Photo Stories

During the cultural orientation classes, participants mentioned that their primary concerns were housing, employment and schooling their children. Many of the children on today's flight were unable to attend school in Lebanon as their parents have struggled to find regular employment and were unable to pay for the tuition. © IOM 2013 (Photo by Samantha Donkin)

Helping 255 Syrian refugees leave for Germany


Last 18 November, the fourth flight carrying 255 Syrian refugees departed from Lebanon to Germany. Since September 11, IOM has assisted 643 Syrians to leave Lebanon to Germany under the Government's Humanitarian Admissions Programme (HAP).

© IOM 2013 (Photo by Leonard Doyle)

Ground Truth


IOM Director General William Lacy Swing and  World Food Programme Executive Director Ertharin Cousin learned first hand from governor Victor Tanco of badly stricken Capiz what the actual situation is in an emergency center.

Aerial view of the devastated city of Tacloban. © IOM 2013 (Photo by Conrad Navidad)

IOM Active at Typhoon Ground Zero


A week after it was smashed by super typhoon Haiyan, Tacloban, Central Philippines, is a city in shock. The wall of water which hit as the storm surged has left the city of 220,000 in ruins, without essential services, in short, in a state of profound crisis. There’s no food, precious little water, no health services, no schools, and the military is enforcing an 8pm to 5am curfew across the stricken city.

Thousands of charred wooden poles are all that remain of the once - thriving Badjao (

IOM supports thousands displaced by unrest in the southern Philippines


Zamboanga, the sixth largest city in the Philippines, was the scene of violent clashes between the Moro National Liberation Front and the national army in September. Some 130,000 people fled form the fighting, ending up in displaced camps in schools, a local sports stadium, or in tents and shelters along the sea front.

Rita Elatabelo (66) from Antequera, stands in the living room of the house she and her late husband built for their retirement, after a lifetime of work in the capital Manila. She and her 36-year-old son, who has learning difficulties, are sleeping in a minibus-taxi. © IOM 2013 (Photo by Joe Lowry)

Looking at recovery and reconstruction in Central Philippines


On the morning of October 15 a 7.2 magnitude earthquake rocked the islands of Bohol and Cebu in the central Philippines. As it was a holiday many people were outdoors so fatalities were kept to under 200, but, over 45,000 houses were damaged and 350,000 people displaced. In all, some 3 million people are affected, with many still frightened to go into their homes due to the 2,193 aftershocks that have hit the area.

A man waits patiently for staff to weigh his luggage at the IOM office in Beirut. On 10 October, IOM assisted 106 Syrian refugees to leave Beirut and travel to Hanover, Germany. © IOM 2013 (Photo: Remi Itani)

106 Syrian refugees fly to Germany


On 10 October 2013, IOM assisted 106 Syrian refugees to fly from Beirut to Hanover, Germany. The plane carried 67 adults and 39 children and was operated by Jordan Aviation. The refugees have been accepted for temporary stay in Germany under the government’s Humanitarian Admissions Program (HAP). IOM provides medical, transit, and cultural orientation assistance to refugees accepted for resettlement.

Two men talk quietly in the corner of the courtyard at the IOM office in Beirut. On 11th of September 107 Syrian refugees boarded a plane in Beirut, Lebanon and landed on the afternoon of the same day in Hannover, Germany. © IOM 2013 (Photo by Samantha Donkin)

First batch of Syrian refugees takes flight to Germany


On 11th of September 107 Syrian refugees boarded a plane in Beirut, Lebanon and landed on the afternoon of the same day in Hannover, Germany. As part of the German Humanitarian Admissions Programme (HAP), IOM will assist 4,000 Syrian refugees to reach Germany in the next year where they will be temporarily welcomed until they are able to return home in safety and dignity or find other durable solutions.

Heavy rains on Wednesday 28 August in Bamako left 37 deaths and about 20,000 people displaced. © IOM 2013 (Photo by Fabrice Recalt)

IOM continues flood relief effort


IOM is continuing to support the Malian Government in responding to the emergency caused by  floods that hit the capital Bamako on the 28th of August. It is reported that the floods left 37 dead and affected some 2,133 families or 20,000 people. As part of the response, IOM has already handed over 500 non-food (NFI) relief kits containing sleeping mats, blankets, mosquito nets and kitchen supplies to the Malian Government to help the worst affected families.

© IOM 2013 (Photo by Ilaria Lanzoni)

Theater as Therapy


Life conditions in camps can be tough. The forced cohabitation in a limited space and the consequent lack of privacy and security issues can take a toll on camp dwellers. In this context, the theater workshops organized by IOM provide them with an opportunity to give voice to the difficulties and challenges encountered in their everyday life in camps, with beneficial effects in terms of stress reduction and management of negative feelings. The workshops also represent a unique moment for diversion, self-expression and communal learning in a context that doesn't offer many amusement opportunities.

Iván Cepeda Castro, member of the Colombian House of Representatives from Bogotá. His father was a militant in the 1980s in the Patriotic Union political party, and was killed by military groups in 1994. © Democratic Culture Foundation (Fucude)

Colombia publishes The Peace Library


The Colombian Government’s efforts to find peace through mediation with humanitarian goals and civil society initiatives have been compiled and published in The Peace Library or La Biblioteca de la Paz, a nine-volume series which follows presidential periods from 1982 until 2012, and the peace initiatives carried out by each president.

Responding to the Severe Drought in the Marshall Islands


The response to a severe drought in the Marshall Islands is entering its second phase, as initial deliveries of emergency food supplies, principally funded by USAID. IOM’s rapidly-established air and sea bridges have delivered an estimated 45 metric tons (100,000 pounds) of food to 677 households on islands over 400 miles (640 km) from Majuro.