Safety of Afghans and Humanitarian Access Must be Top Priorities

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has been following with great concern the developments in Afghanistan and the grave consequences for displaced people and civilians needing humanitarian assistance, in a country already severely affected by years of conflict and drought.   

“While the current situation presents difficult new challenges, IOM will strive to continue its programmes and provide assistance to displaced communities while ensuring the safety and wellbeing of its staff across the country," said IOM Director General António Vitorino.  

“The security of humanitarian actors, and respect for humanitarian principles, are prerequisites for a continued and effective response to the needs of vulnerable people, and assurances by all parties involved must be provided.”  

Nearly 400,000 people have been displaced since the beginning of the year as a result of ongoing violence. More than 5 million others are already internally displaced and reliant on humanitarian aid.   

IOM reiterates that the safety and protection of civilians remains the number one priority and appeals to all parties to ensure unhindered access for all humanitarian actors providing relief and much- needed assistance to affected populations who should be able to continue to exercise their fundamental rights.   

Due to instability and recent security developments in the capital Kabul, movement to and from the country has been hindered, affecting IOM operations.   

Considering the prevailing insecurity across the country, the Organization’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) Programme, as well as post arrival reintegration assistance to returnees, have been put on hold for now.   

IOM also commends the decisions by several States to halt forced returns to Afghanistan and calls for wider adoption of this moratorium.   

Ensuring the safety of civilians is paramount and should be a priority for all concerned. IOM urges all parties to continue efforts to maintain dialogue and works towards a peaceful resolution of the situation, prioritizing the welfare of the Afghan people.   

We echo the call by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres for an immediate end to violence and the protection of the rights of civilians.  

 

For more Information please contact:  

In Bangkok: Itayi Viriri, Email: iviriri@iom.int, Tel: +66 65 939 0934 

In Geneva: Safa Msehli, Email: smsehli@iom.int, Tel: +41794035526 

Date Publish: 
08/17/2021

IOM, USAID to Provide 6,000 Scholarships for Young Salvadorans

Date Publish: 
19 / 11 / 2021

Zacatecoluca - More than 6,000 young Salvadorans will benefit from scholarships covering tuition and monthly fees, transportation subsidies, school supplies, support for skills development, job training, and formal employment possibilities through the Educational Opportunity Scholarships project launched last Wednesday November 17.

These incentives for young people to continue their studies will be channeled through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology within its Gradual Educational Model for Technical and Technological Learning (MEGATEC) framework.

The program's coverage is nationwide. The academic offer includes technological management of cultural heritage, global logistics, electronics, computer engineering technician, computer hardware, tourism management and development, food technician, construction engineering technician, and others.

"Together with IOM, the U.S. Government, through USAID, will provide full scholarships and stipends for transportation and food for thousands of young people to successfully complete their studies at the Megatec centers in Zacatecoluca, Santa Ana, Ilobasco, Sonsonate, Chalatenango, and Morazán. They will obtain the skills and knowledge that will allow them to aspire to better jobs," said Jean Manes, Chargé d'Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador.

With a total investment of USD 20 million, the implementation of this initiative is projected for the next four years. It seeks to strengthen strategies for sustainable reintegration of returned migrants, prevent risks associated with irregular migration and generate prosperity and hope in the lives of Salvadoran youth through equitable access to higher education options.

"Through education, I have learned to question the issues I am passionate about and to look for solutions," said Samuel Castaneda, a high school student and potential beneficiary of the program.

A study conducted by the Salvadoran Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUSADES) in 6 municipalities of San Salvador and published in October 2021 revealed that over 50% of the surveyed population considering to leave their country in the next 12 months reports the search for better opportunities as their primary motivation to migrate.

"This scholarship program is an invaluable opportunity to demonstrate that investing in human development is the best response to prevent irregular migration and the risks inherent to it. Enhancing the skills and competencies of young people, increasing their self-esteem, and providing them with professional tools will allow them to make reasoned decisions in line with their life projects," said Nicola Graviano, IOM Chief of Mission in El Salvador.

The Educational Opportunity Scholarships project was presented las Wednesday November 17 in an event chaired by the Chargé d'Affaires of the United States in El Salvador, Jean Manes; the Chief of Mission of the IOM in El Salvador, Nicola Graviano; the Director of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), David Gosney; the Director of Planning of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, José Mauricio Pineda, and the rector of ITCA-FEPADE, Elsy Escolar Santodomingo.

For more information please contact José Miguel Gómez at IOM El Salvador, Email: miggomez@iom.int, Tel: +503 7600 1784.