IOM Charter Flight Safely Brought Home 329 Ghanaians from Libya
Accra – On 21 June and 6 July 2022, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in partnership with the Government of Ghana (GoG) assisted 329 stranded Ghanaian migrants (313 male and 16 female) to return home from Libya to reunite with their families through IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return Assistance Programme.
IOM Ghana welcomed the returnees upon arrival at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra where they were tested for COVID-19 and received vaccinations as needed. Returnees were registered by IOM staff to ensure adequate follow-up during their reintegration process. They were provided with food, water, hygiene kits and cash assistance for their immediate needs including travel and accommodation.
“I went to Libya to work as a mason, but the work was hard. They harmed us. They did whatever they liked to us. The friends I travelled with are still there suffering,” said one returnee. “I’m very happy to be back in Ghana. We thank IOM. We thank God we are back.” Screenings were also conducted for returnees to assess the need for psychosocial assistance as well as to create awareness of the psychosocial support services provided by IOM.
This was done in close collaboration with Government and officers from the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO) who received training from IOM’s Psychosocial Assistant and Clinical Psychologist. In the coming weeks, IOM will contact the returnees to start their reintegration processes. The economic assistance will include training in business development skills in addition to protection support, social and psychosocial services, and access to legal documentation to ensure a holistic approach that promotes sustainable reintegration.
“In line with our commitment to assist and provide protection to stranded vulnerable migrants who volunteer to return home, 329 Ghanaians were brought back safely. We use a holistic protection approach including IOM’s Mental Health & Psychosocial Support Network (MHPSS), family tracing, reunification, ensuring sustainable reintegration and integrated economic assistance, as well as medical assistance where needed. This is only made possible with support from our Government of Ghana partners and donors,” said Ms. Pooja Bhalla, Project Manager, IOM Ghana.
The initiative was completed under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the first comprehensive programme of its kind launched in May 2017 to save lives, protect, and assist migrants along key migration routes in Africa.
Since 2017, IOM Ghana has assisted 3885 Ghanaians (2814 male and 247 female) with their voluntarily return home, the majority of those being from Libya (2334), followed by Niger, Morocco and Algeria.
For more information, please contact Pooja Bhalla, Project Manager, IOM Ghana, at firstname.lastname@example.org.