IOM humanitarian operations receive USD 43.5 million from Japan
Japan – The National Diet of Japan has approved the country’s supplementary budget fiscal year 2012, which includes USD 43.5 million to support IOM humanitarian operations for vulnerable migrants, internally displaced persons (IDPs), returnees, and host communities worldwide.
The funding is designed to address unmet or unplanned needs during the fiscal year and is the largest amount that IOM has received to date from this Japanese funding mechanism.
The money will fund IOM projects in Afghanistan and Iran, Angola and neighbouring countries, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, Ghana, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and countries neighbouring Syria.
It will provide emergency humanitarian assistance to people affected by migration crises, facilitate return and reintegration of vulnerable migrants, increase government capacity to manage increasingly complex migration flows, and enhance coping mechanisms for communities hosting or receiving displaced populations.
In Somalia, which will account for roughly 23 per cent of the total, the money will be used to provide life-saving assistance through health and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) activities, to promote employment and income-generation through community-based livelihood activities, and to increase the capacity of legally mandated public bodies to address the needs of IDPs.
Largely unregulated population mobility and the weak governance in Somalia have resulted in porous borders which have allowed allowing transnational crimes including piracy, human trafficking, smuggling, arms trafficking and terrorism to thrive.
Funding for IOM operations in Afghanistan, which will account for 21 per cent of the total and also covers Iran, will support continued reintegration and livelihood assistance to returnees from Iran and Pakistan, IDPs and victims of human trafficking.
It will also help the Afghan Government and national NGOs to develop a national referral mechanism for the identification and protection of victims of trafficking. The money will also support the return and reintegration of highly qualified Afghans from Iran.
Some 9.7 per cent of the allocation will be used in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to mitigate two humanitarian crises related to forced migration. One project will focus on directly assisting vulnerable migrants returned from Angola and in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The other will help IDPs in the eastern DRC through the implementation of emergency and conflict alert mechanisms, and reinforcement of the government’s emergency response.
Some USD 3.8 million will also be used to support IOM projects in Mali, Niger and Mauritania, all of which are suffering from the effects of conflict, drought, food scarcity and the return of tens of thousands of migrant workers from Libya.
The money will provide water resources to meet the short-term emergency needs of IDPs; economic and security stabilization in areas heavily impacted by returnees from Libya; reintegration for returnees; community stabilization with a focus on young people; and interventions to enhance food security.
Another USD 2 million will go towards saving lives and improving living conditions for some 93,000 refugees and migrants in Syria’s neighbours – Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.
“Japan’s contribution of USD 43.5 million towards IOM operations this year, the largest allocation so far through this funding mechanism, is a testament to a robust and growing partnership between Japan and IOM in relation to global humanitarian and peace building activities,” said IOM Director General William Lacy Swing.
The funding announcement comes shortly after Director General Swing’s fifth official visit to Japan, during which he met high level officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice, and Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and delivered a keynote speech at an international workshop on migrant integration organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ota City and the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations.
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