International Organization for Migration
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.
The number of people who had left Ukraine reached 1.45 million as Russia's war on Ukraine entered Day 10 Saturday, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The UN migration agency, citing figures from government ministries in countries where they arrived, said 787,300 of them went to Poland. Around 228,700 fled to Moldova, 144,700 to Hungary, 132,600 to Romania and 100,500 to Slovakia. Nationals of 138 countries crossed Ukraine's borders into neighbouring nations, the IOM said. Also read: Ukraine wants special tribunal to judge Putin The military offensive in Ukraine has destroyed civilian infrastructure and civilian casualties and forced people to flee their homes seeking safety, protection and assistance. In the first week, more than 1 million refugees from Ukraine crossed borders into neighbouring countries, and many more are on the move both inside and outside the country. As the situation continues to unfold, an estimated 4 million people may flee the country, according to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) In light of the emergency and paramount humanitarian needs of refugees from Ukraine, an inter-agency regional refugee response is being carried out, in support of refugee-hosting countries’ efforts, it says. The regional refugee response plan brings together the UN, NGO and other relevant partners and primarily focuses on supporting the host country governments to ensure safe access to the territory for refugees and third-country nationals fleeing from Ukraine, in line with international standards. It also focuses on the provision of critical protection services and humanitarian assistance, while displacement dynamics and needs continue to grow exponentially. Also read: Refugee count tops 1 million; Russians besiege Ukraine ports
A weeklong exhibition of 100 cultural objects and artworks representing key aspects of Rohingya memory, experience, and aspiration began in the city on Sunday. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Center for Peace Studies (CPS) of the South Asian Institute of Policy and Governance (SIPG) of North South University (NSU) are hosting the exhibition that will continue till September 25. The inaugural ceremony of the exhibition was held at NSU where the collection is being displayed. Rohingya artisans of IOM’s Rohingya Cultural Memory Centre (RCMC) prepared the cultural objects and artworks, with the support of the Embassy of the Netherlands. The exhibiting collection -- handmade by the camp-living refugees in Cox’s Bazar -- is a part of an ongoing effort by the RCMC to help comprehensively document and preserve the heritage of the Rohingya people. IOM Bangladesh’s Chief of Mission Giorgi Gigauri said by showcasing the beauty and complexity of the Rohingya heritage and people, the exhibition aims to empower the community and ensure the continuity of its cultural heritage for future generations. "The RCMC offers a platform for the Rohingya people to share and build their stories with a global audience and to connect with the diaspora.” READ: FM seeks Commonwealth solidarity for Rohingya repatriation
At least 1,146 people died attempting to reach Europe by sea in the first six months of 2021, according to a new briefing released by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on Wednesday. Deaths along these routes more than doubled so far this year compared to the same period in 2020, when 513 migrants are known to have drowned. Read: 160 Bangladeshi migrants return from Libya with IOM support The brief sheds light on the ongoing situation along some of the most dangerous maritime migration routes worldwide. While the number of people attempting to cross to Europe via the Mediterranean increased by 58 per cent between January and June this year compared to the same period in 2020, more than twice as many people have lost their lives. “IOM reiterates the call on States to take urgent and proactive steps to reduce loss of life on maritime migration routes to Europe and uphold their obligations under international law,” says IOM Director General António Vitorino. Read: IOM ramps up health response as 2nd wave of COVID-19 hits Cox's Bazar “Increasing search-and-rescue (SAR) efforts, establishing predictable disembarkation mechanisms and ensuring access to safe and legal migration pathways are key steps towards achieving this goal.” The analysis, produced by the Missing Migrants Project at the IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC), shows an increase in deaths coupled with insufficient search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean and on the Atlantic Route to the Canary Islands, and at a time when interceptions off the North African coast are also on the rise. So far in 2021, most of the men, women and children who died trying to reach Europe were attempting to cross the Mediterranean, where 896 deaths have been documented by IOM. At least 741 people died on the Central Mediterranean route, while 149 people lost their lives crossing the Western Mediterranean and six died on the Eastern Mediterranean route from Turkey to Greece. In the same period, some 250 people drowned attempting to reach Spain’s Canary Islands on the West Africa/Atlantic route. However, that count may well be low. Hundreds of cases of invisible shipwrecks have been reported by NGOs in direct contact with those on board or with their families. Such cases, which are extremely difficult to verify, indicate that deaths on maritime routes to Europe are far higher than available data show. One example is from 24 March, when Sohail Al Sagheer, a 22-year-old Algerian rapper, went missing when he and nine friends left from Oran, Algeria to Spain. His family conducted a frantic search for information about what happened to him, torn with rumors that he was among the victims of a shipwreck off Almería, Spain. His remains were finally recovered on 5 April, off the coast of Aïn Témouchent, Algeria. The brief also shows an increase for the second consecutive year in North African states' maritime operations along the Central Mediterranean route. More than 31,500 people were intercepted or rescued by North African authorities in the first half of 2021, compared to 23,117 in the first six months of 2020. Such operations off the coast of Tunisia have increased by 90 per cent in the first six months of 2021 compared to 2020. In addition, over 15,300 people were returned to Libya in the first six months of 2021, almost three times higher than the same period in 2020 (5,476 people). This is concerning given that migrants who are returned to Libya are subjected to arbitrary detention, extortion, disappearances, and torture. The briefing highlights the ongoing data gaps on irregular maritime migration to Europe. Better data, IOM said, can help states urgently address their commitments under Objective 8 of the Global Compact for Migration to “save lives and establish coordinated international efforts on missing migrants.”
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has called for renewed international commitment, support and solidarity for the Rohingyas ahead of next Tuesday’s donor conference and launch of the 2021 Joint Response Plan (JRP) for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis. The 2021 JRP brings together the efforts of the government of Bangladesh, and 134 UN agencies and NGO partners to target almost 1.4 million people this year, said UNHCR spokesperson Andrej Mahecic in Geneva on Friday. Jointly co-hosted by the government of Bangladesh, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and UNHCR, the virtual 2021 JRP launch event will highlight the most immediate needs and the ongoing humanitarian response. Also read: UNHCR supporting Cox’s Bazar locals with community projects, livelihood initiatives The event is scheduled to run from 10 am to 12 pm CEST Geneva (2-4 pm in Dhaka) on May 18. The event will be live streamed. Last year, the United Nations appealed for more than US$1 billion to meet the needs of the Rohingya refugees and host communities in Cox’s Bazar district. At the end of 2020, this appeal was just 59.4% funded. "We stress that the international community must not only maintain support for refugees and their hosts, but also adapt to new and emerging needs and pursue the search for durable solutions," said the spokesperson. More than 880,000 Rohingya refugees and 472,000 Bangladeshis in the surrounding host communities in Cox’s Bazar district are brought under the plan. Most Rohingya refugees, some 740,000, fled violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State in 2017. With the refugee crisis in its fourth year, Bangladesh needs robust and sustained international support to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the stateless Rohingya refugees, said Mahecic. Also read: Don’t worry about Rohingya relocation to Bhasan Char: Dhaka to UNHCR "This must not become a forgotten crisis. Both Rohingya refugees and Bangladesh, having generously hosted them for decades, must see the world standing with them," said the spokesperson. Adding to the complexity of this crisis, the Covid-19 pandemic has compounded vulnerabilities for refugees and host communities alike. To date, the government of Bangladesh, with the support of the humanitarian community, has effectively managed the Covid-19 response and the spread of the disease in the Rohingya camps and surrounding areas, though the trajectory of the virus remains unpredictable, UNHCR said. A coordinated and inclusive response has saved lives. However, it is critical to ensure the continued delivery of all humanitarian assistance and protection services. The needs of the Rohingyas reach beyond subsistence and physical safety. Refugees, like any other people, cannot be allowed to wait for years without access to education and options for a decent life and a meaningful future. In order to mitigate the risks of people taking dangerous onward journeys, more must be done to ensure that refugees have hope in Bangladesh, and of a future back home in Myanmar, according to the UN Refugee Agency. Otherwise, they may increasingly risk such journeys by land or sea to find a solution elsewhere. The search for durable solutions must remain focused on the voluntary, safe, dignified and sustainable return of the Rohingya refugees to their homes in Myanmar, when conditions allow them to do so. Also read: Rohingya Crisis: S Korea provides $ 1.5 million to UNHCR However, the ongoing crisis and political instability in Myanmar have added new layers of complexity to this challenge.
Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women Marise Payne on Thursday (March 25, 2021) announced an additional $10 million in emergency assistance from the existing humanitarian budget to those affected by the fire at Cox’s Bazar Rohingya camp. “This funding is in addition to the over $260 million Australia has provided to the humanitarian response for Rohingya refugees and host communities in Bangladesh since 2017,” said Senator Payne. Also read: $ 20mn required to respond to urgent needs after Rohingya camps fire: IOM Their additional support will be provided through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Organization for Migration, the World Food Programme and the United Nations Population Fund. “I am deeply saddened by the news of the devastating fire at Kutupalong Balukali refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. I offer my sincere condolences to those who have lost loved ones,” she said in a statement. The impact on over 120,000 people and the extensive damage to food distribution centres, health clinics, learning centres and essential facilities is of great concern to Australia and the international community, said the Australian Minister. Also read: Maldives sends message of sympathy over Rohingya camp fire She commended the response of the government of Bangladesh and Rohingya volunteers who assisted with bringing the fire under control and the initial rescue operation, and the humanitarian agencies delivering food assistance, emergency shelter, and water and sanitation services for those affected. “Australia is committed to sustaining our humanitarian assistance for the Rohingya and host communities in Cox’s Bazar,” she said. Also read: Australia working closely with Bangladesh: Marise Payne
International Organization for Migration (IOM) has pledged US$ 1 million from its emergency fund to the relief efforts after the Rohingya camps fire and it said further US$ 20 million is required to respond to the most urgent needs. The massive fire swept through three IOM-managed sites Monday displacing roughly 45,000 Rohingya refugees and causing catastrophic damage in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, the world’s largest refugee camp. Also read:Dhaka seeks proactive global support to end Rohingya crisis More than 10,000 shelters were damaged in the fire and the largest health centre in the camp was destroyed. The loss of the 24/7 health centre, which served more than 55,000 people in the last year, now further complicates the challenge of responding to COVID-19, IOM said. The fire that raged through the camps only slowed once it reached the main roads, slopes, canals and rice fields. It has since subsided, but not before consuming essential facilities, shelters and the personal belongings of tens of thousands of people. Also read:IOM, UK EMT continue Covid health support for Rohingyas The cause of the fire is still unknown. According to humanitarian agencies and local authorities, 11 people have lost their lives, more than 500 people have been injured and roughly 400 are still missing. “This disaster is a terrible setback that exacerbates the humanitarian needs of refugees in Cox’s Bazar,” said IOM’s Director General António Vitorino. "We will need to start from zero to rebuild. Our hearts are with all those affected. We are committed to helping them build back safer with the support of the government of Bangladesh, our donors, partners and humanitarian actors.” In the immediate aftermath, government response services, including the fire brigade, the army and humanitarian agencies rushed to the area to put out the fire.
To mitigate and reduce the risks of Gender-based Violence (GBV) in Cox’s Bazar, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) inaugurated (02/03) its first Women and Girls Safe Space (WGSS) for host communities on Tuesday.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has launched a 24-month project for returning migrants and vulnerable host communities to use the troubled time to do something crucial, even though it may not pay off for years.