Conflicts, armed violence, disasters, epidemics, pandemics and other crises force millions of people to leave their homes and communities, sometimes for years or even decades. Millions of people are currently living in displacement within and across borders with disasters displacing around 25 million on average each year. Economic downturns, political instability and other drivers also compel large population movements.

As the leading UN agency working on migration, we are committed to saving lives and helping populations move out of harm’s way. We protect and assist those displaced or stranded by crisis, and support populations and their communities to recover. We work to mitigate adverse drivers that force people from their homes, help build resilience and focus on reducing disaster risk so that movement and migration can be a choice.

The Organization is among the world’s largest humanitarian actors and one of the few international organizations directly impacting programmes across the humanitarian, development and peace nexus to provide comprehensive responses at all phases of crises. 

IOM in Russia is ready to provide a comprehensive response to the humanitarian needs of migrants, internally displaced persons, returnees and host communities.

Mitigating Socioeconomic Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Migrants and Communities in Central Asia and the Russian Federation (2020-2021)

To address the COVID-19 pandemic IOM launched regional appeal “IOM Central Asia and Russian Federation COVID-19 Response”.

To halt further transmission of COVID-19 and mitigate the impact of the outbreak IOM missions in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan implemented regional project “Mitigating Socioeconomic Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Migrants and Communities in Central Asia and the Russian Federation”. The initiative responds to the IOM's Regional Appeal for Central Asia and the Russian Federation.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread across the world, governments of Central Asia and the Russian Federation have adopted early measures, seeking to prevent and increase preparedness for COVID-19 outbreak. As a result, hundreds thousand migrants are stranded abroad in uncertainty about their future. A number of migrants managed to return to their home countries, however, both those who returned and those who decided to stay or were unable to return continue facing significant challenges and, in some cases, they are not covered by state social protection systems. The COVID-19 emergency is exacerbating all preexisting migrants’ vulnerabilities, which can intersect with other factors such as gender, age and disability, but also nationality, status or ethnic origin.

The pandemic has heavily impacted economies and disrupted remittance flows in Central Asia and the Russian Federation as well. Given the extent of remittance-dependence among many communities, it is of critical importance to address these issues.

In accordance with the priorities of the IOM regional appeal, the project contributed to achievement of three goals:

  • Improve understanding of the migration dynamics through collection of evidence and data by using IOM Displacement/Mobility Tracking Mechanism (DTM); 
  • Improve protection of vulnerable migrants and ensure their access to basic services; 
  • Increase financial inclusion and digital remittance transfer by Central Asian migrants to build resilience and enhance the development value of remaining remittance flows.

Some project results:

The activities were closely coordinated with the Governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The project was funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC).

Project duration: August 2020 – May 2021.