On 6 May 2020, IOM Georgia participated in a live online consultation session organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia to address the concerns of Georgian migrants abroad in the context of COVID-19. During the one-hour interactive session, IOM spoke about migration challenges during pandemic conditions, on the activities of the organization in the new reality, the possibilities of helping migrants, and answered the questions of Georgian nationals abroad.
Through this channel IOM reached out to more than 50 thousand viewers in the main destination countries of Georgian migrants. During the session up to 500 questions were posed to IOM by migrants stranded due to COVID 19 in Greece, Italy, Poland, Germany, Turkey, France, Slovakia, Cyprus, Spain, Israel, Sweden, Russia, among other countries. IOM responded to numerous questions on return opportunities and concerns of Georgian nationals about overstay on the EU territory due to COVID-19. Numerous questions came also from labour migrants on post-COVID-19 travel and employment opportunities.
In response to COVID-19 and with the EU support, IOM has scaled up its online counselling service to provide Georgian migrants stranded abroad with up-to date information on available services and return possibilities through its social media channels and its Facebook group "Visa-Free to EU" / უვიზოდ ევროპაში.