Nairobi – IOM, the United Nations Migration Agency, in partnership with International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), on 11 and 12 September held consultations with non-governmental organizations in East and Horn of Africa. The consultations explored ways to work better together to protect and assist people in need including those in crisis and displaced populations. The consultations were held in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
An upsurge in the number of people on the move and the growth and complexity of crisis have meant the need for context-specific, flexible humanitarian response has never been more pressing.
Speaking at the event, Vincent Houver, IOM Deputy Director of Operations and Emergencies said, “Whether internal displacement or mixed migration, little can be achieved if it’s not for coherence and collaboration. Challenges are such that no single organization can overcome them.”
“There is a need to have transparency, respect and openness between institutions. These consultations provide a great platform to identify how we need to work together and get along and to hear where the difficult work is happening and where impact and change is greatly needed to ensure global impact,” said Nan Buzard, Director of ICVA.
The consultation forum between IOM and NGOs was first held in Geneva, Switzerland in 2015. This is the first of such consultations to be held in East and Horn of Africa.
“This is the first regional consultations to be held in Africa. It gives us an opportunity to work with national NGOs and build their capacity so that they can embed migration issues into their agenda,” Jeffrey Labovitz, IOM Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa said.
During the consultations, participants discussed four thematic areas, among them approaches to durable solutions to internally displaced persons guided by the IOM Progressive Resolution of Displacement Situations (PRDS) framework; addressing the needs of migrants in vulnerable situations, engagement of partners in cluster coordination and the Global Compact on safe, orderly and regular migration.
IOM’s crisis response has grown both in scope of services provided and geographical coverage, as has the Organization’s humanitarian partnership and cooperation with NGOs.
NGOs provide IOM with invaluable knowledge and information, operational capacity, and assistance in essential advocacy functions. Equally, IOM contributes to the strengthening of local NGOs by opening up access to joint activities, including capacity building and access to financial resources.