In 2015, a total of 35 000 asylum seekers entered in Finland, while the figure for 2016 was 5 600. African and Middle Eastern countries are the largest recipients of migrants. For example, Morocco, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Yemen are major recipients of transit migrants. According to the International Organization for Migration IOM, these countries received more than two million migrants in 2015. The large number of migrants and the essential services required by them burden the countries’ service infrastructure.
Through its development cooperation, Finland works to influence the reasons behind forced migration so that people would not need to leave their homes. In addition, development cooperation also helps to secure migrants’ human rights and essential services for them.
Finland supports the work of IOM, the aim of which is to improve the health situation and welfare of transit migrants in Morocco, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen. In 2015–2016 the work provided help for about 13 000 migrants, especially people in greatest need of assistance, such as unaccompanied minors, single mothers and victims of human trafficking. Migrants received medical and humanitarian assistance as well as information about the health services available to them. Local-level authorities were also supported in their work to meet migrants’ needs.
Photo: IOM Egypt, graphics: Juho Hiilivirta