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Strengthening Venezuelans’ Labour Integration in the Private Sector in Chile

IOM - News - Mar, 02/19/2019 - 10:34

Santiago – Natura, a Brazilian company considered one of Latin America’s leading cosmetics manufacturers, is known throughout the region for its commitment to sustainability and diversity. 

Through its subsidiary in Chile, it’s now known as well for its efforts to support the labour integration of migrants and refugees in that country. 

As part of this engagement, International Organization for Migration delivered on Valentine’s Day (14/02) a training workshop to enhance resilience of migrant workers. The training was carried out for 12 Venezuelans, who currently comprise the largest group of foreign-born employees among Natura workers in Natura’s Chilean unit. 

This activity was developed thanks to IOM's work with UN Women Chile and its Win-Win program to promote integration, quality of life and generate an inclusive environment. 

"We thank the Chileans who receive, welcome and help Venezuelans to position themselves in the labour market, since the main challenge we have is how we adapt to a different culture, contributing with the experience and knowledge that we bring from our country," said María Erminia Mirena, a Venezuelan who has worked for the Natura team for the last three months. 

Chile’s Ministry of the Interior and the National Institute of Statistics of Chile recently revealed that, as of 31 December 2018, 1,251,225 foreigners reside in the country, representing 6.6 per cent of the total population. Of that total, Venezuelans predominate (23 per cent), for the first time in Chile’s history surpassing even the number of migrants from neighbouring Perú (17.9 per cent).  

Natura, present in Chile with more than 230 workers, has operations in the largest countries in Latin America, including Argentina, Perú, Colombia and México, creating job opportunities for more than 6,800 people. Within this context, it seeks to promote flexible work and cultural environments that allow the expression of all types of diversity. 

"The initiative that we are jointly promoting with Natura in Chile is innovative as the workforce includes professionals from Venezuela, Colombia, Argentina, Cuba, Bolivia, France, among other countries. This activity is a good practice that can be replicated to the rest of the countries in our region,” explained IOM Chile Chief of Mission, Norberto Girón. 

Natura Chile's Human Resources Manager, Maria Sol de Cabo, said: "It is very important for us to partner with an international organization such as IOM. We firmly believe that to meet society's needs and achieve changes in it, it is essential to generate partnerships to carry out robust projects to support the migrant population and give them the best tools with experts and references.” 

For more information, please contact: José Estay at IOM Chile, Tel. + (56) 2 2963 3711, Email: jestay@iom.int or Carolina Fuentes at IOM Chile, Tel. + (56) 2 2963 3738, Email: cfuentes@iom.int


Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 17:30Image: Region-Country: VenezuelaThemes: Labour MigrationDefault: Multimedia: 

Venezuelans are currently the largest group of foreigner workers in the cosmetics manufacturer Natura in Chile. Photo: Natura

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

International Remittances Headline ACP-EU-IOM Discussions in Ghana

IOM - News - Mar, 02/19/2019 - 10:25

Accra – In Sub-Saharan Africa, the flow of remittances is on the rise, but the cost to transfer these funds is far higher than the global average, making the region the most expensive place in the world to send money. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and partners focused on improving the use of migrant remittances, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa at a three-day regional thematic meeting starting today (19/02) in Accra, Ghana. 

International remittances have been taking on increasing weight in the global policy agenda in recent years according to Jeffrey Labovitz, IOM Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa, who is speaking at the event.  

“This in part reflects the growing understanding that improving and harnessing the flow of remittances can have a substantial impact on development,” he said. 

Remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa grew from USD 34 billion in 2016 to USD 38 billion in 2017, an increase of over 11 per cent. Despite this increase – a trend which is expected to continue through 2019 – Sub-Saharan Africa remains the most expensive place in the world to send money with an average cost of 9.4 per cent of the transfer amount, a figure that was 29 per cent above the world average in 2017. This is far short of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) target 10.C.3 to reduce the transaction costs of migrant remittances to less than 3 per cent by 2030.   

“Almost 75 per cent of remittances are spent on consumption which greatly benefit the receiving households and communities,” said Claudia Natali, Regional Specialist on Labour Mobility and Development at the IOM Regional Office for West and Central Africa.  

“But more could be done to maximize the remaining 25 per cent. Fostering financial inclusion and promoting initiatives that help people manage the funds can go a long way to harness development impacts of remittances,” she added.  

The meeting, which runs through Thursday (21/02), is providing a platform for communication, exchange and learning for 80 participants involved in IOM’s “ACP-EU Migration Action", including migration experts and representatives from African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) governments, regional organizations, the European Union (EU), UN agencies and NGOs working in remittances and diaspora mobilization.  

Given that remittances are at the heart of the joint ACP Group of States and European Union Dialogue’s recommendations on migration, discussions also aim to generate thematic recommendations for the Sub-Saharan region and establish links between the outcomes of the ACP-EU Migration Action programme, and processes relevant to the ACP-EU Dialogue on Migration and Development at the regional and global levels.  

The meeting is organized by IOM’s country office for Ghana and the IOM Regional Office in Brussels in partnership with the African Institute for Remittances (AIR) and Making Finance Work for Africa Partnership (MFW4A).   

IOM’s ACP-EU Migration Action, launched in June 2014, provides tailored technical support on migration to ACP countries and regional organizations. To date it has received 74 technical assistance requests from 67 ACP governments and 7 regional organizations, a third of which directly concern remittances.   

The programme is financed by the 10th European Development Fund (EDF) and supported by the ACP Secretariat and the EU. For more information on the ACP-EU Migration Action, go to: www.acpeumigrationaction.iom.int.    

The goal of SDG target 10.C is to, by 2030, reduce to less than 3 per cent the transaction costs of migrant remittances and eliminate remittance corridors with costs higher than 5 per cent. By achieving target 10.C and directly benefitting remittance recipients, it could help to reach SDG targets 3 and 4 related to education, health care and development, among others.   

Remittances can help to increase household incomes. Facilitating cheaper remittances could therefore help to meet poverty eradication targets defined under SDG target 1. Improving remittance flows can also lead to higher household savings and investments, which would help to reach SDG target 1.5 and others. Meeting SDG target 10.C could also encourage investment in specialized initiatives and activities that boost local, national regional development.  However, IOM notes that remittances are private monetary transfers, and senders and recipients are free to decide on their use.

For further information, please contact ACP-EU Migration Action at the IOM Regional Office in Brussels, Tel: +32 2 287 78 10, Email: RCACPEUAction@iom.int, or Benedetta Mangialardo at IOM Ghana in Accra, Tel: + 233 302 742 930 (Ext. 2414), Email: bmangialardo@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 17:22Image: Region-Country: GhanaThemes: Migration PolicyMigration and DevelopmentDefault: Multimedia: 

Remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa grew from USD 34 billion in 2016 to USD 38 billion in 2017, an increase of over 11 per cent. Photo: IOM

Remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa grew from USD 34 billion in 2016 to USD 38 billion in 2017, an increase of over 11 per cent. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Emphasising Migrant Health at WHO Istanbul Gathering

IOM - News - Mar, 02/19/2019 - 10:19

Istanbul – IOM’s Vienna Regional Office put migration health at the forefront during a three-day high-level technical meeting and ministerial consultation of the World Health Organization European Region in Istanbul last week.  

Ministers from 53 countries shared the platform with technical experts as they discussed a global plan to improve public health preparedness and response for all health hazards. The initiative requires high-level political and financial commitment to address the full cycle of emergency management. 

Dr Jaime Calderon, IOM’s Senior Health Advisor for South-eastern Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia spoke on a high-level panel about the need for migrant health to be included in the global initiative.  

“Health is integrated in the overall humanitarian response of IOM, particularly in natural disasters where IOM is a Camp Coordination and Management cluster lead,” Dr Calderon told the audience of ministers and experts.  

He pointed to Libya, where IOM provides life-saving health care services to more than 15,000 migrants living in and outside of detention centres, as well as countries in Jordan, Syria and across the Middle East. In South Sudan, IOM established and supports delivery of mental health and psychosocial support services for displaced people, he added, also citing examples in Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria.   

In the Europe region, said Dr Calderon, IOM works with the health cluster supporting WHO, governments and other key actors in addressing health needs of migrants since the start of the European migration crisis.  IOM is present in Ukraine, in the Western Balkans, Turkey and countries in Western Europe supporting delivery of health services, including mental health services to migrants and refugees. 

“We provide comprehensive migrant health care and prevention services during the crisis and throughout the movement process – at the pre-departure stage, during travel and transit and upon return based on existing health systems and evidence-based needs assessment,” he concluded. 

Dr Dorit Nitzan, Coordinator for Health Emergencies, WHO Regional Office for Europe was encouraged by the progress made around the issue. “It is clear that the International Health Regulations (2005) are more relevant than ever, and it is encouraging to see that countries are prioritizing and building their national capacities to prevent, detect and respond to all types of health threats.” 

For more information, please contact Joe Lowry at IOM’s Regional Office in Vienna, Tel: +436603776404, Email: jlowry@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 17:13Image: Region-Country: TurkeyThemes: Capacity BuildingMigration HealthDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Livestock Farming in Burkina Faso: A Reintegration Opportunity for 99 Returning Migrants

IOM - News - Mar, 02/19/2019 - 10:13

Ouagadougou – Livestock equals wealth. It’s the timeless equation of existence in rural Africa, as true today as it was thousands of years ago, when families began their long journey across the planet, always looking for better lands to thrive in.   

Thus, livestock also signifies something deeper: community, culture, a commitment to traditional values and family values – all crucial tools in restoring vulnerable migrants to lives of purpose and dignity after they return to their homes, especially from a failed migration that may leave the returnee hopelessly in debt. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with the Government of Burkina Faso, and with funding from the European Union, is supporting the establishment of livestock farmer groups in Burkina Faso. 

In Centre-East and Centre-South of Burkina Faso, the two main regions of origin for migrants leaving this country, IOM has provided about 500 sheep, rams, oxen and donkeys to 99 Burkinabè who returned from Libya and Algeria in 2018 to ensure their socio-economic reintegration in the country. 

To support their sustainable reintegration, the returnees received – in addition to this in-kind assistance – training in business management, cooperative operation and livestock farming techniques. The training sessions, provided throughout the year by the technical partners of the National Employment Agency (ANPE) and the Regional Directorates of Animal and Fisheries Resources, have enabled them to acquire the necessary skills to ensure the sustainability of their activities. 

“The training enabled me to learn the techniques of cattle fattening. Visiting the farms not only allowed us to put in practice farming techniques, but also to see that fattening, if conducted according to the techniques, is efficient,” says Iryassa, from the Centre-South Region.  

“Farmers gave us useful tips,” he added. “Now we can work in our country and, thank God, we will succeed. It is better to have 500,000 CFA in your country than millions abroad.” 

Osseni, another Burkinabé migrant who returned in September 2017, received reintegration assistance. He is from the Central-East Region of the country and had sold everything to go to Libya. 

“I started up my livestock farming activities with the support of IOM, which bought me oxen and equipment. I like livestock farming because I achieve success and it has helped me to build my house. My parents are very happy to see me back home alive,” he explained. 

In 2018, 1249 Burkinabé migrants received reintegration assistance under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration. Funded by the European Union, this project aims to contribute to the strengthening of migration governance, protection, assisted voluntary return and sustainable reintegration of returning migrants. 

For more information, please contact Andreas De Boer, at IOM Burkina Faso, Tel: +226 74 93 81 28; Email: adeboer@iom.int 


Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 17:06Image: Region-Country: Burkina FasoThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationCapacity BuildingDefault: Multimedia: 

The random drawing for the distribution of cattle. Returned migrants had to pick a slip of paper from a bag to find out what cattle they would win. Photo: IOM/Alexander Bee

The random drawing for the distribution of cattle. Returned migrants had to pick a slip of paper from a bag to find out what cattle they would win. Photo: IOM/Alexander Bee

The random drawing for the distribution of cattle. Returned migrants had to pick a slip of paper from a bag to find out what cattle they would win. Photo: IOM/Alexander Bee

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 8,058 in 2019; Deaths Reach 217

IOM - News - Mar, 02/19/2019 - 10:06

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 8,058 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first 58 days of 2019, about a 10 per cent decrease from the 8,807 arriving during the same period last year.  

Deaths on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through over eight weeks of the year are at 217 individuals, compared with 432 deaths during the same period in 2018. 

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, click here. Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project.  

See contacts here.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, February 19, 2019 - 16:58Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Humanitarian EmergenciesMissing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

United Nations Seeks USD 920 Million for Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis in 2019

IOM - News - Ven, 02/15/2019 - 10:45

Geneva – United Nations aid agencies and NGO partners launched today (15/02) the 2019 Joint Response Plan (JRP) for the Rohingya humanitarian crisis. The appeal seeks to raise USD 920 million to meet the massive needs of more than 900,000 refugees from Myanmar and over 330,000 vulnerable Bangladeshis in host communities.

Critical aid and services such as food, water, sanitation and shelter represent more than half of the funding needs this year. Other key sectors of the appeal include health, site management, protection activities including child protection and addressing sexual and gender-based violence, education and nutrition.

More than 745,000 Rohingya refugees have fled from Myanmar’s Rakhine State to Bangladesh since August 2017, escaping violence in Myanmar and joining roughly 200,000 others already displaced in the Cox’s Bazar area by previous cycles of violence.

With the generosity and support of the Bangladeshi authorities and local communities, who were the first to respond to the emergency, critical needs were met, and many lives were saved.

“The solidarity shown by the Government of Bangladesh and the commitment of humanitarian partners ensured the successful implementation of the first Joint Response Plan in 2018,” said International Organization for Migration Director General António Vitorino.

“We are encouraged by the reaction that today we found here from the international community. We’re just seeing the start, but it has been definitely a good start and we hope that the needs for funding will be met during the year.” 

“Our humanitarian imperative today is to stabilise the situation of stateless Rohingya refugees and their Bangladesh hosts. We are hoping for timely, predictable and flexible contributions in order to meet the goals of this year’s appeal,” said the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. “But while we tackle these immediate humanitarian needs, we must not lose sight of solutions. I repeat my call to Myanmar to take urgent action to address the root causes of this crisis which have persisted for decades, so that people are no longer forced to flee and can eventually return home in safety and dignity. We encourage countries in this region and beyond to show solidarity with Bangladesh and to support Myanmar to start creating conditions for voluntary, safe and dignified return of Rohingya,” Grandi continued.

The new JRP sets out a comprehensive humanitarian effort shaped around three strategic objectives. By bringing together 132 partners – UN agencies, international and national NGOs and government bodies in a collective effort – the Plan aims to deliver protection to refugee women, men, girls and boys, provide life-saving assistance and foster social cohesion.

The 2019 JRP is the second such appeal and builds on humanitarian achievements made thus far in order to further stabilize the situation of Rohingya refugees.

Over the past 12 months aid agencies have worked to improve the conditions across refugee settlements through the support provided under the 2018 JRP – providing basic assistance, upgrading living conditions in the camps and putting in place disaster risk mitigation measures for monsoon and cyclone seasons.

The environmental impact of the influx has been reduced, through efforts such as reducing the demand for firewood through the provision of liquid petroleum gas (LPG) as an alternative cooking and heating fuel.

The prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition, at emergency levels in late 2017, has now dropped below the emergency threshold (from 19 per cent to 12 per cent), food security has improved, immunization coverage has grown to 89 per cent, and women delivering their babies in health facilities has risen from 22 per cent to 40 per cent.

Despite these and other achievements, the Rohingya remain in an extremely precarious situation, highlighting the importance of sustained support.  Until root causes of displacement in Myanmar are addressed and refugees are able to voluntarily return in safety and dignity, support must be provided to the Bangladeshi authorities to meet the needs of refugees and the host communities.

For example, the entire refugee population received basic emergency shelter kits to help them cope with the rainy season in 2018, but safer and more robust shelters are now required. Around 860,000 refugees regularly receive food assistance, yet only 240,000 are able to diversify their diet beyond the minimum package of rice, lentils and oil. These resources must be expanded to ensure their nutrition and health. Similarly, continued investments into safe water and sanitation, health and protection services are vital.

“The biggest challenge is not only addressing the basic needs of the Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, but it is also to at same time address the impacts of the presence of the Rohingya displaced people in the host communities in Bangladesh,” said IOM Director General Vitorino. “The two things go together.”

For more information, please contact:

For IOM:
Leonard Doyle, IOM Geneva. Tel: + 41 79 285 7123, Email: ldoyle@iom.int or
Joel Millman, IOM Geneva. Tel:  +41 79 103 8720. Email: jmillman@iom.int

Andrej Mahecic, mahecic@unhcr.org, +41 22 739 8347 (desk), +41 79 642 9709 (mobile)

Language English Posted: Friday, February 15, 2019 - 17:43Image: Region-Country: BangladeshSwitzerlandThemes: Rohingya CrisisDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM distributes shelter materials to Rohingya refugees in Kutupalong settlement, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: IOM/Olivia Headon 

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Containing the Ebola Outbreak at the Crossroads of the Democratic Republic of the Congo

IOM - News - Ven, 02/15/2019 - 10:43

Kinshasa – The tenth Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has taken the lives of more than 500 people and resulted in more than 760 confirmed cases since it was declared more than six months ago. The current outbreak is the second largest in history, developing in the east of the country where long-standing insecurity, armed conflicts and instability challenge the humanitarian and public health response.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is calling on the international community to support its USD 12 million appeal to assist government and humanitarian partners to contain the disease before it claims more lives and spreads across borders.

Since the start of the deadly outbreak, the Organization has supported the government to screen more than 32 million travellers and to operate 80 screening points in areas of high population mobility, such as markets, parking areas and along major key transport routes.

In partnership with the Congolese Ministry of Health, particularly the National Programme of Hygiene at Borders (PNHF), and the World Health Organization (WHO), IOM implements surveillance and prevention activities, utilizing mobility trends to minimize disease transmission to new areas and across borders. IOM also trains frontline workers to detect illness among travellers, provides essential equipment and supplies to screening points and strengthens the capacity of PNHF to oversee screening activities.

Currently, the outbreak is just a day’s drive from Goma, the capital of North Kivu inhabited by over one million people, as well as neighbouring countries: Rwanda, Uganda and South Sudan. In areas with such high mobility, screening sites can be the last bastion.

Located throughout North Kivu and Ituri, as well as in other provinces not affected by the disease, screening points are important to prevent the spread of the disease and to strengthen the capacity of other provinces to detect and respond to cases. The Organization has deployed around 800 workers to support these efforts significantly minimizing disease transmission both inside and outside the country. 

“Fighting Ebola is a race against the clock. It is a battle that we cannot lose,” said Fabien Sambussy, Head of IOM Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

At the screening points, travellers go through a process that includes observation for symptoms of illness, temperature checking, hand-washing and a review of Ebola risk factors, such as traveling to an Ebola-affected zone or attending a funeral for someone who died of Ebola.

As travellers are screened, they receive key messages about the risks of Ebola, how to prevent it, and what to do if travelling while sick. Additionally, at seven priority screening points, IOM assists in finding people who have been in contact with affected cases and might have contracted the disease.

“We are very happy about the work they (IOM) are doing for us towards fighting the Ebola disease. They have set up hand-washing facilities. They have sensitized us on how to protect ourselves from contracting Ebola. They tell us not to eat meat from dead animals in the forest. They tell us not to touch any sick person without protective equipment used by doctors,” said Kabyaura Koleki, a fish trader from Tchomia, Ituri.

With funding exhausted in January 2019, IOM’s critical activities are now at risk. The third Ebola Strategic Response Plan (SRP 3), officially launched by Dr Oly Ilunga Kalenga, Minister of Public Health, on 13 February 2019, presents a strengthened plan to contain the disease within the next six months. IOM remains committed to supporting the government in its efforts to save lives and end the epidemic.

For more information, please contact Charlotte Lepri at IOM DRC, E-mail: clepri@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 15, 2019 - 17:41Image: Region-Country: Democratic Republic of the CongoThemes: Migration HealthDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

EU, IOM Support Belarus-Ukraine Border Demarcation and Security

IOM - News - Ven, 02/15/2019 - 10:41

Minsk/Kyiv – Belarus and Ukraine’s common border, which includes the marshes and forests of the zone contaminated by the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, is set to be fully demarcated and improved thanks to a new initiative between IOM and the European Union.

The EUR 6.7 million project announced in Minsk this week will support the border demarcation process, improving infrastructure at the crossing points and strengthen bilateral cooperation and coordination between the two countries.

The demarcation of the 1,084 km border has been pending for over 20 years, since Minsk and Kyiv signed a State Border Treaty back in 1997. Until now, 784 kilometres have been marked with temporary border signs, while about one-third of the boundary still lacks any physical signs.

The Delegation of the European Union to Belarus, assisted by IOM experts, will procure a wide range of assets needed for demarcation works at the Belarus-Ukraine border to be carried out including vehicles, radiation detection and construction equipment, border signs and buoys, other relevant tools and machinery.

“Border demarcation might seem to be a purely technical process, implementing the agreements that were already reached at the political and legislative level; however, the absence of a clearly demarcated border contributes to the vulnerability of the Belarus-Ukraine border, and, in a way, the eastern border of the EU at large,” said Outa Hermalahti, Project Manager at the EU Delegation to Belarus. “It creates the preconditions for trans-border crime, such as drugs, weapons, and migrant smuggling.”

In addition to the border demarcation support, a new X-ray station will be installed at the Novaya Huta border crossing point to mitigate the risks of illegal cross-border movements. Novaya Huta in Belarus, and Novi Yarylovychi in Ukraine, are the busiest adjacent border crossing points in the region, and a part of the Helsinki–Alexandroupolis Pan-European Transport Corridor.

The information obtained by the Belarusian customs authorities via the new X-ray complex will be shared with their Ukrainian colleagues using the existing electronic system of pre-arrival information exchange (PRINEX), launched under a previous EU/IOM project.

The EU and IOM will also facilitate the development of a specialised mobile application, allowing travellers to follow the situation at the border, and get information on crossing procedures.

For more information please contact:
Olga Borzenkova at IOM Belarus, Tel: +375 17 288 27 42, E-mail: oborzenkova@iom.int
Varvara Zhluktenko at IOM Ukraine, Tel: +38 044 568 50 15, E-mail: vzhluktenko@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 15, 2019 - 17:39Image: Region-Country: UkraineThemes: Integrated Border ManagementMigrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

Travelling by car from Kyiv to Minsk through “Novi Yarilovychi” border crossing point, Ukraine, (pictured), and “Novaya Huta”, Belarus, will be facilitated within the new IOM project. Photo: IOM 

IOM Reporter: Outa Hermalahti

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Monitors New Caravans of Central American Migrants in Mexico

IOM - News - Ven, 02/15/2019 - 10:39

Chiapas – A survey conducted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) between 25-30 January near the border crossing flanked by Tecún Umán (Guatemala) and Suchiate (Mexico) revealed that just over half (51.6%) of approximately 5,000 Central American migrants waiting at that border crossing to receive the humanitarian card of the Mexican government, only left their country as part of the ‘migrant caravans’.

Between January 14 and 16, migrants from Honduras and El Salvador left their homes with the hope of reaching Mexico and the United States of America, in the first ‘migrant caravans’ of 2019.

In response to the situation, the government of Mexico established a migration policy for entry into that country using a card for humanitarian reasons. The survey was applied mostly to people who were waiting for the delivery of this immigration document.

The survey indicates that the main reasons for migration are the search for labour opportunities (68%), education (11.8%) and better living conditions (10%). Additionally, 68.3 per cent of people indicate that in the last 12 months they had to change their residence in their country of origin due to some incident related to violence or insecurity.

The migrants said they needed water, food, clothing, health and accommodation to allow them to continue their journey in decent conditions. The regularization of their immigration status, obtaining a humanitarian visa and access to the refuge or asylum application in Mexico was the last identified need to enable them to continue to their destinations.

Of the people surveyed, 67 per cent said they did not know the procedures and protection requirements in Mexico and 65.3 per cent did not receive information about their rights as migrants. The main nationalities reported are Honduran (72.2%), Guatemalan (12.2%) and Salvadoran (11.7%).

The survey was applied to more than 800 people of this latest migratory flow, using IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) methodology.

"The DTM allows us to know the immediate needs, characteristics and migratory tendencies presented by the people who are part of these migratory movements," said Alexandra Bonnie, Regional Coordinator of the Mesoamerica Program of IOM. "We hope that the findings will be used as a tool to improve the institutional and governmental response in terms of assistance and migration governance," she added.

The DTM survey is carried out within the framework of the Regional Program on Mesoamerican–Caribbean Migration, with the support of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) of the US Department of State.

Other IOM actions in Chiapas include the provision of food supplies to migrants, in collaboration with the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs (SRE, by its Spanish acronym) and the National Disaster and Emergency Assistance Committee (CADENA). Also, informational materials, monitoring, and accompaniment have been distributed through the Informative Windows network and MigApp with the National Institute of Migration (INM).

The full report is available for download here.

For more information, contact Tatiana Chacón at IOM San Jose, Tel: +506 2212 5304, E-mail: tchacon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 15, 2019 - 17:34Image: Region-Country: MexicoThemes: Integrated Border ManagementDefault: Multimedia: 

Between 25-30 January, over 800 migrants were surveyed while waiting for their humanitarian visit cards to be processed by Mexican authorities. Photo: IOM 

Between 25-30 January, over 800 migrants were surveyed while waiting for their humanitarian visit cards to be processed by Mexican authorities. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Over 3,500 Returned Migrants; 2,000 Receive Reintegration Assistance in The Gambia

IOM - News - Ven, 02/15/2019 - 10:34

Banjul – The voluntary return of Gambians to their homes is averaging about 143 men and women per month since the start of 2017, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported this week, or the equivalent of one medium-sized charter flight every four weeks.

As of 8 February 2019, 3,668 Gambians have been assisted to voluntarily return home under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration since the start of 2017. Over 70 per cent of these individuals were returned just from Libya, with another 25 per cent coming home from Niger. The remaining 5 per cent came home from Mali, Morocco, Mauritania and Tunisia.

Almost two-thirds of all returnees have already received their reintegration assistance. Jalika is one of the 2,097 Gambian returnees who received reintegration assistance from IOM in The Gambia after she returned from a perilous journey across the desert. Upon voluntarily returning from Niger in March 2018 with her 10-year-old daughter, she received grocery goods which allowed her to open her own shop.

“I am happy to be back home safe and sound,” she said. “After some ups and downs, IOM helped me stabilize my income. I want to expand the shop with more goods and get my son to work in the shop.”

Within six months after the return of many Gambian migrants, counseling sessions with the returnees aim to tailor reintegration assistance to their specific needs, interests and skills based on the available opportunities in the country. Returnees classified as vulnerable cases, such as Jalika, are provided expedited assistance within two to four weeks. Close to 90 per cent of assisted Gambian returnees opt to establish their own microbusiness mainly in retail (39 per cent), construction (31 per cent) and transport (13 per cent).

IOM in The Gambia supports the reintegration of returnees through a holistic approach, addressing both migrants’ and their communities’ economic, social and psychosocial needs. Reintegration assistance may come in the form of medical and psychosocial support, support to set up or strengthen a small business, support to pursue education or vocational training, support for job insertion or referrals to other services available in the country.

This assistance forms part of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration. Launched in November 2017 with the funding of the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the initial target for The Gambia was to facilitate the voluntary returns and reintegration of 1,500 individuals over a period of three years. Less than two years after the launch, that target has been significantly exceeded.

Voluntary return options are an important protection measure for vulnerable and stranded migrants who are facing exploitation or abuse along the migration routes and who wish to return to their countries of origin but do not have the necessary means to do so. Returns are done at the explicit request of the individual returning, who has the right to pull out at any time of the process.

While IOM is not involved in or does not provide any financial contribution to forced returns, migrants who are forcibly returned may nevertheless find themselves in vulnerable situations and in need of assistance and protection as much as any voluntary returnee. Under certain conditions and safeguards, IOM can provide post-arrival and reintegration assistance to vulnerable migrants who were forcibly returned.

“The EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in The Gambia serves a threefold purpose: saving lives by assisting those en route, offering voluntary return assistance to those who want it, and providing reintegration support to returning Gambian migrants and their communities,” said Ambassador Attila Lajos, Head of the EU Delegation to The Gambia.

“Essentially, the Joint Initiative is about making sure that the migration process is safer and better managed, and that migrant rights and dignity are respected,” he added. “Personally, I am very proud of the interim results achieved so far by these joint efforts by the EU, IOM and the Gambian government. Saving 3,668 Gambian lives and already assisting almost two-thirds of them to find their way to make it in The Gambia is a great achievement which the country can be proud of.”

IOM also offers returnees the option to venture into collective or community-based projects. The Gambia Returnees from the Backway Association, an organization formed by returnees while in detention in Libya, embarked this year on a collective poultry project for 12 members and was supported by IOM through a two-day training on agribusiness, financial management, conflict management and leadership.

“Facilitating the voluntary returns of over double the initial target is a huge milestone for IOM in The Gambia. Moving forward, we are hoping to diversify the types of industries returnees engage in for their reintegration, enhance referrals to existing vocational training programmes, and further link economic reintegration to psychosocial support,” said Fumiko Nagano, IOM Chief of Mission in The Gambia.

The EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration is funded by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and implemented in close collaboration with 26 African countries. The Joint Initiative facilitates orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration management through the development of rights-based and development-focused policies and processes on protection and sustainable reintegration.

For more information, please contact Miko Alazas at IOM The Gambia; Tel: +220 330 3168, Email: aalazas@iom.int or visit www.migrationjointinitiative.org.

Language English Posted: Friday, February 15, 2019 - 17:30Image: Region-Country: GambiaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationEUTFDefault: Multimedia: 

Returnees registering for job placement in The Gambia. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

IOM Returns One-Thousandth Ghanaian from Libya, Niger since 2017

IOM - News - Ven, 02/01/2019 - 11:05

Accra – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) received a mandate in December 2016 to help rescue vulnerable migrants from Ghana stranded en route to Europe. The plan was to bring 650 men and women home within three years. This week IOM met – and exceeded – that initial target, bringing home its 1001st Ghanaian beneficiary as part of a successful run that exceeded all parties’ expectations.

The latest return flight came in a week ago, on 25 January. The project will run until 2020.

“I’m happy that I came back to my family. I didn’t lose my life during my journey or in Libya. I am finally back home,” exulted Fuseini, a Ghanaian returnee who came home from Libya in 2017, one of the first to return. He hopes to open a clothing shop.

Fuseini is one of the many Ghanaian migrants who were assisted by IOM in cooperation with the European Union (EU) in Ghana and the Government of Ghana. The majority (934 men, 73 women) were assisted from Libya (795) and Niger (195).

IOM in Ghana provides all returnees with assistance upon arrival, including the provision of pocket money to cover immediate needs. All returnees are eligible as well for reintegration support based on their needs which include counselling, education and vocational training, and psychosocial and medical support. IOM also offers referrals for other services or in-kind support through individual, collective or community projects. So far, a total of 556 migrants are in the process of receiving or have received reintegration support.

This assistance is funded by the European Union through the three-year EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in Ghana, which began in May 2017.

“Given the clear links that have been established between migration and development, the Government is committed to developing strategies that will lead to sustainable reintegration of returnees to enable them to contribute meaningfully to the country’s development,”’ said Rose Tsorhey, Director for Policy Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation at the Ministry of Interior (co-chair of the Project Steering Committee with the EU Delegation.

Added the EU’s Ambassador to Ghana, Diana Acconcia: “The European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa has been created first and foremost in the aim to save lives of migrants. Hence, I am glad to see that through joint initiative, the EU and IOM have already supported the return in dignity of more than 1,000 Ghanaians stranded on the routes, mainly in Libya and Niger.”

The project is part of the larger EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, which facilitates orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration management through the development of rights-based and development-focused policies and processes on protection and sustainable reintegration. The Joint Initiative, backed by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), includes close collaboration with 26 African countries. It has so far offered assistance to over 58,000 migrants stranded along the migratory routes in Africa to return home safely.

“Supporting the safe and dignified return home of more than 1,000 Ghanaians – many of whom were in detention – is a significant achievement which needs to be acknowledged. However, much remains to be done to support the successful integration of these migrants in Ghana while at the same time continuing to facilitate new voluntary returns and disseminating safe migration messages,” said IOM Ghana’s Chief of Mission, Sylvia Lopez-Ekra.

One in four migrants returned to Brong Ahafo region, followed by Ashanti (17 per cent), Accra (17 per cent) and Western Region (11 per cent).  

For more information, please contact Anita J. Wadud at IOM Ghana, Tel: +223 302742930 (Ext. 2400), Email: ajwadud@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 1, 2019 - 18:04Image: Region-Country: GhanaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationDefault: Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Funding from Qatar Charity for Migrants and Refugees in Bosnia

IOM - News - Ven, 02/01/2019 - 11:03

Sarajevo – IOM and the Qatar Charity signed an agreement on 29thJanuary 2019 for USD 364,050 in support of the response to the refugee and migrant situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Agreement was signed on Tuesday ate the UN House in Sarajevo by Faisal Rashid A. T. Alfehaida, the Assistant of the General Director for Operations and International Partnership of Qatar Charity, and Dražan Rozić, the IOM Bosnia and Herzegovina Emergency Response Coordinator. 

The funds will be used to address the need for expanded accommodation capacities and humanitarian assistance of the up to 5,000 migrants and asylum seekers in the country.

“This generous contribution will allow IOM to further improve the humanitarian conditions in the temporary accommodation centres for migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina and, at the same time, support local communities and municipalities hosting migrants on their territory,” said Peter Van der Auweraert, IOM Chief of Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Sub-Regional Coordinator for Western Balkans.

The project aims to improve the living and security conditions in the temporary reception centres in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with particular focus on Ušivak temporary reception centre in Hadžići Municiaplity, near Sarajevo.

“While IOM is currently accommodating some 4,500 persons, this new support is crucial as we are expecting the number of persons to increase during the spring. Meanwhile, there is also a critical need to improve conditions in the current centres,” noted Rozic.

Planned activities include improvement of the existing infrastructure and expansion of the current capacity of the centres, complementary to the support already provided by the European Union. Small interventions will also be realized in support of local communities hosting refugees and migrants.

“Qatar Charity is proud to start this cooperation with IOM, improving the humanitarian support and conditions for the migrants and refugees currently staying in Bosnia and Herzegovina,” said Faisal Rashid A. T. Alfehaida, of the Qatar Charity.

For more information please contact Peter Van der Auweraert at IOM Bosnia and Herzegovina, Tel: +41798336424, Email: pvanderauweaert@iom.int; or Edita Selimbegović, Tel: +387 33 293 713, Email: eselimbegovic@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 1, 2019 - 18:02Image: Region-Country: Bosnia and HerzegovinaThemes: Refugee and Asylum IssuesDefault: Multimedia: 

Representatives from the Qatar Charity and IOM at the signing ceremony on Tuesday.

A group of Iranian men at an IOM centre in Bosnia.

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 5,989 in 2019; Deaths Reach 208

IOM - News - Ven, 02/01/2019 - 11:02

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 5,989 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first 30 days of 2019, a slight decrease from the 6,550 arriving during the same period last year. Deaths on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through just over four weeks of the new year are at 208 individuals, compared with 243 deaths during the same period in 2018. (See chart 1). 

Missing Migrants Project 

So far in 2019, the Missing Migrants Project (MMP) has recorded the deaths of 308 people (see chart below).

On the Mediterranean, MMP received confirmation Thursday about an incident from 21 January, when 106 people who had been intercepted at sea by the Libyan Coast Guard were disembarked in Al Khoms, Libya. According to survivors’ testimonies, one Somali man drowned at sea before they were intercepted. His remains were not recovered.  That brings to 208 the total number of fatalities on the Mediterranean through 30 January, or two thirds of the worldwide total.

Elsewhere this week, dozens of men and women are feared drowned in two shipwrecks in the Red Sea’s Strait of Bab el-Mandeb, off the coast of Obock, Djibouti. The number of people who were travelling on the two capsized boats is unknown. The boats had left from the locality of Godoria, in northeast Djibouti, with the aim of reaching the Arabian Peninsula, and capsized shortly after departing, as they were heavily overloaded.

Fifteen survivors have been rescued during a search and rescue operation by the country’s coast guard, and the remains of 52 people had been recovered. Many more are thought to be missing at sea.

In 2018, at least 156 people are known to have drowned in attempts to get to Yemen, mainly from the Horn of Africa, an increase compared to the 111 migrants estimated to have died in 2017 on this route. Reports of the increasingly cruel measures adopted by smugglers, such as overcrowding of boats and forced disembarkation in deep waters, seem to account for the increase in deaths at sea. The largest single loss of life last year was on 6 June 2018, when 62 people drowned in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Yemen.

On the Caribbean, near the sea border shared by Colombia and Panamá, another shipwreck caused the lives of at least 24 people on 28 January. Eight survivors, nationals of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, were rescued off the coast of Capurganá, municipality of Acandí, in Colombia’s northern province of Chocó. According to their testimony, 32 people were travelling on the boat – including 14 children – with the aim of reaching the border with Panamá to continue their journey north. As of Thursday (30 January), the Colombian Navy had recovered the remains of 12 people, including those of seven children. An estimated 12 people are thought to be missing.

On the Río Bravo, where the border brings Texas together with the Mexican States of Tamaulipas and Coahuila, the remains of two young Mexican men were recovered from the river on 28 January. Their families had reported them as missing on 12 January, when they attempted to cross the border into the US. The remains of another man who was travelling with them have not yet been located.

Two train-related accidents were recorded in Mexico. A 30-year-old Honduran man died after falling from a cargo train near Sayula de Alemán, in Mexico’s southern state of Veracruz on 28 January. Another Honduran man was killed near El Derramadero, in Coahuila on the same day. He fell from a train covering the line between Mexico City and Nuevo Laredo, a city on the border with the US.  These two deaths represent the fourth and fifth fatalities from train accidents this month. MMP reported 40 such fatal accidents in 2018. (See chart 3b). 

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC) but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrant deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, click here. Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project.

See contacts here.

Language English Posted: Friday, February 1, 2019 - 17:54Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Headcounts Show Reduction in Number of People Sheltering in Two of South Sudan’s Largest Displacement Sites

IOM - News - Ven, 02/01/2019 - 10:54

Juba – Reports released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in South Sudan show a decline in the number of people in two of the country’s largest displacement hubs: Wau and Bentiu displacement sites.

Recent headcounts indicate that 114,330 people are residing in Bentiu UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) Protection of Civilians (PoC) site, while 25,968 people are living in the PoC and collective centres in Wau. These numbers are down from the official biometric registration figures – 161,071 for Bentiu and 36,832 for Wau – counted in the last comprehensive verification exercises in 2016 and 2017 respectively, which have since only been updated to include small numbers of new arrivals and newborns. It is difficult to account for those, who have left the sites, on the biometric register without carrying out a full verification exercise, as people do not usually alert camp management when they leave permanently.

Multiple escalations in the conflict in South Sudan since its outbreak in 2013 have caused more than 4 million people to flee their homes. Over half of the displaced fled into neighbouring countries, namely, Sudan, Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic.

However, nearly 1.9 million people are estimated to be displaced within South Sudan’s borders. Most (nearly 90 per cent) live within host communities, rather than displacement sites. Others live in small displacement sites known in the South Sudanese context as collective centres. The remaining group of the displaced population live on or adjacent to UNMISS bases where they sought protection during the conflict. The PoC sites, which are unique to South Sudan, are located in Bor, Bentiu, Juba, Malakal and Wau.

IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) collects key data on displacement and migration in South Sudan to inform the humanitarian community’s interventions. In displacement sites, they conduct biometric registration and headcounts to gauge population size. Biometric registration involves scanning/recording a person’s thumb prints and recording relevant personal details.

Although it is an effective means of measuring the size of a displacement site, it is also a massive endeavour, which cannot be done frequently, as it requires sealing off the displacement site for multiple days. Recognizing that there can be significant population changes between biometric registrations, IOM’s displacement tracking team conducts monthly headcounts in Bentiu and Wau PoC sites to monitor changing dynamics and displacement trends.

In Bentiu, the most recent headcount shows that children under the age of five constitute over one third of the PoC site population. Overall, half of the population are men and half are women. The 2018 Bentiu PoC Headcount Trends Report can be access here.

In the Wau PoC site, there was a steady decline in population size throughout 2018, as indicated by headcounts down from just over 25,000 in January 2018 to 15,272 people by the end of the year. At the same time, the collective sites in Wau, namely Cathedral, Nazareth, St. Joseph, Lokoloko and Masna collective centres, saw some fluctuations, with influxes of newly displaced people at times.

For example, June of last year saw violent clashes take place between armed groups in areas south of Wau, including Baggari County and Jur River. As the fighting spread, more and more people were forced to flee their homes in search of safety closer to Wau town and some 760 newly displaced people arrived in Masna collective centre.

This information can also be complemented by an intention survey recently conducted by DTM in Wau, which shows that 40 per cent of the displaced people interviewed intend to leave the PoC, half of them in the first quarter of the year. The 2018 Wau PoC and Collective Centre Headcount Trends Report can be access here.

In September 2018, the Government of the Republic of South Sudan and key opposition forces signed a peace agreement. In the months since then, many areas throughout the country are becoming more stable though some displacement has continued due to localized conflict

Although DTM data is, so far, only reflecting cautious upward trends in potential return movements since the signing of the peace agreement, the humanitarian community is preparing for a scenario of increased returns during the year should stability continue to increase.

“Data, such as population sizes in the PoCs, is vital to our operations,” said Jean-Philippe Chauzy, IOM South Sudan Chief of Mission. “It shows us what is required to meet people’s needs and where the displaced are when outside of the displacement sites.”

“Furthermore, having people return to their areas of origin does not mean an end to humanitarian requirements in South Sudan. In fact, those are still vast and will continue to be as millions still lack access to essential health care, safe shelters and clean water, among other essential facilities. I trust international donors will continue to support the people of South Sudan and enable us to further the provision of lifesaving assistance as the country moves towards sustained peace,” said Chauzy.

IOM champions an integrated, multi-sector approach where migration management and recovery and stabilization efforts complement humanitarian interventions in health, mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), camp, coordination and camp management (CCCM), shelter and non-food items (S-NFI) and logistics. The Organization’s aim in South Sudan is to build community resilience and reduce dependency on humanitarian aid. This work is all under pinned by data collected through DTM.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon in Juba, Tel: +211912379843, Email: oheadon@iom.int

Language English Posted: Friday, February 1, 2019 - 17:46Image: Region-Country: South SudanThemes: Migrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

Rows of shelters of Wau PoC site where IOM’s DTM headcounts indicate 15,272 people to be living. Photo: IOM/O. Headon

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Death Toll Mounts as Search Continues for Survivors of Djibouti Boat Tragedy

IOM - News - Mer, 01/30/2019 - 12:23

Djibouti—International Organization for Migration (IOM) staff based in Obock, on Djibouti’s Red Sea coast, are reporting Wednesday that a total of 16 survivors have been recovered from Tuesday’s sea tragedy.

Through noon local time (GMT+3), IOM’s team has learned that the remains of 30 victims have been recovered—three men and two women found on Tuesday and another 25 persons today.

The tragedy occurred off Godoria, a locality in the Obock region of northeast Djibouti. After being alerted by local residents, a team of gendarmerie gathered near the reported site of the tragedy discovered two survivors yesterday, one an 18-year old male survivor, who reportedly boarded one of two boats, in his case with some 130 people on board.

“This tragic event demonstrates the risks that vulnerable migrants face as they innocently search for better lives,” said IOM Djibouti Chief of Mission Ms. Lalini Veerassamy. “The government of Djibouti has always shown empathy and regional leadership on this critical issue. We will continue to support them to prevent such tragedies and protect migrant lives.”

IOM manages a Migrant Response Centre (MCR) in Obock, where hundreds of Yemen-bound migrants are assisted each year if they choose repatriation to their countries of origin under an IOM/operated voluntary return programme. There are currently more than 500 migrants at the MCR.

Staff there have been helping survivors of Tuesday’s tragedy and lending support to Djibouti authorities as they continue to patrol the shoreline in search of other survivors.

IOM’s Missing Migrants Project (MMP), based in Berlin, released data today indicating there have been at least 199 drownings confirmed off the coast of Obock, Djibouti since 2014. MMP has records of three major shipwrecks of craft departing Obock, before yesterday’s tragedy. In 2014 one wreck was recorded in late February resulting 17 dead or missing; another in mid-November left 30 dead or missing. Two more tragedies in 2016—10 dead 5 October; another on 21 October left 14 dead—for a total of 71 deaths off Djibouti before yesterday’s shipwreck, which MMP estimates has resulted in at least 128 new deaths.

MMP also has recorded additional sea tragedies in the Horn of Africa-to-Yemen route that occurred further offshore from Obock itself. Missing migrant counts these additional deaths in the hundreds (see chart below).

Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project.

For more information please contact: Lalini Veerassamy, IOM Chief of Mission in Djibouti, +253 77 31 18 11 

Angela Wells at IOM HQ, Tel: +41 79 403 5365, Email: awells@iom.int 


Language English Posted: Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - 12:15Image: Region-Country: GlobalThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

Members of IOM’s Obock team rush to site of Red Sea tragedy to assist Djibouti authorities in search for survivors and victims of Tuesday’s drownings.  Photo. IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

More than 130 Migrants Reported Missing Tuesday Following Two Shipwrecks Off Djibouti Coast

IOM - News - Mar, 01/29/2019 - 17:30

Djibouti - More than 130 migrants have gone missing on Tuesday morning (29 January) off the coast of Djibouti after two boats capsized.

The event took place off Godoria, a locality in the Obock region of northeast Djibouti. After being alerted by local residents, a team of gendarmerie gathered this afternoon near the reported site of the disaster and discovered two survivors as well as the remains of three women and two men.

The coast guard was also alerted and launched search and rescue operations. Those operations are still underway with two patrol boats.

According to local witnesses, the boat capsized roughly 30 minutes after departure due to its excessive load. The boat also faced heavy swells.

An IOM team visited the location to assist local officials and assist in the search for survivors. IOM staff found one: an 18-year old male, who reportedly boarded the first boat with 130 people on board. Included in that group were 16 women. This survivor said he did not have information about the second boat.

The five corpses recovered currently are being transported by the Ministry of Health to a hospital in Obock for examination.

IOM manages a Migrant Response Center (MCR) in Obock, where over 500 migrants are being assisted ahead of repatriation to their countries of origin under the voluntary return programme.

For more information please contact: Lalini Veerassamy, IOM Chief of Mission in Djibouti, +253 77 31 18 11 email: lveerassamy@iom.int 

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 17:21Image: Region-Country: DjiboutiThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia: 

Searching for Survivors in Godoria, Djibouti. Photo IOM.

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Earthquake-Affected Community in Papua New Guinea Gets Access to Safe Drinking Water

IOM - News - Mar, 01/29/2019 - 09:21

Port Moresby – Soi - a remote community of 210 families in Nipa Rural district in Papua New Guinea’s Southern Highlands province - was devastated by the 7.5 magnitude earthquake that hit the area in February 2018.

Landslides triggered by the quake polluted the community’s traditional water sources and after the disaster villagers – mostly women and girls – had to walk for over an hour to collect water for household use from a nearby river. Girls were missing school because of this time-consuming chore.

A needs assessment carried out by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in April 2018 found that access to potable water was a top priority for the community, both in Soi and in other locations across the district.

Working with the Emergency Controller’s Office, Southern Highlands Provincial Administration, and the UN country team, IOM used a community-based approach to equip schools and health facilities with 17 rain water tanks benefiting 26,915 people in five communities, five health centres and five schools.

Community members worked together to install the rain-fed supply, with technical assistance from IOM. “Everyone took part in the construction. Mothers and young boys and girls prepared the ground and gathered stones and sand from the river,” said Soi resident Janet John. “Mothers cooked food for the builders and men mixed cement and did the construction work,” she added.

During a post assistance monitoring conducted by IOM in January in Soi, community members welcomed the changes brought about by the project.

“We used to collect water from the bush. This is my first time to get water from a tap,” said one Soi housewife. “I am very happy I no longer have to walk long distances to fetch water from the bush,” said another. “IOM has helped us to have better access to clean and safe water for drinking and we really appreciate their support,” said community leader Paul Tokam.

For more information please contact IOM Port Moresby. Tomoko Sato, Tel. +675 3213655, Email: tsato@iom.int or Peter Murorera, Email: pmurorera@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 15:45Image: Region-Country: Papua New GuineaThemes: Migration and Climate ChangeDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM staff, community members at the launch of the new water supply. Photo: IOM/Samike Gagee

Children collect water from the new water supply in Soi. Photo: IOM/Peter Murorera

Children collect water from the new water supply in Soi. Photo: IOM/Peter Murorera

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Humanitarian Airlifts from Yemen Allow Hundreds of Stranded Migrants to Return to Ethiopia

IOM - News - Mar, 01/29/2019 - 09:05

Sana’a / Addis Ababa – Approximately 350 Ethiopian migrants stranded in Yemen are set to fly home this week under the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) latest Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) flight operation. Such airlifts resumed from Yemen in late November last year.

IOM is handling the logistics to ensure the safe departure of the migrants from Sana’a International Airport to Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa. The beneficiaries will depart on chartered flights leaving today (29/01) and tomorrow (30/01).

“There are currently limited pathways for migrants to return home from Yemen. Through the support of and close coordination with government authorities, partners and IOM teams, we have been able to ensure migrants can reach their countries of origin in a safe and orderly manner,” said David Derthick, IOM Yemen Chief of Mission.

“IOM will continue to prioritize return movements for migrants in 2019,” he continued. The Organization plans to assist more than 3,000 migrants with VHR services this year.

IOM had previously suspended VHR airlifts after the escalation of the conflict in 2015. During the suspension, IOM transported migrants on chartered boats across the Gulf of Aden. In 2018, IOM provided VHR to more than 1,000 vulnerable migrants.

Unpredictable sea conditions, however, often caused delays or restrictions of movement – at times forcing boats to return to Al-Hudaydah’s port. 

Humanitarian airlifts resumed in November 2018, after IOM coordinated with Yemeni and Ethiopian authorities to allow more than 400 migrants to safely return over the course of four days.

Despite the ongoing conflict, Yemen’s proximity to the Horn of Africa means that it remains a significant transit point for migrants seeking livelihoods and opportunities. IOM expects mixed migration flows to Yemen will continue this year, affirming the importance of IOM’s Regional Migrant Response Plan for the Horn of Africa and Yemen.

In addition to operating the VHR mechanism out of Yemen, IOM teams provide humanitarian and protection support to vulnerable migrants throughout the country. While efforts are made to meet migrants upon arrival and ensure basic needs are met, IOM also provides longer term interventions, such as health and shelter. Additionally, psychosocial support services help those that have suffered trauma and loss during their journey.

Given the current restrictions on movement, transporting migrants out of Yemen is especially challenging. Many of those assisted require additional support, such as medical escorts to provide in-flight care.

In addition, IOM provides specialized care for unaccompanied migrant children, many of whom were unprepared for the treacherous journey to Yemen. IOM works closely with authorities in Yemen and Ethiopia to ensure these children are cleared for travel and that family members are prepared for reunification. 

Upon arrival, IOM Ethiopia provides returnees with temporary accommodation at a transit centre, meals and non-food items, onward transportation assistance and psychosocial support to those in need.

Returnees in need of further medical assistance will be referred to health providers while unaccompanied minors will receive family tracing and reunification assistance. A few vulnerable migrants will receive reintegration assistance through cash grants.

For more information, please contact Angela Wells at IOM HQ in Geneva, Tel: +41 7940 35365, Email: awells@iom.int

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 16:25Image: Region-Country: YemenThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationMigrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

IOM resumed humanitarian airlifts for stranded migrants in November 2018. Photo: IOM

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Mediterranean Migrant Arrivals Reach 5,757 in 2019; Deaths Reach 207

IOM - News - Mar, 01/29/2019 - 09:02

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency, reports that 5,757 migrants and refugees have entered Europe by sea through the first 27 days of 2019, a slight increase over the 5,502 arriving during the same period last year. Deaths on the three main Mediterranean Sea routes through almost four weeks of the new year are at 207 individuals, compared with 242 deaths during the same period in 2018.

IOM Italy

IOM Rome’s Flavio Di Giacomo on Monday reported that the NGO ship “Sea-Watch 3,” which rescued 47 migrants last Saturday (19 January), is now in Italian waters – about one mile off the coast of Siracusa, Sicily, as of Friday night. The vessel had yet to receive authorization to land.

The boat approached Sicily several days ago, seeking shelter from adverse weather conditions currently affecting the Mediterranean.

Di Giacomo called the situation “very critical, given the difficult winter period with low temperatures and rough seas and the fact that the ship is not sufficiently equipped to host people for so many days on board.” He added: “The space inside is insufficient, and some people are forced to remain outside on the bridge.”

IOM also has learned that many of the migrants on board reported both to the “Sea-Watch 3” crew and to visiting members of the Italian Parliament, who also boarded, that they had been victims of abuse and violence during their stay in Libya.

Di Giacomo noted that among the vessel’s passengers are 13 unaccompanied minors, whose condition is of particular concern. He said adequate protection and safeguarding measures must be taken for them as soon as possible, in line with international conventions.

IOM’s Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean, noted that the denial of a safe port to vessels that have rescued migrants in distress is reoccurring and an indication of a deteriorating situation in the Mediterranean. “It is increasingly urgent that, in order to put an end to this current ad hoc approach to life-saving operations, all Mediterranean countries start working together to establish a safe and orderly disembarkation mechanism,” he explained.

IOM Spain

IOM Spain’s Ana Dodevska reported that through Sunday (27 January) 3,809 men, women and children have arrived as irregular migrants this month, or more than the 1,400 arriving through all of January last year. Through this period, irregular migrant arrivals by sea to Spain are 66 per cent of all Mediterranean arrivals of this type; moreover, that total through just under four weeks of 2019 is just over 800 arrivals shy of the total through the first four months of 2018, a period during which IOM reported 4,627 irregular migrant arrivals to Spain by sea (see chart below).

IOM Greece

IOM Greece’s Antigoni Avgeropoulou said on Monday (28 January) that from Friday (25 January) to Monday, the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) reported at least two incidents requiring search and rescue operations off the islands of Farmakonisi and Chios. The HCG rescued a total of 80 migrants and transferred them to those islands.

Those 80 arrivals were among some 111 IOM recorded in the four days between 24 and 27 January arriving at the islands of Farmakonisi, Lesvos and Chios and bringing to 1,660 the total number of sea arrivals to Greece this year (see chart below).

Missing Migrants Project

2019 is the fifth year of IOM’s efforts to systematically record deaths on migration routes worldwide through its Missing Migrants Project (MMP). Since the beginning of 2014, the Project has recorded the deaths of 30,602 people, and yet due to the challenges of collecting information about these people and what happened to them, the true number of deaths during migration is likely much higher. 


So far in 2019, Missing Migrants Project has recorded the deaths of 226 people, 207 of those on one of three Mediterranean Sea routes.

Most recently, two young Algerian men lost their lives in the Western Mediterranean. It is believed they left from Spain’s North African enclave Ceuta with two others on 14 January. They left in a small inflatable boat without an engine. The four Algerians have been residing at Ceuta's Temporary Residence Centre, where many migrants are detained after attempting to reach the European mainland via Spain. After several days at sea, the boat in which the four men were travelling started taking on water.

The Spanish Guardia Civil was able to rescue two of the men and brought them back to Ceuta, but the others remained missing. Their bodies washed up on Algerian shores a few days later: on 21 January, the remains of one were found near Béni-Saf, in the Algerian province of Ain Témouchent; on 24 January, the body of the other missing man washed up on El Ain beach, in the same province.

A few days before, on 22 January, the body of a 40-year-old woman had washed up on Bahara beach, in Algeria’s province of Mostaganem – this appears to be an unrelated incident.

In the Central Mediterranean, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reported that 106 migrants had disembarked in Khoms from a commercial ship on 21 January. An MSF team was present during their disembarkation and reported that a 15-year-old boy died in the hospital, shortly after being taken from the ship.

Elsewhere, Missing Migrants Project documented the deaths of four people crossing the Río Bravo that makes up the Texas-Mexico border.

On 22 January, an unidentified man was swept away by currents of the Río Bravo while he tried to cross from the Mexican town of Nuevo Laredo into Texas. On 23 January, US Border Patrol agents retrieved the body of a man near Minas del Seco, in Maverick County. A day later, Mexican civil protection authorities found the body of a man near the municipality of Reynosa Díaz, in Mexico’s northern province of Tamaulipas. On Saturday, 26 January, the remains of another man, believed to be of Ukrainian nationality, were recovered from the Río Bravo near La Playita, Reynosa, Mexico.

In Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, a 24-year-old Guatemalan woman and her son, who was five years old, were killed in a car crash on 24 January. She was eight months pregnant when she died. In Mexico’s southern province of Veracruz, a 40-year-old man from El Salvador died in a hospital in Oluta on 21 January, from the injuries he sustained after falling from a freight train. On 24 January, a man who was travelling on top of a freight train was killed after falling from the cargo train near San Mateo Ixtacalca, Cuautitlán, Mexico.

Late Monday MMP received reports of a shipwreck near Capurganá, Colombia, from which between 20 and 27 migrants were said to be missing. Initial reports were that the victims were African, identified as “from the Congo.” Media in the region indicate several survivors have been found but no bodies after a small motorboat foundered in the waters linking Colombia to Panamá.

Missing Migrants Project data are compiled by IOM staff based at its Global Migration Data Analysis Centre but come from a variety of sources, some of which are unofficial. To learn more about how data on migrant deaths and disappearances are collected, click here.

For latest arrivals and fatalities in the Mediterranean, click here. Learn more about the Missing Migrants Project.

See contacts here.

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 16:05Image: Region-Country: SwitzerlandThemes: Missing MigrantsDefault: Multimedia:  Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM

Guatemala to Triple Reception Capacity for Its Returning Migrants at Airport

IOM - News - Mar, 01/29/2019 - 09:02

Guatemala City – Guatemala will triple its capacity to assist its migrant populations returning by air from Mexico and the United States, when a new migrant support centre under construction at the La Aurora International Airport is opened later this year.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is overseeing construction of the Centre for the Reception of Returned Airborne Populations, which will then be managed by the Guatemalan Migration Institute (IGM) when it opens in June 2019.

The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided USD 1.2 million for the construction and sourcing of furniture and equipment adapted to the needs of those who return to the country.

The centre – which is being built on Guatemalan Air Force land granted by the Ministry of National Defense – is part of efforts to dignify the return process and provides the first step towards successful reintegration in the communities of origin.

"This is an important step for Guatemala, especially a significant step in the restitution of the rights of migrants, national security, the protection of returnees and dignifying migration processes," said Jorge Peraza Breedy, Chief of IOM Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

The building will include recreational areas adapted to the needs of unaccompanied migrant children, adolescents and returned families, in line with the Best Interests of the Child concept; a room for breastfeeding, medical clinics, telephone calls, a psychosocial interview room, a checkpoint and a waiting area for those who arrive to receive their relatives, among others.

The initiative will help Guatemala meet the growing challenges of managing human mobility, encourage social and economic development through migration and ensure respect for human dignity and the well-being of migrants.

During the first semester of the year, the IOM will implement actions that facilitate the integration of other government institutions to offer services and services for the returned migrant population.

The construction of the centre is part of IOM’s Return and Reintegration Project in the Northern Triangle of Central America, supported by USAID.

Between January and November 2017, 60,073 people were returned to Guatemala from Mexico and the United States; in 2018, in the same period, 87,560 returns were recorded, representing an increase of 45.8 per cent. The departments with the highest number of returnees are (in order): Huehuetenango, San Marcos, Quiché, Quetzaltenango, and Guatemala.

For more information, please contact Melissa Vega at IOM Guatemala, Email: mevega@iom.int, Tel: +502 2414-7401

Language English Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2019 - 15:55Image: Region-Country: GuatemalaThemes: Assisted Voluntary Return and ReintegrationMigrant AssistanceDefault: Multimedia: 

The new center, under construction at La Aurora International Airport, will triple the capacity of the Government of Guatemala to support migrants being returned from Mexico and the US. Photo: IOM 

Press Release Type: Global
Categorie: Press Room IOM