Operations and Emergencies
- Resettlement assistance
Rwanda hosts thousands of refugees, mostly from the Democratic Republic Congo and Burundi. With the refugees’ prospects for return being uncertain, IOM Rwanda works to find long-term sustainable solutions for individuals who have spent years living in camps. IOM Rwanda resettles refugees to third countries, mainly to the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
IOM Rwanda works closely with the Government of Rwanda, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), non-government organizations and other partners. The resettlements process begins with UNHCR where they identify, interview and submit refugee cases to countries for resettlement consideration. Subsequently, under cooperative agreements with those same countries, IOM’s resettlement services — medical screenings, pre-departure briefings, fitness to travel checks, movement assistance — take place. Upon arrival, resettlement countries provide refugees with legal and physical protection, including access to civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights similar to those enjoyed by nationals. Most refugees eventually become naturalized citizens of their country of resettlement.
From 2008 to June 2018, IOM Rwanda facilitated resettlement activities and final departures for 11,631 refugees. Third Country Resettlement movement of refugees and the relevant activities to facilitate orderly migration is a significant role of IOM Rwanda’s programmes.
- Humanitarian emergencies
IOM’s activities relating to emergency and post-emergency operations assistance focus on four phases of emergency intervention: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. IOM Rwanda, in partnership with ONE UN and the Government of Rwanda, particularly engages in programmes that decrease the community’s vulnerability to disasters and climate related threats by promoting access to off-farm livelihood skills development and livelihood diversification to broaden income generation options of vulnerable households. These programmes contain trainings of disaster management and vocational training that cover a variety of vocations from which the beneficiaries could choose, such as carpentry, masonry, food processing, weaving, knitting and shoe making. IOM Rwanda has also implemented several projects to improve the living conditions of displaced families by providing WASH services (water, sanitation and hygiene) and shelter assistance.
IOM’s activities relating to emergency and post-emergency operations assistance focus on four phases: mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery. In partnership with ONE UN and the Government, IOM engages in programmes that decrease the community’s vulnerability to disasters and climate related threats by promoting access to off-farm livelihood skills development and livelihood diversification to broaden income generation options of vulnerable households. These programmes contain trainings of disaster management and vocational trainings. IOM Rwanda has also implemented several projects to improve the living conditions of vulnerable families by providing WASH services (water, sanitation and hygiene) and shelter assistance.
Disaster risk reduction
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) supports Member States in integrating mobility in strategies that reduce risk and build resilience. In line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030 (The Sendai Framework) and underpinned by broad multi-stakeholder engagement, these efforts harness dimensions of mobility in prevention and preparedness, respond to disaster displacement when it cannot be avoided, and promote resilience and durable solutions in recovery and reconstruction.
Since September 2019, Rwanda has experienced heavy rains that culminated in April-May 2020, causing floods and landslides in several districts across Rwanda. Rainfall estimates show that the rains in March – April 2020 were approximately 80 per cent higher than normal. The rainfall in May 2020 caused severe damages, amongst other it brought the accumulated number of lost lives by storms for the year to over 240 (out of which 72 was a result of the rain on 6th and 7th May 2020 alone).
To ensure that households who were affected by floods and landslides rebuild their homes, through the CERF funded project IOM will provide shelter materials to meet the immediate emergency housing needs of the most vulnerable displaced populations. This intervention takes place in three districts which have been identified as the most affected by the current floods/landslides in Rwanda: Nyabihu, Gakenke and Ngororero. This intervention aims at saving lives and alleviating the suffering of the populations affected by floods and landslides in Rwanda and particularly assisting the victims of landslides with life-saving support as avoiding the poor humanitarian situation to further deteriorate. The output of the project is to ensure that the most vulnerable displaced households are provided with adequate emergency shelter assistance.