IOM Holds High Level Event on Crisis Response

Switzerland – IOM is today (14/03) holding a high-level event in Geneva, Switzerland to reflect on the evolving global humanitarian landscape, the importance of principled action, awareness raising and engagement on the significance of early investments in root causes of crises and in promoting resilience.

The event, which is being attended by the organization’s senior management, senior representatives from UN agencies and other key partners, also seeks to contribute to the assessment of the organization’s role in responding to the migration dimensions of crises and the criticality of strong partnerships.

With more than 60 million people currently displaced by conflict or violence induced displacement and with no end in sight to the many crises around the world, IOM and its partners have had to step-up their response to increasingly complex and protracted crises. Providing critical support to the large numbers of affected populations and states has resulted in humanitarian response and other relevant systems being stretched to exceptional levels, as illustrated by the number of L3 emergencies.

Speaking ahead of the event IOM Director General William Lacy Swing said: “We are experiencing a time of unprecedented crises and human mobility and we are in a year of critical summits and decisions. The time is now for us to reflect on where we stand and where we need to go in responding to migration crises as an organization.”

IOM’s response to migration crises has reached record levels, with IOM considerably expanding its operational span. Simultaneously, efforts are being made to continuously improve standards and predictability for crisis response and strengthen related policy frameworks. This process of institutional growth and strengthening has culminated in the development and adoption at the end of 2015 of IOM’s humanitarian policy – Principles for Humanitarian Action – and related policy frameworks on protection mainstreaming and the progressive resolution of displacement situations.

“Today’s event is an opportune moment to take stock, with the support of some of our key partners, of the state of humanitarian actions and of transition, recovery and resilience, in order to better understand and assess how we collectively respond to the mobility dimensions of crises. We must recognize that today’s challenges are best met through partnership and joint action. This is especially true in the field of migration, which by definition requires responses that transcend any one country or any single sector,” Ambassador Swing said.

He added that 2016 – IOM’s 65th anniversary – is an important year for the organization, its partners and the migrants rely on its lifesaving critical assistance and it was his expectation that the event will result in a set of concrete recommendations, which may be political, institutional, structural or programmatic in nature, but will serve to strengthen humanitarian response.

The complexity of human mobility around crises and the growing necessity to better manage migration for the benefit of migrants and states, continue to present unique challenges on a global scale.

In line with IOM’s Migration Crisis Operational Framework which guides IOM’s crisis response, there is a growing need to balance a principled humanitarian approach with early investment in fostering resilience and transition to development approaches, and more broadly to reflect IOM’s newly approved Migration Governance Framework.

For further information please contact Anita Jawadurovna Wadud in IOM HQ, Tel: +41 78 960 3326, Email: