What we do
The Middle East and North Africa region hosts one of the world’s largest migrant populations, with more than 34 million migrants in 2015.
People move to, through and from the region for a variety – and combination – of reasons. Labour migration to the Gulf States, partly from other Arab States as well as from further afield, continues to be a central component of their economic growth. North African countries have continued to host people from sub-Saharan African countries seeking employment or attempting to cross the Mediterranean to make their futures in Europe.
However, protracted crises and political and social instability have been among the top drivers of migration in, to and from the region, causing people to move on an unprecedented scale. Conflicts continue unabated in Iraq, Libya, Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen, while their neighbouring countries struggle to deal with the effects on their societies and infrastructures.
To respond to this array of needs and challenges, IOM's regional office in Cairo is supports programmes being run by offices across the region.
The regional office also works with governments and intergovernmental organizations to develop migration policies that respect the rights of migrants and promote regular, orderly and humane migration. This is supported through research and data collection activities, also undertaken and monitored at the regional office.