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19 November 2018

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A family in Yemen receives treated mosquito nets to protect its members from malaria. Photo: IOM

MER: Stories of the UN Migration Agency’s Health Care Initiatives in Yemen, Lebanon and Jordan

Middle East and North Africa (IOM) – Conflict and humanitarian crises have affected populations in the Middle East, leading to large numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs)and refugees. The UN Migration Agency (IOM) and The Global Fund have launched the Middle East Response (MER) initiative (2017–2019) which provides HIV, malaria and TB care and treatment to migrant populations, including refugees, IDPs and vulnerable populations in Syria, Yemen, Jordan, and Lebanon. The initiative focuses on ensuring continuity of health services during conflict or service disruption, providing support to key and vulnerable populations in Yemen and Syria, particularly those in hard-to-reach areas, and to refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. The following stories outline MER case studies from 2018.

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Geography class at Umbili Girls, where IOM water, sanitation and hygiene teams support students. Photo: O. Headon/IOM

Stopping History from Repeating Itself

South Sudan (IOM) – When Deputy Principal Rose was in school, there was about a week of each month, which she dreaded. Every twenty-eight days or so, she often found herself missing school. A keen student with an innate love of learning, she loathed this forced truancy.

With no menstrual management support, Rose could see no other option but to wait out her period at home.


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Learn more about the Festival on our GMFF website.


Joshi: "They’ve asked me why I sing the national anthem with such love if I’m not from here. But I feel Salvadoran just like anyone else."

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  • The Epoch Times reported on Cameroonians who have returned home after attempting to migrate to Europe and the challenges of increasing repatriation assistance to its returning citizens.

  • Lusaka Times reported that United Nations agencies will support Zambia to conduct its 2020 National Census.

  • AFP reported that 22 migrants have gone missing in the waters off Morocco's Atlantic Coast after their boat capsized, according to state news agency MAP.

  • Sarajevo Times reported that the Croatian government has accepted the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, and that its Interior Minister will represent the country at the conference next month in Marrakech, Morocco.

  • The Guardian reported on a project that aims to create jobs and reduce tensions between migrants and the local community on the Greek island of Lesvos.

  • AP reported that thousands of Central American migrants in caravans are relying on social media, text messages and brief cellphone calls to connect with worried loved ones back home as they traverse a dangerous route.

  • Reuters reported that Pope Francis has criticized rising wealth inequality and the treatment of migrants, saying the world should not ignore those “tossed by the waves of life.”