GFMD ad hoc Working Group on the Impacts of COVID-19 on Migrants, Migration and Development

The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant economic, social and health-related disruption at a global level, leading to the closure of borders, the shutting-down of normal commercial activity, the layoff of millions of workers, including migrant workers, alongside many thousands of deaths and unprecedented strain on health systems worldwide, equally striking all GFMD stakeholders. Migrants face, and will continue to face, unique challenges as a result of these changes, and migrants will also play a key role in the aftermath of the pandemic.

As the only informal, state-led and multi-stakeholder inclusive forum on migration and development, the GFMD can play a vital role in fostering dialogue and building trust between governments, civil society, business, and local administrations, creating a platform for showcasing best practices, encouraging other stakeholders to replicate those best practices, for analyzing the impact of migration policies to new realities and adapt them accordingly, and helping to drive forward local, national, regional and global responses.

To that end, the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Impacts of COVID-19 on Migrants, Migration and Development was established in April 2020, following the proposal of the GFMD 2020 Chair UAE, in cooperation with the GFMD 2020 Co-Troika, Morocco and Ecuador. With an initial mandate of one year (2020-2021), the Working Group aims to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Create a space to share best practices, initiatives and call for action;
  2. Develop a GFMD working paper on short- and long-term issues according to the phases of COVID-19 interventions – such as prevention, response and recovery;
  3. Support the preparatory work of the Government Roundtables as well as coordinate closely with the three mechanisms and the ad hoc Working Group on Public Narratives on Migration;
  4. Identify initiatives that could be catalyst for partnerships; and
  5. Reflection regarding possible adjustments in the way the GFMD works based on COVID-19



  • Indonesia, represented by Amb. Grata Endah Werdaningtyas, Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission to the UN, WTO and Other International Organizations
  • Switzerland, represented by Ambassador Pietro Mona, Ambassador for development, forced displacement and migration, Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
  • GFMD Business Mechanism, represented by Mr. Menno Bart, Public Affairs Manager, The Adecco Group

Member States: Ecuador, Jamaica, Morocco, The Gambia, Portugal, Spain, United Arab Emirates Observer State: Sweden

Members representing the local perspective: Mayors Mechanism;

Members representing civil society: ICMC, Migrants Forum in Asia

Members representing the private sector: IOE,

International Organizations: ICMPD, IOM, SELA (Latin American and Carribean Economic System)