The Migration “Crisis” Is Not What It Seems: The Current Opportunity of Migration to the EU and Elsewhere


Migrants and refugees in the Greek island of Lesbos. File Photo: IOM/Amanda Nero

With the recent debate in Europe surrounding the AquariusNGO rescues at sea, and the steep increase in tragic deaths of migrants at sea in the past weeks, there has been a resurgence of discussion in the media and political arena about the so-called “migration crisis” and feelings about “invasions” of migrants. It is about time to restate the facts, recall the actual numbers, and reconsider the situation.

It is perfectly understandable that people in Europe and elsewhere would react to alarming messages. Yet, looking at the actual numbers regarding migration and labour forces in Europe and other global economies reveals a much less alarming situation. One way to address public worries about migration is to present the actual numbers.

Firstly, it should be more well-known that international migration has notsignificantly increased over the past few decades. International migration encompasses all migrants who cross a border with a view to establish themselves in another State, leaving their habitual place of residence, including all asylum seekers and refugees. In 2000, international migrants made up 2.8 percent of the world population. Today, international migrants comprise roughly 3.4 percent of the global world population. This means that the number of international migrants, the so-called migration ‘stock,’ has increased by only 1.4 percentage points over the last 20 years. So, while the number of international migrants has grown in absolute terms, notably because the world’s population itself has grown, migration as a share of the world’s population has actually increased only slightly. This remains true despite the raging conflicts, climate change, environmental degradation and other humanitarian crises plaguing the world.

Aging populations are putting a heightened burden on the workforce which is needed to fund the pensions, healthcare and social security for an unprecedented number of elderly dependents.


Syrian refugees crossing the Serbian-Croatian border. File Photo: Francesco Malavolta/IOM

Secondly, increased arrivals of migrants to Europe in the past few years are not unprecedented. It is rather the grimness of the situation and the perceived chaos surrounding those arrivals that are unprecedented: In 2015 alone, nearly 4000 migrants died in the Mediterranean en route to Europe. Although migrants’ arrivals to Europe exceeded one million in 2015 and 2016, a closer look shows that the net migration rate to the EU during those years closely mirrored the net migration rate of many years between 2000 and 2010. And, while the 2015 arrivals prompted panic at various levels, they equated to only about 0.002 percent of the total EU population.

Meanwhile the size of the labor force is sharply decreasing in the EU. In 2010, Europe saw more workers retiring from the labour force than joining it for the first time in history. By 2020, many large global economies will experience labour shortages, including Canada, China, the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation. By 2030, Europe should face a projected labour shortage of 8.3 million workers.

Further, aging populations are putting a heightened burden on the workforce which is needed to fund the pensions, healthcare and social security for an unprecedented number of elderly dependents.

As established and recognized in the newly minted Global Compact on Migration, migrants contribute significantly to the labour force, the flexibilityof labour markets, and the economic growth of host countries. Labour migration does not drive down wages when the labor market is properly regulated. In fact, the most prosperous cities and States in the world have higher levels of immigration. Immigrants often fill the positions that are less desirable, such as cleaning, farming, assembling and machine operation. Migrants also often fill gaps in fields like care work, including for the elderly and children.

In the near future, citizens from the EU as well as from other economic areas may find that, far from a crisis or a threat, migration can be a crucial asset, and a unique chance for economic and social stability. But to harness those benefits in respect of the rule of law and human dignity, opening additional legal labour migration channels is necessary.

Through the Global Compact on Migration, over 190 nations have validated the truth about the benefits of safe, orderly and regular migration. Our leaders must now communicate these positive realities to their public as we all move forward to realize the commitments made in this historic agreement.

This story was written by Anne Althaus and Amanda Brown, at the International Migration Law Unit, IOM Geneva.

IOM Director General Swing lauds “historic” Global Compact for Migration

The UN Migration Agency (IOM) on Friday, July 13, 2008, heralded the completion of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM) as an important milestone that will improve international cooperation on migration.


IOM Member State representatives burst into applause as historic Global Compact for Migration is finalized in New York. Photo: Rahma Gamil Soliman. IOM

“This is not the end of the undertaking but the beginning of a new historic effort to shape the global agenda on migration for decades to come,” IOM’s Director General William Lacy Swing said today. “States approached negotiations in an admirably positive spirit of collaboration with a view to how they would like to see migration policy, practice and cooperation evolve over the years, rather than as a reaction to one crisis after another as it often seems.”

The GCM sets out a range of principles, commitments and understandings among Member States, affecting nearly 260 million international migrants and the communities that host them, including considerations relating to human rights, humanitarian, economic, social, development, climate change and security issues.

“Throughout the process, UN Member States have clearly recognized that migration is always about people. The migrant-centered approach adopted with the commendable guidance of co-facilitators from Mexico and Switzerland, and of the Special Representative to the Secretary General on International Migration, is unprecedented,” Director General Swing said.

“I want to acknowledge the critical importance of their decision to include such a wide spectrum of government, civil society and private sector actors over the past two years, in particular the invaluable contribution of migrants themselves.”

The Compact is the culmination of a process that began in September 2016 when the United Nations General Assembly addressed, for the first time at such a high level, the issue of human mobility and its many dimensions in a High-Level Summit on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants.

The Summit resulted in the adoption of the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants that launched an intensive preparatory process which has led to this week’s agreement. It is slated for adoption at an Intergovernmental Conference in Marrakesh in December.

“It was the sustained commitment and resolve of UN Member States and a of highly engaged stakeholders to find a new way forward that brought us to this day. We look forward to continued partnership with them, and to supporting their efforts to implement the vision and spirit of the GCM, in the years to come.”

Forced displacement at record 68.5 million

displaceThe UN Refugee Agency’s annual Global Trends study found 68.5 million people had been driven from their homes across the world at the end of 2017, more people than the population of Thailand.

Refugees who have fled their countries to escape conflict and persecution accounted for 25.4 million. This is 2.9 million more than in 2016, also the biggest increase UNHCR has ever seen in a single year.

New displacement is also growing, with 16.2 million people displaced during 2017 itself, either for the first time or repeatedly. That is an average of one person displaced every two seconds. And overwhelmingly, it is developing countries that are most affected.

“My message to the world is I don’t want to be a refugee. I want us to be able to go back to our home.”

Leading the displacement during the year was the crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the war in South Sudan and the flight into Bangladesh from Myanmar of hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees.

Among them was grandmother Mutaybatu, 55, who fled on foot.

“We walked for 10 days and then we crossed over by boat,” she said, speaking in a refugee settlement in Bangladesh. “It was a journey of hardship, we had no food, we ate occasionally what we could find like herbs and weeds, leaves of trees.”

The number of asylum-seekers awaiting the outcome of their applications for refugee status had risen by about 300,000, to 3.1 million, by the end of December 2017. People displaced inside their own country accounted for 40 million of the total, slightly fewer than the 40.3 million in 2016.

“We are at a watershed, where success in managing forced displacement globally requires a new and far more comprehensive approach so that countries and communities aren’t left dealing with this alone,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said.

UNHCR’s Global Trends report is published worldwide each year ahead of World Refugee Day on 20 June, and tracks forced displacement based on data gathered by UNHCR, governments, and other partners.

However, Grandi found hope in a new blueprint for responding to refugee situations, pioneered by 14 countries. A new Global Compact on Refugees, seeking closer international cooperation in response to refugee crises, will be ready for adoption by the United Nations General Assembly in a matter of months.

“No one becomes a refugee by choice; but the rest of us can have a choice about how we help.”

“Today, on the eve of World Refugee Day, my message to member states is please support this,” he said. “No one becomes a refugee by choice; but the rest of us can have a choice about how we help.”

The findings in the Global Trends report challenge some of the perceptions about forced displacement.

Among these is the notion that the world’s displaced are mainly in countries of the global north. The data shows the opposite to be true – with fully 85 per cent of refugees in developing countries, many of which are desperately poor and receive little support to care for these populations.

Four out of five refugees remain in countries next door to their own.

Eighteen-year-old Dinai But But Ruach fled his native South Sudan for neighbouring Ethiopia in 2017.


“South Sudan is not good for us. There was fighting, shooting, children being taken away. Houses, including mine, were destroyed,” says Dinai, who is among 5,000 refugees living in Gure Shombola Camp, a new site which opened during the year to meet the influx.

Large-scale displacement across borders is also less common than the 68 million global displacement figure suggests. Almost two-thirds of those forced to flee are internally displaced people who have not left their own countries. Of the 25.4 million refugees, just over a fifth are Palestinians under the care of UNRWA.

Of the remainder, for whom UNHCR is responsible, two-thirds come from just five countries: Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Myanmar and Somalia. An end to conflict in any one of these has potential to significantly influence the wider global displacement picture.

As with the number of countries producing large-scale displacement, the number of countries hosting large numbers was also comparatively few. Turkey remained the world’s leading refugee hosting country in terms of absolute numbers, with a population of 3.5 million refugees, mainly Syrians.

“There was fighting, shooting, children being taken away. Houses, including mine, were destroyed.”

Lebanon hosted the largest number of refugees relative to its national population. In all, 63 per cent of all refugees under UNHCR’s responsibility were in just 10 countries.

Sadly, solutions remained in short supply. Wars and conflict continued to be the major drivers, with little visible progress towards peace. About 5 million people were able to return to their homes in 2017, with most returning from internal displacement. Among these were people returning under duress, or to fragile contexts.

“My message to the world is I don’t want to be a refugee,” says Mutaybatu, whose flight followed years of persecution, culminating in the murder of her husband.

“I want us to be able to go back to our home in Myanmar, but I want to be assured of safety and to live in peace … not always living in fear of the next attack.”

Story by Adrian Edwards in Geneva, Additional reporting by Firas Al-Khateeb in Bangladesh and Diana Diaz in Ethiopia.
The story published courtesy of UNHCR

UN Migration Agency Helps Over 100 Ethiopian Migrants Return Home from Yemen

The UN Migration Agency on Monday helped some 101 Ethiopian migrants leave Yemen through Hudaydah Port as clashes grew closer to the area.

The migrants are currently travelling via the Gulf of Aden to Djibouti, which they will transit through on their way home to Ethiopia. IOM is providing transport assistance at all stages of the journey in cooperation with its Government partners.


IOM assisting some of the Ethiopian migrants prior to departure from Yemen yesterday. Photo: IOM

The group that left Yemen around noon yesterday, included nearly 51 women and 33 children, who had become stranded in the country. They are the most vulnerable cases from a larger group of about 300 migrants in total, who IOM will help leave Yemen in the coming days provided weather conditions are conducive to sea travel and the security situation allows for the movement.

The majority of the 300 migrants had been in a Sana’a holding facility run by the authorities, which Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Director of Operations and Emergency, had visited at the start of this month. Some others from had been staying with host families. IOM works with families to host vulnerable cases as they wait for voluntary humanitarian return assistance. IOM provides meals, aid items, psychosocial support and health assistance to the migrants living with these host families.

In 2017, 100,000 migrants entered Yemen, of whom the majority were Ethiopian and some were Somali migrants. They were typically headed to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in search of work and better living conditions. Even just in the period 6-12 May of this year, IOM’s coastal search and rescue teams for migrants assisted 313 new arrivals (80 boys and 233 men) in Lahj Governorate with information, food, water, emergency aid items and medical assistance, as necessary.

Both while travelling to and in Yemen, migrants are abused by smugglers and other criminals, including physical and sexual abuse, torture for ransom, arbitrary detention for long periods of time, forced labour and even death. Some migrants get caught up in the conflict, sustaining injuries or dying from shelling, and some are taken to detention centres, both official and unofficial.

Through its Voluntary Humanitarian Return programme, IOM is providing transportation and return support from Yemen to the migrants’ final destinations in their home countries.

In 2017, IOM helped around 2,900 migrants and refugees return home from Yemen: 73 per cent of them were Somalis, 25 per cent Ethiopians and 2 per cent other nationalities. IOM has also helped 298 Ethiopian and 1,064 Somali migrants and refugees return home voluntarily to date (30/05) in 2018. Assisted spontaneous returns of Somali refugees are carried out in collaboration with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency.

In Yemen, IOM provides additional humanitarian assistance to migrants, including health care, shelter and aid items and psychosocial support, while also supporting displaced and conflict affected Yemenis. In Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti, IOM also provides emergency support to migrants starting out their journeys, while in transit and when returning.

“Thousands of migrants are stranded in Yemen and are in desperate need of assistance and protection, as well as the international community’s general attention and support,” said Abdiker, following his recent visit to Yemen. “When I was in the country, I met with many of these young migrants, who we helped leave Yemen today. They told me that they about their shocking experiences and that they wanted to go home. No migrant should be stranded in a conflict. However, there are reasons why they left their countries and without further support when they get home, it is likely they will attempt the perilous journey again. Right now, IOM is only funded to provide reintegration support to some vulnerable cases but not the majority of Ethiopian returnees from Yemen,” added Abdiker.

This return movement from Yemen is funded by the US Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), the Government of Germany and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Fund.

UN launches 2018 appeal for Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshi host communities

United Nations agencies and NGO partners on Friday released the 2018 Joint Response Plan (JRP) for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis, a US$951 million appeal to meet the urgent needs of nearly 900,000 Rohingya refugees and more than 330,000 vulnerable Bangladeshis in the communities hosting them.

Rohingya refugees

Some 671,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Bangladesh since 25th August 2017

Over the months since the outset of the Rohingya influx, this has been the world’s fastest growing refugee crisis, with tens of thousands fleeing by land and sea from Myanmar daily at the peak of the emergency. Some 671,000 Rohingya refugees have arrived in Bangladesh since 25th August 2017. The Bangladesh Government and Bangladeshi people have responded with extraordinary generosity and hospitality.

Almost seven months on, refugees from Myanmar continue to arrive. And the situation in Cox’s Bazar remains fluid. The Kutupalong-Balukhali site, where some 600,000 refugees are now living, is today the largest and most densely populated refugee settlement in the world. Precarious conditions for the refugees and the ongoing emergency response are about to be further challenged by the approaching monsoon season and rains. More than 150,000 Rohingya refugees are in places at risk of landslides and floods, in what could become a disaster on top of the current emergency.

The 2018 appeal for the Rohingya Humanitarian Crisis – launched today in Geneva by UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi, IOM Director General William Swing and UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh Mia Seppo – aims to address these challenges, bringing together the critical efforts of more than 100 UN agencies and national and international NGOs. The international humanitarian response aims to ensure refugees and host communities receive the life-saving assistance, protection and support they desperately need, complementing the continuing efforts of the Bangladeshi authorities.

“We are talking about truly critical needs here both on the part of the Bangladeshi communities who have so generously opened their doors, and of a stateless and refugee population that even prior to this crisis was among the world’s most marginalised and at risk,” said High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi. “The solutions to this crisis lie inside Myanmar, and conditions must be established that will allow refugees to return home. But today we are appealing for help with the immediate needs, and these needs are vast.”

The appeal aims to meet the immediate humanitarian needs of refugees and host communities, and support environmentally sustainable solutions, confidence-building and resilience of affected populations until the end of 2018. It also includes contingency planning for 80,000 more Rohingya refugees in the coming months.

“The needs and vulnerabilities of the Rohingya refugee population in Bangladesh are immense,” said William Swing, IOM Director General. “Many Governments generously supported the last Rohingya crisis appeal. Given the large scale of the emergency and the amount of humanitarian services needed to ensure lives can be protected with dignity, continued and enhanced support is necessary.”

The needs are urgent. The funding will help in meeting the life-saving and acute humanitarian needs both of refugees and of affected host communities. More than half the appeal (54 per cent) is to ensure food, water and sanitation, shelter and other basic aid. Food needs alone account for 25 per cent of the total.

Over 16 million litres of safe water are needed every day for the Rohingya refugee population. Some 12,200 metric tons of food are required every month. At least 180,000 refugee families need cooking fuel. Some 50,000 latrines need to be constructed and maintained, and at least 30 sewage management facilities are required.

Forty-three primary health centres and 144 health posts are needed. Another 5,000 classrooms for 614,000 children and youth must be made available for there to be proper access to education. Some 100 nutrition treatment centres and a range of protection programmes for the 144,000 single mothers and their families and the 22,000 children at risk are also an urgent priority. Around 400,000 children in refugee and host communities require trauma care and related support.

“Obviously there is great appreciation for the generosity with which the response has been funded. But let’s not forget one thing: the biggest donor to this crisis is Bangladesh,” said Mia Seppo, UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh.

“In terms of being the first responders, in terms of providing land, in terms of keeping its borders open, in terms of providing asylum, in terms of building roads, extending electricity networks, providing food, seconding civil servants, providing police and army to keep order in the camp. The biggest donor to this crisis continues to be the people and the government of Bangladesh.”

The humanitarian response in Bangladesh faces immense challenges. Conditions are congested, and hundreds of incidents of gender-based violence are reported weekly. Public health concerns are acute, including measles, diphtheria and diarrhoea.

The Rohingya refugee situation in Cox’s Bazar is an acute humanitarian crisis that needs urgent funding to save lives and provide essential aid. So far, the emergency response from September 2017 to February 2018 has received 74 per cent of the funding needed (US$321 million of the US$434 million required).

Over 10,000 Refugees Resettled in UK Under Flagship Scheme

The United Kingdom is more than halfway towards meeting its commitment to resettle 20,000 people by 2020 through the Vulnerable Persons Resettlement Scheme (VPRS), according to new figures revealed yesterday (22/10).


Syrian children finish pre-departure orientation sessions in Istanbul just before being resettled in the UK. © IOM

The latest quarterly Home Office immigration statistics show that 10,538 refugees have been resettled under the VPRS – one of the largest global resettlement programmes – since it began.

The VPRS is just one of the ways in which the UK is helping to resettle refugees. In 2017, a total of 6,212 people were resettled in the UK – a 19 per cent increase from 2016 – with 4,832 of these people coming through the VPRS. Some 539 people arrived under the Vulnerable Children’s Resettlement Scheme (VCRS), which will resettle up to 3,000 at-risk children and their families from the Middle East and North Africa region by 2020. The latest figures take the total number of children that the UK has provided asylum or an alternative form of protection to since the start of 2010 to 28,000.

Earlier this week, UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd visited a refugee camp in Lebanon, meeting families who have fled the war in Syria and speaking to officials from the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) who are working closely with the Home Office to resettle families to the UK.

“As a country we can be proud that we are over half way towards honouring our commitment of resettling 20,000 of the most vulnerable refugees who have fled Syria by 2020 so they can rebuild their lives here in safety,” Rudd said. “Nearly half are children and more people are arriving every month.”

“This week I went to Lebanon to see for myself the human impact of the Syrian conflict and talk to refugees about the challenges they face. I met a family who is due to be resettled in the UK and heard first-hand how important the resettlement scheme is and how it helps individuals, who have fled danger and conflict, to rebuild their lives. We are welcoming and supporting some of the most vulnerable refugees and I am grateful to all of the local authorities, charities and other organizations that have made it possible,” the Home Secretary added.

The VPRS is a joint scheme between the Home Office, the Department for International Development and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The UK works closely with UNHCR; IOM, the UN Migration Agency; and partners on the VPRS to provide life-saving solutions for the refugees most in need of protection, including people requiring urgent medical treatment, survivors of violence and torture, and women and children at risk.

“The UK has embarked on an impressive upscaling of the VPRS in a short period, setting in place structures to welcome highly vulnerable refugees and allowing them to gradually stand on their own feet again,” said UNHCR’s UK Representative Gonzalo Vargas Llosa.

“Collaboration between the central Government, local and devolved authorities and service providers has been commendable. I’ve been up and down the country meeting refugee families and local communities, and the strong support for this programme and refugee integration generally is something the UK should be proud of.”

IOM facilitates pre-departure health assessments, cultural orientation and travel for refugees going to the UK. IOM also supports national and local governments to develop integration programmes as part of a holistic migration management strategy.

“The UK has achieved a significant milestone for the VPRS by resettling over half of the 20,000 committed to be resettled by 2020,” said IOM UK Chief of Mission Dipti Pardeshi. “The generosity and welcome shown by the UK government and the British people to those resettled is commendable.”

“Today, less than one per cent of refugees worldwide have been resettled and the need continues to be dire. Resettlement cannot be viewed as a one-off effort. Countries must step up to resettle more refugees and to view this as part of a holistic process to help vulnerable refugees rebuild their lives.”

The UK’s resettlement schemes are just some of the ways the Government is supporting vulnerable children and adults who have fled danger and conflict. The UK remains the second largest donor in humanitarian assistance and has pledged £2.46 billion in UK aid to Syria and the neighbouring countries, its largest ever response to a single humanitarian crisis.


“I cannot wait to move to the UK,” says 11-year-old Shahed.  Most of her life has been overshadowed by the conflict in Syria. Last week her family arrived at the IOM offices in Beirut, Lebanon for the final preparations to resettle to the UK.

A big smile stretches across her face. She understands that this is an opportunity for a new beginning for her family, and Shahed’s plans are already in full swing.

“I want to study and one day be able to teach Maths, Geography or Philosophy. I also want to help other people.”

Shahed and her family will resettle to the UK under the Voluntary Persons Resettlement Scheme that has provided an opportunity for over 10,000 refugees to rebuild their lives since 2015.


Since 2012, across Syria and the region, the UK has provided at least 26 million food rations, 9.8 million relief packages, 10.3 million medical consultations and 8.3 million vaccines.

UN Migration Agency calls for coordinated response as nearly 400,000 stream into Bangladesh’a Cox’s Bazar

IOM, the UN Migration Agency yesterday highlighted the need for a coordinated humanitarian response to the massive inflow of destitute people fleeing Myanmar and arriving in Cox’s Bazar. 

Estimated new arrivals have reached 391,000 and there is no sign of the flow of people drying up, as smoke from burning villages in Myanmar’s North Rakhine State remains clearly visible from the Cox’s Bazar district.

Thousands of the new arrivals are now walking north along clogged roads towards a 1,500-acre settlement site demarcated by the Government. Located between two of the biggest makeshift settlements of Kutupalong and Balukhali, the site will help aid agencies to access over 200,000 new arrivals currently camping or living in the open on waste ground, hillsides or by the side of the road.

In these so-called spontaneous settlements, people who arrive from Myanmar exhausted, hungry and often traumatized by the violence that they have seen, are living in terrible conditions, often with no shelter, no food, and no access to clean water or basic services.

“To respond to this inflow, which is unprecedented in terms of speed and numbers, we need to ensure a coordinated response among the growing number of agencies bringing lifesaving aid to the thousands of people flooding into Cox’s Bazar,” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Director of Operations and Emergencies. “In order to help the most vulnerable, we have to identify who needs what where, and which agency can provide it. This is critical if we are to get help to the people who need it most, as fast as possible.”

IOM hosts the Inter Sector Coordination Group (ISCG), which publishes a daily report summarizing the emergency response in sectors including shelter and essential non-food items; water, sanitation and hygiene; health; safety, dignity and human rights; education; and nutrition. Each sector is led by an operational aid agency, which coordinates the work of other agencies active in the sector. They in turn feed data back to the ISCG coordination unit, which uses it to map the emergency and identify resources, needs and agencies that can meet them. 

The Government of Bangladesh, foreign governments, including Turkey, Indonesia and Malaysia, and aid agencies on the ground are now racing against the clock to bring in the lifesaving food, shelter, water, sanitation, health and other services that the new arrivals need.

ISCG agencies operating in Cox’s Bazar have appealed for USD 77.1 million to fund the emergency response through year end (ISCG Preliminary Response Plan). Several agencies, including IOM, have committed funding from their emergency reserves. The UN’s Central Emergency Response Fund, the European Commission and the United Kingdom have also made funding commitments but agencies face a huge funding shortfall. This is likely to increase as people continue to arrive from Myanmar.

As part of the overall ISCG appeal, IOM launched a Flash Appeal, covering the next three months, of USD 26.1 million to meet the immediate needs of the newly arrived people. The appeal includes USD 100,000 for the coordination of the response.

Within the framework of Bangladesh’s National Strategy on Myanmar Refugees and Undocumented Myanmar Nationals (UMNs) in Bangladesh, IOM has been coordinating the humanitarian assistance to people who have crossed in Bangladesh from Myanmar and vulnerable host communities in Cox’s Bazar since 2014. Prior to the latest influx, IOM Bangladesh was coordinating humanitarian assistance to some 200,000 living in makeshift settlements and host communities in Cox’s Bazar. Lifesaving services delivered by IOM and its partner agencies include clean water and sanitation, shelter, food security, health care, education, and psychosocial support for the most vulnerable individuals, many whom are suffering from acute mental trauma or are survivors of sexual violence.