The Mediterranean is the deadlist route for migrants worldwide. 
Only this year, 2020, over 900 migrants lost their life in the attempt to cross the Mediterannean, of whom 752 deaths have been recorded on Central Mediterranean route. 


Saving Lives

Through the Safety, Support and Solutions (SSS II) programme IOM protects migrants along this extremely perilous route in West, Central and North Africa. We provide direct humanitarian assistance and carry out life-saving search & rescue interventions in the desert. To date, 35,000 migrants in extremely vulnerable situations has been provided with critical life-saving support and 230,000 have been provided with essential information on how to access services, as well as on some of the dangers along the route as part of IOM's awareness raising efforts. IOM also supports returning migrants to reintegrate in their communities of origin. Research constitutes another key element of this programme, with the purpose of better understanding the factors that influence migrant choices in  the regions. The programme runs across 11 countries: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Côte D’Ivoire, The Gambia, Guinea, Lybia, Mali, Morocco, Niger, Senegal, Tunisia.

8, 649 people have been rescued through Humanitarian Search and Rescue in the desert operations in the Sahara.

8,028 migrants have been reached with critical humanitarian assistance to support their needs, such as shelter, healthcare or reintegration support.

4,981 migrants have been given shelter across the five countries - Guinea, The Gambia, Senegal, Niger and Mali.

3, 703 returnees have been provided with reintegration support, helping them to return and reintegrate into their home communities. Reintegration support includes training in how to set up a business, as well as support for business ideas such as pineapple farming and soap production. (expand on the type of reintegration support)

10 shelters have been renovated or refurbished in Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Senegal, The Gambia and Guinea.

233,876 people have been reached with essential information on the dangers associated to irregular migration routes and on how to access humanitarian services and support during their journey.





Each of the following sections includes free-to-access evidence-based key learnings & resources that practicioners, policy makers and researches can use to inform their work and that can also constitute the base for future research. Click on the links below to find out more.


Protection to the most vulnerable migrants on the Central Mediterranean Route has been central to the SSS 2 programme. IOM supported the most vulnerable through providing services, such as shelter, food and health care to  N. migrants. IOM trained those who work directly with vulnerable migrants, such as healthcare workers and government officials, enhancing their overall understanding to the needs of this group. Find out more about our critical protection assistance along the Central Mediterranean Route here.


Provided that return to home countries represents a safe option, IOM assists a growing number of migrants in returning home, and reintegration has become a key aspect of return migration. The challenges associated with the reintegration process are complex. As part of the SSS 2 and more specifically through the ORION (Operationalizing an Integrated Approach to Reintegration) programme IOM sought to nurture the global thinking around reintegration and to articulate a new approach to sustainable reintegration. Find out more about reintegration here.

Information Campaigns

Information campaigns designed to raise awareness of the potential risks of irregular migration have attracted much attention and investment across the world in recent years. Studies have repeatedly shown that many migrants start their journeys with limited or biased information and end up in vulnerable situations. In response, information campaigns have increased in number and the type, format, messages and strategy of such campaigns have diversified. Find out more about IOM research to better understand the impact of these campaigns targeting potential migrants here. 

Engaging Diaspora Communities  

As part of the SSS 2 programme, IOM has also been engaging with the Guinean and Senegalese diaspora communities in the UK, to better understand and share learnings about the triggers behind the migration decision making process from these countries and share learnings. The interdisciplinary research project MigChoice was also supported by IOM in the context of this programme  and carried out by the University of Birmingham. Since its inception, the SSS III has been supporting IOM's Missing Migrants project which documents migrant fatalities across dangerous migration routes.




The SSS 2 is a three-year programme (2019-2021) funded by the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) thorough UK Aid and managed by IOM UK. Contact: [email protected]



"Migration is one of the key realities of our time. It cuts across communities, influences priorities, and shapes societies.
To realise the benefits of migration for migrants and host communities alike, our responses must be innovative, collaborative and designed beyond the immediate."


Dipti Pardeshi, Chief of Mission of the IOM UK Office