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UN Migration Agency Reinforces Fight against Human Trafficking in Burkina Faso

IOM - News - Ven, 08/25/2017 - 10:27
Language English

Ouagadougou – On Friday (18/08) and Monday (21/08) IOM, the UN Migration Agency, organized two workshops to build the capacities of local practitioners involved in the fight against human trafficking. Governmental and non-governmental representatives attended the workshops.

The trainings aimed to strengthen the capacities of all stakeholders to collect data, and to facilitate communication between all actors involved. Over 50 government and non-government attendees were trained during these two sessions. The training, facilitated by Nanebor Consult, a research entity in Burkina Faso, consisted of a presentation on the issues and challenges associated with the collection of data on human trafficking; related practices; the data collection system; and the proposed form for data collection and storage.

"The training has benefitted us because we have learned a lot”, said Ibrahim Traoré, one of the participants, at the end of the training. “Before we were obliged to write the data on paper and send them to Bobo-Dioulasso or Ouagadougou. Now with the collection tool and the phone, we can easily send the data directly.”

Yvette Dembele, Secretary of State for Social Affairs, Disability and Inclusion, representing the Minister for Women, National Solidarity and the Family, expressed her satisfaction and thanked IOM for this initiative. She encouraged participants to use this new knowledge to protect the people in the country from human trafficking.

Burkina Faso has been demoted to tier 2 of the United States’ watch list (classifying countries according to their level of elimination of human trafficking) for several reasons including the shortage of available statistical data. It is very difficult to have comprehensive, harmonized and shared data on the practice of human trafficking in the country, which the new tool aims to resolve.

According to IOM Burkina Faso’s Simon Pierre Tarama, these trainings are the result of a study commissioned by IOM, which resulted in the creation of a harmonized data collection tool for smartphones. The information collected will be automatically transmitted by mobile phones to supply a centralized database at national level via software.

The trainings are part of the project Fight Against Human Trafficking in Burkina Faso through the Strengthening of the National Framework and Capacities in the Identification of Victims and the Improvement of Data Collection, funded by the US Department of State.

The two-year project supports the Government of Burkina Faso in strengthening the national anti-trafficking management framework. It also aims to bring together key national structures working in the fight against trafficking in persons to better coordinate actions, strengthen the system of data collection and information sharing among stakeholders and facilitate investigations and prosecution of victims of trafficking in the country.

For more information, please contact Simon Pierre Tarama at IOM Burkina Faso, Tel: +226 67 39 65 13; Email: starama@iom.int


Posted: Friday, August 25, 2017 - 16:11Image: Region-Country: Burkina FasoThemes: Capacity BuildingCounter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Launches New Project to Promote Youth Employment in Burkina Faso

IOM - News - Mer, 08/23/2017 - 02:35
Language English

Ouagadougou – On Thursday (17/08), IOM, the UN Migration Agency launched a new project dealing with the nexus between youth, employment and migration in central east Burkina Faso. It aims to promote youth employability and entrepreneurship to reduce the risk of irregular migration in the region.

Burkina Faso, like other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, is witnessing an increasingly high migration flow due to unemployment and lack of income opportunities for its very young and fast-growing population. Youth are most affected by the phenomenon of underemployment and unemployment due to their low level of employability (66.7 per cent of youth have not received any training) and difficulties in accessing the means of production, which drives them to irregular migration.

The launch event in Tenkodogo was attended by the General Secretary and the General Directors of the Ministry of Youth, and Professional Training and Insertion, political and administrative authorities of the region, the representatives of the Italian Development Cooperation and Belgian Development Cooperation, youth representatives and civil society organizations. Marie Stella Ndiaye, IOM project manager, presented the project followed by a discussion on the implementation modalities.

"Young people are full of energy and often overflow with creativity and inventiveness and our countries need innovative solutions to solve the increasingly complex problems they face. I am convinced that by empowering the youth we can make the best from the extraordinary human capital that they represent to contribute to the development, peace and renewal of our societies," said Ndiaye. "This project we are launching today is a proof of our shared commitment to address the crucial issue of access to training and employment for young people," added Ndiaye.

"The Italian Cooperation's commitment is to support young people, to set up micro-enterprises, but above all, to support them in their implementation to achieve the best possible results," said Bruno Gennaro Gentile, Director of the Italian Agency Development Cooperation in Burkina Faso.

This three year project (2016-2019) aims to contribute to the socio-economic development in Burkina Faso and tackle irregular migration by raising awareness of the risks of irregular migration in the region. A study on the key niches in the region will help to identify business opportunities. 750 beneficiaries including women and disabled persons will be identified and trained on micro-enterprise creation techniques. At the end of this training, 375 of them will receive technical and financial support to set up their own businesses.

The project is funded by the Italian Development Cooperation and Belgian Development Cooperation and is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Youth, professional Training and Insertion, NGOs and civil society organizations.

For more information please contact Marie Stella NDIAYE at IOM Burkina Faso, Tel: +226 56 58 74 71, Email: msndiaye@iom.int

Posted: Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - 08:11Image: Region-Country: Burkina FasoDefault: Multimedia: 

 The officials at the launch ceremony of the Project 

 Overview of participants at the launch of the Project 

Jerome Kuela, a young participant at the launch ceremony, hopes that the project will contribute to job creation for young people in the region 

Categorie: Press Room IOM

Thousands of Iraqi Civilians Fleeing Talafar Assisted by UN Migration Agency

IOM - News - Mar, 08/22/2017 - 10:52

Erbil - IOM, the UN Migration Agency’s emergency teams are responding to thousands of civilians fleeing Talafar since the launch of the military campaign to retake the city from ISIL on 20 August.

In cooperation with the Government of Iraq and humanitarian partners, IOM is directly delivering medical assistance, non-food items (NFI) and shelter to vulnerable displaced people from Talafar, most of whom had to walk for hours in arduous conditions before reaching safe areas. Many of the displaced people from Talafar arrive exhausted and in poor health, often with critical levels of malnutrition among children, some unable to move.

Within the past four days (since 18/08) around 1,500 individuals have been received at IOM’s Haj Ali emergency site, and more than 1,700 individuals have also been received at Qayara emergency site; both sites are about 60 km south of Mosul. Thousands more are expected to flee in the coming days. These internally displaced persons (IDPs) carried a minimal amount of clothes; some only had what they wore, some were partially clothed. Haj Ali emergency site is expected to accommodate additional new IDPs as several camps in the area are at full capacity. 

Civilians fleeing Talafar who arrive at military checkpoints and mustering points are bussed by government authorities to areas including Hammam al-Alil, before being transported to camps and emergency sites. A total of 17 recent IDPs from Talafar have been brought to IOM’s field hospital in Hammam al-Alil, some requiring major surgery. Many cases are traumatic injuries, including fractured limbs sustained as a result of the conflict. From the Haj Ali site, the most serious cases were transported to Qayara hospital by IOM ambulance.

During the night shift in Qayara emergency site, IOM medical staff treated 160 of the new arrivals from Talafar. There were several cases of severely malnourished children, gastroenteritis and upper respiratory infections. The Qayara emergency site was built by IOM and has also been receiving IDPs from Talafar.

“I and my eight family members had not had enough food for the past several months. We used to buy wheat, which was very expensive, tossed it with barley and boiled the mixture so that it would be enough to feed us,” said Um Sara, a woman in Qayara who had been displaced from Abu Maria village in Talafar. “The quality of the water in our village was poor and caused us many skin and other diseases. Life was becoming increasingly difficult under ISIL so we decided to flee. We walked for eight hours and reached the Iraqi security forces," she added.

Many IDPs from Talafar arrived to Haj Ali at night and received NFI kits after being registered and given a tent number at the site. These kits included mattresses, fan, cool box, hygiene kit, rechargeable light and solar light, and were provided by the United States Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).

IOM is bringing additional NFI kits to the emergency sites this week, to prepare for the additional expected new arrivals.

* * * * * *

IOM staff spoke with Abo Zaid at Haj Ali emergency site:

“We fled on 14 August from Abu Maria village – between Kasik and Talafar. We walked for seven hours until we reached the Iraqi military. They took us to Hammam Al-Alil and we stayed there for three days, but then we chose to go to Haj Ali because I have relatives there.

"I wish I could go back to our house but the situation there is tragic. We were trapped for nine months and nothing was allowed to reach us – no food, no goods, no clothes. I have six children, aged one year and a half to 11 years, but I didn't let the older ones go to school because ISIL controlled all schools.

"I keep livestock for a living, but sold all my sheep before we fled. We also left behind two cars and our house. We didn't bring anything with us, we fled with only a few bottles of water.

"When my children would hear the bombs falling nearby, they would ask me time and again to leave the village. Almost everyone in the village had left, but we could not just walk out. My children had three sleepless nights because of the sound of shelling.

"When the time came we left in the dark, bringing only water and our personal documents. I put one of my little children on my shoulders, while the youngest was in his mother’s arms. My mother and sister were part of our group. We walked as fast as we could so ISIL members would not catch us. The children were so tired they were almost sleeping as they were walking.

"When we reached the Iraqi security forces, and then Hammam Al-Alil, all the children received vaccinations and the rest of the family, a health checkup. The children were very happy because they were given candies and sweets; it was the first time they had had sweets in a long time because of the siege around our village!

"As soon as we arrived at Haj Ali emergency site, we received a food package. There is water here, and IOM gave us a tent and non-food item kits as well as blankets and mattresses."

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

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - 16:14Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsDefault: Multimedia: 

The UN Migration Agency emergency teams respond to thousands of civilians fleeing Talafar since the launch of the military campaign to retake the city from ISIL on 20 August. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Displaced families from Talafar arrive at IOM's Haj Ali emergency site.  Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017


Displaced families from Talafar arrive at IOM's Haj Ali emergency site.  Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Tracks Migrant Populations, Needs in Yemen

IOM - News - Mar, 08/22/2017 - 10:51

Sana’a – Today (22/08), IOM, the UN Migration Agency in the Republic of Yemen announces the publication of a Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) report on Enhancing the Understanding of Migration and Population Mobility in Yemen. The report identifies a total of 50,529 migrants having entered Yemen between January and July 2017. This figure is now expected to be higher.

IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix was launched in Yemen in April 2015 in an effort to better inform the humanitarian community about the location and needs of the displaced populations in the country. By the end of 2016, IOM Yemen began implementing flow monitoring assessments as part of DTM activities in order to monitor the human mobility of other country nationals in Yemen.

Laurent De Boeck, IOM Yemen Chief of Mission stressed, "It is absolutely necessary for all actors to come together to assess migratory routes, respond to root causes and to identify ways to combat trafficking and smuggling networks which set out to exploit vulnerable individuals." 

The Flow Monitoring report details the mobility through Yemen from data collected in May and June 2017. In May 2017, the IOM DTM identified a total of 31,885 migrants. This number increased to 32,552 individuals in June 2017. However, IOM has observed that the total number of identified migrants per month has decreased since March when 35,293 individuals were recorded.

Somali and Ethiopian nationals make the majority of the identified mobile population in Yemen since the first pilot assessment in January. 

The Al Jawf and Lahj governorates were found to host the largest number of migrants in May and June. Al Bayda, Al Jawf and Lahj have hosted the largest migrant populations since the pilot rounds of data collection in January and February 2017. The majority of these migrants are male, a consistent trend since the pilot assessments were carried out.

DTM flow monitoring tracks trends in migrant mobility into, out of, and within a country or region. Enumerators are deployed to pre-identified entry, exit and transit locations (Flow Monitoring Points, FMPs) where a diverse network of key informants provides information which is collected through assessments. In this context the term migrant is used to cover mixed migration flows including irregular migrants, asylum seekers and refugees.

IOM will continue to expand its displacement tracking to monitor movement and the needs of people throughout the whole country. DTM will monitor internal displacements, returnees and migrants’ movements, and locations.

The report can be accessed at http://www.globaldtm.info/yemen/

For more information, please contact Duncan Sullivan at IOM Yemen, Tel: +967 (0) 735 80 06 59, Email: dsullivan@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - 16:13Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 120,137 in 2017; 2,410 Deaths

IOM - News - Mar, 08/22/2017 - 10:50
Language English

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 120,137 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 20 August, with almost 82 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 269,856 arrivals across the region through 20 August 2016.

IOM Spain reports that the total migrant and refugee sea arrivals had reached 8,385 by 9 August, not counting the 600 or more migrants rescued at sea earlier this week. The official number – 8,385 – is greater than all sea arrivals recorded during 2016, when the full year count totalled 8,162 (see chart below).

Estimated sea arrivals to Spain since 1 June 2017 are approaching 6,000, with over half of those (3,181) just in the month of June. Last year’s busiest month for sea arrivals off Spain was November when 1,855 arrivals were recorded.

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported that on 16 August, 107 migrants (including six women) were rescued off Al Khums by the Libyan Coast Guard. So far in 2017, 12,945 migrants have been rescued in Libyan waters.
IOM Rome reported Sunday, 20 August, that according to official figures of the Italian Ministry of Interior, 97,931 migrants have arrived by sea to Italy this year, which is 5.55 per cent less than last year in the same period.

IOM Athens has reported 13,320 arrivals as of 20 August arriving on the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos and Chilos.

According to data collected by IOM Regional Officers at the Greek islands, it is being estimated that among migrants arrived by sea to Greece in 2016 there were approximately 42 per cent male, 21 per cent female and 37 per cent children.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/170822_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 more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email cpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - 16:12Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandDefault: Multimedia: 

Italian coast guard rescues migrants in the Mediterranean. File photo: Francesco Malavolta 

Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Launches New Registration and Profiling System for Migrants Transiting through Niger

IOM - News - Mar, 08/22/2017 - 10:50

Niamey – IOM, The UN Migration Agency, officially launched on 17 August a registration system for migrants in Niger. The Migrant Assistance Registration System (MARS) will enhance collaboration between IOM units, as well as facilitate data collection at the Organization’s five transit centres for migrants in Niger.

MARS will allow IOM Niger to assist more migrants across the country, including voluntary returnees, facilitate data exchange between IOM missions in the region and allow for a quicker and more efficient referral of cases between missions for a successful reintegration programme.

In 2016, IOM Niger assisted over 6,000 migrants and, by August 2017, 4,500 migrants had already been profiled and assisted in the country’s five transit centres. At the centres, migrants receive food, shelter and psychological and medical assistance as well as a more targeted assistance for vulnerable cases. For many migrants, this is the first step of their assisted voluntary return and reintegration (AVRR) process.

“MARS facilitates the registration and monitoring of migrants all along these different processes,” said Alberto Preato, Migrant Resource and Response Mechanism (MRRM) Programme Manager. Once a migrant is registered, his or her profile and type of assistance are recorded and can be accessed by IOM staff to provide tailored assistance based on his or her needs. “Innovative tools like MARS, developed to respond to specific operational challenges, can contribute to greater efficiency and accountability in the aid sector,” added Preato.

Migrants need to be monitored and assisted simultaneously by several units and in multiple locations, often thousands of kilometres apart. A migrant can be assisted in five different locations across the country as well as in his country of origin, including for registration, protection and even reintegration.

Staff in all these five transit centres must work together to share information on the migrant’s profile, as well as to coordinate with each other and with the country of origin to organize the migrant’s safe and sustainable return.

The information collected through the various modules in MARS (demographic, socioeconomic, medical, psychosocial, protection, transportation and reintegration) is shared with the relevant units to facilitate a better coordinated and a higher quality response in line with the individual needs of the migrants.

MARS was launched after several months of development and testing in its five transit centres in Niger. It is an innovative tool designed in the context of the Migrant Response and Resource Mechanism (MRRM), funded by the European Union.

For more information, please contact Alberto Preato at IOM Niger, Tel: +227 8053 5933, Email: apreato@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - 16:11Image: Region-Country: NigerThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationMigrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

UN Migration Agency Director General William Lacy Swing was the first person to be profiled through the registration app during his visit to Niger in March. Photo: Monica Chiriac / UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency, Government of Egypt Train Media Professionals on Migration and Human Trafficking

IOM - News - Mar, 08/22/2017 - 10:50
Language English

Cairo – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the National Coordination Committee for Combating and Preventing Illegal Migration and Trafficking in Persons (NCCPIM&TIP) are organizing two trainings on Countering Trafficking in Persons through Media for journalists and media professionals. Some 19 participants from six media institutions attended the first training on 16–17 August. The second training is scheduled for the last week of September.

The training strengthened the participants’ understanding of trafficking in persons and protection of victims, and shed light on the ethical considerations when reporting on victims of trafficking. Information sessions were led by representatives from the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood and by media professionals.

“NCCPIM&TIP is keen on advancing the important role that the media plays in raising awareness on trafficking in persons. We organized the trainings to further advance their knowledge about trafficking and how it threatens the whole society,” said Ambassador Naela Gabr, Chairperson of NCCPIM&TIP.

The trainings are implemented within the framework of two IOM projects: Action to Support the National Coordinating Committee on Combating and Preventing Trafficking in Persons (NCCTIP) to create a safe and secure environment in Egypt, and the Regional Development and Protection Programme in Northern Africa, both funded by the European Union.

The trainings support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 16 (Peace, justice and strong institutions) and Goal 17 (Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development). The initiative is also in line with the ‘Egypt Vision 2030’ for a fair interdependent society characterized by equal economic, social, political rights and opportunities realizing social inclusion.

For more information, please contact Kristiina Wells at IOM Cairo, Tel: +202 27365140, Email: iomegypt@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - 16:10Image: Region-Country: EgyptThemes: Capacity BuildingCounter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Research Workshop on Migration, Remittances and Development Kicks Off in Nepal

IOM - News - Mar, 08/22/2017 - 10:36

Kathmandu – A two-day workshop on migration, remittances and development opened in the Nepali capital yesterday (21/08). The meeting, which was attended by government officials, development partners, diaspora associations, private recruitment agencies and the private sector, will contribute to the integration of remittances in Nepal’s national development policies.

Nepal received USD 8.1 billion in remittances in 2016 and ranks 23rd among all remittance-receiving countries in the world. In terms of the contribution of remittances to GDP, it ranks third after Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic. Over half of all Nepali households have at least one family member currently working as a migrant abroad or living in Nepal as a returnee.

“Financial flows from migrant workers to their home communities are one important positive aspect of the relationship between migration and development. Most attention to date has focused on the research, policy development, and financial industries on migrant workers’ remittances,” said Paul Norton, IOM Chief of Mission in Nepal.

“We are conducting a research project that takes a broader and deeper look at the reality. The initiative is based on the premise that financial, human and social wealth accumulated by migrant workers abroad are interlinked, and that this accrued wealth has real potential to substantially impact the economic and social development of Nepal,” he added.

The study covers 31 districts and three ecological belts (mountains, hills and Terai) of Nepal, and focuses on data collection from Nepali households (both with and without migrants), including current migrants in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Member States, as well as Malaysia, Korea and India.

“I believe the data and evidence generated through the research and the consultative process will provide the Government, civil and private sector entities with solid baselines against which to formulate future policies, projects and market interventions for migration and development," said Bhuvan Acharya, Ministry of Labour and Employment Joint Secretary.

Key findings show that remittance-receiving households spent less money on consumption than previously thought, and that more migrants (88 per cent) now prefer to use formal channels to send money home. Some 39 per cent of remittances were spent on consumption, 28 per cent on savings and loan repayment, 26 per cent to purchase property, and 7 per cent on businesses.

The research was carried out by the Institute for Integrated Development Studies and International Agency for Source Country Information (IASCI), in close coordination with the Central Bureau of Statistics and IOM, and was part of the project, “Research and Policy Dialogue Initiative on Migration and Development in Nepal”, funded by the IOM Development Fund (IDF).

The project is implemented by IOM, the UN Migration Agency, the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the International Agency for Source Country Information, the National Planning Commission, the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development and the Ministry of Finance.

For more information, please contact Paul Norton at IOM Nepal; Tel: +977 1 4426250, Email: iomnepal@iom.int, or Nepal’s Ministry of Labour and Employment, Tel: +977 1 4211963, Email: info@mole.gov.np

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - 16:09Image: Region-Country: NepalThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Representatives of Nepal’s National Planning Commission, the Ministry of Labour and Employment and IOM address the workshop. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categorie: Press Room IOM

Emergency Operations in Sierra Leone as Government, UN Agencies Respond to Floods

IOM - News - Ven, 08/18/2017 - 11:19

Freetown – More than 300 people have died with hundreds more still missing following severe mudslides and floods in Sierra Leone’s capital, according to the Office of National Security (ONS). Two districts have been affected: Freetown (eastern and western outskirts) and Bo district.

Inter-agency rapid assessments conducted by five different teams including IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in 16 communities on Tuesday (15/08) are indicating that around 1,100 households are directly affected (approximately 4,000 people). These are still preliminary figures to be confirmed by further assessments.

“The Disaster Management Department of ONS is in charge of the overall coordination and response, with military and police involved in rescue operations in affected areas,” said Langumba Keili, the director of ONS. “The death toll is expected to continue to rise over the next few days and weeks, as emergency teams search through the debris and mud.”

Communications and electricity have been disrupted, and extensive damage has been done to roads, infrastructure and houses. The full extent of the damage is still being assessed. Further mudslides from Sugar Loaf Mountain, at the base of which Freetown sits, due to forecasted heavy rains could lead to further disasters.

“Access to safe water and health services, as well as widespread displacement are expected to be immediate concerns for thousands of people,” said Sanusi Savage, IOM  Sierra Leone Chief of Mission. “We will do everything to reach affected communities and give aid to vulnerable people. The longer we wait to respond, the higher the risk of epidemic disease outbreaks or Acute Watery Diarrhoea are due to contaminated water sources.”

IOM, as a member of the UN Country Team, and humanitarian partners, including the Red Cross, have mobilized and are supporting ONS. After learning of the mudslide and the floods, IOM immediately committed to enhancing its emergency relief in the country including through the use of funds from the Government of Japan. The activities planned with this funding are emergency assistance to the people affected by the mudslide and the floods and through distributions of core relief items, including emergency shelter kits. IOM and ONS have agreed upon a standard shelter and kitchen set to be distributed to families whose houses were destroyed by the floods. IOM is deploying an Information Management expert on Sunday (20/08) to support the Government in data collection, coordination and analysis. 

Prior to the floods, IOM had been supporting national authorities and local organizations in Sierra Leone through capacity building in disaster preparedness, displacement management and data collection.

The Government and humanitarian partners are registering survivors, and those who have lost family members. Red Cross volunteers are also digging for missing persons and supporting distraught families. The World Food Programme is distributing food. The Ministry of Health and Sanitation requested a series of health items to be delivered at the Central Medical Store in Freetown in order to respond to the urgent medical needs, which IOM has started to send. IOM has distributed gloves, aprons, face masks, gowns, chlorine, and liquid soap, among others.

The Sierra Leonean Government leads the response and is working with international organizations to fill in the gap in available resources. The Government has clearly indicated to partners that it will need urgent support and assistance in responding to the disaster to avert further human suffering. Currently, a public health preparedness plan is being developed by the Government and health partners in order to adequately respond to potential outbreaks of cholera and other water-borne diseases. There is also a plan being developed to train community health workers on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and water-borne disease surveillance.

The Governments of China, Ireland, UK, Guinea, Nigeria, Liberia, Belgium, Switzerland and Israel, as well as the European Union have made pledges to the inter-agency response. IOM is in discussions with donors to continue an immediate expansion of its humanitarian operations in Sierra Leone as part of the inter-agency response to the floods.

Read more about the effects of previous floods in Sierra Leone here.

For more information, please contact IOM Sierra Leone. Muluken Awlachew, Email: mawlachew@iom.int, Tel: +232 99 60 6002. Or Sylvester Deane, Email: sdeane@iom.int, Tel: +232 99 60 6004

Language English Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 - 16:27Image: Region-Country: Sierra LeoneThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsMigration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Families displaced by recent mudslide and the floods in Sierra Leone. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

More than 300 people have died with hundreds more still missing following severe mudslides and floods in Sierra Leone’s capital. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

More than 300 people have died with hundreds more still missing following severe mudslides and floods in Sierra Leone’s capital. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categorie: Press Room IOM

Over 38,000 Migrants Assisted with Voluntary Return by UN Migration Agency in First Half of 2017

IOM - News - Ven, 08/18/2017 - 11:18

Geneva – Some 19,088 migrants have returned home voluntarily with assistance from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, from 1 April to 30 June 2017, according to the IOM AVRR quarterly bulletin published today (18/08).
These migrants have returned from 81 host and transit countries to 136 countries and territories of origin.

This brings the number of migrants assisted to return home voluntarily to 38,019* since the beginning of 2017.
The bulletin produced by IOM’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) Unit shows an overall decrease of assisted voluntary returns in the first semester of 2017, as compared to the same period in 2016.

This reflects fewer beneficiaries returning from the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland. Such a decrease can be explained by a combination of factors including lower influx of migrant arrivals and lower numbers of asylum applications. Other influential factors include changes in national migration and asylum policies, such as restrictions on eligibility criteria for assisted voluntary return. The bulletin also highlights that one third of migrants assisted by IOM during the last quarter were female and nearly one quarter were children.


Number of AVRR beneficiaries per month 1 January–30 June 2017. UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

“Figures presented in the bulletin mirror a situation that is going back to normal for AVRR globally, after the unprecedented, high volumes of assisted voluntary returns from Europe in 2016,”  remarked Nicola Graviano, Senior AVRR Specialist at IOM’s Migrant Assistance Division (MAD) in IOM Headquarters in Geneva. At the same time, the bulletin’s data points to an increase in assisted voluntary returns from countries such as Niger or Djibouti, which are usually considered as transit countries for migrants en route to the EEA or the Gulf countries. “Our colleagues in the field have noticed a general increase in the number of migrants in vulnerable situations among the returnees, who require specific attention and tailored assistance,”concluded Graviano.

From 1 January until 30 June 2017, the EEA and Switzerland was the region from where most migrants returned (73 per cent), while South-Eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia remained the region with the largest number of returnees (39 per cent). Migrants assisted by IOM mainly returned from Germany (16,645), Greece (2,924) and Niger (2,795). The main countries of origin were Albania (4,421), Iraq (4,006) and Ethiopia (2,330).

* Periodic data is provisional and should therefore be considered as an estimation. AVRR global data is reviewed and finalized on an annual basis.
To access IOM’s AVRR Bulletin 2017/II, please click here.
To access IOM’s AVRR 2016 Key Highlights report, please click here.
For further information about IOM’s AVRR programmes, please click here.
For more information, please contact IOM HQ in Geneva:
Nazanine Nozarian, Tel: +41 22 717 9314, Email: nnozarian@iom.intor Jorge Galindo, Tel: +41 22 717 9205, Email: jgalindo@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 - 16:26Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Steps Up Life-saving Support in Uganda as South Sudanese Refugees Hit 1 Million

IOM - News - Ven, 08/18/2017 - 11:18

Kampala – The number of South Sudanese fleeing to Uganda has surpassed 1 million. IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has intensified its efforts to help refugees and the communities hosting them in coordination with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Since the crisis erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, nearly 4 million people have been displaced from their homes due to insecurity and rising humanitarian needs.

Since April, IOM has been implementing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects in the country’s West Nile region. This response targets Zone 4 of the Bidibidi settlement in the Yumbe district and the Palorinya settlement in the Moyo district. IOM’s projects are assisting both refugees and Ugandans who live side by side in the settlements and share resources and common services. Bidibidi, which is home to an estimated 276,000 refugees is now considered Africa’s largest refugee settlement. The Palorinya settlement hosts 176,000 refugees.  

These life-saving interventions are funded by the European Commission’s Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO), and the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

Since mid-2016, increasing instability and conflict throughout Central Equatoria, which borders Uganda, has led to the displacement of thousands of civilians to displacement camps, remote areas and across the border. On Thursday (17/08), UNHCR formally announced that Uganda was hosting at least 1 million South Sudanese refugees fleeing war and its effects in the world’s youngest nation. Some 1,800 South Sudanese crossed the border every day into Uganda over the past 12 months, according to UNHCR.

The influx has put a strain on services such as water, healthcare and education in Uganda. In June 2017, the UN and the Uganda Government hosted the Solidarity Summit on Refugees with Secretary General António Guterres urging the international community to support Uganda’s exemplary refugee protection model.

The EU has committed over EUR 2.2 million to support IOM's humanitarian operations in the country through July 2018.

 IOM’s interventions are aimed at improving the reach, safety and sustainability of water supplies, as well as supporting construction of sanitation and hygiene facilities and promoting their usage. A major challenge is that more than 60 per cent of water is supplied by trucking, which is expensive and unsustainable. Access to sanitation and hygiene reaches 30.6 per cent of the population in Zone 4 of the Bidibidi settlement and only 6 per cent for the entire Palorinya settlement.

 In the two settlements, IOM will motorize three production wells and build piped systems to deliver water to at least 31,000 people, support community water management structures and distribute thousands of jerry-cans for storing drinking water. The sanitation interventions will involve construction of at least 34 institutional latrine blocks and 7,600 household latrines, including for people with special needs. A sludge fecal treatment system, garbage collection points and incinerators will also be set up. Placenta pits and bathing shelters will be built at selected health centres.

Among other activities, IOM will also carry out awareness-creation campaigns and train refugees in hygienic practices and in manufacturing soap, sanitary pads and briquettes.

“The situation in the refugee settlements remains dire, not least because the flow of refugees into Uganda continues. Just one third of the high-yield boreholes that can be motorized to end overreliance on trucking have been adapted, so we still have a long way to go to provide sustainable safe water,” said Ali Abdi, IOM Uganda Chief of Mission. “And with the coverage of minimum acceptable sanitation and hygiene standards lower than 10 per cent in sites such as Palorinya, WASH services for the South Sudanese refugees couldn’t be more urgent,” said Abdi.
For more information, please contact Richard Mulindwa-Kavuma, IOM Uganda, Tel: +256 772 709 917 and +256 700 646 403, Email: rmkavuma@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 - 16:25Image: Region-Country: UgandaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: Multimedia: 

South Sudanese refugee children in a reception centre within Palorinya settlement in northwestern Uganda. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Trucks queuing up for water at Oluba well in Bidibidi settlement.  IOM will motorize this well and pump water into the settlement. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 119,069 in 2017; 2,410 Deaths

IOM - News - Ven, 08/18/2017 - 11:15

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 119,069 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 16 August, with almost 83 per cent arriving in Italy and the remainder divided between Greece, Cyprus and Spain. This compares with 266,423 arrivals across the region through 16 August 2016.

IOM Spain reports this week total migrant and refugee sea arrivals had reached 8,385 by 9 August, not counting the 600 or more migrants rescued at sea earlier this week. The official number – 8,385 – is greater than all sea arrivals recorded during 2016, when the full year count totalled 8,162 (see chart below).

Estimated sea arrivals to Spain since 1 June 2017 are approaching 6,000, with over half of those (3,181) just in the month of June. Last year’s busiest month for sea arrivals off Spain was November when 1,855 arrivals were recorded.

IOM Libya’s Christine Petré reported today (18/08) that on 16 August, 107 migrants (including six women) were rescued off Al Khums by the Libyan Coast Guard. So far in 2017, 12,945 migrants have been rescued in Libyan waters.

IOM Rome reported Thursday, 17 August, that according to official figures of the Italian Ministry of Interior, 97,458 migrants have arrived by sea to Italy this year, which is a 4.03 per cent drop from the same period in 2016. IOM Rome spokesperson, Flavio Di Giacomo, noted that August arrivals thus far, at 2,245 migrants and refugees, are running at under 10 per cent of 2016 and 2015 August arrivals, despite being past the month’s midway point (see chart below).

IOM Athens reported Thursday 458 arrivals in the past seven days (10–16 August), including 334 on Monday, 14 August, arriving on the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos and Chilos. On two separate days, 13 August and 16 August, IOM reported no arrivals by sea off Greece. For the year so far, a total of 12,725 migrants and refugees have landed in Greece, compared with 162,015 for the same period last year.

Just 21 deaths have been recorded so far by IOM this August in the region, a sharp drop from the 689 recorded in August 2015 and 62 last year. The latest count for Mediterranean Sea fatalities is 2,410. That figure lags by almost 800 behind the number of deaths (3,208) recorded at this time last year. Nonetheless, 2017 marks the fourth consecutive year migrant deaths in the Mediterranean Sea have exceeded 2,400.

Worldwide, the IOM Missing Migrants Project (MMP) reports that there have been 3,493 fatalities in 2017 through 16 August (see chart below). The Mediterranean region continues to account for well over half of all fatalities worldwide.

Among the new deaths reported by the MMP team since Tuesday are two bodies recovered in Az Zawiyah, Libya, two deaths on the US/Mexico border (1 drowning in Rio Bravo and 1 body recovered in Brooks County, Texas) and three deaths on the Syrian/Turkish border. 

In this last location, MMP has reported a total of 41 fatalities since 1 June, comprising seven in August, 17 in July and 17 in June. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a group that monitors deaths at the Turkish/Syrian border, reported these numbers but has collected few details. MMP has confirmed that at least ten of the victims were men, as well as one adult and three minors. The rest is unknown. Most of the incidents took place in Idlib province with the cause of death recorded as gunshot wounds.

Latest Mediterranean Update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/170818_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 more information, please contact:
Joel Millman at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 103 8720, Email: jmillman@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, IOM Italy, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int
Kelly Namia, IOM Greece, Tel: +30 210 991 2174, Email: knamia@iom.int
Julia Black, IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int
Christine Petré, IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29 240 448, Email: chpetre@iom.int
Ana Dodevska, IOM Spain, Tel: +34 91 445 7116, Email: adodevska@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 - 16:24Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingHumanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

Italian Coast Guard rescues migrants and refugees bound for Italy. Photo: Francesco Malavolta / UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency launches Regional Research on Haitian Migration

IOM - News - Ven, 08/18/2017 - 11:14

Buenos Aires - IOM, the UN Migration Agency, and the Institute of Public Policies on Human Rights of the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR) launched this week (15/08) an assessment on Haitian migration to  MERCOSUR Member and Associate countries, with field work in Brazil (San Pablo), Chile (Santiago) and Argentina (Buenos Aires).

The study used institutional and normative survey questionnaires on Haitian migrants in each of MERCOSUR countries. Additionally, the field work included qualitative interviews focused on the conditions and strategies of reception and assistance to Haitian migrants in San Pablo, Santiago de Chile and Buenos Aires.

Haitian migration flows between 2014 and 2016 to Brazil and Chile and to a lesser extent towards Argentina, have different characteristics compared to Haitian migration that entered between 2010 and 2014. Between 2014 and 2016, Haitian migration flows were mainly composed by direct and indirect relatives of migrants already settled in those countries.

According to the study, Brazil is the country with the highest number of Haitians. By the end of 2016, 67,000 residencies had been granted, including temporary and permanent. In Chile, there were almost 18,000 residencies by the end of 2015, while in Argentina, the number was less than 1,200.

As regards social rights, there is no robust correlation between regular migratory access measures and effective access to health, education, housing and work. However, in Argentina, Brazil and Chile, there is evidence of an acceptable level of guarantee of access to social rights, in particular to education and health. Additionally, in Brazil, the regularization of migrants has significantly contributed to the access to the formal labour market.

The study includes public policy recommendations at two levels of action: 1) entry and visa policies and 2) mechanisms of integration in the destination country.

Explained Matteo Mandrile, the IOM Regional Project Development Officer who coordinated the study: "The dynamism of Haitian diaspora requires designing and implementing integrated public policies of mobility and integration, especially considering that Haitian migrants in South America have settled in, but at the same time part of them continue to move at the intra-regional level.”

This study, funded by the IOM Development Fund and the Government of Brazil, is part of a series of projects that IOM has been implementing in South America in relation to Haitian migration, including a study on Haitian migration to Brazil conducted by IOM in 2014, which analyzed the main migration routes to Brazil, and a research in 2016 on the labor insertion of Haitians in the Southern region and the Federal District of Brazil.

Download the study here: https://bit.ly/2uQr2OH
For further information, please contact Juliana Quintero or Matteo Mandrile at the IOM Regional Office in Buenos Aires, Tel. + (54) 11 52192033, Emails: juquintero@iom.int; mmandrile@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 - 16:23Image: Region-Country: ArgentinaThemes: Migration ResearchDefault: Multimedia: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency China Facilitates Guandong Visit for European Consular Officials

IOM - News - Ven, 08/18/2017 - 11:14

Guangdong Province — IOM, the UN Migration Agency, facilitated a field visit this week (16-18 August) to the Guangdong provincial cities of Zhuhai and Shenzhen for a delegation of consular officials from European Union embassies in Beijing.

Zhuhai and Shenzhen, in Guangdong’s Pearl River Delta region, see significant migratory flows as both are close to the Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of Macao and Hong Kong.

The visit, organized within the framework of the EU–China Dialogue on Migration and Mobility Support project aimed to enhance the visitors’ understanding of migration management policies and systems in the region, which are designed to facilitate mobility while combating irregular migration.

The delegation, which included officials from the embassies of Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovenia and Slovakia, was welcomed by local officials from China’s Bureau of Exit and Entry Administration, and visited various exit and entry ports. 

Guangdong province has historically been a hub of migration and mobility, and the Pearl River Delta region exemplifies China’s renewed efforts to facilitate the movement of goods and people. The region is also an important global trade centre within the framework of the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) initiative, which aims to improve infrastructure across the participating countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

For more information, please contact Etienne Micallef at IOM Beijing, Tel. +86 13 811 209 875, Email: emicallef@iom.int  

Language English Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 - 16:22Image: Region-Country: ChinaThemes: OthersDefault: Multimedia: 

People queue to use e-gates to exit mainland China at Gongbei port in Zhuhai. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency, USAID Build Protective Environments for Returnees to El Salvador

IOM - News - Ven, 08/18/2017 - 11:14

San Salvador – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and local authorities have begun the construction of a communal house as well as several spaces for sports and recreation for returned migrants in the municipalities of San Miguel and Usulután.

The Agencies have also carried out construction projects in Zacatecoluca. All these actions benefit 78 communities and more than 9,000 families within the three municipalities, and are aimed at contributing to social cohesion, community development and the reintegration processes of returnees. According to official sources, from January to June 2017, the municipalities with the largest number of returnees were San Salvador (2,413), San Miguel (1,722) and Usulután (1,467). San Miguel and Usulután were selected for these projects based on migration flows data registered within its territories, as well as their link with the plan “El Salvador Seguro”.

Many returnees suffer from growing discrimination in El Salvador. Upon arrival, they are often associated with organized crime and delinquency. This makes it difficult for them to reintegrate into their home communities, and it may cause recidivism into irregular migration.

The inauguration event was headed by Jorge Peraza, IOM Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras; Adam Schmidt, USAID Director in El Salvador; Trevor Hublin, leader of USAID Regional Team in the Democracy and Governance Office; Miguel Ángel Pereira, Mayor of San Miguel; and Salvador Lovo, interim Mayor of Usulután.

“We are convinced that the challenges resulting from stigmatization and discrimination experienced by neglected populations must be consistently addressed from various perspectives. We have to generate well-ordered environments within these communities to ensure that migrants can build up networks which will help them to be reintegrated, this is why it is a priority for us” said Peraza. “In this manner, we will also contribute to gain visibility in all positive contributions made by returnees in their communities of origin, transit and destination”, added Peraza.

“With this project, we will have more options for every sport activity, more options for returnees to join groups, more options for reintegrating young people, better infrastructure for training and for protection from sun exposure, all of this is great!”, said Alejandra Mendoza, a 12-year-old student at the Municipal Basketball Initiation School of Usulután.

As a part of IOM’s Strategy of Return and Reintegration in Communities, the implementation of the infrastructural improvements includes community participation through focus groups with special emphasis on young people and women. The strategy also includes the fight against stigmatization towards returnees and the prevention of irregular migration and social violence.

The inauguration took place as part of IOM’s Return and Reintegration Programme in the Northern Triangle of Central America, funded by USAID and coordinated by municipal authorities, community organizations and local leaders. 

For more information please contact José Miguel Gómez at IOM El Salvador, Tel: +503 2521-0511, Email: miggomez@iom.int  or Alba Miriam Amaya at IOM office for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Tel: +503 2521-0511, Email: aamaya@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 - 16:21Image: Region-Country: El SalvadorThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Multimedia: 

The UN Migration Agency's (IOM) return and reintegration programme in the Northern Triangle includes the construction of community houses and other spaces for sports and recreation in San Miguel and Usulután, El Salvador. Photo: Alba Amaya / UN Migration Agency (IOM)

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) holds activities related to return and reintegration projects in the Northern Triangle of Central America. Photo: Alba Amaya / UN Migration Agency (IOM)

“With this project we will have more options for every sport activity, more options for reintegrating young people” said Alejandra Mendoza, a 12 years old beneficiary of the UN Migration Agency (IOM) return and reintegration programme in Central America. Photo: Alba Amaya / UN Migration Agency (IOM)

Categorie: Press Room IOM

Libyan Authorities Meet with UN Agencies to Discuss Migrant Health

IOM - News - Mer, 08/16/2017 - 03:38

Tunis – On 15 August, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, organized a round table on Migrants Health in Libya as part of the regional project, ‘Promoting health and wellbeing among migrants in Morocco, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen.’ This project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.

There are estimated to be more than 1.3 million people without access to healthcare throughout Libya. With large numbers of migrants, some estimates say close to 1 million, and internally displaced persons, 226,164, the health system is facing significant challenges in providing essential health services and in monitoring the health of migrants, displaced persons and host communities.

IOM is working closely with the Libyan authorities and partners in promoting medical assistance and health interventions including in detention centres, at main migrant disembarkation points for Europe and as part of voluntary humanitarian returns.
The round table discussion advanced the development of Libyan authorities’ policies on national and migrant health. The event was attended by the Deputy Ministry of Health and the General Director of the National Centres for Disease Control (NCDC) in Libya among other officials from the health, immigration, security and social affairs sectors. Presentations and discussions at the round table were led by IOM, the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Population Fund and Ministry of Public Health representative from Thailand.

“IOM will continue technical support and collaboration with the Government of Libya in advancing the migration health agenda, in partnership with WHO to address the health needs of internally displaced persons, returnees, and migrants and host community,” said Othman Belbeisi, IOM Libya Chief of Mission. Belbeisi also referred to IOM Director General William Lacy Swing’s recent visit to Tripoli earlier in August, where he had emphasized IOM’s response in Libya as of paramount importance to the Organization.

In light of the priorities established during the 70th World Health Assembly and the recommendations put forth in the 2017 Colombo Statement to promote the health of migrants globally, as well as ongoing advocacy to ensure that migration health is adequately addressed in the global compacts for refugees and migration, such multisectoral dialogue is key to developing and mainstreaming migration into national health policies in Libya.

“This round table and capacity building workshop further reiterate IOM’s ongoing work in providing medical and humanitarian assistance to migrants and mainstreaming migration health across IOM’s overall engagement in Libya,” said Dr. Poonam Dhavan, IOM Migration Health Programme Coordinator based in the Organization’s headquarters, following her presentation on migration health programmes in Libya.

Sessions during the round table included a joint discussion moderated by IOM and WHO on actionable health commitments for Libya. Dr. Phusit Prakongsai from the Ministry of Public Health of Thailand presented a case study of Thailand’s steps for migrant inclusive health policies. The roundtable is set to be followed by a training bringing together other officials from the national and regional level in order to strengthen the operational capacities relating to migrants health in Libya.

For more information, please contact Dr. Arif Syed at IOM Libya, Tel: +216 29289550, Email: ahsyed@iom.int


Language English Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 09:29Image: Region-Country: LibyaThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration HealthUNDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM Libya convened a migrant health policy round table attended by Libyan authorities, UN and other partners on 15 August 2017. Photo: UN Migration Agency 2017

Categorie: Press Room IOM

Estonian PM Visits IOM’s Turkish Hub for Operations in Southern Turkey, Northern Syria During Country’s EU Presidency

IOM - News - Mer, 08/16/2017 - 03:34

Gaziantep – Yesterday (15/08), Jüri Ratas, Prime Minister of Estonia, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, visited the IOM, UN Migration Agency, offices in Gaziantep. Turkey’s southern city, close to the Syrian border, is the hub for IOM’s emergency response operations in southern Turkey and northern Syria.

Prime Minister Ratas toured IOM’s office in Gaziantep where IOM programmes provide life-saving assistance, protection services and help build resilience of Syrian refugees as well as internally displaced in northern Syria.  IOM assistance to refugees and internally displaced Syrians include emergency and livelihood support, vocational trainings and psychosocial support.

IOM’s emergency response has provided humanitarian assistance to nearly two million Syrians living in Turkey and northern Syria.  By procuring items locally, IOM is working to support both the refugee and the community hosting them.

Prime Minister Ratas also met with Syrians visiting IOM’s Family Assistance Programme (FAP). This programme has helped over 170,000 people in Turkey, Iraq and Lebanon complete the family reunification visa paperwork and reunite with family members, who already have refugee status in Germany. FAP is one way IOM works to provide safe and dignified options to migrants and refugees hoping to reach Europe.  Women and children constitute 83 per cent of people assisted by FAP.

“Millions of people have been devastated by the Syrian crisis. The international community must develop long-term strategies to help the millions of people in need. This requires strong coordination between donors and host governments, but also more lasting solutions like the family assistance and resettlement programmes, which offer refugees the opportunity to rebuild what war destroyed,” said Rex Alamban, Head of IOM office in Gaziantep. 

Now in its seventh year, the crisis in Syria has displaced over 10 million people within and out of Syria.  With over 71,000 people internally displaced in July alone, Syria now contains over 6 million internally displaced people.  Nearly a half million individuals (471,885) inside Syria are without adequate shelter.

Turkey hosts the world’s largest refugee population with over 3.1 million Syrians living under temporary protection there. IOM’s programmes currently have an operational budget of USD 140 million in Turkey. However, IOM issued an appeal earlier this year to help fund its support to Syrian refugees in the countries neighbouring Syria. It is still underfunded by 90 per cent overall.

For more information, please contact Abby Dwommoh at IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 312 454 3048, Email: MediaIOMTurkey@iom.int


Language English Posted: Wednesday, August 16, 2017 - 09:29Image: Region-Country: TurkeyThemes: IOMDefault: Multimedia: 

Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (centre) visits IOM Turkey’s offices in Gaziantep on 15 August 217. Photo: UN Migration Agency 2017

PM Ratas listens to IOM presentations on emergency operations in Turkey.

Prime Minister Ratas observes IOM providing assistance to Syrian man to complete family reunification visa.

Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Migration Agency Races to Assist in Wake of Sierra Leone Tragedy

IOM - News - Mar, 08/15/2017 - 11:33

Geneva – After learning Monday of devastating floods that left hundreds dead in the West African nation of Sierra Leone, IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, immediately released USD 150,000 in emergency, first-response aid relief.

“IOM is ready to work with Sierra Leone’s government in any capacity it can, to respond to this terrible event,” said Director General William Lacy Swing Tuesday morning from IOM headquarters in Geneva.

West Africa Regional IOM chief Richard Danziger, speaking from Dakar, Senegal, said IOM was joining Sierra Leone authorities and the UN country team Tuesday doing damage assessment in the impacted region near the capital, Freetown.

Hundreds of citizens are reported dead with many more missing after mudslides and floods tore through several communities; search teams expect to discover more remains in the coming days and weeks.

Access to potable water and widespread homelessness are expected to be immediate concerns for thousands of people in the capital, whose population exceeds one million.

Flooding has caused havoc in Sierra Leone in the recent past. IOM this month inaugurated a water treatment facility located about 50 kilometers outside Freetown to provide safe drinking water to the population resettled at Mile 6 in the aftermath of the flash floods that ravaged Freetown in September 2015. Find more details here.

For more information, please contact:
Sanusi Savage at IOM Freetown, Tel: +232 99606066, Email: ssavage@iom.int or Tijs Magagi Hoornaert at IOM Dakar, Tel: +221785891456, Email: tmhoornaert@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 17:23Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesInternally Displaced PersonsMigration and Climate ChangeMigration and EnvironmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Hundreds are reported dead with many more missing after mudslides and floods tore through several communities in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Photo: UNICEF 2017

Emergency services on their way to the scene of a deadly mud slide in Freetown. Photo: UNICEF 2017

Categorie: Press Room IOM

More Survivors, Remains of Deceased Migrants Found by UN Migration Agency on Yemen Beach

IOM - News - Mar, 08/15/2017 - 11:23

Aden – Over the past three days, staff from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, have found more survivors, as well as the remains of more victims, from last week’s tragic incidents. On 9 and 10 August, a total of 280 migrants headed towards the Gulf countries were forced from two boats off the coast of Yemen’s Shabwa Governorate.

On Wednesday, 9 August, when 120 people were forced from a boat [read more here], the remains of 29 individuals (12 Ethiopian males, 12 Ethiopian females and five Somali males) were found by IOM staff on the same day. The number of people still missing has reduced from 22 to six, all of whom are Ethiopian males. Through contact or from other survivors’ reports, IOM was able to account for a majority of the missing. This makes 35 people presumed dead from the first incident. IOM provided urgent medical care, as well as food and water, to 27 survivors, 22 of whom were Ethiopian males, and the remainder, five Somali males. Eighty-five people in total survived this incident. However, many others had left the beach before IOM arrived to assist.

On Thursday, 10 August, a further 160 people were forced from a second boat [read more here], again off the coast of Yemen’s Shabwa Governorate but in a different location from the first tragedy and closer to the shore. On the day of this incident, IOM found six bodies on the beach. On 11 August, IOM and local people found another four and on 12 August, another two. The current total number of confirmed dead from the second incident is 12 (eight Ethiopian males and four Ethiopian females). In the immediate aftermath of the smugglers’ actions during the second incident, 13 people were missing. Only six people remain missing and so, 18 are now presumed dead.

IOM assisted 57 survivors on 10 August. Thirteen of the survivors, whom IOM had helped, returned to the beach the following day realizing that they were too weak to make the trek through the desert to Yemen’s land borders. On 13 August, IOM located five more survivors and assisted them with medical support, food and water. In total, IOM aided 65 people who survived the second incident – 62 Ethiopian males and three Ethiopian females. Some 142 people survived the second incident and, as on the previous day, people left the beach before IOM arrived.

Of the 280 people forced into Yemen’s rough seas on both mornings, 226 people survived, 42 are confirmed dead and 12 are still missing. The total number of presumed dead is currently 54.

The surviving Ethiopian and Somali migrants left IOM’s care and are most likely making their way to Yemen’s borders with the Gulf countries, a journey which takes a week or more depending on the route. The migration routes through Yemen are constantly changing due to the security situation in the country.

IOM will continue to patrol Yemen’s beaches to provide assistance to migrants in distress and to search for the migrants still missing.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM HQ in Geneva, Tel: +41794035365, Email: oheadon@iom.int


Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 17:17Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Counter-TraffickingHuman SmugglingHumanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff assist Somali, Ethiopian migrants who were forced into the sea by smugglers. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

Categorie: Press Room IOM

Thousands of Displaced Iraqis Living with Psychological Toll of Conflict

IOM - News - Mar, 08/15/2017 - 11:16

Mosul – Weeks after the retaking of Mosul city, many internally displaced persons (IDPs) are exhibiting signs of stress and anxiety. As the psychological toll of what many had endured over the last three years kicks in, children in particular have been scarred by the violence of life under ISIL. They will need long-term psychological support.

IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has been offering support to IDPs since November 2016 – virtually since the start of the Mosul crisis – by providing integrated psychosocial services to 24,399 internally displaced Iraqis. IOM’s outreach ranges from individual counselling to structured play. Emotional support comes in the form of sporting activities, as well as from guided group discussions and specialized consultations.

With support from the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and the Government of Canada, IOM’s Mental Health and Psychosocial Support programme (MHPSS) now has seven centres catering to IDPs from Mosul and its surrounding areas, between the Qayarah Airstrip and Haj Ali emergency sites, and the Hasansham U3, Nergizilya 1 and Chamakor camps.

IOM’s MHPSS began operating in Iraq in October 2014, when the Organization first established its Psychosocial and Recreational Centre in Erbil. This was followed by the addition of five centers in IDP camps in Dohuk, and the deployment of four mobile teams in the Baghdad, Karbala, Najaf, and Babylon Governorates. Those teams provide services to IDPs camps and host communities.

During nearly three years of operations, IOM MHPSS in Iraq has reached over 50,000 beneficiaries and provided roughly 150,000 different psychosocial support activities. In fact, the average beneficiary can engage in three different types of activities, such as individual counselling, a language course and an arts and crafts workshop, over a period of up to 12 months.

Some months ago, Yunis came to IOM’s MHPSS Center at the Haj Ali emergency site. He was at a critical point in his life: he felt his world was falling apart and his marriage was on the verge of breaking down. Not only had he been displaced twice prior to arriving at IOM’s emergency site, but he had also lost all his possessions. His home was destroyed shortly after ISIL took over the area in 2014 and his small juice shop went out of business – it was the family’s sole source of income.

Unable to lactate due to stress, Yunis’ wife, Umm Ibrahim was unable to breastfeed her baby, Doha. With no money coming in, Yunis was unable to afford the formula milk needed to feed the little baby.

As a last resort, he borrowed money and bought a cow, believing it would provide Doha with essential fresh milk. But the milk was not pasteurized and little Doha soon became very sick with severe diarrhoea and dehydration. 

In an act of desperation, he and his wife sought help from an ISIL-run hospital. But, as Yunis recounts, they refused to help the infant. With the baby in his arms, Yunis begged various pharmacies for an IV to rehydrate his baby.

Yunis carried the little one in his arms while praying. “I felt her die in my arms,” he said. “Her eyes went white as her soul left her and she stopped breathing and her little arm slumped to her side.”

Yunis’ breakdown began there and then. He felt useless, as if he had failed his family and he was riddled with guilt about the death of his four-month-old baby.

When he finally arrived at IOM’s Haj Ali emergency site in Qayara, the toll of events caught up with him and for three days he sat crying and howling in the tent, unable to sleep. Then one morning he went to the medical centre seeking drugs. He was immediately referred to IOM’s MHPSS centre on the site and was taken in charge by one of the psychosocial staff.

The Iraqi father of four, who originally comes from Tal-Afar, told aid workers he was feeling suicidal. Counselling sessions and an integrated psychosocial support were provided to Yunis. He was also hired as a labourer in the camp and began to earn some money.

“I felt better… IOM helped, they restored my confidence and self-esteem and allowed me healing time and provided the necessary support,” he said.

“I now engage with my children, I am no longer angry at them… we play, laugh and joke around,” he continued.

For Yunis, much has changed since he first visited IOM’s MHPSS Center at Haj Ali emergency site. Today he sells sweets at the camp, which helps him provide for his family.

With Mosul finally retaken by the Iraqi forces, Yunis is now more confident that Tal-Afar will follow suit and that he will eventually return to his home where he dreams of reopening his juice shop and rebuilding his house.

Doha’s death is no longer a source of guilt, but now both he and his wife say they feel her presence around them, “like an angel flying between us all.”

IOM staff at MHPSS centres note that many of the IDPs seeking help display symptoms of acute stress such as hyper vigilance, anxiety, depression, anger, memory loss, psychosomatic symptoms and a lack of appetite.

Amongst the many children IOM works with, those from Mosul tend to display symptoms of developmental regression, exhibited by episodes of bed-wetting, severe anxiety, apathy and quickness to get angry or cry.

In cases such as those of Yunis’, IOM concentrates on containment and preventative measures to help the IDPs establish a sense of safety and normalcy. The goal is to empower individuals to see themselves as survivors rather than victims, facilitating acceptance of the new conditions, and to activate resilient strategies to cope with past, present and future challenges.

IOM Iraq Chief of Mission, Thomas Lothar Weiss, said: “Psychosocial services are an essential aspect of assistance to displaced Iraqis, who have experienced unimaginable horrors and pain. Now that Mosul has been retaken, and many IDPs have reached safety, part of the healing process involves assisting individuals to process their grief and loss, and empowering them to take steps to recovery.”

Weiss added, “IOM MHPSS services have assisted thousands of Iraqis affected by the current conflict in the healing process. Hence, IOM will continue to provide these vital services in the immediate stabilization efforts in Mosul, as we consider mental health wellbeing a critical component of the peace building process.”

IOM Iraq has been leading the Mosul MHPSS sub-cluster working group since its inception in November 2016, ensuring coordination among the various humanitarian organizations and institutional counterparts in Ninewa Governorate.

For more information, please contact IOM Iraq: Hala Jaber, Tel: +964 751 740 1654, Email: hjaberbent@iom.int; Sandra Black, Tel: +964 751 234 2550, Email: sblack@iom.int.


Language English Posted: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 17:07Image: Region-Country: IraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMigration HealthMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

Children enjoy psychosocial support activities and games. Many of these children came from the Mosul corridor.  Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

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As the psychological toll of what many had endured over the last three years kicks in, children in particular have been scarred by the violence of life under ISIL. Photo: UN Migration Agency (IOM) 2017

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Categorie: Press Room IOM