About IOM

Assisted Voluntary Returns. IOM has been providing assistance to returning Iraqi migrants for over ten years. Since the first Gulf war, IOM has been involved in several return programmes to Iraq, either assisting UNHCR in repatriations of refugees from neighbouring Iran, or more recently arranging the voluntary return of small numbers of extra-regional migrants, either through ad hoc air travel arrangements via Amman into Baghdad, or by land transportation through Syria.

What is IOM?
It is the world's leading international organization for migration and is based in Switzerland.

When was it established?
IOM was established in 1951 and has since helped more than 12 million migrants.

Who supports it?
IOM is an inter-governmental organization with 118 member states and 20 observer states. These states help to support the activities of IOM.

In the region

  1. Many member states and observer states are from this region, such as; Egypt, Islamic Republic of Iran, Jordan, Turkey and Yemen.

  2. IOM also has many international observer organizations such as: The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Union du Maghreb Arabe, League of Arab States, Organization of the Islamic Conferences.

People worldwide migrate - temporarily or permanently - as a path to employment, education, refuge or other opportunities.

What does IOM do?
It helps meet the growing operational challenges of migration management. It encourages social and economic development through migration. It advances understanding of migration issues.

Where does IOM work?
It has more than 200 field offices and over 1200 projects worldwide, including Iraq.

What areas does IOM work in?

  1. Counter-Trafficking. IOM provides assistance and protection to victims of people-smuggling and gives advice to governments.

  2. Migration health. IOM ensures that people under its care are fit to travel and assists in complex emergency medical movements.

  3. Labour Migration. IOM supports regular labour migration and the economic and social development of countries of origin, transit and destination.

  4. Assisted Voluntary Returns. IOM has helped 5 million irregular migrants to return home to over 100 countries.

  5. Movements. IOM helps to move refugees and IDPs to countries offering opportunities for migration or reintegration after they return home.

  6. Mass Information. IOM provides migrants with information about the country they wish to go to. It also publicizes the issues and opportunities of migration.

  7. Technical Cooperation on Migration. IOM Offers advice to governments and other agencies assisting them to build the capacity of their migration management capacities.

IOM is not formally part of the United Nations system but it works in partnership with UN agencies and other international and non-governmental organizations.


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IDP. Since the inception of the Iraq Mission, IOM has contributed to many major water-based initiatives in the Lower South, and elsewhere in Iraq. The IDP programme has been supplying emergency water trucking and Jerry cans in times of conflict or during seasonal flooding, to many thousands of Iraqis.
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