Press Release

Japan provides support on Reintegration of Returnees and other vulnerable members in migration affected areas in Lesotho

01 February 2021

MASERU - IOM has been advocating for the adoption of sustainability-oriented reintegration policies that respond to the economic, social and psychosocial needs of returning migrants while also benefiting communities of origin and addressing structural challenges to reintegration.

With the aim to support sustainable reintegration of returnees who continue to come back to Lesotho affected by COVID-19, as well as host communities in migration affected areas, the Government of Japan will provide support to the project called ‘’Socio-Economic Reintegration of Returnees and other vulnerable members in migration affected areas severely impacted by COVID-19 pandemic.’’ The project will be implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), UN Migration Agency, for 12 months from March 2021.

In this project, IOM intends to apply part of the reintegration assistance modality which proved to be effective and productive based on the global IOM Reintegration project which will be modified and tailored to the Lesotho context and the urgent needs of returnees pressured by continuous challenges of COVID-19. The project has three outcomes.

Outcome 1: GoL has improved its ability to successfully implement reintegration programmes;

Outcome 2: Vulnerable Basotho returnees impacted by COVID-19 have enhanced their livelihoods through restoring their dignity, income generating opportunities and enhanced their living conditions in the district of origin; and

Outcome 3: GoL (Local Government) has improved its ability to enhance social unity / cohesion through community development initiative. 

These activities are designed to improve beneficiaries’ livelihoods through maximizing income-generating opportunities and enhancing their living conditions while addressing the returnees’ immediate needs to restore their livelihoods and ensure their safety from being infected/affected by COVID-19. This project will be implemented in close collaboration with the Ministry of Local Government (MoLG), Ministry of Social Development (MoSD), Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE), Disaster Management Authority (DMA), among others.

IOM is committed to bring changes to the lives of people in Lesotho – in particularly returnees and other vulnerable people affected by COVID-19. We also implement community development activities in migration affected area which can economically support returnees and host communities while facilitate social cohesion.’’ said Ms. Eriko Nishimura, Head of Office of IOM Lesotho.

Japan provides support on Reintegration of Returnees and other vulnerable members in migration affected areas in Lesotho


Ms. Eriko Nishimura

Ms Eriko Nishimura is Head of Office (HO) at IOM in Lesotho. Previously, she spent 4 years at IOM in Rwanda in charge of project management and monitoring and evaluation (M&E). Prior to joining IOM, she has extensive work experience in Eastern African states, which includes managerial and leading role in business for 4 years in Rwanda, and M&E task for 3.5 years at Embassy of Japan in Kenya.

She was previously in the humanitarian sector for 8 years in conflict transformation and peace-building. She also served as a Conflict Adviser during 2007 Post Elections Violence in Kenya. She hold B.A. & M.A. in International Relations from Ritsumeikan Graduate School, Kyoto, JAPAN.

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International Organization for Migration

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