Integrating migration into the COVID-19 response in Nepal



This project occured under the Mainstreaming Migration into International Cooperation and Development (MMICD) project, implemented by IOM and funded by DG-INTPA. Learn about MMICD here.

Key objective

Test the MMICD COVID-19 Toolkit to integrate migration into COVID-19 response and recovery plans and programmes, with a focus on rural development and education. 

Main activities

The technical assistance (TA) in Nepal focused on assessing the COVID-19 impact on returning migrant workers and their communities to help guide the response and recovery interventions of the Government and development partners (including donors). A service provider was contracted to conduct the assessment. 

Prior to the TA, a country assessment of the extent of migration mainstreaming was conducted, which identified rural development and education as target sectors. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, IOM identified an opportunity to support the mainstreaming of migration into the COVID-19 socio-economic response and recovery, linking it to the target sectors. 

To address the needs identified, the assessment was conducted largely through telephone interviews and surveys in two provinces, reaching 800 respondents. The TA also organized a national consultation with Nepalese parliamentarians on integrating migration into the country’s COVID-19 socio-economic response and recovery plans. Moreover, the TA provided guidance to the British Council on how to adapt their vocational training activities to the needs of returning migrants, and commissioned the capturing of stories of return migrants, their families and communities - for dissemination via IOM’s communications channels.

Key successes or innovative factors, good practices and lessons learned (if available)

  • Mainstreamed migration into programmes and projects at the theoretical level.
  • Identified migration mainstreaming entry points in COVID-19 response and recovery interventions.
  • Aimed to enable other development partners to understand the COVID-19 impact on returning migrants and their communities, and to develop more migrant-sensitive COVID-19 response and recovery interventions. 
  • Mainstreamed migration at the theoretical level by identifying entry points and raising awareness of migration issues. 
  • Provided guidance to the British Council on vocational training needs of returning migrants. However, the British Council has yet to receive funding to implement the guidance.


  • Donors, international organizations, and civil society organizations involved in Nepal’s COVID-19 response and recovery efforts
  • Government of Nepal

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