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04 September 2018

Comments/questions: editor@iom.int

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Ali was trapped in rubble under his house when it collapsed during the conflict. He poses for a photo after his return in June 2018. Photo: Sarah Ali Abed/IOM

Iraq Displacement Figures Drop Below Two Million for First Time Since 2014; Nearly Four Million Have Returned Home

Erbil – For the first time in nearly four years, the number of displaced Iraqis has fallen below two million, according to a milestone IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) report released today (04/09).

Data collected by IOM staff for the 100th DTM report, concluded that 1,931,868 people remain displaced, the lowest figure since November 2014. Round 100 also reported that nearly four million people have returned home. Publication of this data is significant for IOM, the UN Migration Agency, as it marks more than four years of tracking displacement in Iraq.

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Migrants in Serbia huddle around a power strip to charge their smartphones. Photo: Ziad Reslan

When Battery Life Saves Human Life

For forced migrants, smartphones are key to their survival

San Francisco (TechCrunch)  Few would equate human life with battery life, but for many migrants escaping war or famine, a single percentage point of battery can mean getting the right information at the right time – or not surviving at all.

Smartphones today have become an integral part of a forced migrant’s journey. From navigating mountains in Central Asia using Google Maps to staying connected with family back home via WhatsApp, smartphones have transformed the migrant experience – though not always for the better.

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Marion: "I think I am going to stay here, until I feel I have done my best. There is still so much more that I can do."

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  • Xinhua and IANS reported that at least 33 African migrants drowned off the eastern coast of Yemen after smugglers forced boat passengers into the sea.
  • AFP reported that more than 600 migrants were rescued in the Mediterranean on Monday as they attempted to make the perilous crossing to Spain.
  • AFP and The Guardian reported that according to a UN report, the likelihood of dying during the Mediterranean crossing has risen significantly even though the number of migrants and refugees attempting the perilous journey has fallen sharply.
  • Nyasa Times reported that Malawians stranded in South Africa will be offered voluntary return and reintegration support by IOM as part of a project that will also be implemented in Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

  • NPR reported about a German far-right group that delivers aid to Syrian refugees in Lebanon to prevent them from migrating to Europe.