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UN agency rolls out mobile app to
empower migrants in Horn of Africa 

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The UN agency said on Thursday that it has rolled out a mobile app called MigApp to empower migrants in East and Horn of Africa.

According to the International Organization for Migration (IOM), MigApp is a mobile based tool that serves as a one-stop-shop where migrants can access updated, reliable and practical information as well as IOM services.

“We developed MigApp to help migrants make informed decisions throughout their migration journey. It provides a secure, reliable information for a safe journey and allows sharing of location with loved ones,” Alex Dougan, IOM’s MigApp Project Manager, said in a statement issued in Nairobi.

The mobile application leverages current technology and the widespread use of mobile telecommunications to bring a secure, objective and user-friendly app.

MigApp has been rolled out in Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Djibouti, South Sudan and Somalia where the use of mobile telephony is common.

“In these nine countries, migrants and IOM partners have been receiving flyers and business cards containing information on how to use MigApp,” IOM said.

The UN migration agency said political instability, drought and economic challenges continue to drive large-scale mixed migration within and from the region as people move in search of a better life for themselves and their loved ones.

MigApp is a tool to help make migration safer while at the same time allowing users to access IOM services.

MigApp enables the capture and analysis of migration trends and patterns at country, region or global levels. It provides an opportunity for IOM’s programs to be more proactive in formulating informed responses to migration.



UNHCR launches campaign in Ethiopia against dangerous crossing

ADDIS ABABA Ethiopia (Xinhua) -- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on Tuesday launched an information campaign in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa to spread awareness about the dangers of crossing the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea from the countries of the Horn of African region to and through war-stricken Yemen.

The campaign dubbed “Dangerous Crossing” features a music video by prominent artists from Ethiopia, Somalia, and Egypt, and a video testimony by victims of the smuggling trade.

The campaign utilizes all available media tools, social media, radio TV, print media, billboards and posters, according to the UNHCR.

Mans Nyberg, Campaign Coordinator, noted that the objective of the campaign is about informing people about the dangers they may face when they decide to follow smugglers’ route to and through Yemen.

Mathew Crentsil, UNHCR Representative in Ethiopia, said that more than 5,000 people cross the Red Sea or Gulf of Aden to Yemen every week.

The people crossing the dangerous route face multiple problems, and they are assisted by smugglers whom the Representative said are organized and cooperating across borders.



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