Guatemala Crisis Response Plan 2024

Last updated: January 19 2024
$8,050,000
Funding required
5,300,000
People in need
157,000
People Targeted

IOM Vision

IOM will address the immediate humanitarian and protection needs of people on the move through the implementation of context-specific, collaborative and comprehensive multi-sectoral responses in targeted locations. By strengthening international cooperation to address the root causes and drivers of irregular migration and expanding access to regular migration pathways, the safety, dignity, well-being and human rights of migrants and other people on the move will be restored.

Key Operating Modalities
Participation and empowerment Integrated Programming Collaboration and partnership Localization Cash-based interventions
Cross-cutting priorities
Data and evidence Protection Mainstreaming Gender Equality Prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse Disaster Risk Climate Change Law and policy

Objective 1 - Saving lives and protecting people on the move
Objective
Saving lives and protecting people on the move

$5,950,000
Funding required
157,000
People Targeted
34
Entities Targeted
Internal migrant, Internally displaced person, International migrant, Local population / community
Primary target groups
Description of People and Entities Targeted

There is an urgent need to restore the dignity and promote the rights, well-being, and safety of people on the move (including transiting and stranded migrants), many of whom, especially female-headed households and children, require specialized protection services, mental health and psychosocial support, access to temporary and safe shelter, as well as safe water and dignity/hygiene kits with emphasis on menstrual health, medical and nutrition services. Entities targeted will include local municipalities and local service providers, including in the border towns of Esquipulas, Tecun Uman, as well as other key transit locations across the country (Peten, Guatemala City, among others). Whenever possible, IOM will assess the possibility of using cash based assistance (CBI) as a modality of intervention for the planned interventions.

In addition, the systematic collection, analysis and dissemination of data on migration flows, profiles and priority needs of people on the move will enable IOM, the Government and partners to have a better understanding of the mobility dynamics and contribute to more effective, evidence-based responses. Data and information on migration flows, profiles and vulnerabilities of people on the move will be collected at key transit locations across the country (including Esquipulas, Puerto Barios, Tecun Uman, Quetzaltenango, Peten, Guatemala city), as well as in municipalities with high numbers of transiting and/or stranded migrants. 

In order enhance preparedness to climate and environmentally-induced displacements as well as surges in migration flows which would impact the Government’s response capacity, IOM will invest in preparedness actions. Entities targeted will be local municipalities in disaster-affected locations, including the relevant local municipalities and government entities.

Basic needs, including food and multi-purpose cash assistance

To provide assistance to migrants and other people on the move at key transit locations across the country, IOM will: 

  • Distribute non-food items (NFI), such as clothes. The composition of each kit will be tailored to the specific needs and feedback received from different groups of migrants.
  • Coordinate NFI purchase and distribution with actors in different locations (Casa del Migrante, IOM’s network of enumerators, local associations, mobile units, etc.).
  • Complement NFIs with the provision of multi-purpose cash assistance for migrants in the most vulnerable situations. Specific vulnerability criteria and modalities of intervention for the provision of multi-purpose cash assistance will be developed in coordination with the UN agencies and will be in line with the Cash Working Group standards. 
Funding required
$600,000
Plan types

Direct health support

Health has been identified as a key priority area by all actors, including access to lifesaving primary and secondary health care services, and mental health and psychosocial support services. Ensuring the availability and accessibility to the basic package of health services and emergency health care remains essential for migrants in vulnerable situations, who are often not aware of their rights, nor of the health services that are available to them. The following interventions will be prioritized:

  • Deploy mobile medical teams (including nurses and MHPSS staff) in collaboration with local actors (health centres, National Red Cross, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), etc.) in order to provide a comprehensive range of primary health services, and referrals to specialized health care facilities if needed.
  • Based on contextualized technical assessments, expand health interventions specifically in border areas including increased disease surveillance capacity in line with the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005).
  • Work in collaboration with the local health structures (in Esquipulas and Tecun Uman) to reinforce their capacity to provide health services to migrants. This may include the procurement and distribution of critical medical equipment, and medical supplies, training of health staff, and improvement, expansion and rehabilitation of health structures.
Funding required
$800,000
Plan types

Humanitarian border management and services for citizens abroad

In addition to addressing the immediate humanitarian and protection needs of migrants in vulnerable situations, IOM recognizes the need to establish adequate response mechanisms and strengthen an integrated approach to border management to ultimately facilitate, assist and protect people on the move crossing borders and ensure that safe and regular pathways are guaranteed by rights-based policies and procedures. The following interventions will be prioritized:

  • Conduct assessments of national humanitarian border management (HBM) capacities to identify priority areas of intervention, including the drafting of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for emergency situations and the establishment of referral mechanisms to assist migrants.
  • Building on the integrated border management principles, ensure effective coordination among relevant border authorities, including public health authorities. This will include the development of SOPs, the procurement and installation of equipment to support effective operations to border posts and other relevant facilities, comprehensive training and related capacity-building initiatives to ensure sustainable, safe as well as rights-based and inclusive cross-border mobility.
Funding required
$500,000
Plan types

Mental health and psychosocial support in humanitarian response

To provide mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) services for vulnerable migrants and affected communities, in coordination with local actors in the different targeted locations and building on existing initiatives, IOM will: 

  • Deploy trained and supervised psychosocial mobile teams. 
  • Reinforce the self-care routines of migrants to develop positive coping mechanisms.
  • Provide psychological first aid (PFA).
  • Provide focused services such as counselling and support groups, and referral to specialized mental health care.
Funding required
$200,000
Plan types

Movement assistance

Different types of movement assistance are planned to be provided, depending on the needs of affected populations: 

  • Provide in-country movement assistance to vulnerable caseloads identified at transit locations that require support to access specialized health or other social protection services. Movement assistance will be provided either through IOM’s mobile units which are conducted in coordination with the National Red Cross, or through IOM’s local transportation service providers.
Funding required
$50,000
Plan types

Protection

In a context marked by a high number of people on the move, stranded in key transit locations and without access to safe and reliable information, many individuals are exposed to significant risks of trafficking, exploitation, abuse and violence. In particular, women travelling alone, female heads of households, children, and people with specific needs experience increased vulnerabilities due to the lack of services available. IOM intends to contribute to improving the overall protection response in Esquipulas and Tecun Uman, among other key locations, through the following actions.:

  • Strengthen protection monitoring (assessments, surveys, focus group discussions) to identify trends, vulnerabilities and emerging needs among the people on the move in order to inform the response. 
  • In coordination with UNICEF and other partners, provide migrants in transit with reliable information through its community mobilizers and the establishment of “information kiosks” in key locations (including in Esquipulas). The information provided will include available humanitarian assistance and protection services in transit points, referrals to local actors and governmental institutions, risks of irregular migration (e.g. trafficking) and regular migration pathways (including for asylum).
  • Strengthen the provision of specialized protection services. IOM, in collaboration with its partners, will work to establish functional identification and referral mechanisms for migrants in vulnerable situations and victims of trafficking, exploitation, abuse and violence; undertake GBV risk mitigation and response; establish women and girls’ safe spaces; and implement specialized protection services targeting children. 
  • To support survivors of GBV, establish and preposition supplies for specialized GBV services including emergency medical care and psychosocial support in collaboration with partners. 
  • To prevent and counter trafficking in persons, support key stakeholders involved in counter-trafficking, such as the Secretariat contra la Violencia Sexual, Explotación y Trata de Personas (SVET), in the implementation of an awareness-raising campaign to prevent smuggling and trafficking, as well as train local authorities. IOM will also strengthen referral and response mechanisms in case of identification of potential victims of trafficking as well as victims of exploitation, abuse and violence and ensure the provision of direct assistance to the victims. 
  • Enhance partners’ protection knowledge and skills, including on protection mainstreaming, protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA), psychological first aid, GBV, child protection, and counter-trafficking.
Funding required
$1,500,000
Plan types

Provision of water, sanitation and hygiene in emergencies

The impacts of large-scale cross-border population movements combined with the limited availability of WASH infrastructure in some of the key transit locations (including in Esquipulas and Tecun Uman) are diminishing people’s access to essential services. For example, in Esquipulas, migrants who are stranded in the city currently have to pay in order to be able to use public showers and toilets. 
Emphasis will thus be put on ensuring that people in key transit locations have access to free potable water in sufficient quantities as well as sustainable sanitation and hygiene infrastructure. The specific type of WASH interventions will depend on the context of each location, will integrate gender and protection considerations, and can include the following:

  • Establish partnerships with service providers managing access to sanitary facilities (e.g. toilets and showers) in Esquipulas and implementation of a voucher system to provide free access to these facilities for migrants (especially the most vulnerable groups).
  • Following contextualized assessments and where feasible, construction/rehabilitation of WASH infrastructure and facilities in key locations in coordination with pertinent stakeholders. 
  • Conduct culturally appropriate safe hygiene messaging and on ways to mitigate risks of water-borne disease outbreaks. 
  • Distribute hygiene kits in key locations, in collaboration with local partners.
Funding required
$500,000
Plan types

Shelter and settlements

Access to safe and temporary shelter has systematically been cited as the priority need for migrants stranded in transit locations, including in Esquipulas, Guatemala City and Tecun Uman. According to July 2023 DTM data, 88 per cent of migrants surveyed at the four key transit locations have noted the limited availability of safe and accessible temporary shelter options (DTM 2023). 

IOM’s actions will aim to preserve the immediate safety and well-being of migrants, with a specific focus on women and children. Different modalities will be used depending on the context, which will be done in line with the cluster standard approaches: 

  • Strengthen the collaboration with the Casa del Migrante in key locations (Esquipulas, Tecun Uman, Guatemala City, Peten) in order to increase their temporary shelter capacities. Support will be provided through the rehabilitation of temporary shelters, and when required,  establishing additional local partnerships for the provision of temporary shelters (including with local hotels/pensions, and shelters managed by CONRED (Coordinadora Nacional para la Reduccion de Desastres) or SOSEP (Secretaria de Obras Sociales de la Esposa del Presidente de la Republica de Guatemala), etc.), focused especially on safe options for women and children, including through capacity-building of relevant stakeholders.
  • In case of limited temporary shelter options, IOM will assess the possibility of providing CBI assistance to persons in need of shelter.
Funding required
$500,000
Plan types

Camp coordination and camp management

In cases of significant increases in migration flows in key transit locations or in case of natural hazards which would cause the internal displacement of individuals in need of emergency shelter and other basic services, Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) interventions will be conducted in collaboration with government entities (including SOSEP and CONRED), as a last resort option:

  • The deployment of trained human resources (for the management of the centre) as well as through the implementation of repairs/upgrading works in temporary collective centres, ensuring adherence to minimum standards (including adequate WASH facilities etc).
  • As a last resort option, work in collaboration with the different municipalities, as well as with CONRED and SOSEP to assess the feasibility and necessity to establish temporary sites. Comprehensive multisectoral site feasibility and capacity assessments will be carried out to ensure adherence to standards and to reduce protection risks, as well as suitable and planned exit strategies. IOM Shelter and Settlement experts may support capacity-strengthening efforts on displacement settlement planning, and as the co-lead of the CCCM cluster, capacity-building on CCCM may be provided to relevant actors.
     
Funding required
$300,000
Plan types

Displacement tracking

Using IOM DTM, data will be collected through a significant and well-established network of key informants and DTM enumerators, in line with IOM’s Data Protection Principles. Currently, IOM has a network of enumerators established in four key transit locations across the country (in Tecun Uman, Esquipulas, Izabal and Peten), where information on migration flows, profiles, intentions and the different priority needs of people of all ages and genders on the move are systematically being collected. 
Several components of IOM’s DTM will continue to be implemented in Guatemala, depending on the information needs of partners, including: 

  • Collect data on cross border and transit flows (flow monitoring) at key locations, including information on the numbers, profiles, intentions, and observed/reported vulnerabilities of people on the move.
  • Conduct context-specific surveys, studies and assessments (particularly on the situation of migrant children, women, single headed households, etc.) to provide a more detailed and comprehensive understanding of specific mobility dynamics, risks and capacities.
  • In line with the climate mobility priorities of IOM, design and implement climate vulnerability assessments under DTM using best practices from IOM missions in Iraq, Somalia and Libya. 
  • Expand the evidence-base through research and assessments on climate and environmental migration trends
  • Produce regular products and dashboards, share with relevant partners and publish on IOM’s Information Unit for Northern Central American countries’ website
Funding required
$500,000
Plan types

Emergency preparedness

IOM will work in collaboration with local authorities in order to strengthen their readiness & response capacity in case a disaster or significant and unexpected migration flows occur. This will include:

  • Capacity-building of relevant stakeholders (government entities, local actors, civil society actors) to support the development of contingency plans and emergency preparedness measures.
  • Improve the preparedness and capacity of communities to respond to further disaster-related shocks through training and involvement in the selection of safe sites for shelters and WASH-related interventions, including small scale logistic rehabilitation.  
Funding required
$500,000
Plan types
Migrants stranded in Esquipulas, Guatemala. © IOM Guatemala 2023
Migrants stranded in Esquipulas, Guatemala. © IOM Guatemala 2023

Objective 2 - Driving solutions to displacement
Objective
Driving solutions to displacement

$2,100,000
Funding required
63,000
People Targeted
17
Entities Targeted
Internally displaced person, International migrant, Local population / community
Primary target groups
Description of People and Entities Targeted

In addition to addressing the immediate humanitarian and protection needs of migrants in vulnerable situations, IOM will support safe and regular migration through local community development interventions and addressing the root causes of migration in key localities across the country. Entities targeted will include local municipalities, local government entities, CSOs and private entities in targeted localities hosting significant returnee, migrant populations and areas of high emigration. 

In order to prevent climate and environmentally-induced displacements as well as surges in migration flows which would impact the Government’s response capacity, IOM will invest in disaster risk reduction (DRR) interventions. Entities targeted will be local municipalities in disaster-affected locations, including the relevant local municipalities and government entities.

Community stabilization

In order to promote inclusive socioeconomic development in local communities of origin and return, focus will be put on working with the local governing structures and other pertinent partners in pre-selected municipalities to develop inclusive local-level development actions plans which will respond to jointly identified priorities and contribute towards more sustainable local development: 

  • Develop partnerships with and capacitate local partners (CSOs, grassroot groups, private sector and local leaders) to advance local solutions and address the identified drivers of irregular migration.
  • Address host community and migrants’ collective socio-economic needs through the development and implementation of area-based and community-led initiatives.
Funding required
$500,000
Plan types

Livelihoods and economic recovery

Migrants, returnees and host community members in vulnerable situations will be supported with tailored psycho-social and economic (re) integration support, including through:  

  • Enhancing access to education opportunities (through scholarship programs for example) 
  • In partnership with private sector and local partners, build-on and develop sustainable livelihood/economic opportunities including entrepreneurship assistance, small-business support, financial inclusion, digital readiness, women’s economic empowerment, vocational training and job placement services.  
Funding required
$600,000
Plan types

Adaptation and disaster risk reduction

Preventing and addressing climate and environmentally-induced displacements is critical for Guatemala. In order to increase the understanding and awareness of the interaction between climate change (manifesting in increased floods and droughts), other natural hazards (such as volcano eruptions),  and human mobility, IOM seeks to strengthen resilience and reduce disaster losses by investing in awareness, prevention and adaptation to new and existing risks, in alignment with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030.  Reducing risk and mitigating effects to upcoming (and expected) crises is critical in Guatemala as they exacerbate vulnerabilities across different social groups and populations. Based on this context, IOM intends to focus on enhancing prevention and mitigation measures in targeted locations to improve the protection of populations in disaster-prone areas of Guatemala. Key activities will include: 

  • Set up early warning systems in disaster-prone areas where IOM is present. 
  • Implement mitigation measures in the fields of health, nutrition, CCCM, and WASH to reduce risks in disaster-prone communities.  
  • In flood-prone areas, work in camps and host communities to reduce the impact of flooding through structural and non-structural flood mitigation. 
  • In drought and flood-prone areas, focus on community-based disaster risk management interventions related to WASH to ensure sustained access to safe water and sanitation through environmental protection measures and trainings. 
  • Establish Disaster Risk Management Committees (DRMCs) that will be equipped with the knowledge and skills to develop Community Action Plans, which will eventually be implemented through community-based projects to prepare for and respond more effectively as the first-line responders to recurrent floods, droughts, and other key identified hazards in their neighbourhoods/ villages. 
  • Support the government and partners at the national and decentralized levels to integrate impacts of climate change / environmental degradation / disasters in relevant existing plans and policies 
  • Construct small-scale disaster risk management infrastructure (such as gabion walls or irrigation systems) in targeted areas.
Funding required
$1,000,000
Plan types
Operational presence in

Guatemala

16
International staff and affiliated work force
341
National staff and affiliated work force
9
IOM field office

The map used here is for illustration purposes only. Names and boundaries do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by IOM.

Figures are as of 31 December 2023. For more details of IOM's operational capacity in country, please see the IOM Capacity section.