Appeal Request
USD 3 billion
IOM Operational reach in emergencies
37 million people

Conflicts, armed violence, disasters, epidemics, pandemics and other crises force millions of people to leave their homes and communities, sometimes for years or even decades. More than 82 million people are currently living in displacement within and across borders with disasters displacing around 25 million on average each year. Economic downturns, political instability and other drivers also compel large population movements.

As the leading UN agency working on migration, we are committed to saving lives and helping populations move out of harm’s way. We protect and assist those displaced or stranded by crisis, and support populations and their communities to recover. We work to mitigate adverse drivers that force people from their homes, help build resilience and focus on reducing disaster risk so that movement and migration can be a choice.

The Organization is among the world’s largest humanitarian actors and one of the few international organizations directly impacting programmes across the humanitarian, development and peace nexus to provide comprehensive responses at all phases of crises. 

Why does mobility matter during a crisis?

Most crises – including conflicts, armed violence, disasters, epidemics, pandemics, severe economic downturns or other types – have mobility dimensions, particularly when:     

  • People move, or require support to move, to get out of harm’s way  
  • Populations that were displaced or otherwise forced to move – or are stranded – due to crisis have specific protection and/or assistance needs  
  • Populations return home, relocate or integrate into local communities as part of their recovery from the crisis  
  • Communities must adapt to accommodate the sudden and/or large influx of population   sometimes temporarily, sometimes longer-term  
  • Nomadic routes or seasonal labour cycles among other mobility practices may be disrupted  

IOM uniquely applies its expertise in movement and mobility to save lives and to address the wide-ranging and far-reaching impacts of sudden population movements or altered migration patterns on individuals and communities. 




In some crisis situations, IOM facilitates access and provides support to the broader humanitarian community through coordinating humanitarian interventions with the following partners:

Capacity for Disaster Risk Reduction Initiative

Civil Society

Cluster Approach

Inter-Agency Standing Committee

Standby Partners