IOM Egypt and ICARDA join forces for new approaches on migration

Cairo, 13 September 2021- ICARDA and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Egypt are thrilled to announce the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to form a closer knowledge-sharing relationship and drive a multifaceted approach to migration in Egypt and across the region. 

CGIAR Regional Director for CWANA and ICARDA Director-General Mr. Aly Abousabaa, and IOM Chief of Mission to the Arab Republic of Egypt, Mr. Laurent de Boeck, have signed an MOU to launch a new era of knowledge-sharing that leverages the relevant organizational specialist expertise. ICARDA, with more than 40 years of agricultural research innovation in dry regions, and IOM, as the leading inter-governmental organization in the field of migration, will pool their vast knowledge to help transform climate-vulnerable farming activities into sustainable food systems that build economic resilience, promote sustainable agricultural development, and provide alternatives to irregular migration.

“ICARDA is thrilled to announce its partnership with IOM Egypt. Because the opportunities offered by sustainable agriculture are closely intertwined with migration and climate change themes, this exciting partnership aims to deliver new and informed climate smart approaches towards resilient dryland livelihoods that will benefit farmers and migrants alike.” said CGIAR Regional Director for CWANA and ICARDA Director-General Mr. Aly Abousabaa

“Climate change is a critical issue of this century. It is crucial that every sector of the society takes measures to address the potential issues of environmental degradation, access to natural resources and forced displacement of population. By working hand in hand with ICARDA, we look forward to reinforcing our understanding and identifying long-term solutions to address those root factors which could transform our societies. We are certain that such a partnership will pave the way in delivering services to all citizens and particularly the youth, to sustain the economy in the farming industry”, said Laurent de Boeck, Chief of Mission of IOM to Egypt.

Agriculture accounts for around 28% of all jobs in Egypt, and 55% in Upper Egypt, all increasingly affected by high outward irregular migration. Both ICARDA and IOM recognize the need to strengthen value extraction and addition by ‘extending the farmer’s gate’ to the agriculture sector through innovative agricultural approaches, job creation, better value chains, opportunities for women and youth, and other innovative and proven strategies. 

Approaches that transform traditional farming and its value chains, drive better water management in an increasingly water-scarce environment, slow desertification and restore degraded land to full agricultural use. These elements, in addition to developing urban agriculture with a focus on increasing its integration within the tourism industry, are vital to increasing economic activity across Egypt. Doing so aligns with IOM Egypt’s mission to improve the livelihood opportunities of internal and arriving regular migrants and Egyptian farming communities, alongside ICARDA’s goal to deliver climate-smart agricultural solutions that reduce environmental damage while increasing incomes and creating resilient livelihoods.

Both IOM Egypt and ICARDA also engage in policy research and development to support national authorities in addressing issues of migration, environmental, gender, and climate change and integrating them into key agricultural policy areas. Such approaches and policies facilitate equitable access to an agricultural enterprise offering an alternative to changing location in search of better economic opportunities while facilitating the role of migration as an adaptation strategy to climate change.

ICARDA also works in regional fragile states and territories to rehabilitate food systems, build seed stocks, and build capacity within government extensions services. Restoring and stabilizing agricultural systems are often the first steps in enabling displaced people who return, as well as those who remained, to produce enough food and gain employment.

IOM Egypt and ICARDA will begin now discussions that build on their knowledge and experience on common interests, to conceive new approaches and streamline and enhance existing activities to improve opportunities in Egypt, and support farming communities and others at risk of irregular migration in Egypt and across the region.

 

For more information, please contact:

ICARDA: Louise Sarant, Email: l.sarant@cgiar.org

IOM Egypt:  Mariam Salim, Email: msalim@iom