Yasser* arrived in Pakistan with the dream of pursuing a Master’s degree in Computer Sciences. A few months after his departure, however, a war broke out in Yemen. Yasser found himself cut off from his family, unable to make any contact with his wife and son: he thought he had lost them forever. Hopeless and alone, Yasser registered as a refugee with UNHCR while trying to make a living in Pakistan.
ICMC’s Head of Policy, John K. Bingham, welcomed with appreciation the launch of the Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Migration, Peter Sutherland, who also serves as President of ICMC. Bingham commented that the Sutherland’s report gives much hope to organizations working in the field of refugee protection and migrants’ rights, especially in regards to the two Global Compacts on safe, orderly, and regular migration and responsibility-sharing for refugees.
In December and January, ICMC has supported 2,435 vulnerable Syrian refugees and Jordanian households living in Irbid and Mafraq with unconditional cash assistance to ensure a basic level of warmth during the winter season, with the financial support from BPRM, OCHA and ECHO.
Reporting back about ICMC’s global leadership of civil society in international migration governance, ICMC Head of Policy John K. Bingham presented summaries of the extensive work done during meetings at the UN Headquarters in New York City.
Alaf* is a young girl of 12, originally from Afghanistan. In spite of her very young age, she has already lived through a number of terrible experiences, which seriously affected her health and wellbeing as well as her capacity to trust others. Luckily, Alaf was finally approved by UNHCR for resettlement to the United States. In December 2016, she could finally board a plane which took her to a new beginning overseas.
On 21 February, while attending the 6th International Forum on Migration and Peace in Vatican City, Pope Francis voiced deep concern at the forced nature of many contemporary migratory movements, which intensify current political challenges and generate urgency for a transnational response.
Fifteen months after the launch of the Joint Valletta Action Plan, European and African civil society organizations attended the Senior Official Meeting that took place on 8-9 February in Malta. This invitation demonstrated awareness by all African and European delegations about the necessity to have an inclusive process.
On the occasion of the one-year follow-up of the implementation of the Joint Valletta Action Plan and the EU Trust Fund for Africa, and one week ahead of a Senior Officials Meeting taking place on 8-9 February in Malta to evaluate progress made, ICMC Europe and the MADE Network Africa organised a two-part conference on 30 January in Brussels.
“Be not afraid” were the words with which St. John Paul II greeted the crowds gathered in St. Peter’s Square on the night that he was chosen as Pope. Today, those words seem more important than ever, as our world confronts, with much fear and dread, the destruction of life and homes during wars, conflicts, and random acts of terrorism.