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COVID-19: Vulnerable migrants in Argentina get reliefs from IOM

International Organisation of Migration (

Many vulnerable migrants in Argentina have received reliefs from the IOM.
Through Sunday, 10 May, Argentina has reported 6,034 COVID-19 cases and just over 300 deaths.

A social, preventative and mandatory lockdown was decreed by the national Government on 20 March and most commercial and industrial activities are suspended, as are in-person classes at all education levels. Migrants here face special obstacles.

“Argentina is the main reception country of migrants in South America. According to the United Nations Department of Social and Economic Affairs (UNDESA), in 2019 migrants represented a 5.1 per cent of the total population, a presence that, as a proportion of all residents, is among the highest in Latin America.

It’s even higher in Buenos Aires, the country’s capital and largest city, where over 13 per cent are migrants born outside Argentina,”a statement by the IOM said.

MIGRATION TRENDS IN SOUTH AMERICA
Among these migrants, the rates of informal work and self-employment are high. Furthermore, those who do not have two years of legal residence cannot access Argentina’s Emergency Family Income, a measure adopted by the Government for informal workers and single taxpayers at the lowest income levels.

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It is against this backdrop that the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is working closely with the national Government and civil society organizations to provide sanitary and food support to extremely vulnerable migrants.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that solidarity, dialogue, coordination and complementarity among government agencies, humanitarian partners and the private sector are the best strategies to leave no one behind,” said Gabriela Fernández, IOM Argentina’s Head of Office. “This is the spirit we have to keep up in our work.”

In metro Buenos Aires, IOM’s Country Office in Argentina has delivered 1,500 food, hygiene and cleaning kits prepared jointly with the Argentine Red Cross, with a second round of delivery under preparation for 1,500 more. Most of beneficiaries of this support are Venezuelans.

IOM also has prepared information on COVID-19 in several languages, including English for the many migrants here from Jamaica, and French for migrants from Senegal and Haiti.

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“Those are the migrants who are among the most vulnerable,” said Juliana Quintero, an IOM regional spokesperson. Languages, she added “is one of the main boundaries to access to information on the pandemic.”

Moreover, IOM is strengthening the response capacities of the Argentine state. Infrared thermometers and face masks were provided to the National Directorate of Migration (DNM, by its Spanish acronym).

These supplies allow health checks to be carried out at the authorized border crossings and to safeguard migration agents while performing their duties.

“IOM, with which we share a wide agenda of activities, has been a key partner at this particular time, contributing material and human resources to take care of every Argentine national,” said Florencia Carignano, DNM Director.

These activities were implemented thanks to funding by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) from the United States Department of State.

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IOM launches open South America portal

International Organisation of Migration (

Buenos Aires – IOM, the International Organization for Migration, this week launched the Open South America Portal, a web platform providing migrants and stakeholders in the region with access to reliable and timely information on human mobility restrictions and health and safety measures adopted by governments in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Open South America, available in SpanishEnglish and Portuguese, shares official information by country on the latest measures, including border restrictions, quarantine requirements and COVID-19 tests for migrants and travellers.

The portal also provides updated information on authorized entry points and key places for travellers and migrants, such as consulates, migrant care and health centres, airports, border crossings points and ports. This information can be explored through an interactive map.

The platform, funded by the IOM Development Fund, is also accessible to vulnerable migrants who may be stranded or are at risk of receiving misinformation on migration.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, South America has been one of the most impacted regions worldwide. According to the World Health Organization figures, as of 8 July 2021 there were 33,475,765 COVID-19 cumulative cases in the region, which represents 89 per cent of the total cases in Latin America, and 18 per cent of all infections recorded globally.

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Countries such as Brazil, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador all experienced severe outbreaks. For example, Brazil currently reports the third highest number of cumulative cases (18,855,015) and second highest death toll (526,892) globally.

“Open South America will facilitate orderly, regular and responsible migration in South America amid the uncertain times of COVID-19 and after the pandemic,” said Minister Ana Laura Cachaza, General Director of Consular Affairs of the Government of Argentina.

“Migrants’ access to up-to-date information through innovative online tools is essential considering the changing migration dynamic in the region due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Marcelo Pisani, IOM Regional Director for South America.

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29,000 Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians, other Africans migrated through the Mediterranean Sea to Europe in 2021 —IOM

The International Organisation for Migration has said that 29,000 individuals including Nigerians, Ghanaians, Somalians and other Africans have emigrated to Europe through the Mediterranean Sea this year.

About 13,000 were arrested by the coast guards and returned home while 761 migrants were said to have perished in the sea.

Disclosing this to journalists in Abuja on Friday, the Chief of Mission, IOM Nigeria, Mr Franz Celestin, said less than five per cent of migrants usually made it to Europe, adding that the vast majority stay in Africa.

He further said that a lot of migrants were trafficked within the Economic Community of West African States, adding that Mali was the number one destination point for trafficked Nigerian women.

Responding to questions on the number of people who have undertaken the perilous trip to Europe through the Mediterranean, the IOM Chief said, “A combination of unemployment and underemployment is pushing people to migrate.

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“In this year, 29,000 migrants from Sub-Sahara Africa have migrated to Europe through the Mediterranean. About 13,000 were intercepted by the coastguard while 761 died.”

International Organisation of Migration (

Celestin stressed the importance of tackling human trafficking which he said grossed about $150 billion annually.

“Traffickers make a lot of money and they would continue to do it until a coordinated response is evolved to stop them. We are collaborating with Interpol in this respect; we are connected to the Interpol i/247 database. We connected the MIDAS to the Interpol database where we pass the information on traffickers to the Interpol,” he stated.

Celestin explained that the IOM has been involved in the biometric registration of children in the North-East, noting that the agency has registered no fewer than 17,053 children in 18 different internally displaced person camps between 2019 and May 2021 in Borno State.

The agency chief also disclosed that IOM was involved in the G7 Famine Prevention and Humanitarian Compact for North-East.

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FG condemns killing of Nigerian footballer in UK

Kelvin

The Federal government has condemned the alleged killing of a Nigerian Footballer, Kelvin Igweani, by the UK police.

Recall that Igweani, a Nigerian Footballer, was shot dead by officers, who attended a call out to a house, where a child was found with serious injuries.

Reacting, Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), in Abuja on Wednesday described the incident as very unfortunate,and sad.

Dabiri-Erewa condoled with the family of the deceased and the Nigerian communities in the UK while praying that God grants rest to the soul of the departed.

“We call on the UK government for a thorough and proper investigation to be carried out on the incident,” the statement added.

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READ  Germany: Three Muslim migrants investigated for gang-raping 19-year-old woman
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