UN Migration Agency Director General, William Lacy Swing was this week (03/10) honoured with an Officer of the National Order of 27th of June award by the East African nation of Djibouti. The award was presented by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Djibouti, Abdulkader Kamil.
Director General Swing accepted the prestigious award on behalf of 11,000 IOM colleagues in 500 sites and 170 countries around the world. “We at IOM appreciate this symbol of recognition and support,” said Swing.
In his acceptance remarks, DG Swing thanked Djiboutians for their generosity, “We are concerned and sensitive to the crises of the Horn of Africa, a war across the Red Sea and other armed conflicts in the neighborhood. In the face of these realities, I would like to thank the Republic of Djibouti for its generosity and sense of responsibility towards thousands of irregular migrants who pass through Djibouti on their way to Yemen.”
Noting that Djibouti was at the crossroads of a major migratory route, DG Swing reiterated IOM’s steadfast commitment and resolve to continue working closely with the nation and people of Djibouti and “share responsibility for the vulnerable migrants who want only one thing: a better life.”
During his visit, DG Swing also met with President of Djibouti Ismail Omar Guelleh and discussed IOM’s work and importance of its presence in Djibouti. He emphasized that IOM Djibouti will continue to work closely with the Government of Djibouti on humanitarian assistance to vulnerable migrants transiting through the region.
IOM Djibouti has assisted already 1,200 vulnerable migrants in the Migrants Resource Centre in Obock since the beginning of 2017. The large majority of the migrants are travelling to and from Yemen despite the ongoing conflict in that country. IOM Djibouti has seen a high prevalence of migrants in vulnerable situations namely unaccompanied children and female migrants living in Djibouti.
With a population of just over 900,000, Djibouti currently hosts over 27,000 refugees or 2.5 per cent of its entire population.