IOM provides technical support for new migration reception station in Panama

12 November, 2020

On September 23rd, the government of Panama inaugurated a new Migrant Reception Station (MRS) in the community of San Vicente, located in the district of Pinogana, province of Darien. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Panama accompanied this opening process together with its counterpart, the National Border Service (SENAFRONT).  


The new MRE San Vicente has housing areas, administrative and recreational areas, bathrooms, showers and laundry facilities. In addition, officers from the National Immigration Service, National Border Service (SENAFRONT) and volunteers from the National Civil Protection System (SINAPROC) are permanently on site to provide security and protection to the migrant population. The San Vicente MRE also functions as a quarantine point. 


The construction of these facilities is the result of a joint effort that has been accompanying and complementing the efforts already made by the Government of Panama, through international cooperation coordinated under the Human Mobility Group of the United Nations System in Panama, co-led by IOM and UNHCR, in addition to the support of other key players, such as civil society organizations and the private sector.


This comprehensive and coordinated effort aims to provide a space more in line with international standards for migrants and reduce overcrowding in the MRE La Peñita, to provide decent conditions in which to keep the physical distance and other biosecurity measures to mitigate the spread and spread of COVID-19.


"IOM is committed to the principle that migration in an orderly and humane manner benefits migrants and society. We are aware that migrants have duties towards their host country. Our duty is to continue giving relevant help and not leave anyone behind", emphasizes Gonzalo Medina, Project and Program Officer of IOM Panama. 


All these actions are aimed at accompanying the Panamanian State in order to guarantee the management of shelters based on humanitarian principles and international standards, with the purpose of making migration safer, more orderly and more dignified. They are developed within the framework of IOM’s Western Hemisphere Program, financed by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.


For more information please contact Idiam Osorio, Technical Specialist of the Projects and Programs Unit, IOM Panama. E-mail: