IOM Today

An intergovernmental organization established in 1951, IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society.

  • 146 Members and 98 observers including 13 States and 85 global and regional IGOs and NGOs
  • More than 440 field locations
  • More than 7,300 staff working on more than 2,900 projects
  • More than US$ 1.4 billion expenditures in 2010

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Facts and Figures

IOM Member State since 1998

Capital: Khartoum
Population (2010): 43.2 million
Area: 2,505,813 km sq
Languages: Arabic, English
Currency: Sudanese Pound (SDG)
GDP per Capita PPP (2009): USD 2,210
HDI Rank (2010): 154 of 169
Remittances (2009): USD 2,993 million
Net Migration Rate (2010-2015): 0.6 migrants /1,000 population
Immigrants (2010): 1.7%
Women as a Percentage of Immigrants (2010): 48.2%
Population under 15 (2010): 38.7%
Adult HIV Prevalence (2007): not available

Map, Sudan

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Migratory patterns in Sudan must be viewed in the context of both emergency and post-conflict environments, as well as Sudan's central position in relation to several key trans-African and African–European migratory routes.

Sudan is recovering from 21 years of civil war between the North and South, during which over 4 million people were displaced. Following the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2005, many of the displaced populations returned home either spontaneously or through UN–IOM assistance. Yet, most places of return in the South remain extremely poor and lack the basic facilities necessary to absorb returnees and foster development. A separate crisis in Darfur persists and an inclusive peace agreement remains a distant prospect; this prevents the large-scale, safe return of more than 2 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees who remain in displacement.

Conflict over land and resources is a common occurrence, as is inter-tribal/ethnic violence particularly in the South, which is compounded by attacks from Uganda's Lords Resistance Army on civilian populations. Frequent natural disasters (such as flooding or drought) affect both the country's development and the ability of aid agencies and the government to reach those most in need.

IOM will continue to respond to these needs through three main programming areas: a) return, reintegration and early recovery in Southern Sudan and the Transitional Areas; b) humanitarian assistance and protection of IDPs; and c) support to enhance the relevant officials' capacities for effective migration management.

More information is available on the IOM Sudan website.

Emergency Response and Common Pipelines

IOM provides transportation and emergency humanitarian assistance to persons requiring evacuation from emergency situations as well as post-emergency movement assistance.

While evacuation assistance, including assistance to countries of temporary protection, may involve international movement, post-emergency movement assistance generally relates to domestic movements of internally displaced persons, demobilized soldiers and persons affected by natural disasters.

Assistance is also provided for post-emergency reconstruction initiatives.

In Sudan, IOM has developed an emergency response capacity that includes the provision of emergency relief to conflict- and natural disaster-affected populations.

As a member of the UN task force on Emergency Preparedness and Response, IOM responds to emergencies caused by both natural and man-made disasters.

The focus is on emergency preparedness and response, conflict management and recovery and environmental protection.

Main Projects

  • NFIs Distribution in Southern Sudan
  • NFI Common Pipeline for Darfur and the Rest of Northern Sudan
  • Emergency Preparedness and Response in Western Equatoria, Southern Sudan
  • Migration Health Assistance for Crisis-Affected Populations


As part of the Protection Monitoring for Returns and Relocations project, IOM in Sudan assesses returns and relocations in North and South Darfur to ensure they are both voluntary and appropriate, in accordance with its mandate stated in the 2004 Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Sudan, the United Nations (UN), and IOM.

Main Project

  • Verification and Monitoring of Returns in Darfur

Registration, Tracking, and Monitoring Population Movements

Approximately 4 million people were displaced as a result of the civil war between Northern and Southern Sudan. Since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005, IOM estimates that 2 million people have returned to their homes.

IOM's post-emergency projects involve "finding" the large numbers of spontaneous returnees, "assessing" the conditions of their place of return as well as the returnees themselves, and "assisting" the returnees to restart their lives and livelihoods.

Main Projects

  • Tracking Population Movements in Southern Sudan and the Transitional Areas
  • Protection Monitoring: Village Assessments
  • Population Tracking and Village Assessments in Darfur
  • IDPs and Aid Beneficiary Registration in Darfur

Reintegration and Community Stabilization

Reintegration and community stabilization activities of IOM in Sudan which are concentrated in Southern Sudan and in Transitional Areas aim to help the returnees and the host communities establish a stable and safe environment so that they can graduate to longer term development planning and assistance.

Main Projects

  • Basic Infrastructure
  • Livelihoods Support in Southern Sudan
  • Livelihoods and the Environment in Darfur

Elections Support: Civic and Voter Education

In order to support Sudan's general elections in 2010, IOM initiated three activities:

  • Grant administration for national and international NGOs providing Civic and Voter Education;
  • Logistical support to UNDP for support to the registration and voting process;
  • Conducting training for electoral officials and workers.

Main Project

  • Civic and Voter Education

Return and Reintegration of Qualified Nationals

Developing countries, countries with economy in transition, or recovering from conflict situations can benefit greatly from the return and socioeconomic reinsertion of skilled and qualified nationals from abroad.

Sudan has suffered decades of civil war leaving large numbers of people displaced within Sudan and outside in neighbouring countries and beyond.

The IOM Return of Qualified Sudanese (RQS) programme managed by IOM Sudan includes the recruitment, job placement, transport and limited reintegration support of returning Sudanese who can help shape the economic and social environment in Sudan in a manner conducive to further returns.

Education, health, infrastructure and finance are among the fields of priority in which RQS candidates are secured a job. The aim is to increase the capacity of the host institutions to deliver basic services to the people they serve, improve the economic and social environment to encourage and sustain further returns and thus contribute to the long term development of the country.

More information is available on the RQS website.

Main Project

  • Return of Qualified Sudanese

Migration Movement Management

IOM supports the return, repatriation and reintegration of refugees, irregular or stranded migrants who voluntarily choose to return to Sudan.

Since 2006, more than 47,000 Sudanese have been offered support to voluntarily return to their areas of origin in Sudan.

While most have returned from neighbouring states such as Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Libya, and Egypt, others return from various countries in Europe.

Transport, sometimes combined with reintegration assistance or extra baggage allowances, is provided to refugees and stranded migrants on their voluntary repatriation to Sudan.

Main Projects

  • Assisted Voluntary Returns
  • Repatriation of Refugees
  • Assisted Returns Operations in Southern Sudan
  • Resettlement of Refugees
  • Migration Health Assessments and Travel Health

Capacity Building for Migration Management

In Sudan, IOM works to build the capacity of the Government to manage migration effectively.

Border management, targeted assistance for return migration, passport and visa systems, determination of migrant status, and refugee protection are some of the areas of the migration management.

The management of migration issues must be credible and transparent by having a basis in legislation, and credibility based on international law and human rights instruments.

In September 2009, Sudan Centre for Migration, Development, and Population Studies was opened in Khartoum with IOM support.

IOM is supporting the Centre by providing financial and technical assistance, in order to develop Sudan's Migration Profile. The Profile will provide a snap shot of the numbers and types of migrants travelling to, through, and from Sudan, to promote better understanding of the dynamic and trends of migration in Sudan.

In 2010, IOM has developed and implemented an Information Campaign on the Risks of Irregular Migration. The campaign included the distribution of posters, flyers and community dialogues and aimed to educate potential migrants on the risks of irregular migration, which they face on their journey to Europe and the Middle East, in search for a better life.

IOM initiated work on Counter Trafficking in Sudan, by bringing together senior government officials at a Forum organized in June 2010, to discuss the international crime of trafficking in persons, and agree on how the problem can be tackled effectively in Sudan in the future.

Last updated:
Main text: June 2011
Facts and figures: June 2011