Key Regional Updates
As of 11 November 2020, a total of 2,319,798 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, out of which 40,686 fatalities have been reported.
As the world continues to deal with the economic fallout of COVID-19, the substantial decrease in remittance flows from key migration hubs remains a critical concern. Global remittance flows are projected to decline 14 per cent by 2021 compared to the pre-COVID-19 levels in 2019, according to the latest figures from the World Bank. Remittances to the MENA region are projected to fall by eight (8) per cent in 2020. Regional decreases are likely to have global implications. For example, the amount of remittances sent by migrants to the Philippines dropped by 22.4 per cent from the United Arab Emirates and 26.4 per cent from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia during the first eight (8) months of 2020 compared to the same period in the previous year.
The IOM Yemen and IOM Ethiopia’s Chief of Missions (CoMs) met with the Government of Ethiopia’s (GoE) State Minister for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) in early October 2020 to discuss the challenging conditions migrants face in Yemen and the provision of humanitarian assistance to Ethiopian nationals in the country. Until return operations commence, preparatory work will continue in the background.
IOM, together with the International Labour Organization (ILO), arranged the first National Migration Working Group (NMWG) consultation with Jordanian non-governmental organizations on 26 October 2020. The consultation, which constituted the first step in extending the membership of the NMWG in Jordan to include non-governmental organizations, is in line with the whole-of-society approach. The meeting, which was attended by several Jordanian NGO's and human rights organizations, included discussions on challenges faced by the participating organizations, the difficulties created by the COVID-19 situation and its repercussions on migrants and the potential interventions by all.