Monday, August 3, 2009

1,800 Migrants Have Returned Home

More than 500 undocumented migrants in Morocco from several sub-Saharan African countries have benefited from voluntary return over the last 18 months under the auspices of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

The migrants, mostly young people from Congo Brazzaville, Ivory Coast, Guinea Conakry and the Democratic Republic of Congo, have requested aid from the IOM after having spent years isolated in Morocco without adequate resources.

According to IOM, upon their return, migrants will be granted funds to undertake income generating projects to earn a better living. The grants are received from Belgium, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands and Switzerland and will be disbursed by the Moroccan government in collaboration with migrant’s countries of origin.

"It is essential to provide support for sustainable reintegration of those migrants who opt for voluntary return," St├ęphane Rostiaux, Head of IOM Mission in Morocco said. He said migrants returning home empty handed will be stigmatised in communities. At present, IOM assesses the impact of programmes in Congo Brazzaville, Guinea Conakry and Senegal to improve the help given to the reintegration of irregular migrants seeking to return voluntarily.

Since 2005, over 1,800 undocumented migrants from 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa have benefited from the program of voluntary return. With new funding from the European Commission, Italy, Switzerland and United Kingdom, another 1,000 immigrants are eligible for aid for the return and reintegration in the next 12 months.

Read the report here.

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