IOM Marks the Completion of COVID-19 Immigration and Border Management Response Project

Posted: 
03/30/21

Vientiane – On 24 March, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Ministry of Public Security (MoPS) convened a project closing workshop to mark the completion of IOM’s “Responding to Cross Mobility Challenges at Points of Entry in Lao People’s Democratic Republic”, supported by the Australian Government.

The half-day meeting attracted 35 participants from Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Ministry of Health (MoH), MoPS, the Australian Embassy, UN partners, and IOM. Participants reviewed the implementation and key achievements over the programme period from June to December 2020 and provided their inputs for future interventions.

Opening the meeting, Ms. Rhonda Mann, First Secretary at the Australian Embassy, congratulated the Lao Government and IOM on the successful completion of the project. “The Australian Government is very pleased to support Lao People’s Democratic Republic and other countries in the Mekong region in addressing challenges at Points of Entry (PoE). The success in the project outcome and the good relations established between Department of Immigration (DOI) and frontline officials in this critical time are invaluable.” She said.

Pol. Lt. Col. Mr. Souksamai Sayyaseng, the Deputy Director General of the Department of Immigration (DOI), MoPS thanked the Australian Government, IOM and development partners for the support in this project, and added on his vision for future interventions “With the activities, we are able to identify challenges and gaps in existing arrangements, which can benefit our discussions for future interventions.”

“This project has laid a solid foundation for future cooperation in strengthening immigration and borer management. We are thankful for the support from Australian Government, and the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) which allowed us to expand activities to cover ten PoEs.” Ms. Shareen Tuladhar, Chief of Mission at IOM added.

The Responding to COVID-19 Cross-mobility Challenges at Points of Entry in Lao People’s Democratic Republic successfully concluded in March 2021 with funding from the Australian Government. Over 463 (117 women/346 men) direct beneficiaries were reached in Lao People’s Democratic Republic under the programming. Starting in August 2020, IOM and MoPS conducted three PoE Mapping Assessments at Wattay International Airport, Luang Prabang Airport, and Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge I. The team assessed the capacities using IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix survey tool and developed flow diagrams of each PoE to visualize the inbound and outbound flows. Gaps identified later informed IOM’s Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and electronic appliances procurement, support in Water, Sanitization and Hygiene (WASH) facilities and installation of protective screens for frontline officials, and distribution of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials. Trainings were also rolled out to frontline officials across sectors at the three selected PoEs.

Under its Health, Border and Mobility Management Framework, IOM sets to improve the prevention, detection and response to the spread of diseases at points of origin, transit, destination and return. IOM is committed to continue supporting the Lao government in ensuring safe, effective, and humane border management during and post- COVID-19.

For more information, please contact Karen HO at IOM Vientiane. Tel. + 856 (21)267 795. Email: kho@iom.int

  • IOM handed over PPE and electronic appliances to frontline officials at Luang Prabang Airport. Photo: IOM

  • Under this project, IOM provided various support to Lao-Thai Friendship Bridge I, Luang Prabang Airport, and Wattay International Airport in Vientiane Capital and Luang Prabang province. Photo: IOM

  • Pol. Lt. Col. Mr. Souksamai Sayyaseng welcomed thanked IOM and the Australian Government for the support during the project closing workshop. Photo: IOM