COVID-19: Message from the Director General

Geneva, Switzerland  – Over the past few weeks, across much of the world, our lives have been upended in ways few could have anticipated.

People have had to make drastic and sudden adjustments to their lives, working from home, caring for children who can no longer go to school, restricting movements to essential needs only.

In the midst of this global crisis, which is setting at unprecedented speed, and whose duration we cannot foresee, many of us are naturally concerned for our loved ones, particularly those who are the most vulnerable, whether because of age or health factors. 

My thoughts are thus with those amongst us and the migrants we serve, who are personally affected by the COVID-19 virus disease, and the many who are separated from their families.

Despite these adverse circumstances, I am reminded everyday of the work ethic, the dedication and commitment to this Organization and its values, which sometimes comes at great personal sacrifice.

Everywhere IOM continues to deliver essential aid to populations in need and I have witnessed countless examples of IOM teams devise the most creative ways to sustain their operations.

This spirit and esprit de corps give me great hope that out of this enormous challenge a message of kindness and solidarity may emerge. Kindness and solidarity towards the most vulnerable, around us at home and further afield, in the camps of Cox’s Bazar, in the detention centres of Libya, and the many other locations where migrants and displaced populations need our support, now more than ever.

I have no doubt that together we will overcome this crisis. Please count on my personal commitment to ensure we do so in a manner that safeguards the safety and protection of our personnel, and that of the people we serve.

With great admiration and best wishes to all,

António Vitorino
Director General