Egypt has been an observer state to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) since 1974 and became a full-fledged member in 1991 at which time IOM established its mission in Cairo with the purpose of assisting foreign nationals who had been forcefully displaced by the Gulf War to voluntarily repatriate or resettle in third countries. Since entering into Agreement with the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt (GoE) soon thereafter, IOM Egypt has since established productive working relations with migration-related ministries, as well as UN partners and civil society.

Over the last 30 years, IOM has continuously enlarged its engagement in new fields of concern encompassing a wide range of activities in many programmatic areas such as: labour migration and human development; counter-trafficking; technical cooperation on migration management; migration health; emergency and post-crisis migration management; and resettlement.

In line with IOM’s global principle that humane and orderly migration benefits all, IOM Egypt’s overall strategic objective is to support the Government of Egypt and relevant actors to govern migration to effectively maximize its positive impact while minimizing its potential costs on all migrants and society. Following the approval of the IOM Migration Governance Framework (MiGoF) by IOM’s member states in November 2015, IOM Egypt has aligned its strategy with this global framework. The MiGOF outlines three principles and three objectives as essential elements for good migration governance which guide the Organization’s planning and reporting internally as well as its work in capacity-building, providing policy advice to its member states and partners. As such, the Mission’s strategy now foresees five strategic outcomes that assist the GoE and its partners to operationalize these six elements in governing migration to, through, and from Egypt. The first outcome contributes to both of the first two principles of the MiGOF while the last four contribute to the remaining elements individually.

These outcomes are formulated as follows: 

  1. GoE develops coherent, evidence based, whole-of–government policies regarding complex migration flows and the socio-economic impact of migration;

  2. GoE builds intra and inter-regional partnerships on migration governance to enhance cooperation;

  3. GoE and stakeholders effectively maximize the positive impact of emigration from and return migration to Egypt on the socioeconomic well-being of migrants and society;

  4. Diversity sensitive mechanisms in place to address the needs of and provide protection to all migrants and relevant vulnerable groups even in the face of mass influxes;

  5. GoE ensures that migration takes place in a safe, orderly and dignified manner while reducing the prevalence of irregular migration of non-Egyptians from, to, and through Egypt.

Together these five outcomes provide the framework for IOM Egypt’s present and foreseen engagement with the GoE and its other partners in Egypt.