IFRC and IOM sign regional MoU to increase collaboration to support migrants and displaced people

Refugees from Syria in Ketermaya refugee camp, Lebanon, stand in line to receive women’s emergency kits from the Lebanese Red Cross.

Refugees from Syria in Ketermaya refugee camp, Lebanon, stand in line to receive women’s emergency kits from the Lebanese Red Cross.

Photo: IFRC/Soraya Dali-Balta

Beirut / Cairo, 22 December 2022 The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have signed a regional Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen National Societies’ capacities and ensure coordinated action to protect and provide basic assistance services to migrants, including displaced people and communities in the MENA Region.

In 2020, there were 281 million international migrants and refugees in the world, out of which about 40 million were in the MENA region. In 2021, conflict and disasters triggered 1.2 million internal displacements in MENA, bringing the total of internal displacements in the region to 12.4 million.

Dr. Hossam Elsharkawi, IFRC MENA Regional Director said: “The IFRC has a long history of helping National Societies provide support and assistance to migrants and displaced people wherever they are along their journeys on land and at sea; our humanitarian service points offer services and protection”.

“We are joining forces with IOM to promote the safety, dignity, and well-being of migrants, irrespective of their legal status, especially those in fragile, protracted crises, violent and hard-to-reach settings,” added Dr Elsharkawi.

Mr. Othman Belbeisi, IOM MENA Regional Director, said: “IOM is pleased to announce this regional partnership with the IFRC which will enable us to strengthen our collaboration for the benefit of migrants, host communities, and partners.”

“Through our joint efforts, we look forward to enhancing migration governance working through a whole-of-society and whole-of-government approach in the spirit of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration and the Sustainable Development Goals,” added Mr Belbeisi.

The MoU is based on the Sustainable Development Goals, Global Protection Cluster (GP20), the Global Compact on Migration (GCM), and IOM framework for addressing internal displacement and its progressive resolutions of displacement framework. It aims to reinforce collaboration with governments and relevant stakeholders on human mobility governance at all levels by capitalizing on the IFRC Global Strategy on Migration as well as the MENA Red Cross/Red Crescent migration network.

The new partnership builds on previous cooperation between both organizations. Most recently in October 2022, IOM and IFRC organized a dialogue called “Strengthening the intergenerational Dialogue on Climate Action and the Impacts of Climate Change on human mobility” to discuss the climate change-mobility nexus, especially for young populations in the MENA region.

With climate change being an increasingly potent driver of migration, the collaboration between IOM and IFRC seeks to propose better solutions for evidence-based policy recommendations, in response to the climate crisis vis-a-vis migration trends in the region.

About the IFRC:

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest humanitarian network. Our secretariat supports local Red Cross and Red Crescent action in more than 192 countries, bringing together almost 15 million volunteers for the good of humanity.

About the IOM: 

Established in 1951, IOM is the leading intergovernmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental, and non-governmental partners. With 175 member states, a further 8 states holding observer status, and offices in over 100 countries, IOM is dedicated to promoting humane and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does so by providing services and advice to governments and migrants.

For more information please contact:

In Beirut, IFRC Head of Communications, Mey Al Sayegh, [email protected]

In Cairo, Communication Officer at IOM MENA Regional Office, Tamim Elyan, [email protected]

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