Vote of Thanks delivered by Juliet Makwama, JIFORM Secretary General from Lusaka, Zambia on April 23, 2020.

Goodafternoon all journalists, immigration department personnel from different countries, all protocols observed.

The issue of migration is even more critical as the world continues to battle the covid-19 pandemic. Discussing this issue the way we have done today will go a long way in shaping how each of us responds to related matters, post the covid-19 pandemic. Every contribution matters a lot to The Journalists International Forum on Migration (JIFORM) members, as well as the affected people out there. To all who have participated, thank you very much. We hope to continue having you on board so that together, we can continue to discuss how we can be practical towards pushing governments across the world to maintain best practices on how they handle migrants and migration issues in their countries.

With the World Food Program already warning that about 250 million people are likely to suffer acute hunger because of covid-19, more people may be forced to migrate either within their boundaries or even across the borders in search of greener pastures to ensure their families have food.

It goes without mention that such kinds of challenges lead to economic hardships which will force people to migrate to different regions.

The JIFORM Platform therefore gives relevant stakeholders an opportunity to chat the way forward on how best these matters can be resolved to benefit both the migrants and authorities.

Migrants are people who find themselves in those situations due to circumstances and thus our governments need to build resilience in our economies to avoid citizens looking for greener pastures elsewhere, and in the end contributing to the development of other regions, leaving out their own.

While the world is a global village and people are free to move to and live wherever they want to, this must not be done by crossing dangerous terrain at all costs, putting their lives, safety and health in danger because their governments have failed them.

It should be done in a correct manner because their services are needed elsewhere or because they have seen a business opportunity in a different region and they must migrate in a proper way.

Thank you very much.

Juliet Makwama (Ms)
Secretary General

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