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IOM Egypt Opens Migration Health Assessment Centre

IOM - News - Mar, 03/21/2017 - 09:46
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Egypt - IOM Egypt opened its migration health assessment centre (MHAC) on March 16th to provide full health assessments to refugees and migrants migrating from Egypt.

The centre provides services to self-paying Egyptian migrants and refugees going through the resettlement process to five countries: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

The centre also offers full health assessments, including immunization and pre-departure medical screenings with presumptive treatment, to all applicants based on each receiving country’s relevant guidelines.

It is a one-stop shop for all health screening related activities including registration, counselling, nursing operations, physical examination, phlebotomy/lab services, radiology and vaccination. A complete set up is present to cater for pre-departure services along with presumptive treatment administration.

“MHAC has already received empanelment for all major destination countries and secured the right to carry out health assessments for self-paying Egyptian migrants as well, ranking Egypt as the second country in the MENA region to reach the health assessment goal of health assessments for all major countries,” said Dr. Asma Nadeem, IOM Egypt’s Head of Migration Health Unit.

Since January 2015, IOM has conducted around 5,300 health assessments for various countries, 4,500 pre-departure medical screenings and 2,900 presumptive treatment administrations.

For further information, please contact Dr. Asma Nadeem at IOM Egypt. Tel: +202-27365140, Email: iomegypt@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - 16:38Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastEgyptThemes: Migration HealthDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Welcomes Milestone as 10,000 Asylum Seekers Relocated from Greece under EU Plan

IOM - News - Ven, 03/17/2017 - 11:45
Language English

Greece - Over 10,000 asylum seekers have now been relocated from Greece to other European Union (EU) and Associated States since the start of the EU relocation programme according to IOM, which is implementing the scheme.

Since the beginning of March, 367 people left Greece for Belgium, Estonia, Germany, Malta, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain bringing the total number of people relocated from Greece to 10,004.  Another 475 people were relocated from Italy to Belgium, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway and Slovenia in the same period. This brings the total number of people relocated from both Italy and Greece to 14,439 since the scheme’s launch in October 2015.

IOM Deputy Director General Laura Thompson welcomed the new milestone and highlighted the benefits of the programme during an official visit to Greece this week.

“The unique strength of the EU Relocation programme lies in its double impact both at the political level and for individuals,” said Ambassador Thompson. “Not only does relocation demonstrate cooperation, solidarity and a genuine Union, it has also made a big difference for each of the nearly 14,500 people that have relocated from Greece and Italy to start new lives in other EU member states.”  

“IOM continues to work with the EU, Greece and Italy as well as the countries receiving these men, women, children and families to help realize the full potential of this programme,” she added.

Eugenio Ambrosi, Director of IOM’s Regional Office for the EU, Norway and Switzerland, said that the 10,000 milestone, while short of the initial target, clearly shows more commitment from EU member states and determination to accelerate the process for those in need of international protection. 

“We have seen a steady increase of pledges and acceptance from participating EU countries in the past few months. At this rate, there will be a further 15,000 to 18,000 relocations from Greece by the end of the programme,” said Ambrosi.

“Yet we cannot rest at ease because the overall numbers are too low given the needs in Greece and the commitments that were made. We continue to encourage EU member states to follow through fully on their commitments,” he added. 

A record number of people were relocated from Italy and Greece in February 2017, with more than 1,200 relocations to 13 different EU countries. According to current statistics, this month is on track to break February’s record number of relocations.   

Germany (3,093), France (2,764) and the Netherlands (1,486) have received the most asylum seekers to date under the scheme, mainly from Greece, while the European Commission has lauded Finland and Malta for being on track to meet their respective target numbers. 

As of 28 February 2017, Syrians comprised most Italy and Greece relocation beneficiaries (58 percent), followed by Eritreans (29 percent), Iraqis (10 percent) and other nationalities (3 percent). Women accounted for 38 percent of those relocated; 33 percent of the beneficiaries were under the age of 18.

There has been a notable upward trend in relocations from Greece where more than half of the overall progress to date has been achieved just in the last five months of the programme. More than one third of the 10,000 beneficiaries that traveled under relocation from Greece to date have done so in the last 100 days.

Relocation beneficiaries to date from Greece were mainly Syrian (81 percent) and Iraqi (14 percent). The programme has also relocated 207 unaccompanied migrant children from Greece, with Finland accepting the largest number.  

The programme is being implemented by IOM in close cooperation with Greek and Italian authorities and other agencies, with the continuing support of the European Commission, EU member and associated states, and other partners.

To help the migrants integrate in their new communities, IOM runs pre-departure orientation sessions, which provide useful information on rights and obligations, as well as on initial post-arrival reception and early integration assistance.

Vulnerable beneficiaries, including unaccompanied migrant children, pregnant women, newborns and migrants with medical needs are given additional support and care through specialized services, including best interest assessments for minors. Where necessary, IOM also provides medical escorts, as well as escorts for unaccompanied minors or large groups, to assist them during their travel.

Interpreters and cultural mediators are in contact with beneficiaries throughout the relocation process to ensure that they understand the procedures and can communicate any concerns or questions. IOM staff are also present at airports of departure to provide assistance during boarding and reception assistance at transit airports and final destinations.

IOM has so far assisted over 400 group relocation movements to 24 European countries participating in the programme.

For updated statistics on EU relocations, please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe

More information on IOM and the EU Relocation Programme can be found at: http://eea.iom.int/index.php/what-we-do/eu-relocation

Portraits of EU Relocation: https://greece.iom.int/en/photos-and-videos and https://greece.iom.int/en/migrants-stories

For further information, please contact the IOM Regional Office in Brussels: Jo De Backer Tel: +32 2 287 71 15, Email: jdebacker@iom.int or Ryan Schroeder Tel: +32 2 287 71 16, Email: rschroeder@iom.int. Or Besim Ajeti at IOM Athens, Tel: +30 210 9919040 Ext. 121, Email: bajeti@iom.int. Or Flavio Di Giacomo at IOM Rome, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int

Posted: Friday, March 17, 2017 - 18:40Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaGreeceThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsRefugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 19,722, Deaths: 525

IOM - News - Ven, 03/17/2017 - 11:39
Language English

Switzerland - IOM reports that 19,722 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 15 March, over 80 percent arriving in Italy and the rest in Spain and Greece. This compares with 154,416 through the first 74 days of 2016.

These arrival numbers do not include 333 migrants that came to port in Italy on 16 March, according to updates from Italy’s Ministry of Interior. Those new arrivals would push this year’s Mediterranean arrival numbers over 20,000 on March 16, and to over 16,000 for Italy alone. That puts 2017’s arrival rate to Italy considerably ahead of the 2015’s first three-month total of 10,165, and just below the 2016 three-month total of 18,777 (see chart below).

 

  Arrivals by sea to Italy
January - December 2015/2016
(source: Italian MoI)  

2016

2015

January

5,273

3,528

February

3,828

4,354

March

9,676

2,283

April

9,149

16,056

May

19,925

21,231

June

22,371

22,877

July

23,552

23,210

August

21,294

22,610

September

16,975

15,922

October

27,384

8,916

November

13,962

3,219

December

8,047

9,636

 

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project reports that the number of Mediterranean deaths – 525 – exceeds by 29 the total of 496 reported during the same period in 2016.  Julia Black of IOM’s Global Migration of Data Analysis Centre explained, “Already 525 migrant deaths and disappearances have been recorded in the Mediterranean as of 16 March 2017, an eight percent increase over the number recorded at this point in 2016.” She pointed to these key differences in the two years’ data:

  • 481 of the 525 missing migrants recorded in the Mediterranean overall drowned in the Central Mediterranean, compared to 97 between 1 January and 15 March 2016;
  • In short. almost five times as many deaths have been recorded on this route this year compared to 1 January – 15 March 2016, which represents a 396 percent increase;
  • Only 2 deaths have been recorded in the Eastern Mediterranean this year, compared to 362 between 1 January and 15 March 2016;
  • This represents a 99.4 per cent decrease in deaths this year on the Eastern Mediterranean compared to 1 January – 15 March 2016.

Worldwide, Missing Migrants reports fatalities on this date are approaching 1,000, with the Mediterranean accounting for the largest proportion of deaths – 525 of 973 (see chart, below).

Missing Migrants recorded 151 deaths in North Africa, part of a release of new data from the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat’s Mixed Migration Monitoring Mechanism Initiative dating back to November 2016. Black explained these new data: “Of the 198 recorded through March 16, 2017, 110 (or 56 percent) of deaths occurred in Libya; 70 (or 35 percent) occurred in Sudan. Overall, about 45 percent of these fatalities were reported to have occurred in deserts across Libya, Sudan, and Egypt.”

US-Mexico border deaths have been recorded this year at a rate of nearly one per day – 61 in 74 days – which is well ahead of 2016’s total, 47, at this point last year.

For all of 2016, Missing Migrants reported 400 border deaths – a daily rate just slightly ahead of 2017’s thus far. With summer, just weeks away, IOM is concerned the death toll along the border could climb past last year’s total. IOM researchers note that Mexico has recorded 12 drowning deaths of migrants so far this year along the country’s river border with Texas. Last year researchers counted 36 Texas river drownings of migrants – another indicator that deaths are occurring at a faster pace this year, despite a drop in overall traffic.

Meanwhile, deaths in the Caribbean Sea basin in 2017 have reached 81 through March 16, more than three times last year’s total now. IOM’s Global Migration of Data Analysis Centre noted that in all of 2016, 105 migrants died or went missing in the Caribbean Sea, which was an increase of 89 percent over the 55 deaths recorded in 2015.

The total number of immigrant fatalities in 2016 was recorded in 14 incidents, while there were 8 incidents in 2015 and 10 in 2014. There have been only two major drowning incidents reported in the region so far in 2017.

A complete analysis of 2016 Migrant Deaths and Disappearances Worldwide follows below:

Deaths of Migrants & Refugees: 1 January 2016 - 16 March 2016 vs. 1 January - 16 March 2017 Region

2017

2016

Mediterranean

525

496

Europe

13

15

Middle East

10

32

North Africa

198

393

Horn of Africa

20

84

Sub-Saharan Africa

12

23

Southeast Asia

44

35

East Asia

0

0

US/Mexico

61

47

Central America

9

17

Caribbean

81

29

South America

0

10

Total

973

1,181

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic:
http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/170317_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 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: Friday, March 17, 2017 - 18:35Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaSwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Migrant Deaths and Disappearances Worldwide: 2016 Analysis

IOM - News - Ven, 03/17/2017 - 11:34
Language English

Germany - A new data briefing produced by IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) highlights a 27 percent increase in migrant deaths worldwide during 2016 compared to 2015. The number of migrant deaths and disappearances recorded by IOM increased significantly in many regions of the world, including the Mediterranean, the Middle East, North Africa, and Latin America.

Issue 8 of IOM’s GMDAC data briefing series, titled “Migrant Deaths and Disappearances Worldwide: 2016 Analysis”, provides an in-depth look at the recorded data on migrant deaths and disappearances throughout 2016. Key figures for regions in which migrant deaths have been recorded – namely, the Mediterranean Sea, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and the Americas – are explored.

“In 2016, IOM documented the deaths of 7,763 migrants worldwide,” said GMDAC Director Frank Laczko. “This represents an increase of 27 percent compared to 2015, and of 47 percent compared to 2014.”

Data collected by IOM’s Missing Migrants Project show that more than 5,085 migrants died in the Mediterranean in 2016 – a 34 percent increase compared to the 3,784 recorded 2015. This increase in deaths occurred despite increased search and rescue efforts compared with the previous year. 

The increase of fatalities along the Central Mediterranean route is striking. In 2016, the number of deaths in the Central Mediterranean was the highest number recorded by IOM since 2014. The number of migrant deaths in the Mediterranean is higher than any year since at least 2000. The average number of deaths per incident in the Central Mediterranean almost doubled last year, from an average of 12 deaths per incident in 2015 to 33 deaths per incident in 2016.

The briefing also discusses the increase in the number of migrant deaths recorded in Africa. At least 1,280 migrant deaths were recorded in North Africa in 2016, nearly double the 672 deaths recorded in the region in 2015. Though this increase may be indicative of improved data collection efforts in the region, data compiled by Missing Migrants Project indicate that migration routes through southern Libya, in eastern Sudan and southern Egypt are highly risky for migrants. 

The number of migrant deaths recorded in the Americas, including the Caribbean, also increased significantly in 2016. IOM´s Missing Migrants project recorded 707 deaths in the Latin America and the Caribbean in 2016, an increase of 43 percent over the 493 recorded in 2015.

The increase in migrant deaths and disappearances across many regions of the world, as highlighted by the data discussed in the briefing, indicate that migration became less – not more – safe.

The data briefing can be found here: https://gmdac.iom.int/gmdac-data-briefing-8

For further information please contact: Julia Black at IOM GMDAC, Tel: +49 30 278 778 27, Email: jblack@iom.int

Posted: Friday, March 17, 2017 - 18:25Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaGermanyThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsOthersDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Iraq, Qatar’s Red Crescent Society Open Field Hospital in Mosul

IOM - News - Ven, 03/17/2017 - 11:23
Language English

Iraq - IOM Iraq, with Qatar’s Red Crescent Society (QRCS), officially opened its 50-bed field hospital in Mosul, boasting two operation theatres and post-operative care to receive and treat cases from internally displaced persons (IDPs) from West Mosul.

Set up in the Ninewa governorate, the field hospital also has an emergency department with 10 beds that can cater for serious emergency cases, including injuries.

With reports increasing that civilians inside Mosul are on the rise from mortar rounds, gunfire and bombs, from the battle between Iraqis and the coalition on one side and ISIL on the other, the services provided by the field hospital located in Hammam al-Alil, south West of Mosul, will be paramount.

Since its opening on Wednesday (15/03) IOM’s field hospital has been flooded with patients from West Mosul. The team received 30 cases of injuries on Wednesday and another 15 yesterday (16/03) and performed three general surgeries on war victims, including one orthopedic.

With the health system massively under-funded vis-à-vis the Mosul crisis and with less than a handful of trauma hospitals serving those injured from West Mosul, IOM’s field hospital will be vital in providing services to the entire catchment area south east of Mosul.

Located near the front lines, two adjacent houses of two floors each have been renovated by IOM in partnership with QRCS, to establish the much-needed field hospital in Hammam al-Alil, south East of Mosul.

With support and funds from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), QRCS and the Government of Kuwait, the field hospital is equipped with two operational theaters, an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), an X-ray unit to be installed soon, a laboratory unit, a pharmacy, sterilization unit and equipment as well as a blood bank to help it cope with the new exodus of displaced civilians pouring out from West Mosul.  

Blood supply from Mosul Blood Bank has also been arranged with Ninewa Department of Health coordinator and the Blood Bank manager, with a first shipment of 50 blood units already delivered.

A ward of 50 beds and an emergency department equipped with 10 beds have been set up to cater for the needs of patients and victims of war.

Ten specialist surgeons will lead the team and field hospital made of general, orthopedic, cardiologists, pediatric and vascular surgeons, as well as well as two anesthetics.

Another 10 general practitioners/physicians (GPs) have also been hired to deal with the IDPs' day-to-day ailments. A 42-member staff ranging from nurses, pharmacists to lab and X-ray technicians, also supports the team.

Two generators will be installed next Saturday (18/03) to ensure continuous power for patients and to operate equipment during the frequent power cuts in the area.

Another team of 25 non-medical staff has also been assigned to provide guards, ambulance drivers, registrars and to provide laundry, cooking and logistics services for the field hospital.

On Monday (13/03), a mobile clinic funded by DFID was transported to Hammam al-Alil camp where the bulk of IDPs first transit for registration and screening, before being transported to camps or out of camp locations.

Another mobile clinic donated by Kuwait will also be sent to Hammam al-Alil in the next week to cope with the influx of IDPs and provide the necessary on the ground health care needed by many. IOM Mobile teams are present at the screening zone and Hammam al-Alil daily, providing health service for newly arrivals IDPs. 

Many of the staff and members working in the field hospital are from Mosul itself. They come with both experience and knowledge of the needs of their people and the suffering they endured under ISIL.

Dr. Yousef Muayad, 47, is a GP and pediatrician who graduated from Mosul University in 1994. He also trained in child psychology in the United States. Until recently he was the head of administration in Mosul’s main Salam hospital, which was ISIL's number one hospital and once a major health center for people on the east side of Mosul.

“We were prisoners in a large prison and working in the hospital with ISIL rules and regulations was quite challenging,” Dr. Muayad said.

“I saw myself as a prisoner who could only move within a certain periphery. While it was my duty to remain as I had taken an oath, I could not send my children out to finish their education (also in medicine) for fear for their lives. Those who got caught leaving simply got killed,” he said.

Instead Dr. Muayad remained in Mosul serving in the hospital and his private clinic and, as he said, trying hard as the hospital administrator to protect the younger medics from the ire of ISIL.

On one occasion Dr. Muayad recounts receiving a sick 14-year-old girl in his clinic. An elderly man brought the girl who was suffering from a throat infection. She was dressed in a black loose gown with her face covered.

When he examined her and as he was writing her a prescription of antibiotics and in typical Arab form, he casually told the elderly man to take care of his young daughter.

“To my surprise, the man turned to me and said with a laugh, ‘This is not my daughter but my sabiya (sex slave).’”

“I felt numb, angry and helpless. She was only a child and there was nothing I could do to save her. It was just too awful,” he recounted.

Dr. Muayad speaks with excitement about his new post in IOM’s field hospital where he will be able to serve IDPs from his community.

But he also talks with bitterness about the days and times when Mosul was "occupied".  

In Hammam al-Alil transit reception where IDPs escaping from West Mosul were flooding in daily, an unattended young paraplegic girl lay helplessly on a stretcher, amongst the crowds. Family members taking turns carrying her had brought her out on a stretcher to safety. She arrived with a severe ear infection and her father pleaded for help. An IOM medic in the nearby mobile clinic, funded by DFID, immediately heeded his call and came to the scene. On checking the young girl, he administered the necessary medications and promised to check on her daily. 

More than 107,466 individuals (17,911 families) have fled West Mosul in the last 20 days according to IOM’s DTM, the first IDPs began leaving their areas on the 25th of February, 7 days after the start of the military operations by Iraqi forces to retake West Mosul.

The numbers include some of those who have opted to seek refuge out of camps. IOM’s DTM is adding out of camps locations and numbers as soon as the information is validated.

According to the authorities in Hammam al-Alil, the total number of IDP families that transited through the screening site from the beginning of the operations until Wednesday at 4 pm is 22,529 (135,174 individuals).

Just over 95,000 IDPs from West Mosul are sheltering in camps with the remainder staying in areas recaptured from ISIL in East Mosul.

IOM is now managing to collect information from authorities in Hammam al-Alil screening site. Reportedly - between 14 March at 4 pm and 15 March at 4 pm – 1,219 IDP families (estimated 7,314 individuals)

Since the beginning of the Mosul operations on October 17, 2016, the cumulative number of IDPs for both East and West reached 54,459 families (326,754 individuals.)

Currently 42,480 families (254,880 individuals) remain displaced with 11,979 families (71,874 individuals) returning home, mostly to the areas retaken in East Mosul.

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: Hala Jaber, Tel. +964 751 740 1654, Email: hjaberbent@iom.int 

Posted: Friday, March 17, 2017 - 18:17Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastIraqThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Launches Migrant Presence Monitoring in Turkey as Syrian Conflict Enters Seventh Year

IOM - News - Ven, 03/17/2017 - 11:16
Language English

Turkey - With over 3.5 million migrants and refugees in Turkey, IOM this week (13/03) signed a Migrant Presence Monitoring (MPM) agreement with Turkey’s Directorate General of Migration Management (DGMM) to better understand migrant population movements and needs.  

In response to the ongoing Syria Crisis and the Mediterranean Crisis, MPM will track key demographics and quantitative data of Turkey’s migrant population, both within the country and the external flows to Europe.  

“Sustained regional conflict highlights the need for in-depth, accurate information on migratory flows, the needs of migrants and refugees living in Turkey, and on those who are in transit to reach Europe,” said Lado Gvilava, IOM Turkey Chief of Mission.

“Too often humanitarian and resilience responses are based upon ad hoc approaches.  MPM provides a valuable tool to governments, aid agencies and civil society to develop strategic responses that will provide a lasting positive impact on both host communities and the migrant population,” added Gvilava.

Through baseline assessments, migrant surveys and flow monitoring, MPM will collect data on external migration flows and those within Turkey to assist governments, humanitarians and protection stakeholder to have a better understanding of the scope and structure of migration movements in Turkey.  The programme will also build Turkey’s capacity to collect and analyse national and regional migration information to support evidence-based migration policies at local, national and regional levels. 

MPM draws on the experience of over a decade of IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) in tracking vulnerable populations and helping ensure the targeted delivery of aid in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and other countries facing both conflict and natural disasters. 

MPM will initially be launched in 15 pilot provinces with the expectation that the programme will be extended shortly throughout the entire country. 

MPM will publish a monthly country overview, situation reports, regular Flow Monitoring Surveys reports as well as detailed quarterly reports. Ad hoc reports will be published following significant findings.

Funding for MPM was provided by the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and EU’s Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO).

More information about IOM’s MPM programme can be found at: http://migration.iom.int/europe/

For further information, please contact Abby Dwommoh, IOM Turkey, Tel: +90 312 454 3048, Email: MediaIOMTurkey@iom.int or Bekim Ajdini, Tel: +90 312 454 3059, Email: bajdini@iom.int   

Posted: Friday, March 17, 2017 - 18:11Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaTurkeyThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Nigeria Produces TV Series Encouraging Safe and Orderly Migration

IOM - News - Ven, 03/17/2017 - 10:51
Language English

Nigeria - The Missing Steps, an upcoming mini-series produced by IOM, will highlight the risks of irregular migration and, importantly, alternative solutions, as it seeks to raise awareness about safe migration opportunities available to Nigerians.

The project’s timing is critical as Nigerians made up the largest contingent of Africans arriving in Europe via the Mediterranean Sea in 2016. According to IOM, 37,551 Nigerians arrived in Italy last year (compared to 22,237 in 2015 and 9,000 in 2014).

Since February 2017, IOM has helped bring 504 stranded Nigerian migrants home from Libya, as part of the organization’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration program, further illustrating the need to sensitize Nigerians about the risks of following irregular migration routes. The educational series, made possible through a grant from the Swiss government, will be aired on national television across the country in the coming months.

"If I had known, I wouldn't have gone there. Libya is a very dangerous place," lamented Beauty Johnson, a young mother from southern Nigeria. "I travelled there because I wanted to join my sister in Italy, but now I am going home unsuccessful and empty-handed." After being stranded for five months, unable to travel to Europe, she was arrested and put into a detention camp with her baby. "I just wanted to go home to my job and normal life," she said. IOM helped fly her back safely from Libya to Lagos on February 14th.

The TV series was filmed in Nigeria and Switzerland, and features popular Nollywood actors in a bid to attract a wider audience to engage with migration themes. The series will air in English, and likely Nigerian pidgin, to engage the public around the country.

“IOM is committed to encouraging safe and orderly migration,” said Enira Krdzalic, IOM Nigeria Chief of Mission. “This television series is just one of the innovative ways we try to connect with local communities to ensure the public is aware of the opportunities that are available to travel and migrate to other countries. We expect this series, generously supported by the Swiss government, will speak to Nigerians and the experiences of many, such as those who have already attempted to follow irregular routes through Libya.”

Shooting for the series has finished and it will be scheduled for 13 weeks of broadcast starting in June, based on planning. IOM is working closely with the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) to ensure quality and relevant content for the series, which is being produced by a Nigerian company, C&E Productions.

For further information, please contact IOM Nigeria (Abuja): Sunday Omoyeni, Email: somoyeni@iom.int ; Enira Krdzalic, Email: ekrdzalic@iom.int

Posted: Friday, March 17, 2017 - 17:46Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastNigeriaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationHumanitarian EmergenciesOthersDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Unique Partnership Seeks to Increase Developmental Role of Migration in Myanmar

IOM - News - Ven, 03/17/2017 - 10:45
Language English

Myanmar - One in four people in Myanmar is a migrant, many migrating in search of work. In this environment of high mobility, IOM and partners this week launched the project Twe Let – Increasing the Developmental Impact of Labour Migration through Strengthened Governance and Partnership.

Twe Let, which means "hand in hand" in the Myanmar language, seeks policy and community level partnership to increase the developmental role of migration. Supporting the efforts of the Government of Myanmar at the policy level, the project is led by the Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population (MOLIP) and will establish Myanmar’s first-ever comprehensive migration policy.

The project supports Myanmar’s development priorities and will address international migration as well as internal migration. Additionally, it is a mechanism to "mainstream" migration into national and local sectoral development planning.

At the community level, Twe Let supports migrants and their families from rural communities ensuring that their migration decisions improve their living conditions, helping them out of poverty to lead to inclusive and sustainable development. Twe Let aims to provide direct assistance to 50,000 potential migrants and members of migrant-sending households from rural communities in 29 townships of Chin State, Mandalay Region, Magway Region, Shan State, Mon State, Kayin State and Thanintharyi Region.

The Twe Let project was launched by U Myo Aung, Permanent Secretary of MOLIP, and was attended by over 80 participants from the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, including state and regional governments, members of parliament, civil society, international organizations, the private sector and the donor, Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund (LIFT).

“This partnership formed between MOLIP, IOM and CSOs to implement the Twe Let project is the key to capitalize the impact of migration on Myanmar’s development. It will contribute to the protection of the rights of Myanmar migrants for safer and more gainful migration,” said U Myo Aung.

The project, worth USD 6.5 million, to be implemented over 30 months, provides aspiring migrants and their families with practical information and tools to help them take the best migration decisions and actions.

Migrant-sending families are supported through financial literacy training with the aim of increasing their ability to manage remittances and increase the developmental impact of remittances. Skills development training will also be provided for aspiring migrants and migrant‐sending households, including practical skills for employment and self-employment through migration and job-matching support to trainees.

“People choose to migrate for better lives for themselves and their families. However, migration does not guarantee a better life. Without good planning and preparation, people could end up migrating from one form of poverty to another. Through this project, we aim to support migrants and their families to place migration in their broader livelihood strategies and to increase developmental outcome of migration,” said Michiko Ito, Programme Manager at IOM Myanmar.

Twe Let is implemented by a unique consortium of organizations which include IOM, Chin Human Rights Organization (CHRO), the Mon coalition led by Mon Women’s Organization (MWO), Parami Development Network (PDN), and Pact Global Microfinance Fund (PGMF), with MOLIP as the counterpart Ministry.

National actors are central to delivering the Twe Let project throughout the targeted townships, while two international organizations renowned for their respective areas of expertise will be providing technical and operational support. Twe Let is the largest project funded through the migration section of LIFT.

LIFT's Migration Programme was launched in 2016 in recognition of the extensive impact that migration has on rural and urban transformation. Currently, the migration programme provides funding to 15 partners from international and national organizations, the Government of Myanmar, academia and media to jointly make migration safe and a real prospect for development.

For further information, please contact Michiko Ito, IOM Myanmar, Tel: +95 943170624, Email: mito@iom.int

Posted: Friday, March 17, 2017 - 17:40Image: Region-Country: AsiaMyanmarThemes: Labour MigrationMigration and DevelopmentDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Stranded Guinean Migrants Return to Conakry from Libya

IOM - News - Ven, 03/17/2017 - 10:40
Language English

Libya – On 14 March, IOM assisted 98 stranded Guinean migrants – 96 men and 2 women – to return to Conakry from Libya by air.

The charter flight, which was coordinated with the Libyan and Guinean authorities, departed from Tripoli’s Mitiga Airport. IOM provided pre-departure interviews, medical check-ups and material assistance, including clothes and shoes.

Unfortunately, due to clashes in Tripoli, 51 migrants living in urban areas, who were sheltered by the Guinean-Conakry Embassy for one night prior to the day of departure, were unable to make the flight. These migrants will therefore be assisted to return home via commercial flights as soon as possible. 

“It was a tense day for migrants and colleagues on the ground but with good coordination with the Guinea-Conakry embassy in Libya and the Libyan authority we managed to support 98 out of the planned 149 migrants,” explained Program Manager Ashraf Hassan. “Thanks to the Government of the Netherlands, the rest of the 51 migrants will be supported via commercial flights as soon as possible,” he added.

Among the migrants was also one unaccompanied child.

In addition, on 12 March, IOM worked with Libyan authorities to facilitate the visit of embassy representatives from Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea Conakry, Ghana, Niger and the Gambia to Triq Al Sekka detention centre. During the visit, the delegation representatives discussed possible release conditions of their nationals and observed the living conditions inside the centre.

During the visit IOM identified 135 migrants who expressed willingness to return to their countries of origin and has initiated the return assistance process. The visit was funded by the European Union and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The Guinea-Conakry return assistance flight was funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and was part of IOM’s return assistance programme.

So far in 2017, IOM Libya has helped 1,261 stranded migrants return to their countries of origin. Of these, 304 were eligible for reintegration assistance.

For further information, please contact IOM Libya’s Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int or Ashraf Hassan, Tel +216 29 794707, Email: ashassan@iom.int

Posted: Friday, March 17, 2017 - 17:36Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastLibyaThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

South Sudanese Refugees Trained on Environment Conservation at Jewi Camp, Ethiopia

IOM - News - Ven, 03/17/2017 - 10:36
Language English

Ethiopia - As part of its efforts to support the refugees and host communities in the Gambella Region of Ethiopia, IOM organized a training this week (15/03) for South Sudanese refugees on the impacts of deforestation and the need to replenish vegetation.

As part of the Government of Japan-supported Shelter and Livelihood project for the region, the training was provided to 150 households.

“We registered influential and interested members of the community and, after carrying out a needs assessment, we proceeded with the training. At the end of the course, the refugees are provided with seedlings of trees, including mango, and banana, to help revive and maintain the forestry and local vegetation cover,” said Nhial Dak, a member of IOM’s Livelihood Support team in Gambella.

The Jewi Camp hosts 60,000 South Sudanese refugees and, as it is impossible to monitor all the activities of the refugee population, this awareness-raising is an approach that IOM has taken after making assessments and in consultation with the Ethiopian Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs.

IOM is also working with National Rural Development Program (NRDP) experts and trainings are now planned for Jewi, Kule and Nguenyiel refugee camps.

According to UNHCR figures, with more than 800,000 registered refugees, Ethiopia is the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa.  It is also host to the largest number (over 320,000) of South Sudanese refugees in the world. With such a large refugee population, mostly relying on wood to cook their food, deforestation has become a major concern.

For further information, please contact Miriam Mutalu at IOM Ethiopia, Tel: +251 94 6692 501, Email: mmutalu@iom.int

Posted: Friday, March 17, 2017 - 17:33Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastEthiopiaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Launches Migration, Environment and Climate Change Project in Namibia

IOM - News - Ven, 03/17/2017 - 10:33
Language English

Namibia - IOM and Namibia’s Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET) launched a project on migration, environment and climate change this week (14/03). The launch was followed the next day by a capacity building workshop on the relationship between migration, environment and climate change (MECC).

The project’s launch was attended by more than 40 participants from key governmental and non-governmental stakeholders, as well as by representatives of the wider UN family in Namibia.

Key speakers during the launch included the Environmental Commissioner, the Chair of the UN’s Emergency and Humanitarian Focal Points in Namibia on behalf of the United Nations Resident Coordinator, the Director of Border Management and Immigration in the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration, the Director for Disaster Risk Management in the Office of the Prime Minister as well as Representatives from IOM Geneva, Pretoria and Windhoek.

Dr. Babagana Ahmadu, Chair of the UN’s Emergency and Humanitarian Focal Points, pointed out that environment and migration featured high on the agenda of the 2015 Paris Climate Change Conference and that the issue was addressed by several other international and national frameworks such as the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-203, a non-binding agreement that recognizes that the State has the primary role in reducing disaster risk.

Teofilus Nghitila, Namibia’s Environmental Commissioner added that in Namibia, the urban population makes up 50 per cent of the total population. This is not only due to the lack of economic opportunities in rural areas, but also to the fact that many people move to the cities following recurrent drought and floods. He also said the project comes at the right time, as it will help deepen understanding of the impact environmental challenges have on human mobility.

The capacity-building workshop sought to address the relationship between migration and environmental change, including climate change. It also served as a platform for the partners to discuss and share expertise on the realities and challenges of MECC, including how the evidence gap on the subject could be addressed.

Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean region have been adversely affected by climate change in recent years. In Namibia, the impact of the recent drought has made communities more vulnerable to food insecurity, putting the livelihoods of many families at risk and heightening the possibility of relocation to urban areas.

In Madagascar, many people were forced to move when their crops and livelihoods were destroyed by recurrent droughts in 2016, while recent floods in Mozambique caused the displacement of hundreds of people.

Similar capacity building workshops and research initiatives are underway in Madagascar, Mauritius and Mozambique. These initiatives are part of the wider IOM Development Fund (IDF) supported project Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Evidence for Policy in Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean, which aims to increase knowledge and awareness about the relationship between migration and environmental change in order to inform related policy and operational planning at both the regional and national level.

For further information, please contact Lilian Ambuso at IOM Namibia, Tel: +264 61 231 639, Email: lambuso@iom.int

Posted: Friday, March 17, 2017 - 17:29Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastNamibiaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM, Ghana Immigration Service Launch Training for Immigration Officers

IOM - News - Ven, 03/17/2017 - 10:28
Language English

Ghana - The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) launched this week (13/03) a nationwide training programme on the use of the newly developed GIS Legal Handbook. Thirteen trainings are being rolled out in 10 regions of the country between March and April 2017 for approximately 500 immigration officers.

The first of the five-day trainings began in the three northern regions of Ghana – the 3 Upper West, Upper East and Northern – and covers the constitution, immigration, security and investment-related laws, as well as relevant international protocols and conventions.

The GIS Legal Handbook, which is a compilation of all domestic and international legal frameworks relevant to the daily work of immigration officers, was developed under the Ghana Integrated Migration Approach (GIMMA) Project funded by the European Union. The aim of the Handbook and the trainings is to increase immigration officers’ knowledge of relevant legal frameworks, their interpretation and ultimately their implementation to effectively manage borders.

Ghana’s complex migratory trends – internal and international, regular and irregular – require GIS officers to be well versed in both national and international migration law. Immigration officers work with a myriad of national and international legal instruments and the Handbook provides them with an easy reference source for their day to day duties.

Many of the participants had never received legal training before and stated that the training has given them more confidence in dealing with legally difficult subjects and a better sense of how to identify potential issues.

The training module has been developed with structured sessions and practical exercises to aid trainers in effectively preparing participants on the usage of the Handbook. The development of the much-awaited Handbook, as well as the implementation of the training, was one of the priority needs identified in the GIS Strategic Plan 2010 - 2015.

For further information, please contact Kazumi Nakamura at IOM Ghana, Tel: +233 302 742 930, Email: knakamura@iom.int or Abigail Dabuoh at GIS, Email: abigaildabuoh@yahoo.com

Posted: Friday, March 17, 2017 - 17:16Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastGhanaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Director General Condemns Attack on Humanitarian Convoy in South Sudan

IOM - News - Gio, 03/16/2017 - 12:25
Language English

Switzerland – IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing, today condemned an attack on a humanitarian convoy in South Sudan on 14 March, which resulted in the death of two people and left three others injured.

“I unequivocally condemn the attack on IOM staff, health workers and civilians, who were assaulted during a lifesaving humanitarian mission in Yirol East County, South Sudan,” said Ambassador Swing.

While a convoy was returning to Yirol from a field mission on 14 March, one of the vehicles was ambushed by unknown armed gunmen. Tragically, two people died of gunshot wounds. Among the injured was an IOM health officer who sustained a gunshot wound but is currently in a stable condition.

“This tragic attack on aid workers and civilians is appalling. The assault took place in an area of South Sudan in dire need of assistance due to a deadly outbreak of cholera. In a country overwhelmed by the huge lack of basic necessities due to conflict, famine and health epidemics, these types of attacks undoubtedly harm the ability of humanitarian partners to provide assistance to millions in need of lifesaving aid,” Ambassador Swing added.

The identity and motivation of the attackers remain unknown.

A joint IOM health and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) team of 12 had deployed to Yirol East County, in central South Sudan, on 17 February to provide assistance to communities affected by a cholera outbreak that began in early February, with more than 300 cases and 10 deaths reported to date.

IOM health staff were supporting four cholera treatment units in Yirol East County, working closely with health actors on the ground to ensure coordinated social mobilization activities. To mitigate the spread of cholera, IOM WASH staff also undertook borehole rehabilitation, hygiene promotion and distribution of hygiene supplies, including water purification tablets, reaching more than 25,000 people.

Across South Sudan, IOM is responding to the emergency needs of millions affected by the crisis that erupted in December 2013. Over 7.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance this year, including nearly 5 million facing severe food insecurity and 1.8 million displaced internally.

Amid an already difficult operating environment, insecurity and access constraints continually hinder the ability of IOM and other aid agencies to reach the most vulnerable in many parts of the country.

For further information, please contact Ashley McLaughlin at IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211 922 405 716, Email: amclaughlin@iom.int.   

Posted: Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 12:24Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastSouth SudanDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM, European Commission to Support Returnee Reintegration in Afghanistan

IOM - News - Mar, 03/14/2017 - 09:59
Language English

Afghanistan - IOM has launched a four-year, EUR 18 million project with funding from the European Commission's Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development (DG DEVCO) to support returnees and host communities across Afghanistan.

The project will help foster sustainable reintegration by promoting economic development in communities of high return, building the capacity of government bodies working on migration and providing post-arrival assistance for returnees. Communities in Kabul, Herat, Nangarhar, Balkh, Kandahar, Baghlan, Uruzgan and Laghman will be targeted.

“Our joint collaboration under this project marks a critical and much needed step towards providing longer-term, sustainable, income-generating solutions and livelihoods for returnees,” said Laurence Hart, IOM’s Chief of Mission and Special Envoy in Afghanistan, speaking at today’s signing event in Kabul.

Under the project, and working with a network of partners, IOM will complete a series of community development initiatives in areas of high return. The initiatives will include small-scale infrastructure and income-generating projects in a number of different sectors, including agricultural rehabilitation, irrigation and canal cleaning, rural development, handicrafts, and providing equipment and supplies for public institutions and commercial spaces such as markets.

These activities will be carried out in close cooperation with the local community, through the existing Community Development Councils.

IOM will also support 1,000 technical and vocational education and training initiatives and skills development activities in the target project sites, and provide financial assistance to approximately 40 existing micro/small businesses.

“Support for improving migration management in general, including in the area of return and reintegration, is included as an objective under EU development cooperation and the special measure that we implement in Afghanistan is a rapid reaction to an unprecedented challenge,” said Raffaella Iodice, Head of Unit in Charge of Migration at DG DEVCO.

In addition to increasing the sustainability of return and reintegration through community and economic development, the project will offer vital information to returnees and potential labour migrants through the establishment of Returnee Information Centres (RICs) in key locations.

The RICs will serve as a “one-stop shop” offering counselling and information on assistance for returnees as well as safe migration. Over the course of the project, IOM will work to build the capacity of the Afghan Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation to the run RICs and transition them to government-run facilities.

Finally, the project will bolster the capacity of IOM’s existing post-arrival reception assistance for Afghans returning from Europe, providing funding to assist 2,000 returnees.

“Not only will this project have a positive impact on tens of thousands of Afghan returnees and high return communities, it will also serve as a valuable learning platform for creating successful return, reintegration and development interventions in the future,” said Hart.

For further information, please contact Kjeld Andersen at the Delegation of the European Union to Afghanistan, Tel: +93 794 701 449, Email: kjeld.andersen@ext.eeas.europa.eu or Matt Graydon at IOM Afghanistan, Tel: +93 729 229 129, Email:  mgraydon@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 16:52Image: Region-Country: AsiaAfghanistanDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM DG Visits Niger, Migrant Transit Centres

IOM - News - Mar, 03/14/2017 - 09:56
Language English

Niger - On Saturday (11/3), IOM Director General William Lacy Swing began a three-day visit to Niger, where he met with local and regional authorities, and visited transit centres for migrants in the capital, Niamey, and the desert city of Agadez.

While in Niamey, Ambassador Swing met with Niger President Issoufou Mahamadou, Prime Minister Brigi Rafini, Minister of Interior Mohamed Bazoum, Spanish Minister of Interior Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez and French Minister of Interior Bruno Le Roux.  Ambassador Swing also consulted with the UN country team, the European Union (EU) delegation and ambassadors from EU member states.

In Agadez, Ambassador Swing met with Mayor Rhissa Feltou and Sultan Oumarou Ibrahim Oumarou. Others taking part in the visit included central and regional government officials and the ambassadors of the European Union, Mali, Senegal and the United States.

During his official meetings, Ambassador Swing noted: “Today’s worldwide anti-migrant reaction needs to change.”

“There is hope that we can create a shared sense of responsibility among everyone from countries of origin, destination and transit,” he said.

Ambassador Swing also visited IOM’s open information centres, where migrants returning from Libya, Algeria and other countries receive support, including water, food, shelter, medical and psychosocial assistance. Stay is voluntary at all of IOM’s five transit centres across Niger.

Many migrants also opt for assisted voluntary return from IOM. This often includes replacing missing travel documents and transportation back to their countries of origin. If migrants choose to return to their countries of origin, they may also benefit from reintegration assistance.

This process is funded by the European Union under the “Migration Resource and Response Mechanism” project.

After hearing some of the migrants’ painful testimonies, Ambassador Swing reassured them that IOM is doing everything possible to support them. “It’s a matter of dignity,” he told migrants whom he met at the centre. “They can take away everything you have, but not your dignity – never forget that,” he emphasized.

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

Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 16:51Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastNigerDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 19,653, Deaths: 525

IOM - News - Mar, 03/14/2017 - 09:55
Language English

Switzerland - IOM reports that 19,653 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 14 March, over 80 percent arriving in Italy and the rest in Spain and Greece. This compares with 152,701 through the first 73 days of 2016.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project reports that the number of Mediterranean deaths – 525 – exceed by 43 the total of 482 reported during the same period in 2016.

On Monday, Kelly Namia of IOM Athens reported that 2,810 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through Greece since the start of 2017, compared with 143,205 through this date in 2016. She reported one incident on Saturday (11/3) off Chios, where the Greek Coast Guard rescued 58 migrants.

Also on Monday Christine Petré of IOM Libya wrote that IOM’s team continues to sift through reports of violence against migrants across Libya’s coastal region. On Saturday (11/3), one body was retrieved in Subratah, bringing the total number of bodies recovered off Libya since 1 January to 148.

Deaths of Migrants & Refugees: 1 January 2016 - 14 March 2016 vs. 1 January - 12 March 2017

Region

2017

2016

Mediterranean

525

482

Europe

13

15

Middle East

10

32

North Africa

47

392

Horn of Africa

0

84

Sub-Saharan Africa

0

23

Southeast Asia

44

35

East Asia

0

0

US/Mexico

60

47

Central America

8

16

Caribbean

81

29

South America

0

10

Total

788

1,165

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic:
http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/170314_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 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, OIM Genève, Tel: +41 79 103 03 42, Email: fkim@iom.int
Flavio Di Giacomo, OIM Italie, Tel: +39 347 089 8996, Email: fdigiacomo@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 16:50Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaSwitzerlandDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Aids Displaced Families Fleeing Conflict in Al Mokha, Yemen

IOM - News - Mar, 03/14/2017 - 09:55
Language English

Yemen - Escalating violence in the city of Al Mokha continues to cause mass displacement. Al Mokha is a strategic port city in Taiz governorate, which is one of Yemen’s most brutal conflict zones and currently hosts approximately 273,780 internally displaced persons (IDPs).

Last month, displacement from Al Mokha spiked as fighting intensified. IOM activated its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) in Al Mokha immediately after the clashes erupted. So far, IOM has tracked a total of 34,920 displaced individuals from Al Mokha into neighbouring areas.

IOM has responded by distributing a total of 1,200 core relief items, including mattresses, blankets, sleeping mats, kitchen sets and water buckets, to some 8,400 displaced people in Al Ma’afir, Dhubab, Jabal Habashi, and Al Mudhaffar. It also distributed 900 hygiene kits, containing hand soap, washing powder, jerry cans, sanitary pads, water jugs, toothpaste and toothbrushes.

“IOM is looking at faster interventions to provide a better humanitarian response to populations affected by the ongoing conflict; this is critical for hundreds of thousands of Yemenis today,” said IOM Yemen Chief of Mission Laurent De Boeck.

“We are expanding our operations through strategic partnerships with international and local organizations, and have moved towards more decentralized hubs within the country, enabling quicker decision-making and closer coordination with beneficiaries,” he added.

Through 2016, and despite restricted access to Taiz, IOM successfully reached 23,376 individuals, providing them with shelter and core relief support. It also launched a series of lifesaving water and sanitation projects, which included trucking water to vital health facilities and IDP sites, rehabilitation of water networks, and the provision of new water pumps to help over 56,000 displaced people affected by the conflict in the governorate.

IOM Yemen is seeking additional financial support to expand its operations and to respond to the needs of the most affected vulnerable populations throughout the country. Please see IOM’s Yemen Appeal and further details here.

For further information, please contact Saba Malme at IOM Yemen, Tel: + 967 736 800 329, Email: smalme@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 16:49Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastYemenDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Backs Syrian Small Business Development in Turkey

IOM - News - Mar, 03/14/2017 - 09:54
Language English

Turkey - Some 300 Syrians are starting up small businesses in Turkey with the help of a unique IOM in-kind grants project. The In-Kind Grants (IKG) programme was launched this month to distribute professional toolkits to Syrian refugees. 

“This project gives Syrians the opportunity to provide for their families and reduce dependency on humanitarian assistance,” said Lado Gvilava, IOM Turkey Chief of Mission. 

“One of the most common themes among the refugees I meet is that they want the opportunity to earn a decent living and build a future again. This is one of the major reasons why we see so many refugees making the dangerous journey across the sea to Europe,” he added. 

The new programme provides a steady income for Syrian refugees living in Turkey, increasing their resilience and decreasing their dependence on humanitarian aid. The toolkits will be distributed to 300 Syrian heads of household and are projected to benefit at least 1,500 Syrians in Turkey.

“In times of crisis, the idea of heads of household may extend well beyond the nuclear family. As we are distributing these toolkits, we have found that recipients intend to support far more than his or her immediate family. So these toolkits have the potential to support far more people than originally intended,” said IOM Project Officer Jamil Awan.

Through March, IOM will distribute 28 different IKG toolkits, each tailored specifically to fit the needs of a particular profession. The two most commonly distributed toolkits are for tailors and welders. Programme staff discussed previous skills background, household size and monthly income with potential beneficiaries. 

After initial interviews, IOM worked with beneficiaries to create a viable business development plan targeting the market in Turkey’s Sanliurfa, Hatay and Gaziantep provinces.  The 300 people considered to have the most viable business plans were selected to participate in the initial pilot project.

Fifty-year-old Wahda received a tailoring toolkit. Since her husband’s death ten years ago, she has been the sole provider for her five children and worked as a professional tailor in Syria.

“For the last few months, I had been working in a sewing workshop here in Turkey, but the income was barely enough for the rent, let alone for food for all of us,” says Wahda.  “Now, I have my own sewing machine and everything I need to work from home.  In the same amount of time, I can probably make four times what I could before.”

The protracted crisis in Syria has left Turkey hosting over 2.9 million Syrians. In January 2016, Turkey passed the Regulation on Work Permit of International Protection Applicants and International Protection Status Holders, giving millions of Syrians living under temporary protection in Turkey the possibility to access the labour market.

This legislative change led to the subsequent shift to resilience-building programmes and IOM’s April 2016 launch of its Support to the Livelihoods and Resilience of Refugees pilot livelihoods project, funded by the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM).

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

Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 16:48Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaTurkeyDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Brings Safe Drinking Water to Displaced People in Aburoc, South Sudan

IOM - News - Mar, 03/14/2017 - 09:50
Language English

South Sudan - IOM is now providing safe drinking water to over 24,300 vulnerable people in Aburoc, Upper Nile, South Sudan. This includes an estimated 17,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs), who fled the fighting in Wau Shilluk in late January, leaving their homes with few belongings and placing additional strain on the already limited resources of the host community.

An IOM emergency preparedness and response team deployed to Aburoc in Fashoda County on 7 March to begin a water trucking operation to provide desperately needed clean water to IDPs and the host community.

“Before the operation began, IDPs were accessing a limited quantity of water, below survival needs, and most of them were relying on shallow wells with dirty water that dried up within two to three days,” explains Antonio Torres, IOM Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Programme Coordinator. “Water trucking is providing immediate relief to populations in desperate need,” he added.

During an assessment mission in late February, displaced people indicated that they were exhausted, having walked long distances from Wau Shilluk to Kodok and on to Aburoc in search of safety, water and food. Partner agencies have estimated that approximately 85 percent of the displaced population in Aburoc are female-headed households.

The Logistics Cluster, managed by the World Food Programme, deployed 7 metric tons of supplies, including inputs to develop a surface water treatment system (SWAT), to Aburoc on 4 March. The supplies also included water bladders to enable immediate water trucking, which began within days.

Access to clean water will help prevent the spread of water-borne diseases, such as cholera, which are particularly hazardous among a community experiencing weakened health conditions due to displacement and lack of services.

The fighting in Wau Shilluk in late January forced IOM to halt its biometric registration exercise for the area. The majority of the civilian population, estimated to be approximately 24,000 people, fled Wau Shilluk, mainly to Kodok and Aburoc. An unknown number remain in remote areas surrounding Wau Shilluk.

The emergency operation in Aburoc is supported by a grant from USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) Rapid Response Fund, which is currently supporting 11 relief operations across the country to provide much-needed health, nutrition, protection and WASH assistance.

Vulnerable populations in Fashoda County are facing Crisis-level (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification 3 on a scale of 1 to 5) food insecurity, which is considered severe by food security experts.

Across South Sudan, an estimated 5 million people are facing severe food insecurity due to the protracted crisis, with approximately 100,000 facing famine conditions in Unity state, and another 1 million at risk of famine without sustained humanitarian assistance.

For further information, please contact Ashley McLaughlin at IOM South Sudan, Tel: +211 922 405 716, Email: amclaughlin@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 16:47Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastSouth SudanDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Facilitates Study Visit to Germany for Egyptian Officials

IOM - News - Mar, 03/14/2017 - 09:50
Language English

Egypt - IOM facilitated a two-day (13-14/3) study visit to Berlin, Germany, for seven Egyptian government officials. The objective was to help them to better mainstream migration data into national development plans.

The delegation met with researchers at IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) and the German authorities to discuss the importance of migration data collection, sharing and analysis to inform policy development.

The group included representatives from the Central Administration for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS), the Ministry of Manpower, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

GMDAC Director Dr. Frank Laczko noted the importance of mainstreaming migration data into national development data plans and its role in the implementation of well-managed migration policies. He elaborated on GMDAC’s contribution to the monitoring of migration-related targets within the Sustainable Development Goals framework, in particular Target 10.7 which focuses on countries’ need to implement planned and well-managed migration policies, but also in regards to the targets relating to health, poverty and women.

During the visit, the Egyptian officials also met with representatives of the German Federal Office of Statistics and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. They also learnt about how migration data is collected and analysed to inform effective labour migration policies in Germany.

“This study visit complements a series of ongoing activities which aim to advance the efforts of the Government of Egypt to develop and implement evidence-based policies on migration, with a particular focus on human mobility,” said Teuta Grazhdani, Head of Labour Mobility and Human Development at IOM Egypt.

The visit addressed the Egyptian government’s priorities as outlined in the National Strategy on Combating Irregular Migration for 2016-2026 and the Action Plan on Strengthening International Cooperation and Coordination and Building the Human, Institutional and Information Capacity of Relevant Stakeholders on Labour Migration and Human Mobility to address data gaps on key migration policy issues.

IOM’s support in building the capacity of CAPMAS on migration data analysis and management complements IOM’s contribution to the Global Compact on Migration (GCM).  It will be underpinned by dissemination of migration data and statistics to inform evidence-based policies in Egypt.

For further information, please contact Teuta Grazhdani at IOM Egypt. Tel: +202-27365140, Email: iomegypt@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 16:46Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastEgyptDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM