Gedarif – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Sudan, together with representatives of the embassies of France, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Japan and the United States of America inaugurated a Migrant Resource Centre (MRC) in Gedarif state in eastern Sudan on March 05, a hub for migrants and potential migrants who will receive information and services.
The establishment of the MRC is part of the efforts by IOM Sudan to expand its migrant protection and assistance and community engagement activities across the country. It is the second centre of this kind, complementing the Migrant Resource and Response Centre that IOM Sudan has been operating in Khartoum since 2015. The establishment and operationalization of the MRC has been closely coordinated with the State Ministry of Health and Social Development, IOM’s main governmental counterpart in Gedarif.
The Gedarif MRC aims to serve vulnerable migrants in or transiting through Sudan including victims of trafficking, seasonal migrant workers, potential migrants as well as the host community and local institutions.
Sudan presents a complex and diverse migration profile as a source, transit and destination country at the center of multiple migration routes and is host to several migrant populations. Gedarif state, located on the country’s eastern border with Ethiopia, is one of the main transit points for migrants from the Horn of Africa towards north Africa and onwards to Europe and the Arab Gulf states.
Migrants in transit lack access to basic services such as medical, psychosocial and legal assistance and are often vulnerable to exploitation and abuse by migrant smugglers, trafficking or forced labour. As part of its migrant protection and assistance programme the MRC in Gedarif will enable IOM, the UN Migration Agency, to address migrants’ immediate needs for protection and assistance as well as access to information in close coordination with local governmental and non-governmental counterparts and would also promote self-reliance among migrant communities. This will in turn contribute to IOM’s objective towards strengthening the humane management of mixed migration flows in Sudan.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, IOM’s Chief of Mission Catherine Northing highlighted that “we’re happy to work closely with the state government towards improving the protection of vulnerable migrants and access to assistance and services of both host and migrant communities”. The opening of the MRC was also welcomed by the State Minister of Health and Social Development who emphasized the importance of close coordination with IOM Sudan to improve access to services of both host and migrant communities.
The inauguration ceremony was attended by representatives of government authorities from the federal and state level, including the Ministry of Health and Social Development, and Interior, migrant and host communities, local civil society actors as well as UN and international agencies.