IOM staff on 18 June 2015 joined resettlement bound refugees at the Transit Centre in Nairobi to commemorate the 2015 World Refugee Day that that was officially marked on 20 June.
Addressing the audience, IOM’s Head of Kenya Country Office, Michael Pillinger said that for decades, IOM Kenya has played its rightful role in the resettlement of thousands of refugees in the region. “Today is a day for all of us to reflect upon and commemorate the strength, courage and resilience of millions of refugees, and indeed, the many millions of IDPs around the world.
For many refugees, life has improved, but there are many more still suffering from hardship and difficulty, which need assistance. Kenya has for decades hosted over half million refugees from Somalia, Eritrea, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan,” he said.
“It’s a sweet but bitter experience as I leave behind my parents as well as siblings at Kakuma Refugee Camp. I aspire to be a medical doctor in future and in the end assist my family,” said Yurus Abdi Hassan who will be resettled in the United States in the coming days.
Meanwhile, life at the Transit Centre turned carnival, as Burundian refugee dancers kept the audience enchanted. They displayed their dancing prowess together with their drumming grooves.
Kenya serves as the resettlement hub from Africa and for decades, IOM Kenya, amongst other partners, including the Government of Kenya, has been assisting in the resettlement of thousands of refugees.
The refugee resettlement programme seeks to provide safe and orderly movement assistance to refugees accepted for third country resettlement. The transportation of migrants and the related processing activities are central to IOM’s operational functions. IOM’s Migration Health Assessment Centre in Nairobi holds ISO 9001-2008 certification, given in recgnition of its robust quality management systems.
In 2014 alone, IOM resettled over 10,000 migrants from the region and conducted 19,588 health assessments in Kenya. IOM facilitates resettlement from Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi, Somalia, Djibouti, Eritrea and South Sudan to a number of countries including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and over ten European countries under government sponsored resettlement projects.