Japan Provides IOM Thailand USD 2.5 Million for Assistance to Migrants in Andaman Sea

Thailand – The Government of Japan is committing USD 2.5 million to IOM in Thailand in response to IOM’s USD 26 million appeal to assist those affected by the migrant crisis in the Andaman Sea.

Japanese funding will provide for temporary shelter and non-food items (NFIs) such as blankets, clothes and hygiene kits, health and nutritional support and psychosocial support to stranded migrant men, women and children in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand.

In Thailand, IOM will continue to provide medical and supplemental nutrition assistance to stranded migrants who departed from Myanmar and Bangladesh and are currently in Thailand. IOM will assist stranded migrants that arrived in Thailand by boat or land in the current crisis through health assessments, screenings and additional assistance as needed. Funding will also allow the continuation of psychosocial support.

In Indonesia, Japanese funding will enable IOM to provide shelter and sanitation improvement and maintenance support, and will provide assistance to government health and social affairs authorities to provide food, water and needed medical services. IOM will provide support to improve temporary shelter conditions beyond the initial emergency phase and establish and/or strengthen additional facilities so that temporary shelters meet the humanitarian needs of migrants, and are in compliance with guidelines on temporary protection and stay. Psychosocial support activities for migrants including individual and group counselling and recreational activities will also be implemented.

Additionally, IOM is prepared to distribute a range of non-food items and hygiene kits to migrants arriving and/or detained in Malaysia. Upon request, IOM will provide humanitarian assistance to migrants in Malaysia through the provision of basic health care services and psychosocial support activities including counselling for those migrants in need.

In Myanmar IOM will continue to provide NFIs and additional clothing to those that have arrived by boat. IOM teams consisting of operations staff on the ground in Maungdaw will continue to coordinate with local authorities and international agencies, co-leading the response with UNHCR. IOM will continue to provide water and sanitation support, supplemental food and nutrition to those at the reception sites in coordination with the authorities. IOM will monitor the affected individuals for potential psychosocial needs and, should the need arise, deploy specialists as needed.

IOM will provide psychosocial support, primary health care screening and treatment, family reunification services and food, to all returnee migrants at points of entry in Bangladesh. The psychosocial support will have a special focus in discussing future options for the returnees, and share relevant information on regular migration, to reduce the likelihood of re-smuggling for the migrants.

IOM will also provide temporary shelter to the returnees when necessary, as well as NFIs and additional food in cases where the migrants are not immediately able to continue home. Complicated medical and psychosocial cases will be followed up and access to additional care provided when necessary.  IOM Bangladesh is also closely liaising with UNICEF to provide protection for the unaccompanied minors.

For a copy of the IOM Appeal, please go to: http://www.iom.int/sites/default/files/country_appeal/file/IOM-Appeal-Ba…

For further information, please contact Jeff Labovitz, IOM Thailand, Tel.: +66 89 890 8702, Email: jlabovitz@iom.int.  Or Joe Lowry at IOM’s Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Tel.: +66 81 870 8081, Email: jlowry@iom.int