IOM actively participates in emergency and post-emergency operations assistance in the region with a focus on mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. In 2012, IOM developed the IOM Migration Crisis Operational Framework (MCOF), a practical, operational and institution- wide tool to improve and systematize the way in which IOM supports its Member States and partners in their efforts to better prepare for and respond to migration crises.

Using the MCOF as a basis for activities, IOM engages in emergency relief, return, reintegration, capacity-building and protection of the rights of affected populations in the region.

IOM programs in the post-emergency phase work to meet the needs that arise between the emergency and development stages by empowering communities to participate in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of affected areas as a way to prevent forced migration.

In addition, as the lead agency of the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Clusterin situations of natural disasters, IOM is involved in camp management support and in strengthening the capacities of local and national authorities in the region.

IOM’s strategy in the region in crisis and emergency response will emphasize working with governments and communities on disaster risk reduction and resilience in situations of emergencies.

IOM will also respond to crisis situations and emergencies through the provision of shelter and non-food assistance, such as transportation for displaced persons, camp management and displacement tracking, psychological and health support, among others.

IOM will work in post-crisis recovery by helping governments to reintegrate displaced populations and providing community stabilization and transition assistance, including land and property acquisition for affected populations.

On the horizon: Awareness Raising on Climate Change and Disaster Prevention

Environmental factors have long had an impact on global migration flows, as people have historically left places with harsh or deteriorating conditions.

However, such flows, both internal and cross-border, are expected to rise as a result of accelerated climate change, with unprecedented impacts on the lives and livelihoods of people.

Environmental migration, exacerbated by the increasingly inescapable impacts of climate change, should be a policy priority for governments in the region.

The region has been identified as one of the most vulnerable to climate change and its effects in the world. Nevertheless, information and actions on the issue remain limited. There is a shortage of data and case studies; subject matter is consistently absent in migration policies, and there is lack of policy coherence with other fields, such as disaster risk reduction, development and urban planning. For this reason, IOM strategy in the region will include actions to help reduce vulnerability of populations exposed to environmental risk factors; assistance to displaced populations as a result of environmental causes; and building the capacities of governments and other actors to face the challenges of environmental migration.

IOM’s strategy on environmental migration will center on:

  1. Preventing forced migration resulting from environmental factors to the extent possible.
  2. Providing assistance and protection to populations affected by climate change and seeking durable solutions to their situation.
  3. Facilitating migration as an adaptation strategy to climate change.
  4. Working together with stakeholders to increase communities' resilience to underlying risk factors and expected changes in their natural environment.