IOM and Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation Sign Memorandum of Understanding

Date Published: 
Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) signed a Memorandum of Understanding today in Kabul.

The Memorandum of Understanding establishes an effective cooperation framework between IOM and the Ministry, aimed at supporting Afghan migrants, returnees and IDPs.

Signing on behalf of IOM was the Organization’s Deputy Director General, Ambassador Laura Thompson, who is currently in the Afghan capital Kabul. Speaking at the event, Ambassador Thompson expressed IOM’s appreciation to the Ministry for its longstanding partnership.

“This Memorandum of Understanding reflects our long collaboration, and engages that collaboration for the future,” said Ambassador Thompson. “We will continue to do all that we can to support Afghanistan and the work of the Ministry.”

IOM has worked closely with the Ministry since 2002, providing direct assistance to vulnerable Afghan migrants and supporting the Ministry’s efforts to enhance its capacity to effectively and efficiently deliver services at both the headquarters and provincial levels.

The multifaceted support provided by IOM includes guidance on the development and implementation of national policies, strategies and programmes addressing protection and support for migrants, returnees and IDPs, with a focus on the issue of return and reintegration; facilitating Afghanistan’s participation in relevant regional consultative processes on migration; and working with the Ministry to raise public awareness on the risks and challenges of irregular migration.

IOM draws on its extensive international experience in migration management to provide strategic guidance, training and technical support to the Ministry.

Minister of Refugees and Repatriation Mr. Said Hussain Alemi Balkhi also spoke at the event of his vision for the Ministry and Afghanistan as a whole.

“If we want Afghanistan to be a globalized nation and connect with people around the world, we have to focus on migration management,” said Minister Balkhi. “The Ministry’s plans to move forward are not possible without our partnership with IOM.”

Bordering six countries and recovering from decades of conflict, Afghanistan’s migration dynamics are complex and constantly evolving.

“Finding sustainable solutions to Afghanistan’s migration challenges requires committed partners,” said Ambassador Thompson. “We are confident that our strong relationship with the Ministry of Refugees and Repatriation will continue to grow.”

For further information please contact Nasir Haidarzai (+93 794 100 542, nhaidarzai@iom.int) or Matt Graydon (+93 794 100 546, mgraydon@iom.int)