NAIROBI, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Countries from the Horn of African region on Wednesday pledged support for regulated and orderly migration in order to sustain peace, civil order and development.
Fathia Alwan, director of health and social development division at the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), said that regulated migration will have profound economic and social benefits.
"The countries can benefit from migration since it contributes to economic development in both sending and receiving countries," said Alwan during the opening of an international conference on forced displacement and mixed migration in Nairobi.
She said that migration in the region has been fueled by political, socioeconomic and environmental factors, hence the need for governments to pay attention to those dynamics.
Alwan urged enactment of sound legal frameworks and policies to protect and empower vulnerable populations as well as to enhance the development of the affected populations.
"It is time we developed reliable data through a thorough scientific research to help scale up responses to existing needs to the region," said Alwan.
The International Labor Organization (ILO) 2017 report on labor migration in Africa indicates that the IGAD region had a migrant population of over 2.8 million people.
By December 2018, IGAD region had over 12 million displaced populations comprising of approximately 9.2 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and 3.7 million refugees.
Alwan urged universities in the region to share their research findings on migration and displacement with policy makers to help inform appropriate interventions.
"We have to remember that nobody leaves their home and family for certain reasons that will not disappear soon, hence the need to strive through research to identify the reasons and collectively seek durable solutions for the affected populations," said Alwan.
She urged strengthening of the consortium of IGAD universities and research institutions to facilitate joint research and publications in migration management and social development.
Joanna de Berry, World Bank regional coordinator for forced displacement, said the lender is scaling up support for management of migration in the Horn of Africa.
"We have embarked on a collaboration with the regional governments to bring new approaches that includes coping mechanisms and climate change resilience," said de Berry.
She said that lending support to migrants to become self-reliant is a priority for the World Bank.