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07 November 2018

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Nomads pass the carcass of a goat near Geladid, Ethiopia, following three years of drought. Picture: REUTERS

The Importance of Goats in East Africa’s Recovery from Drought

by Jeffrey Labovitz, IOM Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa

East Africa – Conflict, insecurity, political unrest and the search for economic opportunities continue to drive migration in the East and Horn of Africa.

However, one of the biggest drivers of displacement is not war or the search for better jobs, but changing weather patterns. After five years of drought, more than 1.5-million people were uprooted from their homes as, year by year, the topsoil they till dried and cracked.

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IOM Monitors Caravans of Central American Migrants

Central America – The UN Migration Agency (IOM) continues to provide support and assistance to migrants who have joined the migrant caravans crossing Central America.

“IOM maintains its position that the human rights and basic needs of all migrants must be respected, regardless of their migratory status,” says Christopher Gascon, IOM Chief of Mission in Mexico. “In coordination with UNHCR we will continue to monitor the situation of the caravan counting on field staff, the Mexican Office of Assistance for Migrants and Refugees and partner NGOs, providing information regarding alternatives for regular and safe migration, as well as options for voluntary returns.”

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Constanze: "In my opinion, one can only benefit from living in a different country."

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Data Bulletin: Informing a Global Compact for Migration by IOM’s Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC)
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  • UN News reported that activists from nine countries joined the Caravan of Mothers of Missing Migrants in Mexico City last weekend, as well as representatives from IOM’s Missing Migrants Project.
  • Xinhua and RT reported that according to UN agencies the number of migrants and refugees who died while crossing the Mediterranean this year has exceeded 2,000 and the number of people crossing the sea reached 100,630. 
  • Reuters picked up a Monday report from the Spanish Coast Guard which recorded the deaths of at least 17 migrants who tried to cross the sea from North Africa to Spain.
  • Bangladesh’s New Age New Age published an op-ed which calls on Dhaka to make bilateral agreements with destination countries to protect the rights of Bangladeshi migrants workers. The op-ed also noted that the government should take on the issue during the Colombo Process meeting.
  • Jim Purcell, former IOM Director General, said that the post-Vietnam War refugee model could offer hope for the migrant caravan in a  Dallas News op-ed.
  • Xinhua reported that eight East African countries promised to establish inter-agency cross-border technical working groups to improve the efficiency of border operation.
  • Quartz reported that according to witnesses, gunmen abducted dozens of young students from a secondary school in Nkwen (on the outskirts of Bamenda, Cameroon) on Monday in a kidnapping that recalls the 2014 abduction of 276 schoolgirls in Chibok, Nigeria.

  • New York Times reported on the Citizen’s Platform for the Support of Refugees, which consists of roughly 7,000 Belgians volunteering to help migrants and asylum seekers.
  • The Guardian shared stories from the New Beginnings festival in Sydney, which showcases music, craft and food from those with refugee and migrant backgrounds.