A BRIEF OVERVIEW
Maximizing the positive impact of migration has long been a strategic focus of the work of IOM. In an era of unprecedented levels of human mobility, the need to develop a fuller understanding of the linkages between migration and development is particularly urgent.
IOM approaches the linkages between migration and development from the perspective that international migration, if properly managed, can contribute to the growth and prosperity of countries of origin and of destination, as well as benefit migrants themselves. IOM, therefore, aims at harnessing the development potential of migration for the benefit of individual migrants and societies.
Programme activities in this area include strengthening the capacity of governments and other stakeholders to effectively involve migrant populations in development processes in their countries of origin, fostering economic and community development in areas where there is a high level of emigration, enhancing the development impact of remittances and facilitating the return and reintegration of qualified nationals.
WHY MOLDOVA BENEFITS FROM MIGRATION
Moldova is a country of migrants. According to official government estimates, more than one quarter of the Moldovan labor force is currently living and working abroad with the actual figure differing according to sources and likely topping 345,000. As a result, migrants are a major source of income for the national economy, with remittances from those abroad estimating 1.9 billion USD in 2008 accounting for 31% of Moldova’s GDP (2nd globally after Tajikistan). Managing Moldova's migration flows, much of which are not regular, is a major challenge for the Moldovan Government and its partners in the international community including IOM.
The linkage between migration and poverty reduction/economic development is characterized through three factors - recruitment, remittances and return. If properly managed, migration can contribute to the development of the country, as well as benefit migrants themselves.
THE EU-MD MOBILITY PARTNERSHIP DEVELOPMENT COMPONENT
By supporting the Migration and Development component of the EU-MD Mobility Partnership, the IOM Mission to Moldova aims to assist returning migrants and their families, Diaspora communities/associations, children and elderly left behind, Moldovan entrepreneurs/loan applicants attempting to start or improve their business in RM, women and youth entrepreneurs, Diaspora scientists, the research and development community in Moldova, Moldovan professionals and university graduates of foreign universities, and governmental authorities.
IOM's aim in labour migration is to facilitate the development of policies and programmes that can individually and mutually benefit the concerned governments, migrants and societies.
On that purpose, the IOM works on the promotion of legal mobility towards the EU through agreements to promote circular migration between Moldova and EU, the development of match-making mechanisms and the enhancement of the EU-Moldova visa liberalization dialogue. The aim is to improve skill recognition, labor matching between the EU and third countries through training, information dissemination, and skill matching in RM and finally to enhance the capacity to analyze labour market needs.
REMITTANCES FOR DEVELOPMENT: FOSTERING ENTREPRENEURIAL GROWTH IN MOLDOVA
According to the World Bank, Moldova is the first in Europe in terms of the size of remittances in proportion to GDP, constituting its one third. The recent IOM 2009 and 2008 Migration and Remittances Surveys show that over 30% of the population lives in households that receive remittances. The majority of these flows are used to cover basic household consumption, consumer durables, purchase of housing and debt repayment. In this context IOM activities aim at increasing efficiency of remittances’ investment in Moldova by promoting their productive investment.
Implemented by the Organization for Small and Medium Enterprises (OSME) for the period of 2010-2012, PARE 1+1 will match every 1 leu invested by a Moldovan migrant or his/her 1st grade relative with another 1 leu from the state for launching a new private enterprise, or the development of an existing enterprise, especially in rural areas.
ADDRESSING THE BRAIN-DRAIN
One of the most serious and challenging negative effects of migration on development is the so-called “brain-drain”, defined as the emigration of trained and talented individuals from the country of origin to a third country. Moldova is being deprived of vital skills that constrain the ability of its institutions to deliver essential services mainly in health and education. As a result of this phenomenon, RM has been experiencing a depletion of human capital.
IOM is working to improve Moldova's capacity by enhancing the development impact of circular migration through temporary return of highly qualified Moldovan Migrants. To date, two IOM pilot-programs work to foster the permanent/temporary return of expatriated scientists and young graduates of foreign universities to Moldova.
MOLDOVAN DIASPORAS: THE LINK TO THE HOMELAND
The widespread poverty and lack of job opportunities has caused many Moldovans to look for employment overseas. As a result, the Moldovan Diaspora is steadily growing; in 2008 about one quarter of the economically active population of the country was working abroad. According to official estimates, around 356,000 Moldovans live abroad, while other estimates are of up to 650,000. This trend presents simultaneous threats and opportunities to local Moldovan development. The Moldovan Diaspora has the potential to support local development initiatives through financial flows such as remittances, charitable donations and investment, as well as through knowledge and skill transfers.
IOM mission to Moldova is working to enhance the capacity of the Moldovan migrant communities to become active in support of local development in Moldova, supporting the capacity of the Moldovan Government to leverage the development impact of Diaspora resources, and working towards further inclusion of the Moldovan Diasporas in the political process.
ASSISTED VOLUNTARY RETURN
Through its Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programmes, IOM aims at orderly, humane and cost-effective return and reintegration of migrants who are unable or unwilling to remain in host countries and wish to return voluntarily to their countries of origin.
The IOM Moldova AVRR programme aims to enhance comprehensive long-term reintegration of Moldovan returnees from EU countries (UK, Ireland, Switzerland, Belgium, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Central European countries etc.) through professional orientation, vocational and business training and support to set-up a small business.
IMPROVING MIGRATION DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS FOR EFFICIENT POLICY MAKING
IOM supports data collection to ensure that policy-makers have at their disposal robust estimates of key macroeconomic and demographic variables as well as data on migration modalities, income distribution and poverty, labour market and socio-economic impact of migration on human development. Several studies and surveys have been conducted and provide objective analysis of migration, hence supporting sound policy development.
IOM is developing the first Extended Moldova Migration Profile, a tool that will provide a framework for bringing existing information from different sources together in a structured manner at both national and regional levels and a means to identify and develop strategies to address data and policy development needs. In particular it should broaden the Government’s knowledge-base about migration and enable it to assess how it can beneficially impact development, improve the use and smooth dissemination of existing migration information among relevant stakeholders and support the establishment of mechanisms for regular reporting on migration-related trends. The migration profile shall also serve as a tool for policy coherence and mainstreaming migration into development strategies.
For more information regarding the IOM Migration and Development Programme, please contact Mr. Ghenadie Cretu, Programme Coordinator, email:
, phone: (+373) 23 29 40/41, or visit our website at: www.iom.md
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