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The Global Migration Futures (GMF) project at the International Migration Institute (IMI) is extending its reach into the Horn of Africa and Yemen through an innovative partnership with the Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat (RMMS), funded by the Danish Refugee Council

The GMF project aims to expand the understanding of past and present migration dynamics and to explore how they may evolve in the future. The project achieves this through the development of scenarios describing migration patterns that we might observe in the future. These scenarios take into account past and present drivers of migration and a range of possible future drivers based on social, political, economic and environmental changes in origin, transit and destination countries.

The Global Migration Futures team (Hein de Haas, Ayla Bonfiglio and Simona Vezzoli) has already developed scenarios for North Africa and Europe, and this new partnership between IMI and RMMS represents an opportunity to apply the unique migration scenarios methodology to a third region.

RMMS supports agencies, institutions and forums in the Horn of Africa and Yemen sub-region to improve the management of protection and assistance response to people in mixed migration flows in the Horn of Africa and across the Gulf of Aden or Red Sea in Yemen. The IMI/RMMS partnership will leverage IMIs methodological and analytical experience and expertise and combine it with RMMS’s local, regional knowledge, data, analysis and contacts with stakeholders working with mixed migration.

The level of population movement in the Horn of Africa (and Yemen) region has increased recently, with tens of thousands of people on the move every month.  There is a lack of understanding surrounding the complex migration patterns and the protection structures required to assist such diverse mobile populations. This new partnership, running from January to June 2012, will investigate the following areas:

The patterns and drivers of contemporary movement and the potential futures of (mixed) migration flows with the accompanying risks and opportunities

The scale and scope of the various protection and assistance mechanisms required for the near and mid-term future

The scenarios that are developed will examine potential futures for migration to, from and within the Horn of Africa and Yemen in 2030. They will serve as tools for strategic and innovative thinking about migration futures. The accompanying insights will be invaluable, particularly for governments and humanitarian and development actors in the region.

IMI Researcher Ayla Bonfiglio said: ‘Applying GMF’s scenario methodology to examine future international migration in the Horn of Africa and Yemen is an exciting extension for our project. Over the past year we have seen how dynamic migration patterns in the region can be and the high degree of uncertainty that surrounds migration drivers in both the short and long term’.