In Egypt, considered at the outset as a transit point for many migrants embarking on an irregular journey across the Mediterranean, a considerable number of migrants end up settling in the country due to the lack of resources for onward travels. Thus, Egypt has become a country of origin, transit and destination. The absence of accurate and up-to-date data on migrants and their geographical distribution in Egypt remains a challenge. More accurate data is available for regular migrant workers, asylum seekers and refugees, while there is a susbtantial shortage of and an inaccuracy in the statistics related to irregular migrants (migrants without a legal migration status in Egypt) who are estimated to be numerous. In 2015, Egypt hosted 491 643 migrants (UNDESA Migration Report, 2015). In line with the UNHCR data, 202 209 asylums seekers and refugees are registered in Egypt as of February 2017.
In this framework, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is implementing the Regional Development and Protection Programme for North Africa (RDPP NA) Development pillar in Egypt, as well as in Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia. This project is financed by the European Union (EU), through the European Neighbourhood Instrument and the EU emergency Trust Fund - North Africa window.
Through an integrated approach, this project aims to respond to the migration challenges encountered in Egypt by building the resilience and capacity of communities hosting migrants to absorb and support vulnerable migrants and ensure community stability, as well as protecting the rights of migrants in the region. To this end, the project aims to achieve the following:
• The needs of migrants and communities affected by migration in the targeted countries are properly identified, taking into consideration the gender dynamics and dimensions;
• Coordination and response mechanisms are enhanced in the targeted countries, with a particular focus on the empowerment of relevant local civil society organizations (CSOs);
• More balanced communication and public discourse on migrants, based on real facts and figures, is encouraged and developed through local media and other relevant stakeholders;
• The resilience of migrants and the communities hosting them is enhanced by improving economic and social well-being of target communities;
• The promotion of a culture of rights, dialogue and social cohesion and the protection of vulnerable groups are encouraged and strengthened at community level.
IOM Egypt will work with its existing network of partners, including governmental counterparts, CSOs, private sector agencies, and media practitioners to design and implement the following activities:
• Conduct a desk review and needs assessment to identify the needs of the migrants and their host communities;
• Take the lead on the regional expansion of the current Bosla online platform and aps in Egypt to cover the other four countries concerned (Algeria, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia) and provide migrants in North Africa with access to services available for them in each of the five countries;
• Build the capacity of CSOs and other partners to improve the quality of the services provided to migrants and their host communities;
• Build the capacity of media practitioners and journalists towards a more balanced discourse on migration;
• Shape public opinion also via raising awareness on the positive aspects of migration;
• Design and implement small-scale interventions to improve access to livelihood opportunities for migrants and their host communities;
• Facilitate the engagement of Egyptians abroad in the development of their local communities through crowdfunding platforms;
• Design and implement small-scale interventions aiming to enhance community cohesion and resilience.
This projects contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly targets 10.2 "empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status," and 10.7 "facilitate orderly, safe, and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies."
This project supports the implementation of the Government’s Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030, in particular the fifth pillar of the social justice dimension supporting the creation of a “fair interdependent society characterized by equal economic, social, political rights and opportunities realizing social inclusion. A society that provides protection, and support to marginalized and vulnerable groups”.
This project contributes to the second priority domain of the Valletta Action Plan adopted in November 2015: “through enhancing sustainable livelihoods and self-reliance opportunities for displaced persons, as well as to host communities” and “by taking action with regard to conflicts, human rights violations and abuses that, generate internal displacement, irregular migration and refugee flows”.