IOM Reaffirms Support to African Union in the Establishment of the African Humanitarian Agency
Malabo – Humanitarian needs are growing fast in Africa with more than 113 million people in the most affected African countries requiring urgent assistance in 2022. Climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with protracted conflict and intercommunal conflict and food and nutrition crisis is exacerbating an already dire humanitarian situation on the continent. Africa has more than 30 million internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees and asylum seekers. Protracted conflicts and resurgent sub-national armed conflicts, and persistent climatic shocks continue to drive migration and displacements.
The African Union (AU) 2022 Humanitarian Summit and Pledging Conference, which was held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea (25-27/5) deliberated on ways to address the humanitarian challenges facing the continent - such as those being experienced in various regions in the continent including eastern Horn of Africa, central and western Africa, the Sahel, and North Africa and exacerbated by the socio-economic impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the summit, the African Union, development partners, donors, civil society, regional economic communities, the private sector, and other stakeholders reviewed the state of humanitarian action and response, looking at early warning and prevention, peace building and addressing root causes, and identifying durable solutions and post conflict recovery for peace and development.
The 2022 summit follows the first one convened by African leaders in Kampala, Uganda in 2009 due to increased concern about the challenges of forced displacements in Africa, and which led to the adoption of the African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa (Kampala Convention) to address the phenomenon of refugees, IDPs and returnees in a comprehensive way.
The African continent continues to face complex humanitarian emergencies because of natural and human induced disasters, including conflicts, leading to mass displacements of persons both within and across national borders. These have exponentially increased humanitarian needs over the years, leaving the most vulnerable communities facing multiple shocks.
IOM took part in a donor pledging conference attended by heads of states, heads of UN agencies, donors, civil society, the private sector, and international and local organisations to mobilize resources and international support for the continent’s humanitarian response and to augment existing disaster risk reduction and preparedness mechanisms.
“By organising this Extraordinary Humanitarian Summit, followed by the Donors' Conference, the African Union demonstrates its firm determination to pursue its efforts to reduce the sufferings endured by Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons on the Continent,” said H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat Chairperson of the African Union Commission at the opening of the Extraordinary Humanitarian Summit and Pledging Conference.
The IOM delegation, led by Director General Mr. António Vitorino, and including Senior Regional Adviser for Sub-Saharan Africa, Ms. Aïssata Kane, and other senior officials also participated in the high-level round table on Post Conflict Reconstruction and Development, and High level roundtable on Climate , Disasters and Forced Displacements during the African Union Commission’s 4th Ministerial Session of the Specialized Technical Committee (STC) on Migration, Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons, . Additionally, IOM participated in the High-level Side Event on climate, disasters and forced displacement, and a High-level Side Event on the United Nations Secretary-General’s Action Agenda on Internal Displacement where they underlined the need to develop effective responses to the shifting dynamics of migration and displacement on the continent.
“IOM’s investment in Africa continues to grow every year with a 20 per cent increase from 2020 - 2021, and amounts to a total of 866.63 million USD, which is 33 per cent total IOM expenditure. We reaffirm IOM’s commitment to support the AU in the establishment and operationalization of the African Humanitarian Agency including capacity building in strategic areas identified in the IOM-AU Cooperation Agreement such as addressing humanitarian emergencies, durable solutions, border management and leveraging data responsibly,” said Mr. Vitorino during the Pledging conference.
On the side-lines of the Conference, DG Vitorino also held bilateral meetings with the African Union’s Commissioner for Health, Humanitarian Affairs and Social Development, H.E. Minata Samate, Cessouma and Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy and Sustainable Environment, H.E. Ambassador Josefa Correia Sacko.
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