(FILE) Photo dated October 25, 2021 shows Haitian migrants waiting for intercity transportation in the city of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.EFE/ Gustavo Amador

IOM calls for solidarity as Honduras faces massive migrant influx

Tegucigalpa, Sept 21 (EFE).- The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has stepped up humanitarian response in Honduras and on Thursday called for solidarity due to the increase in migrant flows passing through the Central American country.

Nearly 300,000 people have entered Honduran territory irregularly this year.

“We are currently witnessing an unprecedented transit through Honduras, with thousands of migrants in a vulnerable situation and suffering from dehydration,” said IOM’s head of mission for El Salvador and Honduras, Nicola Graviano.

He added that there are also cases of “girls and boys with malnutrition, acute diarrhea, or unaccompanied adolescents, as well as increased risks associated with irregular migration, such as people who are victims of scams and traffickers.”

Graviano stressed the importance of “strengthening coordinated action in the region to guarantee the human rights of all migrants.

The majority of migrants enter Honduras through the departments of El Paraíso and Choluteca, in the east and south of the country, bordering Nicaragua.

The IOM noted in a press release that Honduras receives migratory flows by land, air and sea due to its geographical location, with the majority of people coming from Venezuela, Ecuador, Haiti and Cuba.

According to official figures cited by the IOM, nearly 300,000 migrants have entered Honduras this year, an increase of 300% compared to 2022.

Avoiding a humanitarian crisis

“At the moment there is a humanitarian plan in Honduras that has only 15% of its funding guaranteed, which means that it can’t cover all the existing needs, so there is a risk that this serious situation will become a humanitarian crisis of enormous dimensions,” Graviano noted.

“There is no room for indifference,” stressed the head of mission of the IOM, an organization that is implementing “an effective and coordinated response” to the problem.

IOM is supporting the National Migration Institute (INM) with equipment and infrastructure to improve the care of migrants in Danlí, El Paraíso, as well as the development of a manual of processes and procedures with a gender focus.

The organization has also coordinated with humanitarian partners the delivery of food, hygiene kits, health and menstrual hygiene items, personal protection items, among others, as well as humanitarian transportation to access temporary rest centers.

It has also supported the Secretariat for Risk and Emergency Management in the development of the Institutional Contingency Plan in the face of the massive flow of migrants in an irregular situation, and has provided supplies, kits and signaling and information materials to facilitate care, coexistence and disease prevention.

“It is the responsibility of all sectors involved to work towards the achievement of Goal 7 of the SDGs on migration,” says Graviano.

He explains that this goal “calls for addressing and reducing vulnerabilities in migration by paying attention to the needs of migrants in vulnerable situations that may arise from the circumstances in which they travel or the conditions they face in transit countries.”

The IOM indicated that it will continue to work “hard” to provide an “adequate humanitarian response” for the protection of thousands of people in transit through Honduras. EFE