The European Commission Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) has contributed EUR 1.2 million towards IOM’s efforts to promote sustainable reintegration for the most vulnerable of some 34,000 former Burundian refugees from Tanzania who returned home at the end of 2012.
IOM’s reintegration project involves community assessment as well as profiling of over 10,000 returnee families and support for access to land. In addition, the project will provide shelter for up to 2,000 very vulnerable households and start-up livelihood assistance or vocational training for some 500 families, ensuring that the receiving communities also benefit from income generating activities. […]
The IOM mission in Ireland has launched a new website and accompanying booklet which offers insight into the personal stories and experiences of migrants who have opted to return home under IOM’s Voluntary Assisted Return and Reintegration Programme (VARRP). The website contains the stories of irregular migrants who found themselves in vulnerable situations in Ireland and of asylum seekers who withdrew their application, or had it rejected for a variety of reasons. All, however, have asked for assistance to leave Ireland, and support to create a stable, sustainable future for themselves in their countries of origin. “The decision to return is often the result of difficult or unforeseen circumstances”, says Theodora Suter, IOM’s Chief of Mission in Ireland. “The aim of the website is not to present return as the appropriate solution for all migrants but to highlight through individual stories some of the challenges and opportunities of voluntary return and reintegration”. […]
EEA Grants, a funding mechanism supported by European Economic Area (EEA) members Iceland, Norway and Liechtenstein, has signed an agreement with IOM that will provide EUR 4 million to support NGOs in Greece that run reception centres for vulnerable migrants and asylum seekers, especially unaccompanied minors. Greece, which is struggling to cope with the economic crisis, austerity measures and 25% unemployment, currently hosts an estimated 810,000 irregular migrants, including some 44,000 asylum seekers, many of whom have become stranded en route to other European Community countries.
The new 3-year programme, which will be managed by IOM Greece, will help participating NGOs to plan ahead and work with local authorities to improve or expand the services they offer to the most vulnerable, particularly unaccompanied minors. Greece currently has very few reception centres for vulnerable migrants, putting many at risk and forcing them to sleep in parks and other public spaces. […]
A group of 105 Iraqi refugees, including families with children, will fly out of Ankara’s Esenboğa Airport today on an IOM charter flight to Hanover to start new lives in Germany. The refugees, who have been living in Kayseri, Kırşehir, Sakarya, Tokat, Aksaray, Bilecik, Düzce, Amasya, Kırklareli, Yozgat, Afyon and Yalova, were selected by UNHCR and interviewed by the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) in July. The group, who underwent IOM pre-departure health screening yesterday, will be accompanied by two BAMF officials and an IOM medical escort. They will be welcomed in Hanover by a delegation headed by the German Federal Minister of the Interior Dr. Hans-Peter Friedrich. The refugees will spend their first two weeks in Germany in a reception centre near Hanover, where they will receive post-arrival cultural orientation. They will also learn about NGOs and other service providers able to provide support after they leave the centre for resettlement in various German Länder. […]
An IOM pilot employment project has placed its first five voluntary returnees from Europe in private sector jobs in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The 18-month MAGNET project, which was launched in January, is designed to help to reintegrate failed asylum seekers from Austria, Belgium, France and the Netherlands when they voluntarily return home to Erbil, Sulaymaniyah and Dahuk governorates.
It provides them with information on the local labor market before they return from Europe; offers individual post-arrival counseling to review their qualifications against possible openings; and provides an online database that matches their skills with vacancies offered by local employers. […]