Current Context

The intensified international debates on migratory and refugee flows have also impacted the debate on migration and development.  For example, the Valletta Summit held in November 2015 bringing together European and African leaders specifically called for the mainstreaming of migration into development cooperation and highlighted the development benefits of migration in the action plan that was concluded.  Several of the mechanisms developed by the European Union (e.g. EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa) specifically aim to link migration and development efforts.

September 2015 also saw the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by the UN General Assembly. Whereas the original Millennium Development Goals did not include extensive reference to migration, the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s), “recognize the positive contribution of migrants for inclusive growth”, while noting the “multi-dimensional reality” of migration. Several of the SDG’s and indicators link to migration, in particular SDG 10.7 which states, “Facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration and mobility of people, including through the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies.” 

As the IOM Director General William Lacy Swing noted, “This could not have come at a more opportune time, given the unprecedented hostility towards migrants witnessed around the globe and the complex challenges that presents. Migrants’ inclusion in the outcome document fills a gaping chasm as the MDGs failed even to mention them.” Other migration-related targets call for eradicating forced labor and human trafficking; securing a safe working environment, including for migrant workers; reducing the cost of migrant remittances; and significantly reducing the number of people affected by disasters.    

Following the end of the MIDA Great Lakes programme in 2013, the Belgian Development Cooperation maintained its support to IOM’s programs on Migration and Development through a general (“un-earmarked”) contribution and through its support to the MEDMA project. The un-earmarked funding has been affected in various ways:

  • Support to the IOM Development Fund (IDF), a fund available to developing Member States to assist them in strengthening their capacities in migration management by providing funding for innovative projects including Migration and Development pilot initiatives;
  • Support from the IOM CO for Belgium to IOM offices and Governments of IOM Member States (with a particular attention to the priority countries of the Belgian Development Cooperation) in further enhancing the potential of diasporas for the development of their countries of origin (see more details under the section Migration and Development Initiatives);
  • Contribute to a new Migration and Development initiative in Burundi. This project, implemented with the Universal Postal Union and the national postal operator of Burundi, will draw on the strengths of the postal network and will aim to optimize the use of remittances, especially in the rural areas.
  • Support the Guinea Ebola Crisis Response (support towards the provincial emergency operations centers and health and humanitarian border management) and the support to the humanitarian crisis in the Central African Republic. 

For more information, contact Ms. Coryse Lehembre ( (link sends e-mail), tel: +32 (0) 2 287 75 15)