IOM partners with Lao PDR to support migrants affected by COVID-19 with funding from Japan
22 June 2020
Thirty representatives from the Lao Government, IOM, and private recruitment agencies attended the ceremony. MoLSW and IOM presented updates on the current situation of return migrants affected by COVID-19 and how the project activities can support the government in assisting vulnerable populations affected by the pandemic.
The project was designed in close consultation with the Skills Development and Employment Department (SDED) under MoLSW to ensure a timely and thorough understanding of the needs of the Lao Government and vulnerable migrants.
The funds received from Japan under this project will enable IOM to develop inclusive approaches, which take into account migrants and travellers, including cross-border coordination, tailored risk communication and community engagement. All this is set to enhance government officials’ capacity to mitigate migration-related challenges and enable migrants to make informed decisions during the pandemic, as well as to curb the stigmatization of migrants during the pandemic.
As the number of COVID-19 cases increases across a growing number of countries, IOM is extremely concerned about the impact on migrants, refugees, internally displaced persons, returnees and other vulnerable groups.
Business closures and travel restrictions in neighbouring countries have affected the livelihoods of migrant workers. According to the Lao National COVID-19 Taskforce, over 200,000 migrants have returned to Lao PDR since the outbreak of the pandemic.
The six-month project is generously supported by the Government of Japan.