The UN has launched a new app to empower migrants in Africa
The United Nations International Orgnasation for Migration (IOM) has launched a mobile app called MigApp to empower migrants in East and the Horn of Africa.
MigApp is a mobile tool that collates relevant, updated and practical information as well as IOM services. The app utilised current technology and the widespread use of mobile phones among migrants in East and the Horn of Africa.
Alex Dougan, IOM’s MigApp Project Manager, said:
“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”
The app has been launched in Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Djibouti, South Sudan and Somalia. The use of mobiles in these countries is high so the introduction of MigApp presents a secure, objective and convenient way for migrants to access information.
Migration has been increasing around the world as political instability, drought and economic challenges continue to drive large amounts of people away from their homes to search for better lives.
The IOM hopes that MigApp will make migration safer whilst also providing access to their essential services. The app provides users with information on travel and health, helps to identify a secure place to save valuable documents and enabled them to share their location with friends and family.
Migrants can often result to seeking help from unauthorised agencies for quick answers to their migration questions as there is an absence of a practical and central port containing essential information.
MigApp aims to reduce the misinformation migrants are often presented with by providing information on visas, health and travel regulations; alerts on global incidents arising from conflict or natural disasters; and contacts of counter-trafficking hotlines around the world. The app will consolidate key services and make them directly available to a wider group.
Migrants who are already using IOM programmes will also be introduced to the app.
The app will enable the IOM to capture and analyse migrations trends across different countries, regions and on a global scale. This represents an exciting opportunity for IOM to develop its existing programmes to be more informed and proactive in their response to migration.
The use of technology for development will be a key discussion point at this years Aid and Development Africa Summit taking place on 27-28 February in Nairobi.
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Photo credit: International Orgnasation for Migration