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02 October 2018

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New IOM Director General, António Vitorino. Photo: IOM/M. Mohammed

António Vitorino Begins Term as IOM Director General

Geneva – On Monday (01/10), António Vitorino of Portugal became the latest Director General of IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency. Mr. Vitorino succeeds veteran United States diplomat William Lacy Swing, who served two five-year terms as Director General.

IOM Director General António Vitorino, 61 (DOB 12 January 1957), is a former European Commissioner for Justice and Home Affairs (1999-2004) and Portugal’s former Minister of the Presidency and National Defence (1995-1997). He has also enjoyed a distinguished career in Portugal as a lawyer as well as in electoral politics.

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The earthquake and tsunami that hit Central Sulawesi on 28 September 2018 left hundreds dead and tens of thousands displaced. Photo: Indonesian Red Cross/IFRC

IOM Allocates USD 200,000 to Aid Victims of Indonesian Earthquake, Tsunami

JakartaThe UN Migration Agency (IOM) has allocated USD 200,000 from its emergency funds to kickstart an emergency response operation following the powerful earthquake and ensuing tsunami that hit the Indonesian island of Sulawesi on Friday.

“IOM has been meeting with government counterparts, including the Ministry of Social Affairs, and UN partner agencies to discuss the immediate priorities and needs identified by the government. We want to target areas where our intervention can have the greatest positive impact and offer the most support to the government’s ongoing efforts. We will be putting forward proposals which may include deployment of our displacement tracking matrix (DTM) – a tool that maps how many people have been displaced, where they are and their immediate needs, to inform the humanitarian response,” said IOM Indonesia Chief of Mission Mark Getchell.

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  • Reuters reported that Italy’s closing of its ports to rescued migrants is driving up deaths at sea, an Italian think tank said on Monday, using calculations based on numbers collected by UN agencies.
  • Reuters reported on Cuban artist Tania Bruguera's interactive installation at London's Tate Modern which looks at neighbourly behavior and the movement of people.
  • Sputnik spoke to IOM’s Abby Dwommoh who dispelled many misconceptions on migration often cited within Britain's media establishment.
  • Ghana News Agency reported that more than 1,733 African migrants are missing on the high seas as of September this year, Ghana’s Assistant Commissioner of Immigration said.
  • EU Neighbour reported that the EU and its Eastern Partner countries discussed integrated border management at an event in Ukraine organized by the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine, with the support of the European Commission, the European External Action Service and IOM.
  • South Africa’s Marie Claire listed five facts that many people may not know about human trafficking in South Africa.
  • USA Today reported that half of the world’s refugees are children, according to UNICEF. Of those who are of school age, more than half are not in the classroom.
  • ANSA reported that 76 Ethiopians stranded in Libya returned to their country through a voluntary repatriation programme of IOM.

  • Reuters reported that the United Nations has invited Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania and the Polisario Front, a Western Sahara independence movement, for talks in Geneva on the conflict in the desert region next December.
  • The Globe and Mail published an op-ed that noted that essential health care must be extended and made available for irregular migrants, especially if the lack of it threatens their lives.