Recommendation to Expand the Coordination Role of Migration Response Centers – Djibouti

Every day, dozens of stranded and vulnerable migrants travel to one of the 12 Migration Response Centers (MRCs) in the East and Horn of Africa with the aim of accessing various services, including medical care and information.

The CRMs are all located along the main migration routes and are managed by governments and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with the support of programs such as the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in the Horn of Africa (the EU-IOM Joint Initiative).

Due to the thousands of migratory movements recorded in the region each year, there is a need for MRCs to play an even greater role in supporting migrants in distress, according to an assessment conducted by Altai Consulting supported under the Joint Initiative EU-IOM. Among those who participated in the research were partner agencies, including government bodies.

MRCs have been credited with providing lifesaving assistance, including at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when movement restrictions and border closures left many other migrants stranded and in need of assistance.

The numbers and locations of the MRCs are as follows:

Djibouti (1), in Obock

Ethiopia (5), in Dire Dawa, Metema, Moyale, Semera and Togochale

Somalia (3), in Bossaso, Hargeisa and Mogadishu

Sudan (3), in Gedarif, Kassala and Khartoum

“Across all locations, CRM stakeholders and partners perceive CRM as one of the most relevant actors in the field of migration management,” the report states. “The CRM is seen as the institution that holds the knowledge required by all other migration actors and can bring together all stakeholders to improve the migration management response in the region.”

It is suggested that MRCs leverage their role as a coordinating body and provide support in areas such as training and information sharing on migrant protection, migrant rights, human trafficking and gender-based violence.

Further collaboration would benefit from the establishment of structured communication and an electronic referral mechanism. It would be equally important to support partners in the renovation of infrastructure, such as the work carried out with schools in migrant communities in Sudan.

Similarly, it is necessary to strengthen the accommodation capacity in shelters. This is necessitated by the fact that migrants currently spend an extended time in transit. In Ethiopia, this is partly due to temporary restrictions on assisted voluntary returns to the northern regions of the country.

Direct support

Other ways to improve collaboration between MRCs and government stakeholders would include strengthening coordination mechanisms between different MRC partners, as well as participating in established coordination platforms such as meetings of the working group on management of mixed migration from Hargeisa.

In turn, government stakeholders can support CRM operations by providing staff, including social workers, and focusing their broad reach to identify migrants in vulnerable situations while providing direct support to refugee groups. immigrants.

IOM teams supporting MRCs strive to continue to provide prompt and efficient service to migrants in need. This is despite the fact that migrants declared being satisfied with the services provided by MRCs, in particular the free medical assistance.

Accessible comments

Two percent of respondents said they were very satisfied, 76 percent were satisfied, 20 percent were neutral, and 2 percent were dissatisfied. The highest level of satisfaction was for beneficiaries aged 11 to 17. However, migrants highlighted the need to accelerate assisted voluntary return and reintegration assistance, followed by more and better food.

The research findings also highlighted the benefit of having formal and easily accessible feedback and complaint mechanisms in MRCs. Beneficiaries surveyed said they were most comfortable sharing feedback or a complaint by addressing it directly to a CRM staff member (55%), followed by calling the hotline (29%), when she existed.

About the EU-IOM Joint Initiative

Launched in December 2016 and funded by the European Union (EU) Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the program brings together 26 African countries from the Sahel and Lake Chad region, the Horn of Africa and of North Africa, the EU and IOM around the goal of making migration safer, better informed and better governed for migrants and their communities.

For more information please contact: Laura Boucsinemail: or Wilson JohwaEmail:

Donald E. Patel