The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development recognizes that migration is a powerful driver of sustainable development, for migrants and their communities. It brings significant benefits in the form of skills, strengthening the labour force, investment and cultural diversity, and contributes to improving the lives of communities in countries of origin through the transfer of skills and financial resources. 

The IOM Institutional Strategy on Migration and Sustainable Development outlines a whole-of-organization approach to comprehensively integrate migration and development into policymaking and programming within IOM. It recognizes that migration, when well-managed, can be both a development strategy and a development outcome.  

Interlinkages between migration and development are complex and multifaceted. IOM’s Regional Office for MENA works with governments and other stakeholders at national and local levels in order to build awareness of these linkages and build the capacity of governments to better harness migration to promote sustainable development. This includes: 

  • Engaging diaspora communities in socio-economic development;
  • Harnessing remittances to support sustainable local development and investment;
  • Supporting local community development and youth employment initiatives to reduce negative drivers of irregular and unsafe migration;
  • Supporting the integration of displaced populations and their host communities.

IOM prioritizes harnessing the skills and the social and economic contributions of migrants and displaced populations to benefit wider sustainable development outcomes in both countries of destination and countries of origin. It also aims to contribute to a better understanding of the reciprocal effects of migration on development and of sectoral development policies on migration, and to encourage mainstreaming migration considerations into development policy and development considerations into migration policy.

IOM’s RO for MENA aims to support efforts to achieve peace and sustainable development for populations across the Arab Region, offering evidence-based examples of lessons learned and successes in using the SDGs to catalyze the transition towards greater peace and prosperity. 

Given the urgent need to address the environmental challenges faced by communities of origin in MENA countries, IOM looks for opportunities for integrating environmental dimensions into reintegration activities. In the framework of the “Diaspora’s Engagement into Development of Agroecology in Morocco,” project, supported by the IOM Development Fund, the aim is to respond to international policy commitments and address the environmental drivers of migration, such as those made in the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change at the COP21 and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) in 2018, while improving cooperation on return and sustainable reintegration. The project’s ultimate goal is to advise and guide the Moroccan diaspora to invest in sustainable agricultural practices, demonstrating the potential for the diaspora to support development and increase food sovereignty and security in rural areas, thus helping create green job opportunities for the youth in marginalized territories.