Humanitarian Emergencies

Escaping Danger into Uncertainty: The Voyages of Migrants out of Yemen into Somalia

By Dayib Abdirahman Askar

Mohamed is originally from Jigjiga, Ethiopia.  He was living in Yemeni capital Sana’a

“I was working at a hotel in Sana’a. I am married and have a one-year-old son.”

Then fighting broke out and Mohamed says there was a fight between two armed groups.

Vanuatu: One Month After Cyclone Pam

One month ago Cyclone Pam tore across the tiny Pacific nation of Vanuatu, ripping up houses and trees, and destroying food stocks and crops. IOM was among the first responders, deploying a surge team made up of staff from Papua New Guinea, Myanmar, the Philippines and the Regional Office in Bangkok.

IOM Helps Migrants Start Anew in South Sudan

By Katy Snowball

Mahamed Garad is a 28 year-old Somali living in the United Nations Protection of Civilian (PoC) site, in Juba. Mahamed was forced to leave his humanitarian career in Mogadishu, Somalia in October 2013 because he felt too unsafe to continue working there. After spending time in Rwanda, he headed to South Sudan and established himself in Bor, the capital of Jonglei State, as a retailer.

Migrants Must Be Saved, Not Counted

iom map

By William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General

GENEVA--Easter tells us of mankind's triumph over injustice; Passover of mankind's liberation from dictatorship.

Both holidays should remind everyone today living in peace and security of the terrible price millions elsewhere are paying to achieve the freedom to live in dignity.

Painted Trucks, Pomegranates and People at Afghan-Pakistan Zero Point

By Matthew Graydon
IOM Afghanistan

 

The Torkham border between Afghanistan and Pakistan is chaotic, crowded and dusty, but it is a vital lifeline between the two countries. Nearly twelve thousand people cross the border every day, going to Pakistan to work, study, seek medical treatment or visit family. Lines of colorfully painted trucks bring goods from Pakistan and the rest of the world to landlocked Afghanistan, and carry Afghan pomegranates, nuts and other exports. 

Pamela: Child of the Cyclone

By Joe Lowry in Vanuatu

Somewhere, out on the Pacific swell, a dot in the ocean off the shores of storm-lashed Vanuatu, there is a fishing boat. And on it, is a man who doesn’t yet know he’s a father.

His family got word that his boat and all souls on it are safe, hundreds of kilometres away. But that’s all they know, they didn’t manage to pass word that they are safe too, and that his wife gave birth on a classroom floor as Cyclone Pam raged all round. Finally, he doesn’t know that his first-born child’s name has already been chosen.

“I Want to Inspire More Women to Become Carpenteras”


© IOM/Alan Motus 2014

By Charisse Licaña

I am a newly trained carpenter, having recently spent 10 days learning how to rebuild houses. I was also the only woman on the course, out of 19 participants. In the Philippines, carpentry is still seen as a man’s occupation. It makes me proud to think that I’m helping to change people’s minds.

Facing the Syrian Refugee Crisis, Turkey Must Not Stand Alone

By Isabel Santos

Last month I was part of a delegation from the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to Harran, Turkey, where we came across a “city of containers” – thousands of them – surrounded by fences and housing some 14,500 refugees. Life goes on day after day in search of a normalcy that such a place can never provide. In one of the container-city’s schools, we met with children who expressed their distress in crayons, drawing planes dropping bombs and scenes of war, bleeding and destruction. The images were populated by mothers and children on trails, leaving their homeland behind.

Mobility is the Key

By Christopher Hoffman

Whether we are discussing pre-disaster risk reduction methodologies or post disaster response, one overarching factor is key: mobility.

Grass Roots Disaster Preparedness in Papua New Guinea

By George Gigauri, Chief of Mission, IOM Papua New Guinea - We arrive in the town of Popondetta in the early morning. We are in the smallest province of Papua New Guinea, which is one of the poorest regions of the country where IOM is working with remote communities to build resilience to disasters. After a brief stop-off at the IOM Field Office, we are joined by local government officials and a convoy of five land cruisers heads towards the mountain. There’s a long way to drive to our final destination – Pongani village.

"A Strategy for Preventing Secondary Displacement" AKA a pretty cool idea

By Grant Robertshaw in Capiz, Philippines

Monday was my fifth day in Roxas as the CCCM Cluster lead for the coordinated humanitarian response to Typhoon Yolanda. It also happened to be my  fifth day on an emergency project.