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Message from IOM
for Central Asia

We live in an age of unprecedented human mobility. Migration is considered one of the defining global issues of the early twenty-first century, with more and more people on the move today than at any other point in history

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Emergency and Post-Conflict Activi­ties

Most Central Asian countries are susceptible both to natural and man-made disasters. Environ­mental issues are prevalent in the region, and political instability is a long-standing challenge in the re­gion. In this context, IOM has con­ducted a variety of emergency, post-conflict and disaster risk reduction programmes in the region. IOM’s priorities in this area are as follows:

  • To support stabilization by de­veloping and implementing measures to improve social co­hesion between different ethnic groups, including information counseling and referral services;
  • To improve socio-economic opportunities for populations who are vulnerable to conflict including stateless people, mi­nority ethnic groups and youth;
  • To encourage disaster risk re­duction activities which will minimize environmental risk and associated emergency mi­gration;
  • To improve national capacities to prevent, mitigate and re­spond to natural or man-made emergencies;
  • To be fully involved in pre­paredness activities and in the humanitarian cluster system and to actively work with other organizations to provide assis­tance to migrants and refugees in case of a humanitarian emer­gency.

Emergency and post-conflict activi­ties

IOM is working to improve social cohesion in a variety of different ways. It addresses social cohesion among children by developing and implementing school programmes that support tolerance and con­flict resolution. It also works with local governments, schools and NGO partners to implement these programmes. The programmes in­clude: exchange programmes be­tween schools in different regions, as well as interaction activities between mono-ethnic and multi-ethnic schools and opportunities for interaction between schools and communities. IOM works with the broader community to establish social cohesion through a variety of grassroots activities.

IOM Central Asia’s emergency and post-conflict activities build on strong organizational experience in this area. IOM has experience in both natural disasters such as the Haiti earthquake and the Pakistan floods, as well as man-made disas­ters such as the conflicts in Iraq, Sierra Leone and the Balkans. IOM works with local communities, gov­ernments, education centres and those vulnerable to conflict to ad­dress underlying sources of conflict and provide a seamless transition between post-conflict activities and migration and development pro­grammes.

Disaster risk reduction activities

IOM will work in the field of disas­ter risk reduction with vulnerable populations and local authorities. It will work closely with a variety of partners, including local govern­ments and civil society stakehold­ers. IOM will conduct information campaigns through a variety of me­dia outlets to inform the general population about how to protect against disasters and how to re­duce disaster risk. It will also work to build the capacity of local gov­ernments and authorities through training programmes and assis­tance in infrastructure projects. IOM will also strengthen the capacity of communities to cope with natu­ral disasters and conflicts through training and education about man­agement of emergency situations.

KYRGYZSTAN

Children in Osh and Jalalabad Oblasts.

Violence, riots and clashes between ethnic groups broke out in Osh, Kyrgyzstan, on June 10, 2010, re­sulting in hundreds of deaths and thousands of people left home­less. This instability is the result of long-term tensions between the Kyrgyz and Uzbek ethnic groups in the Ferghana Valley. The tensions arose because of a variety of fac­tors, which include lack of cohesion between ethnic groups in the south, high unemployment and low-quali­ty education.

IOM’s peace-building program will last for 12 months, throughout the year 2011. The objective of the program is to support stabilization in the Ferghana Valley by develop­ing and implementing measures to improve social cohesion among youth and in the educational sys­tem. To achieve this objective, a variety of activities will take place. In the vocational training sector, rural vocational education schools will be provided with up-to-date equipment, teachers will receive tolerance training and employment centres will be set up for vocational training graduates. In the primary education sector, teachers will be provided with tolerance training, schools will receive tolerance and conflict resolution materials and an intensive tolerance program will be conducted at five pilot schools.

The IOM has significant experience in conducting vocational training. In the IOM’s long-standing and highly respected counter-trafficking pro­grammes, victims of trafficking are re-integrated into society through vocational training and education programs. The IOM hopes to build on its expertise and its strong re­lationships with grassroots NGOs in this peace building programme.

Providing legal assistance to peo­ple whose houses are damaged in the south of the Kyrgyz Republic

This 6-month project provides legal assistance to people and families affected by the inter-ethnic clashes which took place in June2010 in the south of the Kyrgyz Republic (Osh and Jalalabad oblasts) through establishing consultation centers in the affected areas. These consul­tation centers are staffed with professional lawyers and no­tary officers who will provide le­gal counseling and assistance to hundreds of families who lost their prop­erties during the inter-ethnic clash­es. Particularly, the families receive assistance in restoring property ownership and identification docu­ments destroyed during the riots. To successfully implement this project IOM has involved its partner NGOs in the south who run hotline and migration resource centers.

 

 

Disaster risk reduction

International Organization for Mi­gration implemented the project “Capacity building of local authori­ties and communities in the areas of Kyrgyzstan affected by natural disasters” within DIPECHO pro­gramme funded by European Com­mission’s Humanitarian Aid Direc­torate General (CHO). The main goal of the project is to reduce the vulnerability of the population in the risky areas, awareness raising, capacity building of local authori­ties in the area of planning and pre­paredness.

Within the framework of the proj­ect, with financial support of the Swiss Cooperation Office, Central Civil Defense Courses have been modernized. IOM has equipped the Training Courses with modern tech­nical equipment in accordance with international standards. IOM has also provided necessary literature, visual aids and training modules.

Information Campaign

Together with NGO partners IOM conducted a broad information campaign in 50 schools in the Kyr­gyz Republic. These schools were located in regions vulnerable to natural disasters. Pupils and teach­ers learn how to behave when a natural disaster occurs, as well as how to render first aid. NGOs to­gether with school administrations, children and their parents conduct non-structural mitigation works, such as fixing furniture and hang­ing items, removing hazards from lighting units and equipment and isolating explosive substances.

Strengthening of co-ordination mechanism among Ministry of Emergency and Scientific Institutes

IOM has supported the initiative to create a Scientific and Technical Council on improving coordination mechanisms between the Minis­try of Emergency Situations, scien­tific institutes and other interested agencies of the Kyrgyz Republic in terms of prevention and relief of emergency situations.

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