The current outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has restricted global mobility whilst heightening the risk to vulnerable populations. As cities and countries continue to impose lockdowns, IOM is observing significant returns of people, including internal and cross-border migrants, moving away from urban areas towards provincial areas or home countries. The unprecedented scope and severity of the mobility restrictions applied by governments and regions since the COVID-19 pandemic, have had a complex and multifaceted impact on the global mobility context.
IOM has led the development of a methodology for points of entry data collection which feeds into the IOM portal on mobility restrictions. The data set to be collected also includes ‘positive measures’ adopted by countries, such as temporary opening of borders to facilitate the return of stranded migrant workers. IOM is mapping, and monitoring types of travel restrictions imposed by countries which can be viewed on the Mobility Restrictions COVID-19 website. As of 29 March 2020, data collection has taken place in 133 countries/territories/ areas, providing baseline information on 1,831 points and 184 areas.
The Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) in the East and Horn of Africa (EHoA) region is currently active in six countries (Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, and Uganda). As of the end of 2019, DTM in the region tracked 6.1M Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and 2.7M Returnees, as reported during the last round of DTM assessments for each country. Flow monitoring continues in all six countries with active DTM through a regional network of 80 Flow Monitoring Points (FMPs), including 5 in Yemen, with the main aim of tracking cross-border movements trends in the region.