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18 August 2017

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Families displaced by recent mudslide and the floods in Sierra Leone. Photo: IOM 2017

Emergency Operations in Sierra Leone as Government, UN Agencies Respond to Floods
Posted on Fri. August 18, 2017

Freetown – More than 300 people have died with hundreds more still missing following severe mudslides and floods in Sierra Leone’s capital, according to the Office of National Security (ONS). Two districts have been affected: Freetown (eastern and western outskirts) and Bo district.

Inter-agency rapid assessments conducted by five different teams including IOM, the UN Migration Agency, in 16 communities on Tuesday (15/08) are indicating that around 1,100 households are directly affected (approximately 4,000 people). These are still preliminary figures to be confirmed by further assessments.

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Over 38,000 Migrants Assisted with Voluntary Return by UN Migration Agency in First Half of 2017
Posted on Fri. August 18, 2017

Geneva – Some 19,088 migrants have returned home voluntarily with assistance from IOM, the UN Migration Agency, from 1 April to 30 June 2017, according to the IOM AVRR quarterly bulletin published today (18/08).

These migrants have returned from 81 host and transit countries to 136 countries and territories of origin.

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South Sudanese refugee children in a reception centre within Palorinya settlement in northwestern Uganda. Photo: IOM

UN Migration Agency Steps Up Life-saving Support in Uganda as South Sudanese Refugees Hit 1 Million
Posted on Fri. August 18, 2017

Kampala – The number of South Sudanese fleeing to Uganda has surpassed 1 million. IOM, the UN Migration Agency, has intensified its efforts to help refugees and the communities hosting them in coordination with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency. Since the crisis erupted in South Sudan in December 2013, nearly 4 million people have been displaced from their homes due to insecurity and rising humanitarian needs.

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“i am a migrant” is part of the UN TOGETHER initiative that promotes respect, safety and dignity for those who have left home in search of a better life. More here

Jenan: "There was always a piece of me that was different no matter what group of people I was trying to fit in with."
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Migration in the News

  • AFP reported that Spanish police on Thursday said they had shut down a gang charging migrants 5,000 euros each to bring them across from Morocco via the Strait of Gibraltar on jet-skis. |
  • The Guardian, Sputnik, and Apsny News reported that Spain lacks the resources and capacity to protect the rising number of refugees and migrants reaching it by sea.
  • Sputnik reported that Italian Interior Minister Marco Minniti on Thursday criticized Austria's decision to deploy troops at their shared border in the Alps, stressing that the move was unjustified, local media reported.
  • Newsweek reported that Bulgaria’s defense minister has said the European Union should use military means to defend its external borders from migrants entering irregularly.
  • AP reported that migration trends are shifting across the Mediterranean region, based on data from IOM and UNHCR.
  • CNN reported that Europe’s migrant crisis is not going away, but is changing.
  • AFP and Xinhua reported that Libyan authorities coordinated with IOM in the assisted voluntary return on Thursday of 135 Nigerian migrants, including women and children, who had made failed attempts to cross the Mediterranean to Europe, an official said.
  • Gambia’s The Point reported that 136 Gambian migrants returned to the Gambia from Libya on Wednesday.
  • Bangladesh’s The Independent reported that cases against human traffickers and middlemen are piling up due to a shortage of judges in Cox’s Bazar.
  • El Pais reported that nearly 400,000 migrants each year cross the border from Guatemala to Mexico, where obstacles begin for thousands of Central Americans fleeing violence, poverty and hunger.
  • EFE reported that the executive director of the World Food Program, David Beasley, has said that irregular migration to the United States could be reduced if Guatemala addresses the problem of hunger in its territory.

Trending on the Internet

  • Deutsche Welle reported on a special exhibit in the Neanderthal Museum in Mettmann, Germany,  entitled "Two Million Years of Migration," that explores the history of human movement and reveals that today's migration routes are uncannily similar to those from thousands of years ago.


Media Contacts
For further comment on today’s news, please contact IOM colleagues listed at the end of each press briefing note. For interviews and other media requests, please contact the IOM Media and Communications team here.