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17 December 2018

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Photo: IOM/Sibylle Desjardins

Environmental Migration and Displacement

By Dina Ionesco and Mariam Traore Chazalnoel (IOM) 

Geneva/New York  (The European - Security and Defence Union) – Examples of how climate conditions can directly or indirectly lead to the migration of people can be found on all continents, from the hundreds of thousands of people displaced overnight by floods and hurricanes in the United States, to rural population on the Sahel unable to access water and grazing resources. Robust scientific analysis corroborates what common sense tells us: in a world subjected to increasing threats of climate change, people are  – and will continue – migrating to cope with the impacts on their daily lives.

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Libya: Returning Home to Start a New Life

Tripoli (Medium) – I had the chance to meet Kone* –  an Ivorian woman and pharmacist – while working to secure the last details of the charter flight she was about to board home.

It was a long day for Kone, a slow but exciting wait for her flight. Still, she seemed composed. She was delighted to share a few words that she has been keeping inside, and I could not keep myself from stealing a few moments to listen to her.

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Photo: IOM/Olivia Headon

How to Improve IDP Aid Delivery in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa (Devex) – Walking through the marketplaces of Ethiopia’s capital, mounds of vegetables cover the tarps laid out on the ground. Hands thrust onions, potatoes, strings of garlic, and live chickens at passersby, and crowds make their way to pick up daily produce. Elsewhere in Africa’s second most populous country, 2.8 million internally displaced people are living in underserved camps with inadequate food.

Eighty percent of this internal displacement is due to conflict – with ethnic conflicts in the regions on Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambella, and the Gedeo-West Guji zones of the Oromia region, among others. Flooding in the Afar, Somali, and Oromia regions and ongoing droughts have also forced families to leave their homes in search of shelter and work – the 85 percent of Ethiopia’s workforce dependent upon agriculture and pastoralism is drastically impacted by the country’s extreme weather events. 

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Miwa: “If I had stayed in Japan I would not be the person I am today.”

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“This t-shirt kept me safer. When I pick it up today,  I remember the difficulties I faced, and tears fall from my eyes.”

Hannatu Yusuf: Internally displaced from Baga, to Maiduguri Displacement Camp, Nigeria

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Against the backdrop of the UN’s Global Compact on Migration, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, the mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone, says local leadership must play a key role in managing migration. It’s time to listen to mayors, she says.

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  • UN News reported that a new plan coordinated by UNHCR and IOM to cover the urgent needs of Venezuelan refugees and migrants was launched in Geneva on Friday. 

  • NPR reported that in Turkey and across the Middle East and Europe, evangelical Christians are converting Muslim refugees eager to emigrate to the West.

  • Reliefweb reported that USAID and IOM launched Afghanistan’s National Referral Mechanism and Trafficking in Persons Online Database in Kabul, to strengthen counter-trafficking protection measures of the Government of Afghanistan.

  • Libyan Express reported that IOM, in cooperation with Libyan authorities, delivered essential humanitarian assistance to communities in Tawergha and in the surrounding village of al-Emarat. 

  • Aljazeera and Gulf Times reported that Qatar has signed an agreement with the United Nations to provide shelter to more than 26,000 displaced people from war-torn Yemen.

  • HINA reported that European border guard agency Frontex will soon deploy on the border between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in response to the pressure of migrants travelling westward. 

  • Los Angeles Times reported that dehydration is thought to be one of the biggest killers of the hundreds of people who die attempting the treacherous desert trek to enter the United States each year.

  • Africa Renewal published an op-ed which noted the Global Compact for Migration’s immediate impact is that safe, orderly and regular migration is currently at the forefront of global conversation.

  • WHO reported on the adoption of the Global Compact for Migration, noting that IOM will coordinate the implementation of the GCM and will provide the Secretariat for the newly established UN migration network.

  • ACN Newswire reported that Tactilis Pte. Limited, developers and manufacturers of a new biometric computer card technology, have entered into an agreement for three pilot projects with IOM.

  • Biometric Update reported that the Biometrics Institute has updated its mission statement to include support for the ethical use of biometric technology as one of its goals.

  • RTE reported that harsh weather conditions and tight police border controls have stopped thousands of people from attempting to cross into Croatia at the European Union's Balkan frontier, leaving them in Bosnia until spring.

  • The Wall Street Journal reported that, facing diminishing prospects of entering the US, Central American migrants in the Mexican border city of Tijuana are turning to the local job market.

  • The Guardian reported that Cyprus is in the midst of a burgeoning migrant crisis as smuggling networks take advantage of the Mediterranean island’s partition and proximity to the Middle East.

  • UN News published a guide explaining the key difference between migrant and refugee status, and the differences between the two UN-backed compacts that are designed to improve the lives of everybody on the move.