14 March 2018

Nigeria: AU Supports 5,200 Migrants Return From Libya - IOM

The African Union (AU) has supported 5,200 migrants to return home safely from Libya since November 2017, the International Organisation for Migration's (IOM) Mission in Libya, has said.

Othman Belbeisi, Chief of IOM Mission in Libya, said thousands of migrants had also returned home safely from the war-ravaged country since 2017 through a UN-supported programme.

"We are continuing to assist migrants inside Libyan detention centres, while increasing efforts to reach stranded migrants outside of detention.

"Since the expansion of our Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) operation, the number of migrants in official detention centres have dropped from an estimated 20,000 people in October 2017 to 4,000 people today, a five-fold decrease".

He said since January 2017, some 23,302 migrants had repatriated through the VHR programme, which consists of the European Union (EU), AU and Libyan Government.

He said IOM in Libya was also working with the authorities to register migrants, provide lifesaving assistance in the form of health care and essential aid items, psychosocial support, improve consular services and projects promoting community stabilisation.

He said nearly half of voluntary returns executed by IOM from Libya were part of the larger EU-IOM Joint Initiative on Migrant Protection and Reintegration initiative that supported reintegration for returnees in countries of origin.

According to him, the initiative is active in Libya as well as 26 countries in North Africa, the Sahel and the Lake Chad region, and the Horn of Africa.

IOM Regional Director for the EU, Eugenio Ambrosi, said the VHR operation's scale of protection needs and number of returns had overtaken initial planning and pose challenges for countries of origin.

Mr. Ambrosi said: "We are embarking on a completely new approach to reintegration and we believe in it.

"It will take some time to build, and in cooperation with authorities in countries of origin and the local communities, we are already seeing promising developments."

He said with partners, IOM had been scaling up activities to meet the surge in returnees and ensure assistance upon their arrival, and in the longer-term - to readjust to their communities.

Mr. Ambrosi said the programme also offered re-integration assistance for those returning from EU States.


International Confederation of Midwives Global Goodwill Ambassador Toyin Saraki Condemns Killing of Midwife in Nigeria

Toyin Saraki calls for second midwife and further health-care worker to be released  Read more »

See What Everyone is Watching

Copyright © 2018 Premium Times. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.