Thematic Info-Sheet 

Countries:  Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, UAE
Emergencies:  Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and Libya 
Covering period: 01 January 2017-31 December 2017 
Contact Name(s):  Chiaki Ito, Regional Migration Health Specialist  


Regional Overview 

With the slogan of “Healthy Migrants in Healthy Communities” IOM has been delivering and promoting comprehensive, preventive and curative health programmes which are beneficial, accessible, and equitable for migrants and mobile populations throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Bridging the needs of both migrants and IOM’s member states, IOM’s Migration Health Division (MHD) has been contributing towards the physical, mental and social well-being of migrants, enabling them and host communities to achieve social and economic development. 

The right to health has been increasingly recognized and has risen up to the international agenda. Governments and health actors in the region are increasingly recognizing the need for a comprehensive multi-sector approach to migration and health that goes beyond infectious diseases and border control. Migrant inclusive policies that address migration-related health vulnerabilities, non-communicable diseases, mental health and psychosocial support, environmental health, and access to migrant-sensitive health care services must be promoted in order to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals and Universal Health Coverage. Excluding migrants from a right-based approach to health is poor public health practice, as it increases migrants’ vulnerability, creates and amplifies discrimination and health inequalities, incurs higher health costs for migrants and is, in general, a violation of migrants’ rights. On the contrary, delivering equitable access for migrants can reduce health and social costs, improve social cohesion and, most importantly, will protect public health and human rights contributing to healthier migrants in healthier communities. 

Working in close partnership with and is guided by multiple stakeholders in international health and migration sectors including beneficiaries, governments, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, academia, private sector entities, and civil society partners, IOM prioritizes in the following objectives, programmes and activities in the MENA region:  

  1. To promote preventative and curative health approaches to reduce disease burden for migrants and host communities 
  2. To reduce vulnerability and enhance resilience of migrants, communities and system 
  3. To ensure health of migrants and mobile populations are made an integral part of human and sustainable economic development 

Key health programmes: 

  1. Migration Health Assessments and Travel Assistance (Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, Iraq, Yemen, and Syria)  
  2. Health Promotion and Assistance for Migrants Health (Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, and Yemen) 
  3. Migration Health Assistance for Crisis-Affected Populations (Libya, Sudan, Yemen, Iraq, and Syria) 

Key activities: 

  1. Providing a range of healthcare services including medical screening, assessments, immunization, medical data-sharing, and medical escorting for resettling refugees as well as health promotion, migrant-sensitive life-saving primary care and referrals for migrants include internally displaced persons in crisis and post-crisis situations 
  2. Rehabilitating and constructing health facilities in crisis and post-crisis situations  
  3. Facilitating policy dialogues on migration health to promote the exchanges of lessons learned between the governments for better migration management 
  4. Building the technical capacity of the partners, in particular the governments, for migrant-sensitive quality healthcare services as well as migrant-inclusive health policy