Foreign Minister Emphasizes Egypt’s Holistic Strategy for Migration Governance

2 months ago
Foreign Minister Emphasizes Egypt’s Holistic Strategy for Migration Governance

Shoukry explained that Egypt’s approach shall not be limited to security aspects, but will expand to address relevant development aspects and the root causes leading to illegal immigration, according to ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid.

Egypt is looking to implement a holistic strategy for migration governance, as announced by Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Monday.

In a recent meeting with the Director-General of the UN International Organization for Migration (IOM), Amy Pope, Shoukry conveyed Egypt’s hopes for the organization to endorse and support this approach.

Egypt has conveyed its sincere gratitude for the valuable and longstanding partnership with the IOM, emphasizing its hope for continued collaboration to drive sustainable development efforts forward.

During his speech, Shoukry emphasized the importance of matching the organization’s priorities with those of developing countries that play a significant role in managing migration.

He underscored the value of ongoing collaboration with the IOM in facilitating legal labour and addressing labour market gaps for the benefit of origin and destination countries and migrants.

The foreign minister pointed to Egypt’s escalating immigrant influx, resulting from people who fled their countries owing to conflicts, economic factors, and climate change repercussions.

In this respect, he highlighted the inadequate international support Egypt receives, given its efforts to provide a descent life for incoming migrants amid global economic challenges, urging the organisation to step up its support.

Pope expressed her appreciation for Egypt’s fruitful cooperation on the impact of climate change on migration, particularly during its COP27 presidency.

Shoukry and Pope discussed bolstering the Loss and Damage Fund’s role in addressing the devastating effects of climate change and its impact on migration.

In January, Egypt announced its intention to start documenting the number of refugees and immigrants in the country, estimated at 8-9 million from 133 countries.

The Sudanese come first (five million), followed by Syrians (1.5 million), Yemenis (one million) and Libyans (one million). These four nationalities, the IOM says, constitute 80 percent of international migrants presently in Egypt.

According to some international estimates, refugees and immigrants constitute 8.7 percent of the country’s population.

The IOM reported that at least 8,565 people died on migration routes worldwide in 2023, making it the deadliest year since records began a decade ago, and representing an increase of 20 percent compared to 2022.

Regional crises

The meeting also addressed regional developments, including the situation in the Gaza Strip and the growing need to provide humanitarian aid and safe havens for displaced Palestinians.

Shoukry and Pope discussed the latest developments in Sudan. The UN official lauded Egypt’s reception of a high number of Sudanese refugees since the outbreak of the crisis and its assistance to Sudanese people.

Pope affirmed the organisation’s readiness to provide support to Egypt to enhance its ability to support Sudanese refugees in cooperation with the ministries of social solidarity and health.

She also emphasised the organisation’s concern for the Sudaneses crisis, expressing its fear it becomes a forgotten crisis. Nearly 800 UN employees work in Sudan and South Sudan.

In March, the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed his thanks to Egypt for hosting Sudanese refugees and so many other vulnerable migrants, calling on the international community to step up its support for Egypt’s efforts.

Over 500,000 Sudanese have crossed into Egypt since the outbreak of the war in April 2023 till March 2024, according to the latest figures received by the UN high commissioner for refugees from the Egyptian government.

Five million Sudanese are currently residing in Egypt, according to Shoukry.

More than 13,000 people have been killed since the Sudanese crisis began, reported the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project.

More than eight million Sudanese have been displaced, according to the UN.