IOM in Panama installs the Darien Technical Committee for Migration
According to official data from the National Migration Service of Panama, 23,968 migrants passed through the province of Darien during 2019. After the first COVID-19 infections were recorded and the border between Panama and Costa Rica was closed, approximately 2,500 migrants were stranded in transit, distributed between Darien, in the south of the country, and in Chiriqui, near the northern border with Costa Rica.
Over the last few years, IOM has accompanied the Panamanian government to strengthen local coordination in the province of Darien and ensure orderly and safe migration management in accordance with international standards, providing protection to migrants and host communities. The project to establish an intersectoral technical roundtable for the coordination and management of migration had already been in the works for two years, but it became even more relevant with the migratory crisis caused by the pandemic.
The Darien Technical Table for Migration was finally inaugurated on March 23, 2021, with the approval of the governor and the Technical Board of the province of Darien, composed of 43 regional directors from different ministries and state institutions. Among them, there were authorities from border services, migration, civil protection, health and social development stand out.
This is a mechanism that seeks intersectoral coordination of operational actions in response to the protection and assistance needs of migrants, asylum seekers, refugees and those who may have other international protection needs, as well as the needs and impact of migration on the receiving communities.
For Idiam Osorio, IOM Senior Project Assistant in Panama, "the creation of a local coordination mechanism will allow us to continue identifying priority actions to address migration in the province with all key actors. This translates into a good practice that seeks, from a multidimensional perspective, to generate the necessary synergies to make migration beneficial for all involved.”
This initiative is supported by IOM within the framework of the Western Hemisphere Program, financed by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.