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Identity Management and Information Systems on Human Mobility: Ecuador Seminar

IOM - News - Ven, 02/17/2017 - 11:15
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Ecuador - Ecuador’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility and IOM, supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, has organized a three-day seminar on Identity Management, E-passports and Information Systems on Human Mobility.

The seminar which ends today (17/02) is being facilitated by three international experts from the Office of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada; the Autonomous Technological Institute of Mexico and IOM.

The experts shared information about the importance of robust identity management, the challenges and advantages of shifting from traditional to electronic passports, and the scope for implementing effective information systems for human mobility management, as required by Ecuador’s new law on human mobility.

During the first day of the seminar, Nelson Goncalves, an IOM expert on biometric registration systems and identity management, highlighted the need for creating synergy between identity systems, including those serving citizens and foreigners.

The seminar emphasized the importance of applying integrated and inter-operable biometric registration systems for governments. “Such systems protect both citizens and foreign residents,” explained Goncalves.

Participants also learnt about regional experiences with electronic passports and migration information systems, including the implementation of the Canadian e-passport and Mexico’s trials to create comprehensive information systems and coordination mechanisms for policies on human mobility.

IOM Ecuador Chief of Mission Damien Thuriaux said: “As an intergovernmental organization, IOM is committed to providing technically and commercially neutral assistance to its Member States by promoting effective mechanisms for evaluating and supporting security improvement for identity documents. We are supporting the creation of migration governance mechanisms that allow the mainstreaming of migration in political planning based on migration information systems.”

IOM – in cooperation with the International Civil Aviation Organization’s Implementation and Capacity Building Working Group (ICBWG) – globally promotes the proper application of security standards in the handling and issuance of travel documents, with the aim of facilitating human mobility and migrant protection.

For further information, please contact Carolina Celi at IOM Ecuador, Tel. +593 23 934400, Email: cceli@iom.int

Posted: Friday, February 17, 2017 - 17:58Image: Region-Country: AmericaEcuadorDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Appeals for USD 76.8 Million to Help Most Vulnerable in South Sudan

IOM - News - Mar, 02/14/2017 - 11:02
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South Sudan - Needs in South Sudan have reached unprecedented levels as the crisis enters its fourth year. Some 7.5 million people are in desperate need of aid, having exhausted coping mechanisms, faced multiple displacements and struggled with a failing economy.

To provide lifesaving assistance to displaced and conflict-affected populations across the country in 2017, IOM is appealing for USD 76.8 million.

Some 4.9 million people are facing severe food insecurity and 1.84 million are displaced internally, in addition to approximately 1.2 million who have fled to neighbouring countries.

“Needs soared over the course of 2016 as the crisis spread to previously relatively stable regions, and deepened in Greater Upper Nile,” said IOM South Sudan Chief of Mission William Barriga. “As civilians continue to bear the brunt of the violence, a political solution to the ongoing crisis is needed urgently.”

As needs grow and worsen, humanitarian workers are facing increasing difficulty in accessing affected populations due to insecurity and bureaucratic impediments, complicating efforts to reach the most vulnerable and compounding existing needs.

In response to the expanding crisis, IOM’s 2017 consolidated appeal highlights emergency humanitarian assistance based on existing capacity, focusing on the most urgent needs through health, logistics, shelter, and water, sanitation and hygiene assistance, as well as camp coordination and camp management and mental health and psychosocial support programming.

IOM will continue providing assistance at displacement sites, including protection of civilian sites, collective centres and other areas of displacement. Response teams will sustain robust efforts to reach populations in remote and often volatile areas.

Mindful of the need to protect development gains that were achieved prior to the July 2016 crisis and build the foundations for post-conflict recovery, IOM continues to carry out multi-dimensional programmes guided by peace-building and development principles. IOM’s Transition and Recovery and Migration Management programmes will continue to operate alongside the overall humanitarian response in areas where conditions allow, emphasizing the link between relief and development.

IOM has had an operational presence in South Sudan since 2005, establishing a country office in 2011 following the country’s independence. Immediately after the conflict erupted in December 2013, IOM restructured its activities in response to the emergency. Today, IOM South Sudan remains one of the Organization’s largest missions, with 450 staff stationed across the country to implement humanitarian, transition and recovery, and migration management activities.

View the IOM South Sudan 2017 Consolidated Appeal here.

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

Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 18:00Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastSouth SudanThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM to Build Transitional Shelters for South Sudanese Refugees in Gambella, Ethiopia

IOM - News - Mar, 02/14/2017 - 10:57
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Ethiopia - Later this month, IOM will begin building the first transitional shelters for South Sudanese refugees in Gambella region, Ethiopia.

The nearly 900 transitional shelters will be built in the new Nguenyyiel camp, which opened in September 2016, to accommodate roughly 4,400 people.

The camp currently hosts 27,620 refugees who fled South Sudan due to a conflict which shows no signs of ending soon. Transitional shelters represent a significant upgrade from the more basic emergency shelters currently being used by refugees in the camp, which are mostly covered by plastic sheeting that makes the interiors unbearably hot during the current dry season.

The transitional shelters will be built using local techniques and materials, with the refugees themselves playing a large part in the building process. The livelihoods of the refugees and the communities hosting them will be supported through the construction phase. The new shelters will be a significant improvement on previous emergency shelters.

“Upgrading the shelters used by refugees in Nguenyyiel camp has been identified as a key need by IOM, our partners, and the refugees themselves. The new transitional shelters and the ongoing relocations are vital in our ongoing efforts in managing the inflow of South Sudanese refugees into Gambella in a way that really responds to the needs of refugees,” said Miriam Mutalu, the Head of IOM Ethiopia’s Sub-Office in Gambella. “The journey the refugees take to reach Ethiopia is a long and dangerous one, which is why IOM’s assistance on this side of the border is so important,” she added.

Construction of the transitional shelters is part of IOM’s response to the Gambella refugee flow supported by the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). DFID funding also allows IOM to relocate refugees at the South Sudan–Ethiopia border to camps in Gambella by either bus or boat, in a safe and dignified way. The relocations happen after IOM medical teams conduct screening and referrals at the entry points used by refugees.

In 2016, IOM provided pre-departure medical screening and evacuations to 53,240 refugees in Gambella.

IOM’s shelter and relocation efforts are carried out with the invaluable support of the Government of Ethiopia via the Administration for Refugee and Returnee Affairs (ARRA) and the Gambella Regional Disaster Prevention and Food Security Agency (DPFSA).

For further information, please contact Miriam Mutalu, Tel: +251 94 66 92 501, Email: mmutalu@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 17:45Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastEthiopiaThemes: Refugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Develops Mobile App to Help Prevent Human Trafficking in Slovakia

IOM - News - Mar, 02/14/2017 - 10:45
Language English

Slovakia - “Be prepared, spread the word, and recognize the signs” is the tagline of a free new mobile application called SAFE Travel & Work Abroad developed by IOM in Slovakia to raise awareness about the risks of human trafficking through an interactive game. 

Designed as a preventative and educational tool, the application presents a scenario where four main characters are planning journeys abroad. The app user steps into their shoes and makes decisions that will influence the direction of their lives, confronting and learning about the pitfalls of human trafficking along the way.

Whether the protagonists end up travelling and working abroad safely – or fall into the traps set by traffickers – is in the hands of the player.

In addition to the interactive game, the application provides vital information about human trafficking, including warning signs to look out for. It also provides tips for safe travelling and working abroad, including emergency contacts, and information on employment services and labour agreements. 

The app is available in five language versions: Slovak, English, Czech, Polish, and Hungarian.

IOM has developed a brief companion manual for professionals working with youth on how to use the application as part of educational activities. The manual is available for free in the same language versions as the app.

IOM Slovakia and its partners in the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary are presenting the application to prevention specialists and to students to raise their awareness about human trafficking and the principles of safe travel.

IOM in Slovakia has been contributing to various counter-trafficking activities since 2003. In addition to awareness-raising campaigns and training activities that are implemented in cooperation with state institutions and NGOs, IOM Slovakia provides and assists voluntary returns with pre-departure assistance for victims of human trafficking who want to go back to their home country in safety and dignity.

Between 2006 and 2016, IOM identified 213 victims of trafficking in Slovakia and helped 123 of them to voluntarily return home.  They also ensured that they were referred to specialized partners within National Referral Mechanisms depending on the individual needs of the person who had been a victim of trafficking.

The new application was developed by IOM Slovakia as part of a project called SAFE – Smart, Aware, Free, Enjoy – Information Campaign to Prevent Human Trafficking which is supported financially by the International Visegrad Fund and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bratislava. The project is being implemented by IOM in collaboration with partner organizations La Strada in the Czech Republic and Poland, and Baptist Aid based in Hungary.

The application is available for free on the App Store, Google Play and on the website www.safe.iom.sk.

For more information on IOM Slovakia counter-trafficking activities, please visit: http://www.iom.sk/en/activities/counter-trafficking-in-human-beings

For the Manual for mobile application SAFE Travel & Work Abroad visit: http://www.iom.sk/en/publications?download=247:iom-manual-for-mobile-app...

For further information, please contact Zuzana Vatralova at IOM Bratislava, Tel: + 421 2 5273 3791, Email: zvatralova@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 17:22Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaSlovakiaThemes: Counter-TraffickingDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Iraq Publishes Community Stabilization Handbook

IOM - News - Mar, 02/14/2017 - 10:21
Language English

Iraq - IOM Iraq’s Community Stabilization Handbook, published last week, provides an overview of the situation in 15 Iraqi governorates, including 51 communities, and of the achievements of IOM’s Transition and Recovery initiatives in Iraq.

More than 3 million Iraqis are currently displaced by the crisis, which began in January 2014. The presence of displaced persons places additional pressure on public services, including health, education and infrastructure in host communities. The displacement and the effect of the conflict cause hardship for communities and individuals, who both must cope with uncertain economic and social conditions.

The governorate profiles present data including demographics, displacement trends, security, socio-economic conditions and public services, shelter type and needs of displaced families. The book is divided into chapters covering a majority of Iraq's governorates.

Data was gathered through assessments during 2015 to 2016 under the Community Revitalization Programme (CRP). IOM targeted 51 communities across 15 governorates of Iraq. The program is funded by the US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) and carried out in co-operation with the Government of Iraq and local authorities.

The community profiles provide additional specific information, gathered by IOM staff during field assessments, including population breakdown, and information on the sectors of health care, education, public infrastructure, social welfare, the economy and employment.

Data for the community profiles was gathered through conversations of IOM field staff with community leaders, local government representatives, focus group discussions with community members and by using direct observations to identify the services needed.

The community profiles include an overview of completed interventions under Community Revitalization Programme (CRP phase V) in each community in the sectors of: livelihoods assistance, small infrastructure projects and social cohesion. Each community profile highlights resources, vulnerabilities, and recommendations for future projects.

IOM Iraq Chief of Mission Thomas Lothar Weiss stated: “As the crisis in Iraq continues, sustained efforts are required to support the livelihoods of displaced Iraqis, returnees and host communities, and to assist communities that are hosting large numbers of displaced Iraqis. The Community Stabilization Handbook contributes to the knowledge available to humanitarian partners, government representatives and academics, to better understand the situation of these communities.”

Since 2006, through its Community Revitalization Programme and predecessor project, IOM has been supporting Iraqi individuals and their communities in efforts to support the recovery of local economies, improve access to essential services, promote good governance, increase human capital – ultimately contributing to stability of Iraq through enhancing resilience and promoting social cohesion. In light of the crisis in Iraq, IOM CRP aims to go beyond supporting the populations’ immediate needs, by implementing a comprehensive community transition and recovery approach, and aims to foster social cohesion by improving socio-economic conditions.

The handbook can be accessed at:
http://iomiraq.net/reports/iom-iraq-community-stabilization-handbook-2015-2016

IOM’s strategy also includes the Rapid Recovery Programme (RRP), which aims to provide immediate support to basic and often life-saving infrastructure and emergency livelihoods, in direct response to the urgent needs caused by the Mosul offensive. The RRP lays the groundwork for further recovery programming in conflict-affected areas.

The IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Emergency Tracking has identified nearly 154,000 individuals who are still currently displaced by Mosul operations; the cumulative total of displaced since 17 October 2016 to date is more than 199,000 individuals. The majority (78 percent) are from Mosul district in Ninewa governorate.

The latest DTM Emergency Tracking figures on displacement from Mosul operations are available at: http://iraqdtm.iom.int/EmergencyTracking.aspx.

Please click to download the latest:
IOM Iraq DTM Mosul Operations – Factsheet:
https://www.iom.int/sites/default/files/press_release/file/IOM_Iraq-DTM_Mosul_Operations_Factsheet-No15.pdf

IOM Iraq DTM Mosul Operations – Data Snapshot:
https://www.iom.int/sites/default/files/press_release/file/IOM_Iraq_DTM-Mosul_Operations_Snapshot_14Feb2017.pdf

IOM Iraq DTM Mosul Corridor Displacement Analysis:
https://www.iom.int/sites/default/files/press_release/file/IOM_Iraq_DTM-Mosul_Corridor_Displacement_Analysis_13Feb2017.pdf

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

Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 17:17Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastIraqThemes: Community StabilizationHumanitarian EmergenciesDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM, Papua New Guinea Host Forum on Land and Property Rights for Displaced

IOM - News - Mar, 02/14/2017 - 10:17
Language English

Papua New Guinea - IOM, in partnership with the Government of Papua New Guinea, last week hosted a forum on land and property rights for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.

Present at the forum were stakeholders including the Government, donor representatives, development partners, civil society, churches and media, who discussed the establishment of a national IDP policy for Papua New Guinea.

Displacement in Papua New Guinea occurs as a result of natural and man-made disasters, and the impacts of climate change. According to the IOM Displacement Data, there are 75,449 IDPs in Papua New Guinea who were displaced as a result of volcanoes, cyclones, flooding and landslides.

Igor Cvetkovski from IOM’s Land Property and Reparation Department acknowledged the positive work underway in Papua New Guinea to address the plight of IDPs, noting that “Papua New Guinea has an opportunity to be a leader in this area and the solutions found could serve as a benchmark for other countries facing similar challenges to aspire to.”

According to a joint assessment between the Government of Papua New Guinea and IOM, some communities have found durable solutions such as in the case of Rabaul, East New Britain Province, where communities displaced by volcanic eruptions in 1994 were successfully relocated to Gazelle District. However, the majority of IDPs have fully integrated into their new communities, while others still face challenges finding adequate livelihoods, access to basic services and land which is the key to a better livelihood for most IDPs.

IOM Chief of Mission in Papua New Guinea, Lance Bonneau, emphasized the importance of working together to come up with progressive resolutions in addressing the issues affecting displacement in Papua New Guinea, stating that “Dialogue, partnership and shared commitment to find durable solutions for vulnerable groups is the key to addressing the issue.”

Participants who attended shared their opinions and experiences and drafted a set of recommendations for addressing both the immediate needs of IDPs and the eventual development of a government IDP Policy.

The Forum on Land and Property Rights Forum for Internally Displaced Persons was funded by AusAid.

For further information, please contact Wonesai Sithole at IOM Port Moresby; Tel: +675 3213655 Email: wsithole@iom.int or Pauline Mago-King, Communications Assistant, IOM Port Moresby, Tel: +675 321 3655, Email: pmagoking@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 17:13Image: Region-Country: AsiaPapua New GuineaThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Egypt Launches New Counter Migrant Smuggling Project

IOM - News - Mar, 02/14/2017 - 10:13
Language English

Egypt - The Government of Egypt last week (09/02) launched the project Preventing and Responding to Irregular Migration in Egypt (PRIME) supported by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office in cooperation with IOM. PRIME responds to the Government of Egypt’s priorities in implementing its National Strategy on Combating Illegal Migration for 2016-2026 to address irregular migration in a comprehensive manner.

The project will strengthen the implementation of Egypt’s new Illegal Migration and Anti-Smuggling Law which sets out to prosecute smugglers while protecting the rights of migrants. In parallel, the Government will receive support to develop inclusive and rights-based policies to manage irregular migration.

In order to provide real alternatives to irregular migration, PRIME will also provide livelihood opportunities to Egyptian nationals. This will be underlined by community outreach activities to inform of the risks of irregular migration and positive alternatives in Egypt especially in 11 Egyptian governorates with high emigration rates.  

The chairperson of the National Coordinating Committee on Preventing and Combating Illegal Migration and Trafficking in Persons (NCCPIM&TIP), Ambassador Naela Gabr said: “Egypt’s achievements in combatting illegal migration present a role model for other developing countries especially the African continent.”

Andrea Dabizzi, IOM Egypt’s Head of Migrant Assistance Division said, “The Egyptian Government has made important steps towards addressing irregular migration holistically. Apart from operationalizing the new ‘Anti-Smuggling and Illegal Migration Law’, it will be essential to give real livelihood opportunities to Egyptians to address the root causes of migration.”

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

Posted: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 - 17:06Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastEgyptThemes: Capacity BuildingDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM, Frontend Healthcare Access Concept for Displaced Wins Top Design Award

IOM - News - Ven, 02/10/2017 - 16:51
Language English

Switzerland – Irish UX design company Frontend.com and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) were this week (08/02) awarded the People’s Choice award at the IxDA Interaction Awards in New York. The winning concept is a standardized medication label concept, which conveys essential information graphically/visually and therefore avoids language barriers and helps people with literacy challenges and most importantly, on the move.

The international awards, part of the annual ‘IxDA Interaction’ conference, recognise design excellence and celebrate innovation in technology, business and service provisioning. The collaboration also was also honoured by the industry for connecting people and optimizing the service provision.

“The project focused on reimagining how IOM and other humanitarian agencies could provide healthcare to those in their care, particularly migrants and refugees on the move. The design team were cognisant of evolving challenges facing migrants and refugees and the agencies on the ground providing them with much needed assistance,” said IOM spokesperson Itayi Viriri. He added, “The concept tapped into recurring themes of increased information requirements and the potential of mobile technology as a means of connecting with those in need of medical help.”

The next big step and challenge is turning the concept into reality, Viriri added.

Frontend.com led the collaboration and involved design students from four Irish universities: Trinity College, IT Carlow, NCAD and the University of Limerick.

The win was a first at the IxDA Interaction Awards for a United Nations agency and beat out 296 other entries from almost 30 countries with projects focussing on a wide variety of spaces from healthcare, insurance, making government services accessible, social justice and community regeneration.  

Accepting the award in Gotham Hall on Broadway on Wednesday night, Frank Long, Director at Frontend.com recognized the overwhelming support not just for the outcomes from the project, but for the spirit of the project. “Through their votes people have shown their support and reaffirmed the belief that we need to provide basic healthcare to everybody.” 

“I think a part of the appeal of the project was the fact that it was an inclusive and open collaboration with many partner organisations involved seeking to make a real change to some of the world’s most vulnerable populations,” said Long.

“It has been amazing, as a design team, to see the human effect of this work and to have it recognized by our industry peers is particularly special and humbling. It is such an honour to represent Irish design on the world stage, and to be involved with an organisation who are trying to solve such worthwhile human problems,” said John Buckley, UX Designer at Frontend.com who lead the collaboration.

For more on the concept, please go to www.frontend.com/futurevision or watch this video: www.vimeo.com/frontendux/futurevision. 

For further information, please contact Itayi Viriri at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 22 717 9361, Email: iviriri@iom.int or John Buckley at Frontend.com, Tel:  +353 857067012, Email: john@frontend.com

Posted: Friday, February 10, 2017 - 17:23Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaSwitzerlandDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

UN Chiefs Call for International Solidarity to Address Migrant and Refugee Flows in Libya

IOM - News - Ven, 02/10/2017 - 16:45
Language English

Switzerland – The Director-General of the International Organization for Migration William Lacy Swing, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Libya Martin Kobler met today in Geneva to underscore the need for a comprehensive approach to address the situation of migrants and refugees in Libya as well as to assist the hundreds of thousands of Libyans displaced and impacted by the crisis.

Along with many Libyans, migrants and refugees are heavily impacted by ongoing conflicts and the breakdown in law and order in Libya. Untold numbers of migrants and refugees, particularly those smuggled or trafficked into Libya and those in detention, are subjected to grave human rights abuses and violations.

Migrants and refugees in detention are held outside of any legal process and in conditions which are generally inhuman. They are exposed to malnutrition, extortion, torture, sexual violence and other abuses.

The four Principals stress the need for close cooperation at the regional and international level, and the need to look at the drivers of migrant and refugee flows while simultaneously improving regular pathways. 

The four welcome in this respect initiatives aimed at enhancing the protection of the human rights of migrants and refugees, saving lives at sea and addressing the reasons why individuals are undertaking irregular and precarious migration. 

The Principals call for international solidarity to address this crisis, involving not only Libya but also countries of origin, transit and destination.

For further information please contact:

IOM: Leonard Doyle, Tel: + 41 79 285 71 23, Email: ldoyle@iom.int  

Office of SRSG: Jonathan Lorrillard, Tel: +21699497429, Email: lorrillard@un.org

UNHCR: William Spindler, Tel:+41 79 217 3011, Email: spindler@unhcr.org,

OHCHR: Liz Throssell, Tel: +41 22 917 9466, Email: ethrossell@ohchr.org

UNSMIL: Jean El-Alam (+21697408051 / alamj@un.org)

 

Posted: Friday, February 10, 2017 - 17:25Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaSwitzerlandDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Tanzania Launches Biometric Registration System for Migrants

IOM - News - Ven, 02/10/2017 - 10:32
Language English

United Republic of Tanzania - The Government of Tanzania through the Ministry of Home Affairs, Immigration Department, in close collaboration with IOM, has launched a biometric registration system for irregular migrants in the country’s Tanga region.

The electronic registration (e-registration) of irregular and settled migrants in Tanzania follows a successful pilot project in Kigoma region in which more than 22,800 migrants were registered and provided with a personalized laminated photo ID card, which allows them to remain in Tanzania for up to two years, while their immigration status is determined by the Tanzanian authorities.

Historically, Tanga is a region which has hosted foreign (seasonal) workers for decades, especially in the sisal plantations. It is estimated that more than 50,000 migrants originating from Kenya, Mozambique, Somalia and other neighbouring countries have since settled in the villages of Tanga. The region is also part of the long Indian Ocean coastline used by many migrants from the East and Horn of Africa as a transit site on their way to South Africa, Europe or the Middle East.

The project, which will see 52 biometric registration kits distributed to regional and district immigration offices across the country, is being implemented in accordance with the government’s Comprehensive Migration Strategy for Tanzania (COMMIST), which seeks to identify, register, verify and determine the migration status of settled migrants in the country.

This programme is part of a European Union (EU)-funded IOM project: Addressing the Needs of Stranded and Vulnerable Migrants.

Speaking at the launch, Tanga Regional Commissioner Martin Shigela told migrants: “Data collected through this e-registration will inform the government of who you are and what status you are entitled to. No need to hide, we’re not registering to repatriate you, I plead with you that you come forward to register, since registration is free of charge.”

IOM Tanzania Chief of Mission, Dr. Qasim Sufi said: “We’re grateful to the European Union for this financial support. Collection of quality data is a pre-requisite for strengthening government capacity to better manage irregular migration in Tanzania.”

He added, “This is of mutual interest to both the migrants and the government, as the outcome of the exercise will provide the government with a clear picture on who is in the country and for what reason. The ultimate goal is to provide timely and necessary administrative services, based on their status, as well as to support them in improving their means of livelihood while in the country.”

The project is a three-country project involving Tanzania, Yemen and Morocco. The overall objective is to contribute to developing human rights-based migration management approaches in addressing the needs of stranded and vulnerable migrants in targeted sending, transit and receiving countries.

For further information please contact IOM Tanzania. Charles Mkude, Tel: +255 784 396426, Email: cmkude@iom.int or Dr. Qasim Sufi, Tel: +255 682 563 796, Email: qsufi@iom.int

Posted: Friday, February 10, 2017 - 17:18Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastUnited Republic of TanzaniaDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 11,169; Deaths: 258. Global Deaths Top 400

IOM - News - Ven, 02/10/2017 - 10:31
Language English

Switzerland - IOM reports that 11,169 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 8 February – about 85 percent arriving in Italy and the rest in Greece. This compares with 76,395 during the first 39 days of 2016. 

IOM Rome registered 70 additional arrivals on Thursday that are not included in the total above. With some 9,400 arrivals in Italy since 1 January 2017, IOM Rome notes that this winter’s migration flow already has surpassed totals for the first two months of each of the past two years. 

In 2016, IOM recorded 9,101 arrivals in Italy during January and February, and 7,882 in 2015. IOM notes this year’s pace already out-strips either of the past two year’s two-month totals, this with nearly three weeks remaining in February.

 

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

2016

2015

January

5,273

3,528

February

3,828

4,354

Meanwhile IOM’s Missing Migrants Project reports an estimated 258 deaths at sea on various routes, compared with 416 during the first 39 days of 2016.  The few deaths recorded since IOM’s last report on Tuesday (7/2) included three children reported drowned off Libya, and an Ethiopian woman who died in the waters between Greece and Turkey. The 258 figure does not include the death of a 15-year-old boy from Ethiopia, who reportedly died in an Italian hospital days after he was rescued in the Channel of Sicily. IOM’s Rome spokesperson Flavio di Giacomo reported the youth died from drinking sea water. 

Through the year’s first 40 days, IOM’s Missing Migrants Project has recorded 419 deaths worldwide, an average of over 10 men, women and children per day.  This is half the rate recorded by the Missing Migrants Project for all of 2016 – when over 20 people died per day. But IOM researchers note data from several particularly deadly locations often arrive days, even weeks after cases are discovered.

One example this week is from the US-Mexico border, where IOM this week recorded the deaths of 15 migrants in one location: Pima County, Arizona. Combined with drowning deaths already recorded, that region has registered nearly one death per day since the start of the year.

Deaths of Migrants and Refugees: 1 Jan. - 8 Feb. 2016 vs 1 Jan. - 8 Feb. 2017

Region

2017

2016

Mediterranean

258

416

Europe

8

8

Middle East

10

26

North Africa

0

124

Horn of Africa

0

47

Sub-Saharan Africa

0

18

Southeast Asia

36

35

East Asia

0

0

US/Mexico

37

29

Central America

2

9

Caribbean

68

1

South America

0

10

Total

419

723

For the latest Mediterranean Update infographic: 
http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/170210_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
Mazen Aboulhosn at IOM Turkey, Tel: +9031245-51202, Email: maboulhosn@iom.int
IOM Libya: Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int or or Maysa Khalil, Tel: +216 29 600388, Email: mkhalil@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: Friday, February 10, 2017 - 17:20Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaSwitzerlandDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Japan Backs IOM Aid Operations in Drought-Stricken Somalia

IOM - News - Ven, 02/10/2017 - 10:30
Language English

Somalia - The Government of Japan has committed over USD 3.6 million to support IOM’s response to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Somalia. The funds will help IOM address urgent needs of vulnerable migrants, internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees and host communities throughout 2017 and into 2018.

The funds will help save the lives of those affected by climate-induced and man-made crises, increase human security and stability, and help counter and prevent violent extremism. They will also contribute to increasing the government’s capacity to cope with displacement due to natural disasters and conflicts. The number of IDPs in Somalia is projected to increase to three million by June 2017.

The funds will also be used to strengthen Somalia’s marine border management capacity to save the lives of trafficking victims and irregular migrants. Thousands of Somali migrants try to reach Europe and the Gulf States via irregular routes every year. Many of them are abused and exploited and an IOM Somalia project provided direct assistance to 97 victims of trafficking – most of them minors – in 2016.

“Japan’s contribution arrives at a critical time as Somalia faces deteriorating drought conditions and severe famine warnings. These funds will help IOM provide assistance to the most vulnerable communities affected by prolonged drought conditions,” said IOM Somalia Chief of Mission Gerard Waite.

The humanitarian situation in Somalia became increasingly fragile towards the end of 2016, especially in northern regions, where Puntland and Somaliland saw deteriorating drought conditions. The drought has now expanded to southern and central regions, including Gedo, Hiraan, Galgaduud and Lower Juba.

Last week, IOM warned that over six million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, with some areas in Somalia expected to experience famine within four months. Hunger is particularly acute among the 1.1 million people living in situations of protracted internal displacement.

Support will be primarily delivered in the form of integrated life-saving assistance through health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), food security and protection activities, technical assistance and training for government and regional authorities, and collection and dissemination of displacement data.

IOM will also continue to introduce innovative Japanese technologies and scale up public-private partnerships with Panasonic, Poly-Glu, and Tottori Resource Recycling Inc. as part of its response to the humanitarian crisis.

Since 2012, the Government of Japan has supported IOM’s humanitarian and recovery activities in Somalia, including the delivery of immediate live-saving relief, community stabilization and early recovery activities, as well as emergency return and reintegration assistance for migrants caught in crises.

For further information, please contact Chiaki Ito at IOM Somalia. Tel: +254 737 860 720, Email: cito@iom.int

Posted: Friday, February 10, 2017 - 17:19Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastSomaliaDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Convenes Community Stabilization Committees in Southern Libya

IOM - News - Ven, 02/10/2017 - 10:29
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Libya - IOM Libya's community stabilization programme, Together We Build, has convened Community Management Committees (CMC) in Sabha and Al Qatrun, southern Libya, to discuss the programme’s achievements and challenges in 2016, and to plan for 2017.

During the two two-day meetings (30-31/01 and 06-07/02), IOM and CMCs addressed challenges encountered in 2016 and the importance of engaging communities to prioritize and shape project activities.

The meeting included technical sessions emphasizing coordination mechanisms, as well as the roles and responsibilities of the various project stakeholders, in order to support the delivery of improved services, expanded opportunities and strengthened capacities to benefit the communities as a whole.

“Having more educational space for students through the provision of mobile classrooms was remarkable last year in Al Qatrun,” said Hawa’ Ali, a civil society activist who is a CMC representative from Al Qatrun, reflecting on activities that have been realized. “We are hoping to implement more similar activities this year,” he added.

An overall goal of the project is to achieve more stability and social cohesion in communities through prioritizing the main needs across municipalities.

“It is very important for us that all communities in Sabha work together with IOM in order to identify and prioritize their needs,” said IOM Libya’s Kamal Alsharif at the coordination meeting in Sabha. “We will work to maintain this spirit of collaboration throughout all phases of the project,” he added.

“Providing services to the community will help us bring all parties together and will bring more stability to the municipality,” said Mohammed Al-Magrahi, a community leader from Sabha.

The community stabilization programme, which is supported by the Ministry of Local Governance, aims to promote stability and development for internally displaced persons (IDPs), migrants and local host communities in Libya.

IOM Libya’s Community Stabilization programme is funded by Germany and the European Union’s Instrument Contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP).

For further information, please contact IOM Libya. Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int or Sandra Huang, Tel: +216 23 027056, Email: shuang@iom.int

Posted: Friday, February 10, 2017 - 17:17Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastLibyaDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Responds to Forest Fires Emergency in Chile

IOM - News - Ven, 02/10/2017 - 10:27
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Chile - IOM has deployed emergency staff in response to forest fires that have been affecting the central zone of Chile since mid-January, as part of the UN Evaluation and Disaster Coordination (UNDAC) team.

The most affected regions are Maule, Bío Bío, O’Higgins, Metropolitana, Araucanía and Valparaiso. As of 8 February, the fires had resulted in at least 11 deaths, affected 7,157 individuals, destroyed 1,644 houses and left about 600,000 hectares of land burnt.

In Maule, the most affected region, there are currently 441 people in four emergency shelters.

The UNDAC team, activated following a request from the government to the UN Country Team, has been working to assess the level of damage and needs in Maule and Bío Bío.

The team is currently preparing an assessment which will be delivered by the UN Resident Coordinator, Silvia Rucks, to Ricardo Toro, Director of the National Emergency Office of the Interior Ministry.

IOM Chile Emergency Specialist Jorge Sagastume said that the consequences of the disaster will have a significant impact on the environment, severely affecting the living conditions of the inhabitants. “Many families were still recovering from the earthquake of 2010 and now they have to face this new catastrophe,” he noted.

According to information provided by the National Forestry Corporation, of the 44 forest fires that had been active nationally, 38 are under control, 3 are still burning and 3 have been extinguished.

A state of emergency is still active in the provinces of Colchagua and Cardenal Caro, O’Higgins and in the regions of El Maule, Bío Bío and La Araucanía. 

For further information, please contact Fernando Thumm at IOM Chile. Tel. +56 02 9633710, Email: fthumm@iom.int

Posted: Friday, February 10, 2017 - 17:16Image: Region-Country: AmericaChileDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Director General Condemns the Killings of ICRC Staff in Afghanistan

IOM - News - Mer, 02/08/2017 - 19:12
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IOM’s Director General, William Lacy "Swing, today condemned the attack in Afghanistan that left six staff members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) dead and two unaccounted for.

“I unequivocally condemn the cowardly and murderous attack on our ICRC colleagues in Afghanistan, who were shot and killed while delivering humanitarian aid. It is an absolute and shocking tragedy that humanitarians should have their lives cruelly cut short, while they themselves are saving lives. With all of IOM staff, we stand beside our ICRC colleagues for whom we have such admiration.”

According to the ICRC, its team, which was composed of three drivers and five field officers, was on its way to deliver much-needed livestock materials in an area south of the town of Shibergan in Jawzan province and was attacked by unknown armed men.

“This is a despicable act. Nothing can justify the murder of our colleagues and dear friends,” said the head of the ICRC delegation in Afghanistan, Monica Zanarelli.  “At this point, it’s premature for us to determine the impact of this appalling incident on our operations in Afghanistan. We want to collect ourselves as a team and support each other in processing this incomprehensible act and finding our two unaccounted for colleagues," she continued.

The President of the ICRC, Peter Maurer, said in a statement: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms what appears to be a deliberate attack on our staff. This is a huge tragedy. We’re in shock.”

He added, “These staff members were simply doing their duty, selflessly trying to help and support the local community. Our thoughts are with the families and loved ones of our colleagues killed and those unaccounted for."

It is not yet clear who carried out the attack or why, the ICRC said.

Posted: Thursday, February 9, 2017 - 02:07Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaSwitzerlandDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Legal Migration, Rights, Protection for Vulnerable African Migrants Key to Implementation of 2015 Valletta Action Plan: IOM

IOM - News - Mar, 02/07/2017 - 10:54
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Malta - IOM will highlight the need for more legal channels, better migrant protection and the centrality of human rights in its contribution to discussions starting Wednesday (8/2) at the first intercontinental, high-level meeting to follow up on progress made since the Valletta Summit on Migration held in November 2015.

The Senior Officials Meeting in Malta will be an opportunity to reinforce cooperation and take stock of the implementation of commitments agreed at the 2015 Summit, where 66 African and European states, international and regional organizations contributed to the adoption of a joint political declaration and a roadmap known as the “Joint Valletta Action Plan” (JVAP). 

Eugenio Ambrosi, Regional Director of IOM’s EU office, who will be participating in the two-day meeting, said that the safety, dignity and human rights of all migrants, refugees and asylum seekers should underpin all actions being implemented under the 2015 Valletta declaration and its action plan. 

“Let us not forget the key global developments to which all Valletta partners have committed, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the New York Declaration of 2016 and the future Global Compacts on Migration and Refugees.  We appeal to our Valletta partners to re-invigorate a rights-based approach to migrants, with more attention given to sustainable reintegration, protection and humanitarian assistance for all people of concern throughout their migratory process, regardless of their status, particularly the most vulnerable,” said Ambrosi.   

Addressing the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement has been a key priority in the follow-up to Valletta, and IOM believes that more opportunities for legal migration and mobility must become a greater part of a comprehensive approach to managing migration between Africa and Europe, according to IOM.

“At the Valletta meeting we recognized that migration is not something that can be stopped, but we can reduce irregular movements and the risks that go with a reliance on dangerous routes and unscrupulous smugglers.  We need to reach a point where migrants are able to see legal options as a credible alternative to irregular migration,” Ambrosi added.

According to IOM, the main contribution of the Valletta declaration and the action plan has been to strengthen cooperation between Valletta partners on both sides of the Mediterranean. 

The commitments made by the EU and African partners in Valletta in 2015 were instrumental in the recognition that migration cannot be dealt with unilaterally or in isolation, but is a phenomenon that must be governed together with a firm commitment to the long-term horizon.

“Valletta highlighted our shared conviction that improving the governance of human mobility hinges on our combined ability to go beyond the immediate challenges to pursue a longer term and more comprehensive vision,” said Ambrosi.  

Senior officials from the African Union, the EU External Action Service, the European Parliament, the European Commission and its agencies, EU Member States and African states, ECOWAS, the ACP Secretariat, UN agencies, international organizations, and civil society are participating in the meetings.

Marking the occasion, IOM is releasing the second edition of its yearly report on cooperation with the EU.  The new report looks at the IOM-EU partnership from 2015-2016 through the lens of joint efforts in implementing the Valletta agreement, and IOM’s work funded by the EU Trust Fund for Africa.

IOM-EU Cooperation on Migration and Mobility: Addressing the Valletta Summit Priorities Together examines how IOM and the EU are working together across the five priority domains agreed at the Valletta Summit in 2015: development benefits of migration and addressing root causes; legal migration and mobility, protection and asylum; prevention of and fight against irregular migration, migrant smuggling and trafficking in human beings; and return, readmission and reintegration.

Download the IOM-EU Cooperation on Migration and Mobility report here

For further information please contact Ryan Schroeder at IOM’s European Regional Office in Brussels, Tel: +32 (0)2 287 7116, Email: rschroeder@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, February 7, 2017 - 17:50Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaMaltaDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 11,010; Deaths: 255

IOM - News - Mar, 02/07/2017 - 10:54
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Switzerland - IOM reports that 11,010 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017 through 5 February – about 85 percent arriving in Italy and the rest in Greece. This compares with 74,808 during the first 36 days of 2016. IOM has registered 4,879 more arrivals since its last report (3/2), of whom 1,596 were rescued at sea during the weekend in 15 different operations.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project reports an estimated 255 deaths at sea on various routes, compared with 380 during the first 37 days of 2016.  The lone death recorded since IOM’s last report on Friday (3/2) was that of an Ethiopian woman recorded off Greece over the weekend. The latest figures do not include several deaths reported off Libya on Saturday (4/2). (See below.)

IOM Athens reports that 1,651 migrants or refugees have arrived by sea in Greece so far this year – less than 2.5 percent of arrivals in Greece by this time last year. On Friday (3/2), IOM reported the arrival of 142 migrants to the islands of Lesvos, Samos and Kalymnos. This was one of the few times this year that over a hundred arrivals have been recorded in a single day.

On Sunday, IOM Turkey reported that the Turkish Coast Guard, which recovered the remains of the Ethiopian woman, also rescued 45 people, including 21 Syrians, 18 Afghans, two Cameroon nationals, one Ethiopian, one Eritrean, one Bangladeshi and one Congolese national.

IOM Libya reported that on Friday and Saturday (03 and 04/02), four rescue-at-sea operations were conducted, resulting in the rescue of 592 migrants off western Libya.

On Friday, 300 migrants (265 men, 30 women and five children—including one new-born) were rescued off Az Zawiyah. The survivors were from Sierra Leone, Gambia and Nigeria.

On Saturday, 113 migrants were rescued off Tripoli, including 98 men, 10 women and five children from several African countries. The migrants came from Ghana (22 men), Nigeria (18 men, 7 women, at least one of them pregnant), Senegal (19 men), Cote d’Ivoire (14 men), Sierra Leone (nine men, one woman), Benin (one family of three men, one woman and four children), the Gambia (nine men), Liberia (two men), Niger (one man), Burkina Faso (one man) and Mali (one new born child and one woman). The migrants were taken to the Triq Al Shook detention centre.

Also on Saturday, 118 migrants – 37 women, of whom one was pregnant, three children (one-month, two years and three years) and 78 men from Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan and Cote d’Ivoire were rescued off Zuwara. IOM is coordinating medical assistance with the Libyan Red Crescent and an NGO medical partner – STACO.

Also on Saturday, 61 migrants were rescued off Az Zawiyah. The rescued included 26 men from Bangladesh, 26 men of different African nationalities (most from the Gambia), seven women from different African countries, two of whom are pregnant, and two children. One of the pregnant women was taken to Az Zawiyah Central Hospital.

Witnesses said their rubber boat started its journey to Italy in Subratah, but apparently left without a compass, GPS or satellite phone. After about six hours, the boat started to take on water and began to sink. Survivors say they spotted a helicopter. But despite people waving and screaming for help, it disappeared. People then started falling into the water.

“I saw three children, aged 3-5 years old, sinking and I wasn't able to rescue them because they sank and disappeared too fast,” explained a 30-year-old man from Nigeria. He said that only people wearing life vests survived. He did not know how many lost their lives at sea.

IOM has visited Triq Al Shook and is in the process of distributing non-food items and hygiene kits, including blankets and clothes, and is coordinating with partners to assist with medical support. IOM’s protection team has also visited the detention centre and is in the process of conducting vulnerability tests to assess the needs of the most vulnerable migrants.

So far in 2017, 1,401 migrants have been rescued off the Libyan coast and 42 bodies have been retrieved in Subratah, Zuwara, Tripoli and Tajoura.

Deaths of Migrants and Refugees: 1 Jan - 6 Feb 2016/2017

Region

2017

2016

Mediterranean

255

380

Europe

7

6

Middle East

2

24

North Africa

0

53

Horn of Africa

0

45

Sub-Saharan Africa

0

18

Southeast Asia

36

35

East Asia

0

0

US/Mexico

22

17

Central America

1

8

Caribbean

68

1

South America

0

9

Total

391

596

For the latest Mediterranean update infographic: http://migration.iom.int/docs/MMP/170207_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 
Mazen Aboulhosn at IOM Turkey, Tel: +9031245-51202, Email: maboulhosn@iom.int
IOM Libya: Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int or Maysa Khalil, Tel: +216 29 600388, Email: mkhalil@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, February 7, 2017 - 17:49Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaSwitzerlandDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Responds as Bitter Cold Adds to Misery in Conflict-affected Eastern Ukraine

IOM - News - Mar, 02/07/2017 - 10:54
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Ukraine - IOM teams in Eastern Ukraine are responding with urgent aid as bitterly cold winter conditions add to the misery of hundreds of thousands of people affected by the sharp escalation of conflict in recent days.

Hostilities spiked at the end of January in and around the cities of Donetsk, Horlivka and Yasynuvata on the non-government controlled side and the cities of Mariupol, Avdiivka and Verkhnyotoretske and other smaller settlements in the areas under government control.

Apart from imperiling civilians, the fighting has impacted infrastructure – including the coking plant in Avdiivka (crucial to the region’s steel output) and one of the water filtration stations that serve Donetsk. Displacement is taking place on both sides, with hundreds of thousands of civilians at risk of losing all access to water, heat and electricity as temperatures plummet towards -20° Celsius.

IOM, with funding from the EU, US and Norway, and with the help of implementing partners on the ground, has been able to continue to provide humanitarian assistance, despite the renewed heavy fighting. It has also arranged additional aid distributions to help people during the freezing weather conditions.

In government-controlled areas, IOM distributed hygiene supplies to 100 vulnerable families in Verkhnyotoretske as part of an ECHO-funded programme. They included elderly people, people with disabilities, single parents and families with extremely low incomes.

IOM also distributed hygiene kits and bulk hygiene supplies to 1,335 displaced people and other vulnerable individuals in centres in Donetsk (including the airport area), Horlivka and Yasynuvata.

“The needs in the areas affected by the intensified clashes were further increased by new displacements,” explained IOM Ukraine Chief of Mission Manfred Profazi. “There is still a huge need for hygiene items to ensure dignified living conditions and prevent outbreaks of disease.”

These actions are part of IOM’s wider response plan, which includes the rehabilitation of water and sanitation facilities in collective centres to cater for the increased caseload; the distribution of coal to vulnerable households affected by the recent shelling; and the procurement of generators, wood heaters and other equipment for medical and social institutions to enable them to withstand the low temperatures in the event of protracted electricity cuts.

According to the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, almost 10,000 people — including members of Ukraine’s armed forces and armed groups, as well as civilians, have been killed and more than 23,000 injured since the start of the conflict almost three years ago. Over 2,000 of these casualties were civilians.

Stephen O’Brien, Under Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, said the latest escalation of violence was exacerbating the ongoing needs of some 3.8 million civilians who continue to bear the brunt of the protracted conflict. More than 70 percent of people in need are women, children and the elderly.

For further information, please contact Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine. Tel. +38 044 568 50 15 or 067 447 97 92 Email: vzhluktenko@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, February 7, 2017 - 17:48Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaUkraineDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Aids Displaced Families in Remote Libyan Village

IOM - News - Mar, 02/07/2017 - 10:54
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Libya - On 2 February, IOM delivered non-food aid to 300 displaced families in Awal, a remote village in Libya’s western mountain range, close to the Algerian and Tunisian borders.

The distribution followed an assessment of the community’s needs and included blankets, pillows, mattresses and hygiene kits. It was implemented in close cooperation with a local partner agency – the Al Salem Bani Walid Association.

Approximately 2,300 people from Libya’s Tuareg region fled to Awal when the civil war erupted in 2011. Today, Awal consists of 220 houses that have been completed and are habitable, while another 150 houses need further renovation.

“Life is hard here and we have gone through a lot. We built the village ourselves,” said one of the beneficiaries. Due to Awal’s remoteness, timely medical assistance rarely reaches the residents and the community suffers from a chronic lack of economic opportunities and jobs, he added.

“This aid was badly needed by these families. Conditions here are tough, they don’t have jobs and they can’t afford to pay for these items,” explained IOM Libya’s Abdulrahmen Saleh, who took part in the distribution.

According to IOM Libya’s Displacement Tracking Matrix, there are an estimated 313,236 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Libya, most of whom have been displaced from areas in the north-east and north-west of the country, particularly in Sirte and some parts of Benghazi.

In partnership with the Al Salem Bani Walid Association, IOM is also supporting people displaced from other conflict-affected areas, such as Ubari and Sirte, through the provision of core relief items and hygiene kits.  The operations are funded by the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).

For further information, please contact IOM Libya. Othman Belbeisi, Tel: +216 29 600389, Email: obelbeisi@iom.int or Maysa Khalil, Tel: +216 29 600388, Email: mkhalil@iom.int

Posted: Tuesday, February 7, 2017 - 17:47Image: Region-Country: Africa and Middle EastLibyaDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Turkey Hackathon Develops Solutions for Refugee Challenges

IOM - News - Mar, 02/07/2017 - 10:54
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Turkey - From 3-5 February, 36 refugee and Turkish computer programmers and graphic designers participated in Turkey’s first ever coding marathon (Hackathon) to focus on easing the challenges faced by Syrian refugees in the country.

The event was organized by IOM and InnoCampus, a non-profit project providing innovation and entrepreneurship experiences. IOM mentors provided guidance to Turkish and Syrian participants about refugee-related problems in Turkey.

The teams participating in the Hackathon pinpointed four areas for potential innovation: a social media app to help doctors and patients overcome language barriers; a touch-screen, self-service kiosk providing information about basic services available for Syrians living in Turkey; a social media app for refugees to self-identify their needs and find possible solutions to their problems; and a scanner that provides oral instructions to assist people in accurately and quickly sending documents required for obtaining humanitarian assistance.

These ideas will be further developed at the Entrepreneurship Accelerator Training Program, which will take place from 17 February – 10 May 2017 at the InnoCampus in Gaziantep.

With over 3.1 million people seeking international protection within its borders, Turkey hosts the largest refugee population in the world. The vast majority lives outside of refugee camps, inside the host community.

Challenges facing the refugee population include a language barrier between Turkish host communities and Arabic-speaking refugees; lack of access to basic services, including education, health care or legal advice due to distance or lack of knowledge; and insufficient resources due to the prolonged conflict.

“The Hackathon encouraged innovation and social inclusion, as host country nationals and refugees themselves came together to find sustainable solutions to very real problems they face,” said Lado Gvilava, IOM Turkey Chief of Mission.

“Nowadays, when you have a question about something, you go on social media. It’s all about social media. People don’t want to look at government websites. Now, people teach each other,” said Basel, a Syrian participant.

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

Posted: Tuesday, February 7, 2017 - 17:46Image: Region-Country: Europe and Central AsiaTurkeyDefault: 
Categorie: Press Room IOM