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Fund in Action: Regional IGAD

Addressing drivers and facilitating safe, orderly, and regular migration in the contexts of disasters and climate change in the IGAD region

Kenya, Photo: ©Alexander Bee

The IGAD region is characterised by bustling economic growth alongside pockets of turmoil, often stemming from climate change and environmental challenges, shaping the way people move within the region. The Joint Programme aimed to facilitate pathways for regular migration in the region and help protect communities from the disruptions brought by climate change, environmental degradation, and disasters. This work is built on the solid foundations laid by IGAD - primarily through its Climate Prediction and Application Centre - Member States, UN entities and stakeholders.  

The Joint Programme enhanced disaster displacement risk management by improving access to essential data and evidence. Additionally, it has allowed key actors to strengthen cross-border disaster displacement preparedness through the development and dissemination of essential standard operating procedures (SOPs). 

  • SOPs on admission and stay in disaster contexts were developed for Uganda-Kenya and Ethiopia-Kenya and disseminated to national governments in the IGAD region. 

  • Two disaster displacement risk models were developed for cyclones in Somalia and for flooding in the IGAD region.  

This Joint Programme focused on creating improved avenues for regular migration and enhancing access to protection services through various activities, including awareness campaigns that aim to educate and inform communities about the importance of safe, regular, and orderly migration. Additionally, the programme also promoted the rights of migrant workers by making readily accessible information on available protection services.  

  • 7,100 migrants, potential migrants, and returnees, including IDPs, were reached through awareness-raising activities on safe, orderly, and regular migration, as a positive adaptation strategy to climate change 

Hussen Endris Abdu, a migrant returnee, who took part in a workshop on local market system analysis, stressed the importance of creating jobs locally so that unemployed youth do not have to use irregular migration channels, that expose them to numerous risks, as he experienced himself. 

“I suffered a lot during my migration journey. I risked my life, worked so hard, but as I was in an irregular situation, I was not able to claim my rights. I am now working on poultry in my village back home, earning well from the chicken and eggs I bring to the market. I also have my freedom and pride back. With the support I could get from programmes like this one, I can even create more jobs for my fellow young people here.” 

The Joint Programme strengthened linkages between environmental preservation and job opportunities, by supporting community members to access sustainable livelihoods and green employment, addressing the factors driving irregular migration and contributing to economic growth. This involved training individuals in various environmentally friendly sectors, connecting students with local businesses, establishing agroforestry sites, and providing education on climate-smart agriculture and innovative farming techniques.  

  • 120 workers and entrepreneurs were trained in green businesses in Ethiopia. 

  • 90 students were trained in clean and renewable energy, waste management, and plastic recycling in Somalia. They were linked with 17 local companies for business opportunities. 

  • One agroforestry production site was established, and 12 individuals were trained in establishing and managing a planned tree nursery in Kenya. 

  • 37 individuals were trained in climate smart agriculture and innovative dryland farming technologies in Kenya. 


Turkana County, Kenya. Photo: ©IOM

Drought in Turkana County, Kenya, has led to vegetation depletion, causing people to search for food, water, and pasture over long distances. The Joint Programme responded to this situation by providing drought-resistant trees and vegetables to families for revegetation. The programme worked closely with the Turkana County office and partners, training community members to care for the plants and establish an agroforestry production site in Namon village. A six-day training was conducted on establishing and managing a tree nursery, resulting in the production of 60,000 seedlings.  


Photo: ©IOM

Left - Due to the devastating effects of drought on Naime's parents' livelihoods in Somalia, she was compelled to discontinue her education just before graduation. Nevertheless, Naime seized the opportunity to participate in a solar energy training program. "The training in solar energy systems was a great opportunity to acquire new skills. I can now seek employment to support my family." said 24-year-old Naime who lives in one of the displacement sites. 

Right - Fahma, who is affected by the displacement crisis in Mogadishu, Somalia, is one of the participants in the waste management and plastic recycling training course. Here she is transforming plastic waste collected in the street into plastic wall tiles.   

The program's full achievements report can be found here.


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*References to Kosovo shall be understood to be in the context of United Nations Security Council resolution 1244 (1999).