E.g., 06/20/2024
E.g., 06/20/2024
Middle East & North Africa

Middle East & North Africa

The Middle East and North Africa span both poles of migration: as countries of migrant destination, particularly in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, and as countries of migrant origin. The region has a large supply of young, active workers, with millions working elsewhere in the region or in Europe. The research here focuses on labor and humanitarian migration to and from the region, including the policies and regulations that govern such migration, protection and integration issues for the region's refugees, diaspora engagement, migration cooperation and reintegration agreements with European governments, and more.

Recent Activity

Cover image for Reassessing Recruitment Costs
Policy Briefs
November 2022
By  Kate Hooper
Soccer players during a match.
Cover image for Financing Responses to Climate Migration
Reports
November 2022
By  Lawrence Huang, Ravenna Sohst and Camille Le Coz
Luxury cars in front of a hotel on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah.
Articles
Image of passport page with variety of stamps
Articles
Cover image for COVID-19 and the State of Global Mobility in 2021
Reports
May 2022
By  Meghan Benton, Samuel Davidoff-Gore, Jeanne Batalova, Lawrence Huang and Jie Zong

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coverthumb_covid19 global mobility 2020
Reports
April 2021
By  Meghan Benton, Jeanne Batalova, Samuel Davidoff-Gore and Timo Schmidt
coverthumb_bridge fimer ground
Reports
March 2021
By  Camille Le Coz, Samuel Davidoff-Gore, Timo Schmidt, Susan Fratzke, Andrea Tanco, María Belén Zanzuchi and Jessica Bolter
coverthumb_covid19 return reintegration
Policy Briefs
February 2021
By  Camille Le Coz and Kathleen Newland
Coverthumb DataMatters2018
Reports
November 2020
By  Jeanne Batalova, Andriy Shymonyak and Michelle Mittelstadt
Coverthumb MPI StrengtheningRefugeeProtection
Policy Briefs
February 2019
By  Susan Fratzke and Camille Le Coz

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Mother and daughter from Middle Eastern background

Migration from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to the United States doubled between 2000 and 2019, yet these immigrants represented less than 3 percent of the overall U.S. foreign-born population as of 2019. MENA immigrants are more likely than other immigrants to be English proficient, have a college degree, and work in management, business, science, and arts occupations.

A woman holding an Iranian flag at sunset.

The United States is home to the largest population of Iranian migrants in the world. More than half of Iranian immigrants in the United States live in California. This article explores key details of this immigrant population, which is older, more highly educated, and has significantly higher median household incomes than the U.S.-born and overall immigrant populations.

A woman receives remittances from a family member abroad.

Countries across the globe have considered novel ways for diasporas to directly invest in national development by purchasing diaspora bonds. Israel has raised billions through its Israel Bonds over the last 70 years, and India has had some success with its diaspora bond efforts. But other countries have faced challenges, as this article explores.

Scaffolding surrounds a mosque in Iran.

Large numbers of well-educated Iranians have left their country of birth since its 1979 revolution, in a “brain drain” that has held back Iran’s economy and cultural institutions. Iran’s isolation from the world has worsened in recent years, and a stuttering economy, currency freefall, and widespread impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to the underlying factors encouraging emigration, as this article examines.

A child walks by a destroyed building in Syria.

Millions of people flee civil wars for safety elsewhere, but predicting precisely when refugees and asylum seekers will be displaced is not as easy as it seems. There is not always a direct correlation between episodes of violence and patterns of migration. This article explores how civilians require both motivation and opportunity to leave conflict zones.

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BoatMigrants ARodriguez UNHCR
Audio
September 16, 2016

This discussion focuses on how governments and actors in the Mediterranean region can work together to expand durable solutions for refugees and coordinate efforts to build welcoming communities for newcomers.

Massive Influx of Syrian Kurdish Refugees into Turkey flickr European Commission DG
Video, Audio
March 31, 2016

MPI Europe expert analysis and discussion with UNHCR and Italian NGO representatives on what is being done and what can be done to connect Syrians and other refugees with opportunities to settle, work, and live outside the immediate region of the Syrian conflict.

_SyrianBoys
Video, Audio
October 27, 2015

In this webinar, the authors of three papers on the experiences of refugee children present their findings, with a focus on how such experiences affect their mental health and education.

EventPH 2015.09.14 ExploringInnovativeIdeastoStrengthentheGlobal ProtectionSystem
Video, Audio
September 14, 2015

A discussion, including the former United Nations Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees, examining the huge strains on the global protection system and how it can better respond to protracted refugee situations and other long-term displacement, focusing on the conclusions of the Transatlantic Council on Migration's recent meeting,

SyrianGirl ADAmato UNHCR
Video, Expert Q&A
September 11, 2015

Demetrios Papademetriou, President Emeritus of MPI and President of MPI Europe, explains the origins of the refugee crisis in Europe and discusses actions that Europe and other regions can take in the near and long term to address the flows.

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Recent Activity

Policy Briefs
November 2022

Migrant workers can pay a range of costs when they are recruited and relocate for jobs abroad, accruing significant debt. While many countries, international organizations, and other stakeholders have sought to reduce or eliminate recruitment costs, the pandemic has exacerbated and added to these expenses. This policy brief explores how the costs migrant workers face have changed, and what these developments mean for efforts to promote fair and ethical recruitment.

Articles

Historically, nearly one in ten male soccer players at the FIFA World Cup were born in a country other than the one listed on their jersey. At times, the presence of these internationally born athletes can prompt difficult questions about the meaning of the nation and who gets to represent it. This article examines the long history of multinational athletes in top-level competitions.

Reports
November 2022

Multilateral development banks (MDBs) have emerged as major players in responding to climate change, investing in sustainable infrastructure and climate resilience. But while many MDBs have shown interest in projects with positive impacts for climate migrants and host communities, they sometimes struggle to maximize these effects. This report examines MDBs’ role in responding to climate-related migration and displacement to date and opportunities to scale up their work.

Articles

Migrant millionaires are once again on the move, though headed to new destinations amid fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic and Russia's invasion of Ukraine. While wealthy new arrivals can help provide a healthy tax base and invest in local economies, they can upset housing markets and exacerbate wealth disparities, as this article describes.

Video, Audio, Webinars
August 10, 2022

Marking the one-year withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and the fall of Kabul to the Taliban, this webinar reflects on the humanitarian and development challenges in Afghanistan and for neighbors, the difficult choices facing aid donors, and what needs to be done to ensure at-risk Afghans can reach safety.

Articles

Looking for some of the most often-sought information on global migration? This statistics-rich article draws on the most current data sources to offer a primer on international migration, highlighting its types, the size of the migrant population and growth over time, and major sending and receiving countries and regions. Beyond looking at labor and humanitarian migrants and international students, the article examines remittances and more.

Reports
June 2022

The number of people who work from home or another location other than a traditional office has been growing for decades, but the pandemic has accelerated this shift—with important implications for immigration policy. This report examines trends in remote work, challenges digital nomads and employers face when navigating immigration systems, and opportunities to adapt immigration policies to keep pace with changes in the world of work.

Reports
May 2022

Despite high hopes that international movement would be revived in 2021 after the deep chill in 2020 with designation of a global pandemic, cross-border mobility remained limited as migrants and travelers faced complex rules, high costs, and uncertainty as new COVID-19 variants emerged. This report assesses global mobility in 2021, including changing use of travel restrictions, their impacts on mobile populations, and efforts to safely restart migration and travel.

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