IOM’s Global Assistance Fund (GAF) is an emergency fund that offers personalized immediate protection and sustainable direct assistance to migrants in vulnerable circumstances across the globe.

Often vulnerable migrants do not fulfil the requirements of existing assistance programs with tight eligibility criteria, and end up facing continued rights violations, re-trafficking, and permanent mental and physical hardships for lack of support. GAF has existed for 21 years to fulfil the mandate of not leaving any migrant in an extreme vulnerable situation behind.

Established in August 2000, IOM GAF initially had the aim of providing immediate emergency protection and assistance services for victims of trafficking who were identified in locations where local actors have limited or no capacity to respond to their needs. The Fund has since expanded its eligibility criteria to include other migrants vulnerable to violence, exploitation, and abuse who are in need of protection and assistance, as well as migrants unable to effectively realize their human rights and/or human dignity due to an inability to meet their own basic needs or those of their dependents as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nowadays, the Global Assistance Fund is the global fund in IOM with the broader scope of protection and assistance to migrants in all regions of the world.


GAF's objective

GAF’s objective is to contribute to migration management through the adoption of sustainable and integrated assistance solutions to vulnerable migrants across the world. By identifying the vulnerabilities of migrants in their countries of origin, along transit routes, or in host countries and providing them with the support to recover and regain independence, GAF addresses root causes of irregular and unsafe migration, empowers the implementation of appropriate case management procedures to strengthen national protection systems, and counters the efforts of human traffickers and smugglers among vulnerable communities.

As of today, GAF has assisted more than 3,600 migrants with comprehensive, direct, tailor-made and sustainability-focused protection and assistance services.

The Our work section provides further details on how the Fund operates and which services are available to eligible migrants.

If you wish to know more about GAF’s eligibility criteria and application procedures, go to the How to apply section.