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16 August 2017

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Estonian Prime Minister Jüri Ratas (centre) visits IOM Turkey’s offices in Gaziantep on 15 August 217. Photo: IOM 2017

Estonian PM Visits IOM’s Turkish Hub for Operations in Southern Turkey, Northern Syria During Country’s EU Presidency

Gaziantep – Yesterday (15/08), Jüri Ratas, Prime Minister of Estonia, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, visited the IOM, UN Migration Agency, offices in Gaziantep. Turkey’s southern city, close to the Syrian border, is the hub for IOM’s emergency response operations in southern Turkey and northern Syria.

Prime Minister Ratas toured IOM’s office in Gaziantep where IOM programmes provide life-saving assistance, protection services and help build resilience of Syrian refugees as well as internally displaced in northern Syria.  IOM assistance to refugees and internally displaced Syrians include emergency and livelihood support, vocational trainings and psychosocial support.

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Abdullah transforming some of his experiences in Syria into art in a community centre in Turkey. Photo: IOM 2017

“I want the world to hear a simple Syrian story”

(Medium) Syria – “I had the unfortunate luck of being born in Idleb, Syria. Years ago, I never would have said that sentence. I loved living in Syria. But after the fighting started, our lives were ruled by people carrying weapons. Basic rights and necessities, like clean water, were being taken away. People would suddenly disappear or be forced to form a human wall to protect soldiers, forcing civilians to die, instead of the soldiers. At one point, most of the city fled to the countryside. About a month later, the bombing spread to the countryside too, so all the same people returned to the city. Bombs were going off everywhere. There was no difference, no safe place, in the city or in the country.”

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IOM Libya convened a migrant health policy round table attended by Libyan authorities, UN and other partners on 15 August 2017. Photo: IOM 2017

Libyan Authorities Meet with UN Agencies to Discuss Migrant Health

(IOM) Tunis – On 15 August, IOM, the UN Migration Agency, organized a round table on Migrants Health in Libya as part of the regional project Promoting Health and Wellbeing among Migrants in Morocco, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen. This project is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland.

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IOM X is the International Organization for Migration's innovative campaign to encourage safe migration and public action to stop exploitation and human trafficking. The campaign is produced in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). Read more

Godfrey: “I made it my personal mission to demonstrate that migrants are not just takers but givers too.”
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"If there was a regular way for us to escape, my boys would still have their mother." - Father of the three boys. Watch here


A global database tracking data on deceased and missing migrants along migratory routes.
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For the latest Mediterranean Update data on arrivals and fatalities please visit: http://migration.iom.int/europe 


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Migration in the News

  • UN News, AFP, Al Jazeera, UPI and Just Earth News reported that  IOM has released $150,000 in emergency, first-response aid relief after learning Monday that devastating floods and mudslides left hundreds dead in Sierra Leone.
  • The New York Times reported on the plight of young Ethiopians and Somalians who were forced into the sea by human smugglers near the coast of Yemen.
  • UN News, Xinhua, News Agency of Nigeria and other media outlets reported that over the past three days, IOM has found more survivors and victims' remains from last week's tragedy – when hundreds of migrants were forced from two boats into the sea off the coast of Yemen.
  • Sputnik reported that IOM, in cooperation with a number of humanitarian organizations and watchdogs will launch three new assistance programs in Yemen to alleviate the crisis in the war-torn country.
  • Fars News Agency and EIR News Service reported that 602,759 Syrians displaced by the war returned to their homes between January and July of 2017. 
  • The Washington Post reported that aid groups say Italy is forcing them to stop rescuing migrants at sea.
  • Huffington Post reported that over the past week three NGOs have suspended operations assisting in the rescue of migrants attempting to cross the Mediterranean from Libya, coinciding with a 76 per cent drop in the number of people making the perilous journey in the first 10 days of August.
  • Sputnik reported on comments by Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti that some positive developments may be seen in the migration crisis overwhelming both Italy and Libya, but Europe still must join efforts to cope with the influx of migrants passing through the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Time reported that thousands of asylum-seekers in Greece's Aegean islands are stranded in appalling circumstances, according to a new report by Refugees International.
  • Xinhua and Iraqi News reported that weeks after the retaking of Iraq's Mosul city from the ISIL, many internally displaced persons are exhibiting signs of stress and anxiety.
  • Eco Business published an OpEd noting that among the many threats associated with climate change, deteriorating global security may be the most frightening of all.

Trending on the Internet

  • Financial Times reported that migrants from Bangladesh have become the second-largest source of arrivals in Italy this year after Nigerians, a big increase that is reshaping migration flows in the central Mediterranean.


Media Contacts
For interviews and other media requests, please contact the IOM Media and Communications team here.