IOM Seeks USD87 million to Assist People Affected by COVID-19 in East and Horn of Africa

Published Date: 
Thu, 04/29/2021

Nairobi – IOM, the International Organization for Migration is seeking US$87 million to meet the needs and help people across East & Horn of Africa recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The appeal for funds, launched today, are part of IOM’s ‘COVID-19 Strategic Response and Recovery Plan 2021 for East and Horn of Africa’. If the funds are raised, IOM will be able to continue to provide services to millions of migrants, displaced persons and host community members, including scaling up essential health services to help mitigate the long term impact of COVID-19, and to inform the response of the organization, and help in the recovery, by tracking the impact of COVID--19 on human mobility and strengthening evidence-based decision-making.

The COVID-19 pandemic has severely impacted the lives of thousands of migrants, internally displaced people (IDPs) and host communities throughout the East and Horn of Africa region, leaving many individuals, families, communities and economies vulnerable and in need of additional support and protection. Migrants, displaced populations and host communities in the region are facing unprecedented protection needs, risks and vulnerabilities. COVID-19 induced movement restrictions and measures are directly impacting the daily lives and circumstances of IDPs, refugees and host communities especially in countries where many people rely on remittances.

Livelihoods are being interrupted and access to healthcare remains limited. Many communities hosting IDPs lack adequate investment into health, water and sanitation, in addition to issues of overcrowding, poor shelter, scarce resources and limited access to reliable information. The impact felt by these communities not only increases humanitarian need but also exacerbates the existing and already complex barriers to durable solutions for IDPs and refugees.

East and Horn of Africa region is also host to countries experiencing complex humanitarian crises and protracted conflict which have further been compounded by the pandemic.

IOM has prepared a comprehensive response and recovery plan that ensures it provides the most appropriate services and support to its Member States and people in need. Building on its work in 2020, the first year of the pandemic, and recognising the need to both respond to humanitarian needs, as well as start to deliver durable solutions, in line with the humanitarian–development–peace nexus (HDPN), which focuses on the work needed to coherently address people’s vulnerability before, during and after crises.

This will include ensuring services continue, and mitigation of risks for crises affected populations,  by reducing congestion of displacement sites, establishing and improving handwashing stations, hygiene promotion through messaging, improving living conditions of affected populations, reducing population density, and therefore transmission of risk in migrant and transit centres and displacement sites. IOM will also support critical protection mechanisms and responses for urgent protection services for vulnerable populations, including displaced populations, assistance to stranded migrants and migrant workers.

As part of the Plan, IOM will support the scale-up of essential public health measures and promote mobility sensitive health systems including advocating for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccination for vulnerable populations, including migrants, displaced populations, and affected communities.

“Even as countries start to rollout vaccination programmes to curtail the pandemic, migrants and other vulnerable groups risk being left out. Migrants will remain among the most vulnerable to the loss of economic opportunities, eviction and homelessness, as well as stigmatization and exclusion from essential services,” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM Regional Director for East and Horn of Africa.

Through this plan, IOM will also work with governments and partners to support the inclusion of migrants into recovery and development planning and the inclusion of migrants and displaced populations in medium and long-term socioeconomic recovery measures. IOM will work with Member States and partners to support the adaptation and strengthening of COVID-19 responsive migration management solutions, including for labour mobility and addressing the protection needs of migrants.

Utilising its organizational research and analysis capacity, IOM will ensure that data will be available to inform the region’s response and recovery efforts.  

The COVID-19 Strategic Response and Recovery Plan 2021 for East and Horn of Africa is aligned to the IOM Global Strategic Response and Recovery plan.


  1. SDG 1: No Poverty
  2. SDG 3: Good Health and Wellbeing
  1. SDG 8: Decent work and Economic Growth
  2. SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities

For more information, please contact: Yvonne Ndege, Regional Communications and Spokesperson East and Horn of Africa International Organization for Migration (IOM) on [email protected] / Phone:  +254797735977