Tripoli - To maintain and expand a two-way communication with migrant communities in Libya, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) organized a two-day seminar to discuss and share information with migrant community leaders in Tripoli.

Under the European Union-funded Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) programme, 19 migrant community mobilizers representing major migrant communities in Libya attended the seminar on 19 and 20 July to receive updates about IOM programmes and assistance to migrants in need.

While preventive health measures were put in place during the event to prevent the potential risks of spreading COVID-19 virus,  representatives of migrant communities were informed and updated on the latest IOM programmes including Migrants Resource and Response Mechanism (MRRM), Health, Protection as well as Mental Health and Psychosocial Support (MHPSS).

 “We have got new ideas about what we can tell our community members in Tripoli and other cities. Now, we better understand what kind of IOM assistance is available for migrants,” said Aisha, representing the Malian community.

The participants represented 16 different African nationalities: Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Sudan, The Gambia, Togo, and Uganda.

The overall aim of the seminar was to enable a two-way communication platform between migrant communities and IOM to share updates on the different programmes and hear their concerns and feedback on the delivered assistance in a very transparent manner.

In a lively atmosphere followed by in-depth discussions, the community mobilizers presented their recommendations on the best outreach approach that IOM could follow during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Ibrahim from the Sierra Leonean community said: “This event was a wonderful gathering that involved all the IOM departments offering so many different services to our communities.”

Throughout the two-days engagement, the community mobilizers raised concerns and shared suggestions to enhance IOM information sharing and referral pathways. All the discussed points were documented and shared with programme managers to reinforce the different activities.

“It was great to hear directly from community mobilizers. To enable more engagements with migrants and to better inform them and our programme, this seminar will be replicated, periodically, in various cities, and will go beyond community mobilizers to include different categories of migrants in Libya,” said Ashraf Hassan, the head of the VHR Programme at IOM Libya.

The seminar was conducted in the framework of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in North Africa, financed by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and implemented in close collaboration with 26 African countries.