IOM has played a major role in providing humanitarian shelter and settlements to people affected by natural disasters and conflict for many decades. The Organization works in both operations and coordination and plays a strong role in working with partners in support of national authorities. 

Over the course of 2019, IOM reached more than four million crisis-affected individuals - 841,000 households – across 41 countries. In internal displacement contexts, the Organization delivered one-quarter of all reported global humanitarian shelter assistance as reported by the Global Shelter Cluster, in response to internal displacement contexts.  Cash-based interventions for shelter provision also reached 256,000 households. 

Shelter activities in recent years have included stock prepositioning and preparedness; distribution of non-food items and shelter materials; supply chain and logistics; common pipeline management; shelter construction, repair and winterization; shelter recovery support and training; rental support; site planning support and upgrade; inter-agency coordination; land and property support and disaster risk reduction efforts. 

IOM’s shelter programming aims to: 

  • Focus on quality and scale of operations;

  • Centre on the people affected and driven by local contexts;

  • Support interagency shelter coordination;

  • Enhance sectoral learning and identification of best practices; and

  • Maintain a longer-term view of shelter response. 

IOM works towards strengthening the housing, land and property (HLP) component of its shelter operations, placing a consistent focus on the security of tenure, particularly in Bangladesh (Cox’s Bazar), Burundi, Ethiopia, Nigeria, South Sudan and Syria.  

IOM has been working closely with EU civil protection agencies in preparedness planning for high impact but low-frequency crises.  To this end, it has been further developing, training and promoting the Mass Evacuation after Natural Disaster (MASC) Toolkit.  

Globally, IOM continues to reinforce global efforts to mainstream protection in shelter operations with a focus on gender-based violence risk reduction, disability inclusion and Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.  The Organization also works to improve largescale shelter programing and settlement level responses which ensure that no one is left behind. 

Global Shelter Cluster

IOM plays a strong role in inter-agency shelter responses. The Organization leads or supports inter-agency shelter coordination in many countries and supports coordination and is a key member of the Strategic Advisory Group of the Global Shelter Cluster. 

IOM also leads global working groups on Shelter Projectsdiaspora engagementdisability inclusion, and is delivering key activities of the Promoting Safer Building Working Group of the Global Shelter Cluster under the IEC Material Compendium project. IOM continues to provide critical global capacity on land tenure issues by hosting the HLP Advisor to the Global Shelter Cluster.