In 2001, the events of 11 September in the United States caused a major change in world politics. As the United States entered Afghanistan, large numbers of Afghani refugees began returning home after many years in neighbouring countries. ICMC took immediate action and started in Afghanistan its largest-ever operation assistance: over 70,000 people returning from Pakistan and Iran were sheltered in camps.
ICMC's main focus shifted again towards South-East Asia in 2004, as the world rushed to respond to the devastating tsunami which hit the Indonesian coasts. ICMC had been granted access in Aceh in 2001. Thus, it was already present in Indonesia when the tsunami struck and was able to respond immediately to the devastation caused, both at the community and individual levels.
In 2008, ICMC was officially granted public juridical status by the Holy See. In 2011, ICMC was selected as the leading organization in charge of coordinating the civil society network of the Global Forum for Migration and Development, which gathers more than 700 organizations globally; it has maintained this role to date.
Distribution of winter items to Syrian refugees and Jordanian families, Jordan, 2015
Political instability in the Middle East since the beginning of 2011 – notably the Syrian civil war – has caused mass displacements in the region. ICMC, active in the Greater Damascus area since 2006, started a number of projects focusing on Iraqi refugees settled in Syria, displaced people fleeing the conflict into Jordan and vulnerable people within the host Jordanian communities.
In 2014, ICMC initiated a large public-private partnership to assist elderly people and protect labor migrants in Eastern Europe. The partnership includes the collaboration with public administrations, employment services, academic institutes, and private hospitals in Eastern Europe, and aims to expand to other European countries.
Today ICMC continues to respond to the needs of uprooted people and their communities by implementing and advocating for rights-based policies and sustainable solutions through its worldwide membership of Catholic Bishops' Conferences, and alongside governmental and non-governmental partners.
Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, ICMC has affiliated entities in Brussels (ICMC Europe), Washington D.C. and Boston (ICMC Inc.), and operational offices in Greece, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Malaysia, and Pakistan.