’s Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts

IOM - News - Mar, 03/28/2017 - 11:20
Language English

Zimbabwe - On 24 March, IOM handed over office equipment and furniture to the Trafficking in Persons (TiP) Secretariat of the Ministry of Home Affairs in Zimbabwe. The items are intended to strengthen institutional capacity for the effective coordination and efficient functioning of the country’s Anti-Trafficking Inter-Ministerial Committee (AT-IMC).

The initiative falls under the framework of the Promoting Migration Governance in Zimbabwe project being implemented by IOM, in partnership with the Government of Zimbabwe and with funding from the European Union under the 11th European Development Fund. The project aims to contribute to the establishment of a migration governance framework in Zimbabwe, which supports state actors to manage migration in dialogue with non-state actors in a migrant-centred, gender-sensitive, rights-based and development-oriented manner.

The items include assorted office furniture, two laptops, three Samsung tablets, an LCD projector, a tripod screen, a multifunction printer, a binding machine and stationery. The equipment will enhance the TiP Secretariat’s functions which include human trafficking database management and coordination/implementation of anti-trafficking activities and programmes of all agencies under the AT-IMC’s sub-committees.

“This equipment are the tools of trade which will capacitate the TiP Secretariat to carry out its mandate as the Government of Zimbabwe scales up its response to human trafficking,” said Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs Melusi Matshiya in acknowledgement of IOM’s support.

IOM will also reinforce the TiP Secretariat’s technical and administrative capacities by seconding a project officer to work closely with the Secretariat. The secondment support will strengthen the Government of Zimbabwe, to coordinate, and monitor TiP activities in the country through coordination meetings.

Zimbabwe is a source, transit and destination country for trafficking. The country was caught in a trafficking “storm” when over 150 women were trafficked to Kuwait between 2015 and 2016. The Kuwait trafficking case has brought the problem of human trafficking in the Zimbabwean population to the fore. This has spurred state and non-state actors to make concerted efforts to address the human trafficking scourge. The enactment of the Trafficking in Persons Act in June 2014 and the launch of the Anti-Trafficking National Plan of Action demonstrate the government’s commitment to fight human trafficking.

“IOM remains committed to continue working with the Government of Zimbabwe, the Ministry of Home Affairs and indeed the TiP Secretariat in strengthening our technical cooperation in order to make our collective fight against human trafficking more effective while enabling us to better protect the victims of the crime,” said Lily Sanya, IOM Zimbabwe Chief of Mission.

For further information, please contact Gideon Madera in IOM Zimbabwe, Tel: +263 4 704285, Email:  gmadera@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 16:52Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastZimbabweDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Rwanda Hosts Senior Somali Immigration Officials During Landmark Study Visit

IOM - News - Mar, 03/28/2017 - 11:20
Language English

Somalia - For the first time, Somalia’s Immigration and Naturalization Directorate (IND) had the opportunity to build and formalize a relationship with its regional counterpart, the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration (DGIE) in Rwanda.

IOM facilitated a four-day study visit to Kigali from 20-23 March, which was supported by the United Kingdom. It was attended by the Director General of Immigration and Naturalization and regional representatives from Jubaland, Galmadug, Hirshabelle, Koonfur Galbeed and Puntland.

The visit gave Somali officials from throughout the country a glimpse of the modern and structured immigration institution in a neighbouring country which has managed to effectively rebuild itself following a period of conflict. The Director General of Immigration and Naturalization said, “We are here to learn how you came through tough times and rebuilt – and our expectations for this visit were met as soon as we stepped into Kigali’s airport.”

Rwanda’s DGIE operates an efficient border management information system, one-stop border posts (OSBP), and it issues e-cards for its border communities – all of which is of great interest to Somalia’s future border management priorities.

The study visit included a stop at Kigali’s International Airport to observe procedures in entry/exit, document verification, interview procedures and security protocol. There was also a trip to the Poids Lourds Border between Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where officials were able to observe the practical implementation of an agreement between the two countries on cross-border movements for individuals living in the border communities of Gisenyi and Goma, respectively.

Along Somalia’s vast land borders, including those with Ethiopia and Kenya, the mechanisms for ease of movement, such as the OSBP and e-cards are relevant to its own border communities and similar alternatives for travel identification could be viable options for these communities.

Significantly, the study visit provided an opportunity for these two institutions to realize the benefits of cooperation. Discussions were held about signing a Memorandum of Understanding to outline future coordination mechanisms.

Rwanda’s Director General of Immigration and Emigration Anaclet Kalibata said “There are many similarities between Rwanda and Somalia and we would like to acknowledge that we were able to learn as much from Somalia. We look forward to the signing of the MoU between our two countries.”

For further information please contact Neil Roberts at IOM Somalia, Tel: +254  20 2926000 ext. 501, Email: nroberts@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 16:51Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastSomaliaDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM to Coordinate Child and Adolescent Well-Being Study in Honduras

IOM - News - Mar, 03/28/2017 - 11:20
Language English

Honduras - For the first time, Honduras will undertake a study on child and adolescent well-being, led by the Ministry of Security and coordinated by IOM.

The study seeks to strengthen the capacity of the government to prevent violence against children and adolescents. A national survey will be conducted among young people aged between 13 to 24 years and will research the emotional, physic and sexual violence they are exposed to. The results will also allow a better understanding of the relation between violence and migration.

IOM will coordinate the efforts of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Ministry of Security of Honduras and the National Institute of Statistics which will undertake the study.

“IOM will support every action aimed to prevent violence against children and adolescents. We will promote and guarantee their rights based on the findings of the study and other actions framed in this initiative,” said IOM Chief of Mission in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Jorge Peraza Breedy.

Additionally, the research will analyze the risk of violence and its consequences on health. This information will guide the efforts and the policy-making to address the problem.

With this initiative, IOM supports the children and adolescents rights fulfilment in Honduras. “The results of the study will provide reliable data to the Government of Honduras to take actions and implement programs to serve children and adolescents, with emphasis on returned migrant children – one of the most vulnerable groups,” Peraza stated.

The study is part of the Return and Reintegration in the Northern Triangle Program, financed by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

For further information, please contact Ismael Cruceta at IOM Honduras, Tel: +504 2220-1104, Email: icruceta@iom.int or Alba Amaya at IOM El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras, Tel: +503 2521-0511, Email: aamaya@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 16:50Image: Region-Country: AmericaHondurasDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM