» IOM today


IOM is an intergovernmental organization established in 1951, IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society

  • IOM included 169 member states at the beginning of 2018 and many observers (states, IGOs and NGOs)

» IOM Global site

» IOM Regional

Migration and Development

IOM approaches the linkages between migration and development from the perspective that international migration, if properly managed, can contribute to the growth and prosperity of countries of origin and of destination, as well as benefit migrants themselves. IOM, therefore, aims at harnessing the development potential of migration for the benefit of individual migrants and societies.

Programme activities in this area include strengthening the capacity of governments and other stakeholders to effectively involve migrant populations in development processes in their countries of origin, fostering economic and community development in areas where there is a high level of emigration, enhancing the development impact of remittances and facilitating the return and reintegration of qualified nationals.

The projects and programmes under Migration and Development are classified as follows:

  • Migration and Economic/Community Development
  • Capacity Building Through Qualified Human Resources and Experts


In 1994, Armenia stopped the post-Soviet economic decline and saw gradual GDP growth each following year. The economic growth of the last few years, however, did not automatically yield a higher standard of living. Starting from 2000, with the elaboration of the Poverty Reduction Strategy and the subscription of Armenia's authorities to the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals, aiming at the reduction of extreme poverty by half by 2015, a qualitative shift was made in public policies towards pro-poor targeted strategies.

Georgia Human Development Report from 2008 states that average incomes in Georgia continue to be lower than they were in 1991. When the government came to power in 2004, poverty was acknowledged to be a major problem and, along with unemployment, was one of the most pressing issues that faced the government and the people. The level of poverty differs according to the methodology used. According to the UNDP’s two dollars a day estimate, 25 percent of the population lives in poverty. This crude figure allows comparison with other countries in the region. While there is no consensus about the absolute level of poverty in Georgia, there seems to be a general agreement that there has been little change in either poverty or extreme poverty over the last four years. (Georgia Human Development Report, 2008. The Reforms and Beyond. UNDP Georgia.)


Moldova is a country of emigration which more and more becomes permanent. According to the statistics of the Ministry of Economy and Trade and National Statistical Bureau, in the 3rd quarter of 2009 there were 317 900 Moldovan nationals working abroad out of the total number of 3,5 million nationals of Moldova. The Moldovan administration recognizes that the stay of Moldovan nationals abroad is increasing gaining permanent character.

The South Caucasus region is a very important region for migration capacity building due to significant migration flows to and through all three countries. The South Caucasus countries suffer from high unemployment rates in rural regions and former industrial towns which has led to high outgoing migration abroad. Last but not least, there are significant numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in South Caucasus who are in great need of reintegration in the labor market.

According to the UNDP Human Development Report 2007/2008, the poverty level was approximately similar in all three South Caucasus countries. While in Georgia the percentage of population living below 2 USD a day was 25,3%, in Armenia it was 31,1% and in Azerbaijan 33,4%.

Central Asia is a very important region laying at a strategically important intersection between the two continents. Its importance continually increases due to the EU Enlargement and a creation of the European Neighbourhood Policy. The Central Asian States (Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) have experienced considerable evolution in political and economic transformation since attaining independence. They have established statehood, safeguarded multi-ethnic understanding and inter-religious communication. The newly gained independence also brought along new challenges.  The region, due to its geographical location, continues to be targeted or transited by criminals, professional human smugglers and traffickers, drug traffickers and others. Also, economic stagnation in some countries of the region combined with strong economic growth in the Russian Federation and Kazakhstan have led to an increase of seasonal or permanent labour migration. Many migrants have no legal status and there is a need for a more intensive dialogue and closer cooperation between sending and receiving countries to create a framework that will establish realistic, enforceable rules and balance the interests of migrants and receiving countries.

In 2002 and 2003, IOM Prague and IOM Bucharest together with Save the Children in Romania implemented a project for minors living on the streets of Bucharest and major cities. The Project reacted flexibly at the increased numbers of unaccompanied minors from Romania at that time.