Foreword from the Regional Director
On 18 December 2017, countries in the East and Horn of Africa region joined the international community in marking International Migrants Day. This day provides an opportunity to celebrate the positive contributions of migrants to both their host communities and communities of origin. It is also an occasion to remember and commemorate the countless migrants who have lost their lives on their journey in search of a better life for themselves and their families. The UN Migration Agency marked the International Migrants Day with a series of events around the world including film screenings and debates on migration.
Mixed migration flows within, from and to East and Horn of Africa is often driven by a mix of complex dynamics, including conflict, drought and search for better economic opportunities. Migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in the region face constant risk of harm, ranging from abduction, physical abuse and death on land and at sea. There is need to put in place enabling environment for safe migration while at the same time, finding solutions to factors that force people to migrate, such as conflict and food insecurity. In East and Horn of Africa, like elsewhere in the world, the international response to internal displacement and migration must be informed by a solid analysis of the underlying drivers and their linkages.
Nonetheless, migration is a sign of people’s will to overcome adversity and to live a better life. Globalization, together with advances in communications and transportation, has greatly increased the number of people who have the desire and the capacity to move to other places. IOM will continue to work with migrants, governments and other partners in the region to ensure migration benefits all.