IOM and UNHCR inaugurate a joint office in Nouadhibou
Nouadhibou - On 10th October, in presence of national and international authorities, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency, (UNHCR) inaugurated a joint office in Nouadhibou, in north-west Mauritania.
“This joint office is a good example of real partnership between United Nations agencies in support of the host government” said Nabil Othman Representative of UNHCR Mauritania. “Today, we see a growth in the number of refugees and asylum-seekers in the context of the mixed migration and to better respond to this phenomenon and corresponding needs in a protection-sensitive way , a joint effort is required by governments, United Nations agencies, donors and the civil society to work together in supporting and providing technical aid to the Mauritanian authorities in providing appropriate and differentiated solutions for refugees and migrants” he continued.”
Currently in the urban areas of Nouakchott and Nouadhibou, in addition to more than 57,000 Malian refugees hosted in Mbera camp in the Hodh Echargui region, UNHCR in Mauritania assists more than 2,000 refugees and asylum-seekers mostly from Central African Republic, Ivory Coast and Syria providing protection, and assistance for basic services such as education and healthcare. Pending the adoption of the asylum law, UNHCR works closely with the Mauritanian authorities towards the development and implementation of a national asylum system, supporting the Mauritanian government in enhancing refugee protection in the country.
“The IOM is glad to renew its commitment in the city of Nouadhibou through a stable presence beside the local authorities, associations, Mauritanian youth, migrants, consulates and all actors working towards identify opportunities and challenges linked to the migration in Mauritania” said Laura Lungarotti, Chief of Mission of IOM Mauritania. The Government of Mauritania is currently revising its National Strategy on Migration and IOM is providing technical assistance throughout the process. In line with the governmental priorities IOM will be implementing activities to enhance migration management.
Since 2006, IOM has implemented a strategy based on four complementary axes: governance of migration; community stabilization of host and border communities; prevention of irregular migration and violent extremism; assistance and protection of vulnerable migrants. In particular, IOM action in Nouadhibou relies on two of these four axes: the governance of migration and the protection and assistance to vulnerable migrants. IOM works in Nouadhibou with city authorities, the civil society, migrants associations but also the naval academy, partners of the free zone and the national federation of fishing.
Due to its strategic position, the city of Nouadhibou is a point of convergence for refugees and migrants coming from West, Sub-Saharan and North Africa. Through this conjoint office, IOM and UNHCR, in support of the Mauritanian government, aim at join forces to better address the issue of the mixed migration in the city.
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