Meeting Minister A.De Croo & IOM DG Swing

Geneva - On 27 January, the IOM Director General, William Lacy Swing, and the IOM Chief of Mission for Belgium and Luxembourg, Mr Pascal Reyntjens, met at IOM Headquarters in Geneva with the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation, Mr Alexander De Croo.

The meeting aimed at reinforcing the relation with the Belgian Government who provides a substantial financial contribution to IOM's activities, including an unearmarked contribution coming directly from the Ministry for Development Cooperation for the period 2013-2015.

Ambassador William Lacy Swing particularly thanked Minister De Croo for this contribution that will allow the Organization to (1) support IOM offices in countries of origin and Governments of IOM Member States (with a particular attention to priority countries of the Belgian development cooperation) in further enhancing the potential of diasporas for the development of their country of origin; (2) implement a joint project on migration and development with the national postal operator of Burundi (RNP); (3) support the humanitarian efforts in the Central African Republic and surrounding countries affected by the humanitarian, social, and economic crisis.

IOM and the Minister further discussed the inclusion of migration and the role of diasporas in the Post-2015 agenda and emphasized the link between development and migration flows. They looked at land disputes as driver of displacement and conflict in the Great Lakes. 

At the end of the meeting, Minister De Croo confirmed the renewed support of Belgium to IOM in Migration and Development matters and reaffirmed the role of IOM as formal partner of the Belgian Development Cooperation.

The Minister and IOM have agreed (1) on actions to be implemented in the least developed countries (the list of countries is being reviewed by DGD); (2) to organize an annual interdepartmental consultation between key actors involved at the Belgian level in migration and development, which would take place in Brussels or Geneva

This meeting was part of a two-day working visit of the Minister to a series of multilateral partner organizations active in humanitarian aid, such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Office of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) which will receive € 20 million euros in 2015 for their core funding. The Minister also decided to make € 60 million available for core humanitarian aid funding during the next three years (2015-2017). 

More information on IOM's involvement in humanitarian emergencies click here.