Facts and Figures (Global)
Countries where IOM operated to fight COVID-19 in 2020
Countries supported by the IOM Development Fund
Migrants helped to voluntarily return home since 1979
1.7 M
Trafficked persons assisted since the mid-1990s

Migration in and from East and Horn of Africa is significant in volume and diverse in profile and mixed migration flows include refugees, asylum seekers, displaced and stranded persons, unaccompanied and separated children, migrant workers and trafficked persons and smuggled migrants forced migrants as well as migrants who are motivated to move by many different factors. Mixed migration flows in this region typically follow three main migratory routes: the ‘Northern Route’ towards North Africa and often onwards to Europe; the ‘Southern Route’ towards South Africa; and the ‘Eastern Route’ towards Yemen and other parts of the Gulf. 

Through the Department of Migration Management, IOM works on the development of policy guidance for the field; the formulation of global strategies; standard-setting and quality control; and knowledge management relating to “mainstream” migration sectors, including labour and facilitated migration, migration and development, counter-trafficking, assisted voluntary return, migration health, assistance for vulnerable migrants, immigration and border management and overall capacity-building in migration management.

In addition, the Department also manages the IOM Development Fund and is responsible for reviewing, endorsing and managing multiregional and global projects. The Department provides technical supervision of project review and endorsement to experts in the field. It is also responsible for maintaining operational partnerships with relevant governmental, multilateral and private sector industry partners in coordination with the Department of International Cooperation and Partnerships.

IOM has been active in the East and Horn of Africa from the early 1980s.