IOM in Shelter

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has played a major role in humanitarian shelter operations for many decades. IOM’s unique position as an intergovernmental organization allows it to work at scale in both natural disasters and conflict/complex contexts. IOM works in both operations and coordination, and plays a strong role working with partners in support of national authorities. IOM’s overall objectives are (1) to focus on quality and scale of operations, (2) to continue to support the collaborative nature of the Global Shelter Cluster and (3) to increase operational preparedness.

Over the course of 2015, IOM’s Shelter and Non-Food Item (NFI) programmes reached over 5.2 million individuals affected by various types of disasters, working in 40 countries overall. Additionally, IOM had a significant coordination role under both formally activated clusters and in country shelter coordination mechanisms in 20 countries. As a result, following crises, IOM implements a variety of different shelter and NFI operations that are based on assessed needs and capacities, and cover all response phases in both conflicts and natural disaster affected countries.

Over the course of 2015, IOM’s Shelter and NFI programmes reached approximately 1 million households affected by various types of disasters: NFIs were distributed to about 787,400 households, 173,500 households were provided with or supported to build shelters, 86,600 households received cash assistance, 35,300 shelters were repaired and nearly 38,800 individuals received shelter trainings.

IOM continues to maintain a strong role in support of the Global Shelter Cluster leading or co-leading approximately one third of Shelter coordination mechanisms worldwide. Globally, IOM is a key player in the Strategic Advisory Group within the Global Shelter Cluster, and co-leads both the Accountability Working Group of the Global Shelter Cluster and the Technical and Innovation Working Group which was initiated in 2014.

The role of Shelter in IOM

During the 101st session of the IOM Council, IOM's 149 Member States adopted the Migration Crisis Operational Framework (MCOF), a framework which highlights Shelter and Non Food Items response as a core component of this framework.

IOM Shelter responses are defined following assessments of the needs of affected populations. As a result, following crises, IOM implements a variety of different shelter and NFI programmes operations that cover all response phases in both conflicts and natural disaster affected countries. There is a diverse range of operations and forms of support that take place. Shelter is not limited to construction and distribution. Shelter Activities in 2015 included:

  • Stockpiling and preparedness
  • NFI supply chain and logistics
  • Shelter construction, repair and winterization
  • Shelter recovery support and training
  • Rental support through cash
  • Site planning support and upgrade
  • Shelter coordination (IOM leads or co-leads in about 30 percent of responses) 
  • Preparedness and Disaster Risk Reduction

To learn more about IOM shelter and NFI activities, as well as other areas of humanitarian assistance, please visit the Operations section of IOM’s Emergency Operations Manual.

*Click here to access the latest IOM Shelter Update.