Migration fund supports African programmes with $7.5m

Message of Director General António Vitorino to IOM Staff - YouTube

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) says the Migration Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) is currently supporting three joint programmes in Africa with about 7.5 million US dollars.

Mr António Vitorino, the Director-General, IOM, and Coordinator, United Nations Network on Migration, said this at the first African Regional Review Meeting on the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) in Africa on Wednesday.

The two-day meeting was hosted by Morocco, virtually.

According to the United Nations Network on Migration, the Start-Up Fund for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (or Migration MPTF) was called for by the Global Compact on Migration, adopted by the General Assembly in Dec. 2018.

It is a UN financing mechanism primarily to assist member states in their national implementation of the Global Compact.

“The Fund is currently supporting three joint programmes in Africa, for a total of approximately 7.5 million USD.

“The joint programmes focus on strengthening border management in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone; facilitating safe, orderly and regular migration in the context of climate change and environmental degradation in North-east Africa; and strengthening national and local responses to xenophobia and promoting social inclusion in South Africa.”

Vitorino added that nine joint programmes were currently underway with 32 additional joint programmes in the pipeline.

“True to the GCM’s 360-degree approach, these programmes cover a wide range of thematic areas and are geographically diverse.

“Each of these nine programmes, furthermore, is aligned with the GCM guiding principles.

“With 32 additional joint programmes in the pipeline, of which 13 from Africa, the Fund is poised to do more.

“I would like to seize this opportunity to call for additional contributions – even modest ones – towards the 70 million dollars target set by the Steering Committee ahead of the first International Migration Review Forum (IMRF) in 2022.”

The director-general said the GCM was a key guide to enhance the benefits of migration and to address its challenges through international cooperation.

The coordinator said the COVID-19 pandemic had resulted in some governments in Africa extending basic services, including health to migrants.

He noted that the lessons learnt since the start of the pandemic would serve as a guide to recover better towards the path of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Vitorino also emphasised establishment of the Migration Network Hub as called for in the GCM.

“The Network Hub is a one-stop shop for accessing good practices and facilitating peer-to-peer exchanges in pursuit of GCM implementation.

“It further offers a virtual meeting space for government officials, stakeholders and UN colleagues to engage on key areas.”

He expressed hope that the review would shine a spotlight on the 23 GCM objectives and how best to move towards their full implementation.

Also speaking, Mrs Amira El-Fadil, Commissioner for Social Affairs, African Union Commission (AUC), said the AUC had been active from the start of the GCM process.

El-Fadil noted that the commission worked with all partners to support member states to actively engage in their contributions to the development of the initial texts to the draft GCM.

“We are very glad that through these efforts, the final text reflected most of the issues that are close to our continent’s migration agenda and aspirations.

“I wish to inform this meeting that the continent has made very commendable progress in the implementation of the GCM in Africa since its adoption in Morocco.”

The commissioner said Africa still had a lot to do to effectively implement the GCM in the continent, despite efforts made.

“However, despite these challenges, it is encouraging to note that there are a number of AU Member States that innovatively devised ways of implementing the GCM within its national framework, based on their national and regional priorities and specificities.”

She further stressed the need for stakeholders to collaborate with member states and regional economic communities to mobilise necessary resources to build the capacities of relevant national institutions.

This, she noted, would effectively implement the GCM in the continent and also ensure that no one was left behind in the planning and implementation process of the compact.

“On our part, the AU Commission will continue prioritising the implementation of the GCM in the continent in all its migration governance initiatives and programmes.

“The commission further intends to mobilise necessary political support by all AU Member States to prioritise GCM implementation within their national planning framework.”

Furthermore, Mr Nassar Bourita, Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Abroad, Kingdom of Morocco, said migration in Africa was primarily a regional issue.

Bourita said: “This is also why migration governance does not – and should not – respond to emergency management. Nor can it be delegated, externalised or outsourced. It is a field of responsibility.

“Migration in Africa is primarily a regional issue. It is therefore ‘first’ at the level of the continent’s states and each of its subregions that it must be addressed.”

The minister further stressed that African governments should ensure that migrants were central in responsible migration policies, in solidarity and in accordance with the 23 objectives of the GCM. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

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