IOM trains protection actors in providing mental health and psychosocial support to vulnerable populations in the East and Horn of Africa region.

Machakos, Kenya – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), through the Better Migration Management (BMM) programme, hosted a comprehensive 3-day training session from 15 to 17 August 2023 in Machakos, Kenya. The training provided protection actors with critical knowledge on mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) - as well as gender mainstreaming - for vulnerable populations within the East and Horn of Africa region.

The session drew the participation of a diverse array of protection and assistance providers, both governmental and non-governmental, who directly engage with vulnerable migrants from countries covered by the BMM programme. These countries encompass Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Uganda. The overarching aim was to foster a regionally unified approach that integrates mental well-being with gender considerations for migrants, emergency-affected individuals, and host communities.

Attendees were equipped with essential insights into core MHPSS and gender mainstreaming concepts, adapted to return and reintegration contexts, identification and referral of vulnerable migrants, and provision of direct assistance. The training also enabled participants to gain familiarity with IOM's strategies for safeguarding trafficked individuals, aiding vulnerable migrants, and integrating gender considerations during crises.

“The three-day training significantly broadened my perspective on policy and decision-making, as well as the supervision, coordination, and implementation of our gender-based violence program. The emphasis on mental health, psychosocial support, and gender mainstreaming highlighted their paramount importance across all service delivery levels.” – Ms. Roselyne Mkabana, Sexual and Gender-based Violence (SGBV) Unit Head, Nairobi City County Government.

Following the training session, IOM will continue to support actors in enhancing their capacity across these topics and to implement recommendations such as integrating MHPSS and gender in national development plans while fostering a sense of ownership among governments, host communities, and migrants alike.

The Better Migration Management programme is financed by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Its objective is to improve the safe, orderly, and regular management of migration within and from the Horn of Africa region by applying a human rights-based approach. The programme is implemented by British Council, CIVIPOL, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, IOM, and UNODC in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, and Uganda.

For further information and enquiries, please contact:

Sofia Karim, Deputy Regional Programme Manager (BMM), IOM Regional Office for East and Horn of Africa, Email: