Impact Report

2021

Impact Highlights 2021

Over 35,000 items donated to help keep Afghans warm this winter

Over USD 3 million contributed to IOM’s operations

100% supported enterprises reported profits in 2021

Over 300 Entrepreneurs supported

Surpassed USD 2.5 Million in-kind support for shelter & camp management technology

Partnered with over 20 IOM offices & missions

Over 1500 families reunited 

90% of all funding
directly supported
migration initiatives

A Word from our Leadership

james 1
Mr. James N. Purcell Jr. Chairman of the Board

Dear Readers, 

 As 2021 ends to usher us into 2022, I
would like to take the opportunity to
thank all those who have supported
USA for IOM throughout the years;
from its very inception to what it has
become today, USA for IOM is in an
exciting phase of growth and change.

After 33 years of involvement with USA
for IOM, and as Chairman of USA for
IOM, I have decided that it is time for
me to hand over the leadership of the
board of Directors.


Over the past three decades, USA for
IOM has proven itself invaluable to
IOM’s global priorities and impact by
raising awareness in the United States,
inspiring action and investment for
migration-related initiatives, cultivating
partnerships within the academic,
private and philanthropic sectors,
and by mobilizing support from the
American people.


I am proud to have witnessed the
enhanced relationship between IOM
and USA for IOM culminating, this year,
with the signing of an MOU. Through
this MOU, we have formalized workinglevel processes and frameworks
facilitating more meaningful

collaboration between USA for IOM, the principal private sector fundraising counterpart in the United States, and IOM offices globally. 

The dedicated teamwork of the board of Directors has inspired a strengthened USA for IOM, and I am thankful for the support of all board members in this initiative, with particular thanks for my longtime friend and colleague, Gene Dewey, whose career has included decades of dedicated service including co-chairing the USA or IOM board of Directors alongside myself. 

I am also both proud and thankful for the opportunity to see the outcome of USA for IOM’s partnership with United States of America for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (USA for UNHCR), and the Harvard Data Science Review (HDSR) on the World Migration and Displacement Symposium on Data, Disinformation and Human Mobility. I offer congratulatory thanks to all involved and to founding Editor-In-Chief of the HDSR and USA for IOM International Advisory Council member, Xiao-Li Meng. 

Although I will be passing this torch of leadership, I plan to remain engaged with the important work of USA for IOM board in an ex officio capacity. I look forward to witnessing many more years of USA for IOM’s growth in leveraging the value of U.S. private sector and capturing the American people’s interest in humanitarian affairs and IOM’s mission upholding the dignity and rights of migrants worldwide.

A Word from our Leadership II

Dear Readers, 

 While reflecting on 2021 and preparing for the year ahead, I am encouraged and inspired by the exciting path paved for USA for IOM, a path providing both continuity in successes and innovation for future growth. 

 Despite the impacts of COVID-19 and the potential complications brought by new norms amidst an ongoing pandemic, USA for IOM has remained a valued and key partner for the global operations of IOM and for those impacted by conflict, emergencies, and displacement around the world. 

 Most notably, and in addition to USA for IOM’s total contributions supporting IOM’s operations surpassing the USD 10 million milestone, this year also culminated with a strengthened and formalized relationship between USA for IOM and IOM as witnessed by the MOU signing ceremony in November of this year. 

Additionally, on behalf of the board, I would
like to announce Maria Moreno’s nomination and subsequent approval to take my place as Chief Executive Officer of USA for IOM.  Maria has dedicated most of her professional career to building, nurturing, and lifting USA for IOM up to the success it is today, and I am confident USA for IOM will continue to grow and thrive under her leadership and guidance.

Furthermore, Mr. Jim Purcell’s announcement of retirement from the Chairman of Directors was followed by his request of the board of Director to consider myself for Chairman of USA for IOM. I gladly accepted this nomination as I begin my retirement from IOM early next year and do so with sincerest thanks to Jim for the determination, guidance, and personal
efforts with which led USA for IOM as Chairman.

A heartfelt congratulations to all who are transitioning to new roles, and immense gratitude to those who have served USA for IOM with such dedication. We look to 2022 with both excitement and resolve as there is
critical, yet meaningful, work to be done in the name of IOM and private sector engagement 

Luca
Luca Dall’Oglio - Chairman Elect of the Board

Our mission

Despite the continued challenges and ubiquitous global impacts of COVID-19, 2021 brought the highest contributions USA for IOM has received for IOM’s global operations to date. USA for IOM would not be able to celebrate this success if not for the support of both our existing and new partnerships. 

 These partnerships contributed to USA for IOM’s key priorities: assisting migrants displaced by disasters and the worsening impacts of climate change; assisting those escaping complex emergencies, conflict, and economic instability; and protecting and assisting victims of human trafficking and modern-day slavery.

USA for IOM’s twofold mission— raising awareness on global priorities and spurring action and investment for migration initiatives and IOM’s global operations by fostering partnerships with academia, philanthropy, the private sector, and the American people— has advanced unprecedently thanks to the commitment and support from USA for IOM’s constituency in the United States.

As IOM’s principal partner for private sector engagement and fundraising in the United States, USA for IOM is encouraged by and committed to strengthening and expanding these vital partnerships.

Partner Highlight

UNIQLO

Thousands of people arrive in the U.S. every year fleeing difficult conditions and dreaming of a better life.  Most arrive with nothing but the clothes they wore during the long journey that brought them here. 

Since the U.S. began welcoming families in need, IOM has been on the ground supporting this nationwide effort, and, currently, IOM is supporting the dignified and orderly movement of Afghans from Safe Havens (temporary housing) in the U.S. to their final destinations across the country through the initiative “Allies Welcome”. 

 This winter, USA for IOM welcomed a new partnership with UNIQLO USA, and, as part of their annual giving initiative, UNIQLO helped keep Afghans warm this winter. Through UNIQLO’s generous in-kind donation provided over 35,000 pieces of HEATTECH winter clothing. 

Additionally, UNIQLO provided their holiday shoppers the option to donate at checkout for any purchase on UNIQLO. com, and 100% of these contributions supported IOM’s work in helping migrants and refugees on their journey to a warmer life. 

“Partnerships such as this offer a unique opportunity for businesses, employees, and customers to directly impact the world around them and respond to urgent humanitarian needs. We are moved by UNIQLO’s solidarity with newly arrived Afghans in the United States, as it represents America’s tradition of welcoming migrants.”

Luca Dall’Oglio USA for IOM CEO

Our priorities

Complex Emergencies:
Poverty and Conflict

When drivers of migration, such as violent conflict and political instability, compound causing large scale displacement, the crisis may be considered a complex emergency. In addition to security from violent conflict, the search for economic opportunities, whether out of choice or necessity, is also often a decisive factor for many in the decision to migrate. 

This year, the number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela worldwide surpassed 6 million, with the vast majority hosted by countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Most have been displaced for many years outside Venezuela fleeing political instability, violence and bleak economic opportunity, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has increased the complexity and volatility of the situation as well as the risks these refugees and migrants face.

USA for IOM, alongside our standing partner the Citi Foundation, has supported IOM’s Office of the Special Envoy for the Venezuela Situation in addition to country missions in Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru, and Trinidad & Tobago through our Entrepreneurship in Movement initiative. 

This programming supports IOM’s operations protecting and assisting those escaping violence and destitution in an unstable world and offers sustainable development opportunities as an essential investment for maintaining safe, humane migration while benefiting both migrants and host communities.

Project Highlight

Entrepreneurship in Movement

USA for IOM’s Entrepreneurship in Movement Initiative makes a difference in migrant and host communities by:

1. Creating opportunities for self-sufficiency.

2. Promoting the socioeconomic integration of Venezuelans.

3. Combating xenophobia by showing migration as a motor for economic development.

How?

1. Analyze economy for gaps in host countries’ labor market 

2. Empower through entrepreneurship training and seed capital 

3. Promote joint entrepreneurship ventures: migrant and refugee populations & host communities

 

“Citi Foundation’s investment in the response for refugees and migrants from Venezuela makes them a leader in corporate philanthropy responding to the largest displacement crisis in Latin America’s recent history.”

Maria Moreno CEO, USA for IOM

In 2021, USA for IOM & IOM Colombia celebrated 100% of the supported enterprises reporting profits!

Project Event Highlight

Entrepreneurship Masterclass:

This initiative also included a 3-part Entrepreneurship Masterclass series led by successful Venezuelan entrepreneur and IAC Member, Jorge Partidas. 

Over 200 registrants in countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean accessed practical tools to generate positive outcomes and important considerations for growing their businesses.

Meet the Beneficiaries

Juan and Scarlet: A Venezuelan migrant couple living in Peru now own a successful shoe-making business after receiving seed capital and Meet the Beneficiaries training.


The Entrepreneurship in Movement Initiative paved the way for a dream to become a reality and gave Juan and Scarlet some of the support needed to build a life in a new community.


Their business has grown by word of mouth, Instagram, and by neighbors noticing people wearing these new shoes out and about the community.

IOM Country Partners

Ecuador

In October, USA for IOM conducted a successful field visit to Ecuador with an IOM delegation and US philanthropists. This visit provided an exceptional opportunity to assess and witness the unique dynamic of a destination and transit country with immense humanitarian needs. 

As a direct result of this trip, USA for IOM will be able to partner with IOM Ecuador to provide medical assistance to migrants with disabilities, build local capacity to support their developmental needs, and strengthen Venezuelan migrants’ access to sustainable livelihoods in Ecuador through expanded entrepreneurship training, small business start-up support and capital investment.

El Salvador, Honduras & Guatemala

Through the support provided by the Shapiro Foundation, USA for IOM facilitated the movement of Central American minors from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras fleeing conflict, insecurity, and economic crisis, who were previously approved for travel to the United States to reunite with their families under the US Citizenship and Immigration Service’s Central American Minors Parole Program.

 This year brought the total number of family reunifications, through the funding generously provided by Ed Shapiro’s community and network, over 2000.

Additionally, the Shapiro Foundation supported USA for IOM with additional funding to facilitate support for increased medical costs to be borne by the beneficiaries due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Scan below to read more about how Ed Shapiro’s personal experiences, passion, and ambition inspired his creation of a foundation focused on supporting “win-win” opportunities for bottom-up, community-sponsored support of refugees and migrants.

Bangladesh

Over three years ago, Rohingyas began arriving in Bangladesh seeking refuge from ethnic and religious persecution in Myanmar. The Rohingya community are specifically at risk for mental health issues due to a myriad of issues including loss of their cultural identity and statelessness. USA for IOM, with funds from an anonymous donor, partnered with IOM Bangladesh by supporting a Rohingya Cultural Memory Center (RCMC). 

This center provides Rohingyas in camps in Cox’s Bazar with a creative and safe space where they can share their knowledge, preserve their cultural heritage, and reconnect with their individual and collective memories. 

Through this effort, USA for IOM is supporting IOM’s work addressing the loss of identity endured by the Rohingya, counteracting the cultural limitations they have faced, and, more so now, the isolation resulting from displacement.

Our priorities

Climate Change & Disasters

Climate-induced migration exposes the fundamental connection between climate change and development directly impacting lives and livelihoods, and the number of people seriously affected by these disasters has surpassed 150 million with international aid reaching billions of US dollars to assist the affected countries. Migration remains a human right, above all, in the case of disasters related to the climate. 

Under the UN mandate, IOM coordinates and manages displacement camps globally and is on the ground both providing life-saving supplies and building emergency shelters. USA for IOM supports IOM’s operations through engagement with the private sector to mobilize both cash and in-kind contributions. 

In 2020, USA for IOM secured a donation from GlobalGiving to strengthening disaster risk reduction and protection after Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas, and this year USA for IOM’s contribution aided in publishing Moving Forward, Beyond Hurricane Dorian featuring 16 stories of survivors as an effort to highlight the voices of the displaced and with the hope that sharing

“I lost my family, house and job because of the hurricane. But luckily, because of good people, I found a little job and shelter for me and my son…I may not have everything I want now to live happily but, I know that one day God will grant me and my son a happy life.” 

Karolyn, Haitian Hurricane Dorian Survivor in the Bahamas

Haiti

In response to the devastating Earthquake in the southwestern part of the island nation in August of this year, USA for IOM, in coordination with IOM Haiti, swiftly activated a fundraising campaign for lifesaving supplies and the construction of emergency shelters. IOM Haiti co-leads the response for Shelter, Non-Food Items (NFI) and Camp Management (CCCM) sectors. 

Additionally, USA for IOM’s inaugural episode of “From the Field” interviewed IOM Haiti Chief of Mission Giuseppe Loprete; this conversation illuminated IOM’s collaborative efforts with partners in the government and civil society and capacity to respond when disaster strikes and provide long-term recovery support for affected communities.

USA for IOM and IOM celebrate the importance of building and maintaining trust in humanitarian operations. For IOM, this begins with respecting local knowledge and systems already in place by the government, local associations, NGOs, and community leaders, and for USA for IOM, this begins with engaging the diaspora and raising awareness of pressing needs amongst the American public and with relevant US private sector stakeholders. 

Scan the QR code to read more about USA for IOM and IOM Haiti’s relief efforts or to hear the full “From the Field” episode!

Democratic Republic of Congo

Autodesk’s Technology Impact Program, via USA for IOM, contributed their largest in-kind support to date providing AutoCAD licenses and technical support to IOM missions around the world better equipping IOM to implement sustainable development initiatives and impactful humanitarian assistance interventions. This contribution marked a continued partnership with Autodesk.

 Through this installment, USA for IOM supported missions like IOM Democratic Republic of Congo who, in May of 2021, responded to the eruption of volcano Mount Nyiragongo displacing over 400,000 citizens and destroying an estimated 3,600 structures. AutoCAD technology was a crucial component for IOM’s response allowing rapid site plans and temporary shelter designs for those displaced by the disaster

Our priorities

Counter-trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Currently, an estimated 24.9 million victims of forced labor, 4.8 million victims of sexual exploitation, and 82.4 million people are forcibly displaced worldwide. Increased insecurity, poverty and marginalization are all drivers of human-trafficking exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Program Highlight

IOM’s Global Assistance Fund (GAF) is an emergency fund offering personalized immediate protection and sustainable direct assistance to migrants in these vulnerable circumstances. 

 GAF provides those facing extreme vulnerabilities with: safe accommodation, food & non-food items, Healthcare & psychological support Family reunification, and Safe, dignified return & sustainable reintegration. More than 3,690 migrants have been protected and assisted thanks to the Fund’s work. 

USA for IOM contributes to this invaluable fund annually and featured the GAF this year for a Giving Tuesday campaign in collaboration with our colleagues at IOM HQ and our longstanding partner GlobalGiving. 

 The Fund is currently under-funded, and solely supported through private donations & private sector funding. Learn more about how you can support the work of GAF here.

Global Assistance Fund

Raising Awareness

Education & Events

GCDC: 2020-2021 marked the third year USA for IOM supported Global Classrooms® DC (GCDC), the flagship Model UN education program of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNANCA) introducing students grades 5-12 to the work of the UN, international issues, and opportunities for careers in international affairs. 

USA for IOM increased its support for GCDC in the 2021-2022 school year in preparation for future program expansion for at-risk students in the District, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV). 

USA for IOM also supported the development of “Migrant Access to Global Humanitarian Aid and Development Efforts”, the 2021-2022 Spring Conference guide, and included our expertise in a case study on the Venezuelan context in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In May 2021, USA for IOM also engaged higher education in a
3-day World Migration and Displacement Symposium on Data,
Disinformation and Human Mobility.

 This collaboration between academia, humanitarian actors, and key voices in the data science community sought to combat the negative rhetoric around human mobility amidst COVID-19. 

This well attended event included comments from IOM’s Deputy General, Antonio Vitorino, and Founding Editor-In-Chief of the Harvard Data Science Review, Xiao-Li Meng. This event’s success was made possible only in partnership with USA for UNHCR & The HDSR

Events

Global Migration Film Festival

This year, the Global Migration Film Festival featured our board of Director’s very own, Tolu Olumbunmi, the Executive Producer of “Five Years North”. 

This powerful film juxtaposes the stories of a 16-year-old undocumented Guatemalan boy who just arrived alone in New York City and an ICE officer of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent who is navigating new immigration priorities and explores the U.S. immigration system through a very humanistic lens while demonstrating the urgency to find regional solutions facilitating safe and dignified migration through their stories. 

USA for IOM co-hosted, with IOM Washington DC, a discussion on the film which included remarks from Luca Dall’Oglio & Tolu Olumbunmi. Watch the film and hear the discussion here

USA for IOM also co-hosted or participated in several events with our partners including “The Role of Philanthropy in Humanitarian Response” with Concordia & “The Venezuela Migration Crisis: The Role of the Private Sector” with The Council of the Americas. For updates on future events like these, sign up for our newsletter here.

Looking Forward: 2022 and Beyond

In 2021, USA for IOM made tremendous strides in diversifying funding sources for IOM and raising our profile with the US private sector and public. By strengthening corporate partnerships and engagement with foundations, academia, and individual donors, USA for IOM expanded support and raised awareness for IOM’s global operations, and in the face of multiple emerging migration crises, USA for IOM leveraged our growing network to rapidly mobilize resources for IOM emergency response efforts. 

Since its founding over 30 years ago, USA for IOM, originally USAIM, has been a critical partner of IOM. This year, a Memorandum of Understanding formalized this long-standing relationship and established USA for IOM as IOM’s principal partner for private sector engagement and fundraising in the US. 

2021 was marked by strengthening existing partnerships and building upon a strengthened foundation. As 2022 begins, USA for IOM is proud to continue connecting the US private sector to the vital work of the International Organization for Migration. USA for IOM is IOM, and our collaboration supports our joint mission to promote the wellbeing and uphold the dignity of migrants worldwide. 

As the newly appointed CEO, I look forward to advancing our mission through a deepened understanding of both the needs and priorities within IOM’s efforts globally and the shared values and objectives of the US private and philanthropic community

Maria G. Moreno
Chief Executive Officer USA for IOM

IMPACT REPORT

2021

A Word from our Leadership

james 1
Mr. James N. Purcell Jr. Chairman of the Board

Dear Readers, 

 As 2021 ends to usher us into 2022, I
would like to take the opportunity to
thank all those who have supported
USA for IOM throughout the years;
from its very inception to what it has
become today, USA for IOM is in an
exciting phase of growth and change.

 

After 33 years of involvement with USA for IOM, and as Chairman of USA for IOM, I have decided that it is time for me to hand over the leadership of the board of Directors.

Over the past three decades, USA for
IOM has proven itself invaluable to
IOM’s global priorities and impact by
raising awareness in the United States, inspiring action and investment for migration-related initiatives, cultivating partnerships within the academic, private and philanthropic sectors, and by mobilizing support from the American people.

I am proud to have witnessed the
enhanced relationship between IOM
and USA for IOM culminating, this year, with the signing of an MOU. Through this MOU, we have formalized working-level processes and frameworks facilitating more meaningful 
collaboration between USA for IOM, the principal private sector fundraising counterpart in the United States, and IOM offices globally. 

The dedicated teamwork of the board of Directors has inspired a strengthened USA for IOM, and I am thankful for the support of all board members in this initiative, with particular thanks for my longtime friend and colleague, Gene Dewey, whose career has included decades of dedicated service including co-chairing the USA or IOM board of Directors alongside myself. 

I am also both proud and thankful for the opportunity to see the outcome of USA for IOM’s partnership with United States of America for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (USA for UNHCR), and the Harvard Data Science Review (HDSR) on the World Migration and Displacement Symposium on Data, Disinformation and Human Mobility. I offer congratulatory thanks to all involved and to founding Editor-In-Chief of the HDSR and USA for IOM International Advisory Council member, Xiao-Li Meng. 

Although I will be passing this torch of leadership, I plan to remain engaged with the important work of USA for IOM board in an ex officio capacity. I look forward to witnessing many more years of USA for IOM’s growth in leveraging the value of U.S. private sector and capturing the American people’s interest in humanitarian affairs and IOM’s mission upholding the dignity and rights of migrants worldwide.

A Word from our Leadership II

Luca
Luca Dall’Oglio - Chairman Elect of the Board

Dear Readers, 

 While reflecting on 2021 and preparing for the year ahead, I am encouraged and inspired by the exciting path paved for USA for IOM, a path providing both continuity in successes and innovation for future growth. 

 Despite the impacts of COVID-19 and the potential complications brought by new norms amidst an ongoing pandemic, USA for IOM has remained a valued and key partner for the global operations of IOM and for those impacted by conflict, emergencies, and displacement around the world. 

 Most notably, and in addition to USA for IOM’s total contributions supporting IOM’s operations surpassing the USD 10 million milestone, this year also culminated with a strengthened and formalized relationship between USA for IOM and IOM as witnessed by the MOU signing ceremony in November of this year. 

Additionally, on behalf of the board, I would like to announce Maria Moreno’s nomination and subsequent approval to take my place as Chief Executive Officer of USA for IOM.  Maria has dedicated most of her professional career to building, nurturing, and lifting USA for IOM up to the success it is today, and I am confident USA for IOM will continue to grow and thrive under her leadership and guidance.

Furthermore, Mr. Jim Purcell’s announcement of retirement from the Chairman of Directors was followed by his request of the board of Director to consider myself for Chairman of USA for IOM. I gladly accepted this nomination as I begin my retirement from IOM early next year and do so with sincerest thanks to Jim for the determination, guidance, and personal efforts with which led USA for IOM as Chairman.

A heartfelt congratulations to all who are transitioning to new roles, and immense gratitude to those who have served USA for IOM with such dedication. We look to 2022 with both excitement and resolve as there is critical, yet meaningful, work to be done in the name of IOM and private sector engagement 

Our mission

Despite the continued challenges and ubiquitous global impacts of COVID-19, 2021 brought the highest contributions USA for IOM has received for IOM’s global operations to date. USA for IOM would not be able to celebrate this success if not for the support of both our existing and new partnerships. 

 These partnerships contributed to USA for IOM’s key priorities: assisting migrants displaced by disasters and the worsening impacts of climate change; assisting those escaping complex emergencies, conflict, and economic instability; and protecting and assisting victims of human trafficking and modern-day slavery.

USA for IOM’s twofold mission— raising awareness on global priorities and spurring action and investment for migration initiatives and IOM’s global operations by fostering partnerships with academia, philanthropy, the private sector, and the American people— has advanced unprecedently thanks to the commitment and support from USA for IOM’s constituency in the United States.

As IOM’s principal partner for private sector engagement and fundraising in the United States, USA for IOM is encouraged by and committed to strengthening and expanding these vital partnerships.

Impact Highlights 2021

Over 35,000 items donated to help keep Afghans warm this winter

Over USD 3 million contributed to IOM’s operations

100% supported enterprises reported profits in 2021

Over 300 Entrepreneurs supported

Surpassed USD 2.5 Million in-kind support for shelter & camp management technology

Partnered with over 20 IOM offices & missions

Over 1500 families reunited 

90% of all funding
directly supported
migration initiatives

Partner Highlight

UNIQLO

Thousands of people arrive in the U.S. every year fleeing difficult conditions and dreaming of a better life.  Most arrive with nothing but the clothes they wore during the long journey that brought them here. 

Since the U.S. began welcoming families in need, IOM has been on the ground supporting this nationwide effort, and, currently, IOM is supporting the dignified and orderly movement of Afghans from Safe Havens (temporary housing) in the U.S. to their final destinations across the country through the initiative “Allies Welcome”. 

 This winter, USA for IOM welcomed a new partnership with UNIQLO USA, and, as part of their annual giving initiative, UNIQLO helped keep Afghans warm this winter. Through UNIQLO’s generous in-kind donation provided over 35,000 pieces of HEATTECH winter clothing. 

Additionally, UNIQLO provided their holiday shoppers the option to donate at checkout for any purchase on UNIQLO. com, and 100% of these contributions supported IOM’s work in helping migrants and refugees on their journey to a warmer life. 

“Partnerships such as this offer a unique opportunity for businesses, employees, and customers to directly impact the world around them and respond to urgent humanitarian needs. We are moved by UNIQLO’s solidarity with newly arrived Afghans in the United States, as it represents America’s tradition of welcoming migrants.”

Luca Dall’Oglio USA for IOM CEO

Our priorities

Complex Emergencies:
Poverty and Conflict

When drivers of migration, such as violent conflict and political instability, compound causing large scale displacement, the crisis may be considered a complex emergency. In addition to security from violent conflict, the search for economic opportunities, whether out of choice or necessity, is also often a decisive factor for many in the decision to migrate. 

This year, the number of refugees and migrants from Venezuela worldwide surpassed 6 million, with the vast majority hosted by countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. Most have been displaced for many years outside Venezuela fleeing political instability, violence and bleak economic opportunity, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has increased the complexity and volatility of the situation as well as the risks these refugees and migrants face.

USA for IOM, alongside our standing partner the Citi Foundation, has supported IOM’s Office of the Special Envoy for the Venezuela Situation in addition to country missions in Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru, and Trinidad & Tobago through our Entrepreneurship in Movement initiative. 

This programming supports IOM’s operations protecting and assisting those escaping violence and destitution in an unstable world and offers sustainable development opportunities as an essential investment for maintaining safe, humane migration while benefiting both migrants and host communities.

Project Highlight

Entrepreneurship in Movement

USA for IOM’s Entrepreneurship in Movement Initiative makes a difference in migrant and host communities by:

1. Creating opportunities for self-sufficiency.

2. Promoting the socioeconomic integration of Venezuelans.

3. Combating xenophobia by showing migration as a motor for economic development.

How?

1. Analyze economy for gaps in host countries’ labor market 

2. Empower through entrepreneurship training and seed capital 

3. Promote joint entrepreneurship ventures: migrant and refugee populations & host communities

 

“Citi Foundation’s investment in the response for refugees and migrants from Venezuela makes them a leader in corporate philanthropy responding to the largest displacement crisis in Latin America’s recent history.”

Maria Moreno CEO, USA for IOM

In 2021, USA for IOM & IOM Colombia celebrated 100% of the supported enterprises reporting profits!

Project Event Highlight

Entrepreneurship Masterclass:

This initiative also included a 3-part Entrepreneurship Masterclass series led by successful Venezuelan entrepreneur and IAC Member, Jorge Partidas. 

Over 200 registrants in countries throughout Latin America and the Caribbean accessed practical tools to generate positive outcomes and important considerations for growing their businesses.

Meet the Beneficiaries

Juan and Scarlet: A Venezuelan migrant couple living in Peru now own a successful shoe-making business after receiving seed capital and Meet the Beneficiaries training.

The Entrepreneurship in Movement Initiative paved the way for a dream to become a reality and gave Juan and Scarlet some of the support needed to build a life in a new community.

Their business has grown by word of mouth, Instagram, and by neighbors noticing people wearing these new shoes out and about the community.

IOM Country Partners

Ecuador

In October, USA for IOM conducted a successful field visit to Ecuador with an IOM delegation and US philanthropists. This visit provided an exceptional opportunity to assess and witness the unique dynamic of a destination and transit country with immense humanitarian needs. 

As a direct result of this trip, USA for IOM will be able to partner with IOM Ecuador to provide medical assistance to migrants with disabilities, build local capacity to support their developmental needs, and strengthen Venezuelan migrants’ access to sustainable livelihoods in Ecuador through expanded entrepreneurship training, small business start-up support and capital investment.

El Salvador, Honduras & Guatemala

Through the support provided by the Shapiro Foundation, USA for IOM facilitated the movement of Central American minors from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras fleeing conflict, insecurity, and economic crisis, who were previously approved for travel to the United States to reunite with their families under the US Citizenship and Immigration Service’s Central American Minors Parole Program.

 This year brought the total number of family reunifications, through the funding generously provided by Ed Shapiro’s community and network, over 2000.

Additionally, the Shapiro Foundation supported USA for IOM with additional funding to facilitate support for increased medical costs to be borne by the beneficiaries due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

Scan below to read more about how Ed Shapiro’s personal experiences, passion, and ambition inspired his creation of a foundation focused on supporting “win-win” opportunities for bottom-up, community-sponsored support of refugees and migrants.

Bangladesh

Over three years ago, Rohingyas began arriving in Bangladesh seeking refuge from ethnic and religious persecution in Myanmar. The Rohingya community are specifically at risk for mental health issues due to a myriad of issues including loss of their cultural identity and statelessness. USA for IOM, with funds from an anonymous donor, partnered with IOM Bangladesh by supporting a Rohingya Cultural Memory Center (RCMC). 

This center provides Rohingyas in camps in Cox’s Bazar with a creative and safe space where they can share their knowledge, preserve their cultural heritage, and reconnect with their individual and collective memories. 

Through this effort, USA for IOM is supporting IOM’s work addressing the loss of identity endured by the Rohingya, counteracting the cultural limitations they have faced, and, more so now, the isolation resulting from displacement.

Our priorities

Climate Change & Disasters

Climate-induced migration exposes the fundamental connection between climate change and development directly impacting lives and livelihoods, and the number of people seriously affected by these disasters has surpassed 150 million with international aid reaching billions of US dollars to assist the affected countries. Migration remains a human right, above all, in the case of disasters related to the climate. 

Under the UN mandate, IOM coordinates and manages displacement camps globally and is on the ground both providing life-saving supplies and building emergency shelters. USA for IOM supports IOM’s operations through engagement with the private sector to mobilize both cash and in-kind contributions. 

In 2020, USA for IOM secured a donation from GlobalGiving to strengthening disaster risk reduction and protection after Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas, and this year USA for IOM’s contribution aided in publishing Moving Forward, Beyond Hurricane Dorian featuring 16 stories of survivors as an effort to highlight the voices of the displaced and with the hope that sharing

“I lost my family, house and job because of the hurricane. But luckily, because of good people, I found a little job and shelter for me and my son…I may not have everything I want now to live happily but, I know that one day God will grant me and my son a happy life.” 

Karolyn, Haitian Hurricane Dorian Survivor in the Bahamas

Haiti

In response to the devastating Earthquake in the southwestern part of the island nation in August of this year, USA for IOM, in coordination with IOM Haiti, swiftly activated a fundraising campaign for lifesaving supplies and the construction of emergency shelters. IOM Haiti co-leads the response for Shelter, Non-Food Items (NFI) and Camp Management (CCCM) sectors. 

Additionally, USA for IOM’s inaugural episode of “From the Field” interviewed IOM Haiti Chief of Mission Giuseppe Loprete; this conversation illuminated IOM’s collaborative efforts with partners in the government and civil society and capacity to respond when disaster strikes and provide long-term recovery support for affected communities.

USA for IOM and IOM celebrate the importance of building and maintaining trust in humanitarian operations. For IOM, this begins with respecting local knowledge and systems already in place by the government, local associations, NGOs, and community leaders, and for USA for IOM, this begins with engaging the diaspora and raising awareness of pressing needs amongst the American public and with relevant US private sector stakeholders. 

Scan the QR code to read more about USA for IOM and IOM Haiti’s relief efforts or to hear the full “From the Field” episode!

Democratic Republic of Congo

Autodesk’s Technology Impact Program, via USA for IOM, contributed their largest in-kind support to date providing AutoCAD licenses and technical support to IOM missions around the world better equipping IOM to implement sustainable development initiatives and impactful humanitarian assistance interventions. This contribution marked a continued partnership with Autodesk.

 Through this installment, USA for IOM supported missions like IOM Democratic Republic of Congo who, in May of 2021, responded to the eruption of volcano Mount Nyiragongo displacing over 400,000 citizens and destroying an estimated 3,600 structures. AutoCAD technology was a crucial component for IOM’s response allowing rapid site plans and temporary shelter designs for those displaced by the disaster

Our priorities

Counter-trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Currently, an estimated 24.9 million victims of forced labor, 4.8 million victims of sexual exploitation, and 82.4 million people are forcibly displaced worldwide. Increased insecurity, poverty and marginalization are all drivers of human-trafficking exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Program Highlight

Global Assistance Fund

IOM’s Global Assistance Fund (GAF) is an emergency fund offering personalized immediate protection and sustainable direct assistance to migrants in these vulnerable circumstances. 

 GAF provides those facing extreme vulnerabilities with: safe accommodation, food & non-food items, Healthcare & psychological support Family reunification, and Safe, dignified return & sustainable reintegration. More than 3,690 migrants have been protected and assisted thanks to the Fund’s work. 

USA for IOM contributes to this invaluable fund annually and featured the GAF this year for a Giving Tuesday campaign in collaboration with our colleagues at IOM HQ and our longstanding partner GlobalGiving. 

 The Fund is currently under-funded, and solely supported through private donations & private sector funding. Learn more about how you can support the work of GAF here.

Raising Awareness

Education & Events

GCDC: 2020-2021 marked the third year USA for IOM supported Global Classrooms® DC (GCDC), the flagship Model UN education program of the United Nations Association of the National Capital Area (UNANCA) introducing students grades 5-12 to the work of the UN, international issues, and opportunities for careers in international affairs. 

USA for IOM increased its support for GCDC in the 2021-2022 school year in preparation for future program expansion for at-risk students in the District, Maryland, and Virginia (DMV). 

USA for IOM also supported the development of “Migrant Access to Global Humanitarian Aid and Development Efforts”, the 2021-2022 Spring Conference guide, and included our expertise in a case study on the Venezuelan context in Latin America and the Caribbean.

In May 2021, USA for IOM also engaged higher education in a
3-day World Migration and Displacement Symposium on Data,
Disinformation and Human Mobility.

 This collaboration between academia, humanitarian actors, and key voices in the data science community sought to combat the negative rhetoric around human mobility amidst COVID-19. 

This well attended event included comments from IOM’s Deputy General, Antonio Vitorino, and Founding Editor-In-Chief of the Harvard Data Science Review, Xiao-Li Meng. This event’s success was made possible only in partnership with USA for UNHCR & The HDSR

Events

Global Migration Film Festival

This year, the Global Migration Film Festival featured our board of Director’s very own, Tolu Olumbunmi, the Executive Producer of “Five Years North”. 

This powerful film juxtaposes the stories of a 16-year-old undocumented Guatemalan boy who just arrived alone in New York City and an ICE officer of Cuban and Puerto Rican descent who is navigating new immigration priorities and explores the U.S. immigration system through a very humanistic lens while demonstrating the urgency to find regional solutions facilitating safe and dignified migration through their stories. 

USA for IOM co-hosted, with IOM Washington DC, a discussion on the film which included remarks from Luca Dall’Oglio & Tolu Olumbunmi. Watch the film and hear the discussion here

USA for IOM also co-hosted or participated in several events with our partners including “The Role of Philanthropy in Humanitarian Response” with Concordia & “The Venezuela Migration Crisis: The Role of the Private Sector” with The Council of the Americas. For updates on future events like these, sign up for our newsletter here.

Looking Forward: 2022 and Beyond

In 2021, USA for IOM made tremendous strides in diversifying funding sources for IOM and raising our profile with the US private sector and public. By strengthening corporate partnerships and engagement with foundations, academia, and individual donors, USA for IOM expanded support and raised awareness for IOM’s global operations, and in the face of multiple emerging migration crises, USA for IOM leveraged our growing network to rapidly mobilize resources for IOM emergency response efforts. 

Since its founding over 30 years ago, USA for IOM, originally USAIM, has been a critical partner of IOM. This year, a Memorandum of Understanding formalized this long-standing relationship and established USA for IOM as IOM’s principal partner for private sector engagement and fundraising in the US. 

2021 was marked by strengthening existing partnerships and building upon a strengthened foundation. As 2022 begins, USA for IOM is proud to continue connecting the US private sector to the vital work of the International Organization for Migration. USA for IOM is IOM, and our collaboration supports our joint mission to promote the wellbeing and uphold the dignity of migrants worldwide. 

As the newly appointed CEO, I look forward to advancing our mission through a deepened understanding of both the needs and priorities within IOM’s efforts globally and the shared values and objectives of the US private and philanthropic community

Maria G. Moreno
Chief Executive Officer
USA for IOM