Over 40 slain in separate IS attacks on churchgoers in Cairo, IOM Director General William Lacy Swing yesterday (09/04) met with the Prime Minister of Egypt, Sherif Ismail, during his one-day visit to Cairo, where he attended the opening of the 44th session of the Arab Labour Conference.
Ambassador Swing expressed his sincere condolences and heartfelt sympathy, on behalf of IOM, to the Prime Minister and the people of Egypt after the terrorist attack in Tanta and Alexandria on Palm Sunday. The attacks by Islamic State killed over 40 mostly Coptic churchgoers.
Ambassador Swing said that IOM stood in solidarity with the Egyptian government and people, and was committed to providing any assistance within its capacity.
During his visit, he highlighted the importance of developing a national migration strategy in Egypt with a whole-of-government approach that would contribute to the country’s development, which was not only critical for the upcoming discussions on the Global Compact on Migration, but also for determining Egypt’s own future priorities.
Commending Ambassador Swing on IOM’s work with the Government of Egypt, Prime Minister Ismail welcomed and reaffirmed Egypt’s commitment to advance migration for the country’s development. He also recalled that while Egypt hosts millions of migrants and refugees, Egyptian expatriates have an important role to play with almost USD 20 billion in remittances every year.
On labour mobility, Ambassador Swing reiterated IOM’s commitment to support the rehabilitation of vocational training centres, aimed at preparing Egyptian skilled labour to meet national and international labour market needs. This would help ease Egypt’s unemployment problem and address one of the root causes of irregular migration.
It was also noted that following earlier consultations with the Government of Egypt, yearly consultations on migration issues remain a priority to ensure continued cooperation on migration matters.
In December 2016, Egypt and IOM marked 25 years of partnership whereby IOM has been supporting Egypt with programmes ranging from emergency relief to border management, resettlement, migrant assistance and migrant health.