Panama Bolsters Preparedness for Migration Crisis with the Support of IOM

28 July, 2017

The Mesoamerican region experienced a migration crisis in 2016 with the arrival of more than 25 thousand migrant people from the Caribbean, Asia and Africa.

In view of that experience, and to strengthen national responses to migratory crises such as this, meetings were held in June and July between Panama’s Ministry of Public Security and IOM. These meetings were conducted under the Mesoamerica Program, with the participation of the Inter-Institutional Technical Committee, with the goal of developing a training manual which sets out a contingency plan and standard operating procedures (SOP) applicable to mixed migratory flows in transit through Panama.

The meetings aimed to advance the content of the Temporary Accommodations Management Manual for public officials. This manual defines the responsibilities of key actors that are part of the national humanitarian response program, the legal framework, and the entities involved in coordination, among other topics.

Session participants included officials from the National Migration Service, the National Service for Borders, the National Civil Protection System, the National Women's Institute, the National Secretariat for Children, Adolescents and Families, the Office of the Ombudsman, the National Office for Assistance of Refugees, the Ministry of Public Security, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

In July, IOM Panama also held a meeting with staff of the Directorate of Integral Education and Doctrine of the National Border Service (SENAFRONT) to evaluate the inclusion of a training module on the management and coordination of temporary accommodation in the program for SENAFRONT units. The objective was to ensure that newly recruited SENAFRONT units, which regularly work at the border, have basic knowledge on how to manage a humanitarian response to migratory flows in transit through the country.


This initiative is supported by the IOM's Mesoamerica Program. It is implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with financial support from the United States´ Department of State's Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. Its objective is to strengthen capacities for safe, orderly, and regular migration.