Location: The region comprising of Member States of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development – IGAD (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda)

Coordinating Agency: International Organization for Migration (IOM)

Technical co-leads: IOM, International Labour Organization (ILO)

Participating UN Organizations: IOM, ILO, Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) - hosted under the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Implementing Partners: Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC)

Donor: Migration Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF)

Duration: 24 months


Programme Summary

In the African continent, the IGAD region is considered one of the most vulnerable to climate variability and change and two thirds of the region are arid or semi-arid. The different forms of human mobility to, from, and within the IGAD region reflect the range of complex drivers and structural factors that can compel people to leave their places of origin. The region regularly faces a wide range of natural hazards, most commonly severe droughts and floods, but also landslides, earthquakes, and tropical cyclones, as well as slow-onset climate change effects, such as sea level rise, environmental degradation, and changing rainfall variability. Disasters linked to natural hazards, environmental degradation, and the adverse effects of climate change are amongst the most important and overlapping drivers of human mobility. Individual migration decisions are often based on a combination of these environmental and other economic, political, social, and demographic drivers. 

In light of the projected population growth, with continued environmental change and degradation, and an increase in the frequency and/or intensity of disasters associated with climate change, it is anticipated that the number of people migrating and of people at risk of displacement will increase. The potential positive role that labour migration can play in climate change adaptation and risk mitigation is at times weakened by the lack of linkages and coherence between migration and labour market policies and practices, including labour market information and jobs and skills matching of nationals and migrants. Few legal labour migration channels between countries are open for low-skilled migrants and refugees from rural communities in the region. Despite the challenges, there is growing recognition of the potential for job creation and livelihood opportunities linked to climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The overall objective of this joint programme is to contribute to facilitating pathways for regular migration in the IGAD region and minimizing displacement risk in the context of climate change, environmental degradation and disasters in line with the vision and guiding principles of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). In particular, the joint programme aims to improve regional and national migration governance in the context of the adverse impacts of climate change and environmental degradation through different actions that each address the relevant objectives of the GCM and contribute to the implementation of other relevant international instruments, notably Target 10.7 under Sustainable Development Goal 10, the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement under the United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. 

The proposed action will address four identified challenges of human mobility in the context of disasters, the adverse effects of climate change and environmental degradation in the region:

  1. The need to generate data to better map, understand, predict and address migration movements and the risk of displacement;
  2. The inclusion of disasters, the adverse effects of climate change and environmental degradation in national and regional migration and mobility policies, and as part of climate change and disaster preparedness strategies, including via national coordination mechanisms and through cooperation with neighboring countries;
  3. Strengthen preparedness and response capacity and coordination, through regional, sub-regional and bilateral cooperation;
  4. Support implementation of regional and national human mobility frameworks to enhance availability and flexibility of pathways for regular migration, and for those displaced in the context of disasters, the adverse effects of climate change and environmental degradation, particularly female migrants.

The project consists of four main results areas (pillars) that will address these challenges:

  • PILLAR I: Data and knowledge
  • PILLAR II: National and regional policy frameworks
  • PILLAR III: Disaster displacement preparedness
  • PILLAR IV. Regular migration pathways

The joint programme was designed and will be implemented in close partnership between Participating UN Organizations (PUNO): IOM, ILO, UNOPS - PDD, UNHCR and their implementing partners IGAD and ICPAC. IOM will discharge the function of being the convening UN Organization, coordinating the joint programme while IOM and ILO will be technical co-leads.

Programme Updates

Launch of the Migration Multi-Partner Trust Fund Regional Joint-Programme: Addressing Drivers and Facilitating Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration in the Contexts of Disasters and Climate Change in the IGAD Region.

Consultative Forums on Human Mobility and Regular Migration pathways were organized in February 2022 together with key partners.

Organized a side-event at the International Migration Review Forum 2022 on experiences from the IGAD Region on GCM implementation in a changing climate.

A side event was organized during Africa Climate Week 2022 on “Human Mobility and Green Economy Development in a Changing Climate in West and East Africa”. A summary of this side event can be found here

A side event was also organized at the Climate Mobility Pavilion at COP27 in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt on the 11th of November at 3:00 PM. The event is titled, "Enhancing partnerships, inclusive sustainable development and green economy transition; approaches from the IGAD region addressing the challenges and opportunities of human mobility, in the context of changing climate and disasters". Read here  the event summary and key messages. 

A regional workshop on Human Mobility and Regular Migration Pathways in Changing Climate was organized to engage policymakers in the IGAD region with knowledge, experience or interest in the intersection of human mobility, protection, green economy and climate change. 

Programme Newsletter

Migration Policy Practice

Read the chapter "Integration of human mobility in the green economy and related policies in the IGAD region", published in the latest Migration Policy Practice (Vol. XII, Number 1, February 2023). 

Summary Report: Integration of human mobility in Green Economy and related policies in the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) region

You can read the report here, and news about its publication here.


Ms. Lisa Lim Ah Ken, IOM Regional Migration Environment and Climate Change Thematic Specialist for East and Horn of Africa

Ms. Noora Makela, IOM Programme Coordinator, Nairobi, Kenya