JRP 2023 launched: IOM in $125m appeal for Rohingyas, hosts
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is asking for $125 million to support 1.4 million Rohingya refugees, host communities in need in Cox's Bazar as the response to the Rohingya refugee crisis drags on for a sixth year in 2023.Over 900,000 Rohingya refugees have temporarily sought shelter in Cox's Bazar since the 2017 influx, and the Bangladeshi government and the wider international community have supported them throughout.The Rohingyas must continue to receive ongoing help until they may freely return to Myanmar in a secure and dignified manner, IOM said on its website today. Along with other humanitarian organisations, it has been providing lifesaving, protection and assistance services to the refugee community for the last six years.“The ongoing crises and disasters around the world should not make us forget the needs of Rohingya refugees and the response in Bangladesh,” said António Vitorino, IOM director general. “We earnestly urge the international community to step up their efforts to ensure the Rohingya refugees continue to receive the support they need.”The Joint Response Plan (JRP) for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis, which includes over 100 response players made up of UN agencies and NGOs, includes the IOM's appeal. Under the JRP for 2023, which was launched today with the Government of Bangladesh, these humanitarian players are attempting to raise a total of more than $876 million. In order to put that in context, we should note that the JRP for 2022 amounted to $881 million, and less than half that amount was disbursed. The expectation is that the 2023 response will be even worse. The World Food Programme (WFP), another UN agency, has already been forced to cut food rations for camp residents by 17% from March 1, from $12 per head to $10 per person.Refugee protection is a top priority for IOM. It works with vulnerable people and at the community level to reduce the risks of gender-based violence and the physical, psychosocial, and social vulnerabilities of child and human trafficking in order to protect the most vulnerable, especially women and children who make up over 75% of the population.“Our priorities for 2023 include the continuation of providing life-saving assistance and protection of the Rohingya refugees and support for vulnerable host community members,” said Abdusattor Esoev, IOM Bangladesh chief of mission.“We call on the international community to contribute generously to our efforts to help these refugees and not forget the plight of the Rohingya in Bangladesh,” he added. US, UK respond to JRP Both the United States and the United Kingdom, both vital to the response, have in the last few hours released statements in response to the launch of the 2023 JRP. While London kept its wallet closed, Washington announced a new, small amount it would be disbursing on top of earlier commitments. Both power centres however, seem to be converging on an interesting alternative course to deal with the issue. That would seem to involve persuading the Bangladeshi hosts to be more accommodating of the Rohingyas, even outside the camps - for job opportunities, or to even support themselves. The UK’s response was delivered in Geneva by Simon Manley, the country’s ambassador to the UN missions in that city. He said the UK sees an urgent need to work pragmatically with the Government of Bangladesh, to find a sustainable way forward that “offers the Rohingya more self-reliance, and less dependence on humanitarian aid.” The statement also sought to “achieve maximum effect with every pound, euro or dollar we spend.” The US statement was delivered virtually by Assistant Secretary Julieta Valls Noyes. In it, she said the United States will contribute “nearly $26 million dollars in new humanitarian assistance for Rohingya refugees”. This would be on top of an earlier commitment of $75 million towards JRP 2023, announced in January. Noyes then called on Bangladesh “to reexamine its restrictions on allowing refugees to earn a living.” “Restrictions on livelihoods deny Rohingya the ability to provide for themselves and the sense of purpose many of us get from our vocations,” the statement continued, falling in with the UK’s theme. “These restrictions prevent Rohingya from contributing to the communities that generously welcomed them and limit the chances of a sustainable, voluntary repatriation.” Noyes ended by saying the United States would be “among the countries now welcoming Rohingya from Bangladesh.”
Photo exhibition 'Prottasha: Hope for Migrants' to be held in Dhaka Tuesday
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) will organize a photo exhibition titled “Prottasha: Hope for Migrants” on Tuesday to raise awareness and to persuade the masses about sustainable reintegration, safe migration and migration governance. Storytelling is an effective tool to inform and make people aware of the issues of safe migration, sustainable reintegration, and migration governance. The exhibition will bring together a range of migration-related stories to help us understand the complex experience and contextualize some of the opportunities and challenges of migration in Bangladesh. read more: Swift return of irregular migrants to help promote legal migration: European Commissioner It will also help understand migration and its complexities, said the IOM on Monday. Besides, the stories will present the impact and results of the work on safe migration and sustainable reintegration of returning migrants under the Prottasha project. The photo exhibition will remain open to all at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in Dhaka on Tuesday from 3pm to 7pm In addition, an infotainment show featuring pot songs, song performances, short films, and quizzes will be organized during the event. read more: Migrant workers’ rights: UN expert for monitoring recruitment process The photo exhibition is being organized under the European Union funded ‘Bangladesh: Sustainable Reintegration and Improved Migration Governance (Prottasha) project. Since 2017, IOM has implemented the project, under the guidance of the Government of Bangladesh and in partnership with BRAC.
Netherlands, IOM join hands to improve environment, strengthen resilience of Rohingyas, host communities in Cox’s Bazar
The Netherlands will provide USD 7.5 million to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for a project aims to provide multi-sectoral support assistance for the Rohingya refugees and the host communities in Cox’s Bazar. The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Dhaka and the IOM have signed an agreement for the implementation of ‘Restoring the Environment and Strengthening Resilience of Rohingya Refugees and Host Communities in Cox’s Bazar’ project. An Exchange of Notes was signed by Chargé d’Affaires Thijs Woudstra, Deputy Ambassador of the Netherlands to Bangladesh, and Fathima Nusrath Ghazzali, Officer in Charge of IOM Bangladesh at the IOM Office in Dhaka on Monday. Cox’s Bazar District, currently hosting nearly one million Rohingya refugees since 2017, is prone to natural disasters and climate change impacts. Refugees and host communities are vulnerable to landslides and floods, particularly during cyclones which can occur annually. Read more: IOM unveils first 12 of 100 under-construction community clinics in Cox’s Bazar The temporary and often weak shelter structures in which the refugees live further exacerbate not only the vulnerability of the refugees to natural disasters but also psychosocial stress. For this reason, the project seeks to integrate mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) into the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) activities. This integrated approach adopted by the Netherlands and IOM aims to build resilient communities and reduce negative mental health and psychosocial outcomes, and to increase the community’s capacity in DRR prevention and preparedness as well as their resilience to hazardous events. It is envisioned that 196,463 people from refugee and host communities will benefit from the project, receiving assistance through the continued operation and maintenance of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) facilities, environmental rehabilitation activities and MHPSS (psychiatric consultations, counseling, case management). Some 18,000 beneficiaries will receive lay-counseling by trained community volunteers. At least 200 volunteers will be trained on Psychological First Aid (PFA), lay counseling, stress management and other MHPSS-related and residence-oriented topics. At least 18 community support groups will be established, involving 180 community members. The project will also benefit at least 30,000 refugee families (approximately 150,000 people) living in the Balukhali landslide and flood-prone areas (inside the camps) and 3,000 families from the Bangladeshi host communities (approximately 16,410 people) living in the area outside the refugee camps. Read more: Bangladesh can’t & shouldn’t bear Rohingyas’ responsibility alone: IOM “The Rohingya live in congested camps with limited opportunities and complex challenges. Host communities also face issues that increase their vulnerability, including strained resources, limited market access, limited employment opportunities, insufficient infrastructure, and recurring environmental shocks," said Ghazzali, "With support from the Netherlands, IOM will provide life-saving support to Rohingya refugees and host communities, contributing to improved social harmony and human security. This will include providing essential services focusing on camp life; mental health; disaster risk reduction, and water, sanitation & hygiene,” she added. Chargé d’Affaires Thijs Woudstra expressed hope that the support from the Government of the Netherlands will help to improve the living conditions of both Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi communities and mitigate disaster risks. “We particularly value the innovative angle this project takes in integrating MHPSS in DRR. Increasing community resilience and preparing the community to adequately respond to disasters is key to ensure a sustainable reduction of disaster risks for refugees and host communities in Cox’s Bazar.” the Deputy Ambassador said. The project will be implemented in coordination with the government of Bangladesh and other relevant stakeholders.
'Media a key tool to promote safe migration'
Speakers at a workshop on Thursday said that media can play a vital role in ensuring safe migration in a world where unsafe migration kills people, destroys families and drain resources. They said migration is a national, international and geopolitical issue responsible handling could help people avoid irregular migration. The views came at the workshop titled "Migration and Media" organised by International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in cooperation with Diplomatic Correspondents Association, Bangladesh (DCAB) at a city hotel. Read:'Migration from Bangladesh to Japan shaped people-to-people contact' Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union to Bangladesh Charles Whiteley, Chief of Mission, IOM Bangladesh Abdusattor Esoev and DCAB President Rezaul Karim Lotus spoke at the inaugural session moderated by former Foreign Secretary and Senior Policy Advisor IOM Bangladesh Shahidul Haque. Shahidul conducted a session titled "Global Migration Trends and Issues; Challenges and Options for Bangladesh" while there is another session on "Migration Diplomacy: Bangladesh Perspective" by Foreign Secretary Masud Bin Momen. Speaking in the inaugural session, the EU envoy highlighted the power of media and said media plays an important role. Read:Bangladesh can’t & shouldn’t bear Rohingyas’ responsibility alone: IOM He appreciated Bangladesh government's efforts to address the challenges in terms of migration management. Bangladesh as a major country in sending migrant workers has been at the forefront of shaping policy discourse particularly through leading the processes related to the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) and protecting the rights of migrants through national initiatives. While significant progress has been made in the arena of migration governance and related issues, there is a need to enhance the understanding of key stakeholders including journalists, the speakers said.
IOM unveils first 12 of 100 under-construction community clinics in Cox’s Bazar
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has completed the first 12 of 100 community clinics under construction in Cox’s Bazar, as part of a joint effort with the Government of Bangladesh and the World Bank to expand access to health care. “Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Bangladesh has boosted national health care programmes and launched comprehensive countrywide COVID-19 vaccination operations, which IOM supported in Cox’s Bazar and other parts of the country,” said Health and Family Welfare Zahid Maleque on Sunday. “We are now working together to ensure the healthcare system reaches the doorstep of every person. The inauguration of the newly constructed community clinics in Cox’s Bazar is one of many government interventions to achieve this goal.” Access to basic infrastructure and services in the southernmost part of the country, where Bangladesh hosts around 1 million Rohingya refugees, were already much lower compared to the national average. Many of the existing health facilities were built two decades ago and have since suffered infrastructural damage caused by flooding and other natural hazards. IOM demolished the old clinics and constructed larger, environmentally sustainable buildings that include solar-powered systems, safe water supply and improved sanitation facilities. “The multidimensional needs of refugee and host communities requires strong partnerships between key humanitarian and development actors to simultaneously tackle immediate and long-term challenges,” said Abdusattor Esoev, IOM Chief of Mission in Bangladesh. “This collaboration between the Government of Bangladesh, World Bank and IOM represents a concrete example of how to translate the humanitarian-development nexus into lasting results.” As the first line of care in the communities, these clinics provide much-needed support with reproductive and family medicine; health screenings, gender-based violence response and nutrition counselling. “We have been working in close coordination with the humanitarian agencies, development partners and non-governmental organizations,” said Dandan Chen, World Bank Acting Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan. “Through a total of USD 150 million in grant support to IOM among other actors, the World Bank is helping to address the needs of host communities in Bangladesh and displaced Rohingya until their safe, voluntary and dignified return home to Myanmar.” IOM also upgraded, staffed and equipped Sadar Hospital, the district’s only secondary health care centre. The 250-bed facility provides specialized services, including special neonatal care, emergency, intensive care and coronary care units; COVID-19 treatment; blood transfusions and voluntary counselling and testing for HIV and AIDS cases, among others. “The recently built patient ward is better than the ward that we have been shifted from,” said Abul Hasan, a 60-year-old local patient at Sadar Hospital. “We will benefit in lots of ways once the hospital has been fully renovated.” Construction of the remaining clinics and renovations to the district hospital are ongoing and expected to be completed in 2023. During the pre-construction phase, IOM built temporary structures to ensure continued access to health care services.
Uptick in migrants heading home as world rebounds from Covid: IOM
Global migration, which had decreased by almost 27 percent during the Covid-19 pandemic, has begun to rebound to pre-pandemic levels, according to a recent report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). In 2021, the IOM assisted 49,795 migrants to return to their countries of origin, representing an increase of 18 percent from the previous year, the UN migration agency's "Return and Reintegration Key Highlights 2021," published Thursday, said. Yitna Getachew, head of the agency's Protection Division, said noteworthy in the report is the continued trend of increasing returns from transit countries in other host regions outside Europe. Read: Illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in Maldives 'must collect visas' In 2021, Niger was the largest beneficiary of the IOM's efforts to assist in dignified returns, with the UN agency helping 10,573 head home. Niger's beneficiaries dramatically overshadow any nation in Europe. However, Europe's accumulated beneficiaries still outnumber Niger. The bedrock of assisted voluntary return programmes are reintegration schemes, which provide opportunities to returnees and promote sustainable development, the IOM said. In 2021, the IOM offices in 121 countries supported 113,331 reintegration activities at the individual, community, and structural levels. Overall, the top three countries, including both host and countries of origin, that provided reintegration support in 2021 were Germany, Nigeria and Guinea. Read: Dhaka: Inadequate efforts for climate migrants may lead to global security risk The support consisted mainly of social and economic assistance, as well as reintegration counselling. The aims of these multi-dimensional schemes are to ensure a level of economic self-sufficiency, social stability and psychological well-being to make further migration a choice rather than a necessity.
Climate Change: IOM DDG calls for redoubling efforts ahead of COP 27
International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Deputy Director General (DDG) for Operations Ugochi Daniels has advocated for greater efforts to jointly address climate change and human mobility at national, regional and global levels. “Ahead of COP 27, we need to redouble our efforts to ensure the climate change discourse reflects the climate migration nexus, and that this is recognized by the international community,” she said. DDG Daniels discussed the issues during her discussions with government officials and international humanitarian and development actors. The World Bank estimates that by 2050 one in every seven people in Bangladesh will have been displaced by climate change. Read:D-8 PTA likely to be operational this year to boost intra-trade
Bangladesh truly a champion of migration management: IOM
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has appreciated Bangladesh’s overall migration management and its efforts to stop irregular migration. “On migration management, Bangladesh is really a champion. There is quite a big that your government has done….fair enough to say very strong on migration management,” said Deputy Director General of IOM Ugochi Daniels while responding to a question from UNB on Tuesday. During a small group media briefing at a city hotel, Daniels appreciated bilateral agreements on workers recruitment which will help prevent irregular migration. She laid emphasis on continued efforts to address the root causes - access to education, healthcare and access to livelihoods – and make people well-prepared with adequate knowledge, skills and requirements – before going abroad. “That is what is going to ultimately end the irregular migration.” Read:Dhaka calls for more IOM role in helping climate migrants
Over 59 million internally displaced in 2021
A record 59.1 million people were displaced within their homelands last year, 4 million more than in 2020, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Thursday. For the past 15 years, most internal displacements were triggered by disasters, with annual numbers slightly higher than those related to conflict and violence. Weather-related events such as floods, storms and cyclones resulted in some 23.7 million internal displacements in 2021, mainly in Asia Pacific. With the expected impacts of climate change, and without ambitious climate action, numbers are likely to increase in the coming years, the IOM said. Meanwhile, conflict and violence triggered 14.4 million internal displacements in 2021, a nearly 50 percent increase over the previous year. The majority took place in Africa, particularly Ethiopia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, while Afghanistan and Myanmar saw unprecedented numbers of displacement. Children and youth accounted for more than 40 percent of the total number of those internally displaced last year. Also read: Ukraine war refugees top 5 million as assault intensifies
Step Ahead and IOM organise free computer training course
Step Ahead Bangladesh and IOM Learning together have organized a free computer training course in Moulvibazar’s Kulaura. The training course was inaugurated on Wednesday morning Kulaura Municipality Auditorium by the municipality mayor Sipar Uddin Ahmed. The guests at the ceremony appreciated the organizations for taking such an initiative for the skill development of the people. Step Ahead Bangladesh is a voluntary organisation formed by the school going children-adolescents. This organisation engages in various social welfare activities to help the poor and underprivileged community.