IOM, UNHCR and UNICEF sign second joint UN workplan in support of the Government of Belize
Belize City – The United Nations International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) signed a second joint UN workplan to support the Government of Belize, including the 2022 Amnesty exercise which aims to assist migrants, refugees and asylum seekers living throughout Belize. This joint workplan was signed during an official ceremony on August 30th between Heads of Agencies at UNICEF’s Conference Room in Belize City.
Built on the successes of the first joint UN workplan, this second workplan expands the scope of partnership and outlines strategic actions to enhance collaboration among UN agencies and the Government of Belize, creating synergies within the scope of the United Nations Multi-Country Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework (MSDCF). Consequently, the this second joint UN workplan is guided by the pillars of the MSDCF and strengthens the national response by reducing the duplication of efforts and ensuring the strategic use of resources to improve the delivery of required services to migrants, refugees, asylum-seekers and their families.
The joint UN workplan also includes support for several ongoing initiatives to strengthen the management of migration and forced displacement at the national and regional level, including the creation of a migration and development policy, the adoption of the Comprehensive Regional Protection and Solutions Framework (MIRPS), the development of protocols and management tools for accompanied and unaccompanied children, a cash plus programme for children and the 2022 Belize Amnesty Exercise.
At present, there are approximately 60,000 foreign nationals in Belize accounting for 15.4% of the country’s population primarily from Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, United States of America and Mexico. As global and regional events influence cross-border movements of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants; Belize remains a country of origin, destination, transit and return. “IOM will continue to use its resources to ensure that systems will continue to be strengthened - particularly by championing the Global Compact for Migration (GCM); through access to data, capacity building among migration stakeholders, and information sharing within the migrant communities,” said Diana Locke, Head of Office for IOM in Belize.
According to UNHCR, there are around 7,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Belize today. “Ensuring protection and seeking lasting solutions that enable them to live their lives in dignity and peace is a core part of UNHCR’s work,” said Myrat Myradov, UNHCR’s Head of Office in Belize. “Providing refugees and asylum seekers with the opportunity to integrate into the country offers them a permanent solution to their plight. It also gives them the chance to share their talents and skills with their host communities.”
Alison Parker, Representative for UNICEF Belize, underscored UNICEF’s commitment to the joint workplan to mitigate the pronounced impact on migrant and refugee children. “When families are uprooted children are the most disadvantaged and bear the brunt of the loss of access to life-saving and transforming services essential to their development. UNICEF’s goal is to support the provision of wholistic services to uprooted children and their families to ensure all the protection of their rights and to create the enabling environment to improve social cohesion and their rights to self-determination.”
The 2022 - 2023 joint UN workplan was signed in the presence of Government officials from the Ministry of Human Development, Families and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs; the Ministry of Home Affairs and New Growth Industries; and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration.
Established in 1951, IOM is the leading intergovernmental organization in the field of migration and works closely with governmental, intergovernmental, and non-governmental partners. IOM is dedicated to promoting human and orderly migration for the benefit of all. It does this by providing services and advice to governments and migrants. Since Belize became a member state of the United Nations Agency for Migration (IOM) in 2000, IOM has established itself as an expert institution in migration and migration management in the country.
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UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. We lead international action to protect refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. We deliver life-saving assistance, help safeguard fundamental human rights, and develop solutions that ensure people have a safe place called home where they can build a better future. We also work to ensure that stateless people are granted a nationality.
We work in over 130 countries, using our expertise to protect and care for millions.
UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. To save their lives. To defend their rights. To help them fulfil their potential. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, every day, to build a better world for everyone. And we never give up. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Belize, visit https://www.unicef.org/belize.
For more information please contact:
- Perla Hinojosa, Senior Project Assistant [email protected], Tel: +501 613-7272
- Stephanie Daniels, Communications Officer [email protected], Tel: +501610-0322
- Aida Escobar, Sr. Public Information Assistant [email protected], Tel: +501 672-2399