Crisis Response Beneficiaries
31.1 million
WASH programming
12.9 million
Cash-based assistance
2.6 million
Shelter Assistance
9.5 million

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, IOM is 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.

IOM is amongst the largest humanitarian actors in the world and one of the few international organizations directly implementing programmes across the humanitarian, development and peace nexus providing comprehensive, holistic and inclusive responses throughout all phases of crises. IOM’s efforts to address the mobility dimensions of crisis is framed by the Migration Crisis Operational Framework (MCOF).

MCOF is a practical, operational and institution-wide tool to improve and systematize the way in which the organization supports its Member States and partners to better prepare for and respond to migration crises.

Using MCOF, IOM uniquely applies its expertise in migration and mobility to save lives and to address the wide-ranging and far-reaching impacts of crisis-relevant population movements or altered migration patterns on individuals and communities. IOM uses MCOF to ensure that the perspectives of affected people and impacts of crises on displaced populations, migrants and communities are consistently taken into account.

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 Partnerships

Cluster Approach

Inter-Agency Standing Committee

Standby Partners