UN appeals for $7.9 billion to help millions of migrants flee climate change, conflict
The United Nations has appealed for a whopping $7.9 billion to bolster its efforts to migrate people around the world who it says have been forced to leave their homes for various reasons, including climate change and conflict. The plea was made by the U.N.s International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Geneva Monday to support its operations and help "create a system that realizes migrations promise as a force for good throughout the world." "The IOM Global Appeal seeks funding to save lives and protect people on the move, drive solutions to displacement and facilitate safe pathways for regular migration," a statement released by the IOM says. Those objectives form part of the IOMs new five-year Global Strategic Plan. BORDER PATROL CATCHES 40 ILLEGAL MIGRANTS STUFFED INTO SEVERAL VEHICLES The organization says that the nearly $8 billion would go toward serving nearly 140 million people, including internally displaced people and the local communities that host them. Crucially, it would also allow for an expansion of IOMs development work, which helps prevent further displacement, the appeal states. The IOM has called on governments, the private sector, individual donors and "other partners" to contribute to the fund, noting its the first time it has put out such an appeal. Of the $7.9 billion, around $3.4 billion would go toward "saving lives and protecting people on the move," and $1.6 billion would be spent on facilitating "regular pathways for migration." It is unclear how exactly this would be spent, but the U.N. has been known to distribute cash debit cards to migrants and provide food, basic necessities and prescription drugs. Around $2.7 billion would be allotted for "solutions to displacement," including reducing the risks and impacts of climate change, the appeal states, while another $163 million would go toward "transforming IOM to deliver services in a better, more effective way." Amy Pope, the director general of the IOM, said migration has reached unprecedented levels and that it benefits the world. "The evidence is overwhelming that migration, when well managed, is a major contributor to global prosperity and progress," Pope said. "We are at a critical moment in time, and we have designed this appeal to help deliver on that promise. We can and must do better." The appeal comes as countries around the world are facing hefty bills to house and feed migrants who cross their borders illegally. WHO CHIEF SAYS 'DISEASE X' PREPARATION TREATY IN JEOPARDY, LOSS OF SOVEREIGNTY IS FAKE NEWS For instance, a study by the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) last year found that illegal immigration is now costing U.S. taxpayers $151 billion a year, marking a 30% increase in five years. The largest cost that FAIR identifies is K-12 education, which the group estimates costs $78 billion a year. The U.S. government is already the U.N.s biggest donor, contributing about $18.1 billion to the global body in 2022, a massive increase from its $12.5 billion allocation in 2021, according to the U.N.s website. The appeal states that there are an estimated 281 million "international migrants" who generate 9.4% of global GDP, although it does not show how it came to that figure. "Migration is a cornerstone of global development and prosperity," the appeal states. Many migrants make the often treacherous journeys to other countries to claim asylum, and the appeal argues that limiting regular migration pathways and protections leaves people vulnerable to violence, exploitation and danger. For instance, the IOM estimated that at least 60,000 migrants died or disappeared on perilous journeys over the last nine years. "The consequences of underfunded, piecemeal assistance come at a greater cost, not just in terms of money but in greater danger to migrants through irregular migration, trafficking and smuggling," the appeal states. "Well-managed migration has the potential to advance development outcomes, contribute to climate change adaptation, and promote a safer and more peaceful, sustainable, prosperous and equitable future."