Regional mechanisms strengthen actions to include and tend to migrants in crisis situations

Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama
30 August, 2019


Guatemala City. In following with the Regional Conference on Migration (RCM) and the Central American Policy for Comprehensive Disaster Risk Reduction (PCGIR), authorities representing said conference and other international organizations participated last August 26th on a regional workshop: “The key role of information coordination and management for tending to migrants in disaster situations”. The activity was designed to strengthen the inclusion and attention to migrants in such cases.

The event was opened by Ambassador Pablo Cesar García, vice-minister of Exterior Relations of Guatemala and pro-tempore president of the RCM; Claudia Herrera, executive secretary of the Coordination Center for the Prevention of Natural Disasters in Central America and the Dominican Republic (CEPREDENAC); Gloria Yanira Quinteño, executive director of the Central American Secretariat for Social Integration (SISCA); and Alexandra Bonnie, coordinator of IOM’s Regional Program for Migration Mesoamerica-The Caribbean.

During the activity, an IOM study was presented to the public. Titled “Migrants in risk reduction and emergency response in Central America”, it is a tool that facilitates access to data and statistics, gathers the institutional and normative framework on disaster risk reduction and sets a regional agenda for migrants to be taken into account when preparing for, answering to and recovering from emergencies.

The workshop included subjects like the contents of the Sendai Framework for disaster risk reduction 2015-2030; the preparation for and answer to humanitarian crises; the directives in the Migrants in Countries in Crisis (MICIC) initiative; the management of information and the characterization of migratory fluxes in the region, and the displacement tracking metric (DTM), an IOM mechanism.

Officials from Canada, the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic had the opportunity to check their national norms and policies, good practices and challenges, as well as to exchange information and coordination in favor of migrants whom, despite their condition, length of stay, reason for the mobility and migratory status, must be tended to by the countries during times of crisis, disaster or emergency.

In order to meet the training and professionalization needs of civil servants in the region in charge of these issues, IOM has made available the E-Campus platform, to strengthen capacities through specialized courses and free materials. This resource is available in English, French and Spanish at 

“This is the kind of space where the authorities, international organizations and the civil society can work together to strengthen and coordinate efforts, guaranteeing safety and equal access to services and assistance”, said vice-minister García.   

Alexandra Bonnie, of IOM, stated that “both immigrants and diasporas have been allies in responding to such situations, proving their great capacity for resilience in the recovery phases, after disasters. The region is one of the most vulnerable to natural disasters, as well as one of the main migration corridors in the world. That is why this meeting with officials from the RCM countries is a crucial element to answer to upcoming challenges.”

The regional workshop and the launch of the study are part of the activities within the Regional Program on Migration Mesoamerica-Caribe, which is funded by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration of the United States Department of State. It also had support from CEPREDENAC, RCM, the Central American Integration System (SICA) and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Federation.