N’Djamena – This week (12/12), 105 vulnerable Nigerian migrants stranded in Chad were able to return home in dignity on a special flight chartered by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) under its Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme for vulnerable migrants. This departure, the last of 2022 by special flight, brings to 2,944 the number of migrants beneficiaries of the programme in Chad, including 1,604 Chadians who have received voluntary return assistance to Chad in 2022.

“My family and I are happy to go back home and meet our relatives and friends,” said one of the migrants. “We wanted to go back several months ago but due to lack of funds we stayed in Faya longer than expected,” he added. Chad, a vast landlocked Central African country, is an important country of origin, transit, and destination for migrants. Its position as a transit point between sub-Saharan Africa, the Sahel and North Africa makes it an important hub for African migration.

According to the recent mobility mapping in Chad, conducted by IOM, 126,776 migrants were recorded through migration flow monitoring points in Faya, Ounianga Kébir and Sido. “Many foreign migrants come to Chad either to seek work or in transit to continue to Libya. Most of them get stranded and fall into extreme vulnerability,” says Jean-Claude Bashirahishize, Head of Migrant Protection Programmes with IOM in Chad. In addition to international migration, however, recent years have seen an increase in internal migration flows.

"For example, 87% of migrants recorded in Chad are of Chadian nationality, which reveals strong internal mobility dynamics which should be given more attention," adds Mr Bashirahishize. Dignified and voluntary return and sustainable reintegration are among the solutions promoted by IOM for better migration governance. In Chad, IOM supports stranded and vulnerable migrants throughout the process. “Depending on the case, migrants receive medical and psychosocial support, accommodation in the transit centre, food, assisted voluntary return to the community of origin, and socio-economic reintegration assistance,” explains Mr Bashirahishize.

This assistance has enabled, in 2022, 1340 migrants stranded in Chad to return with dignity to their countries of origin and rebuild their lives. Some 1604 Chadians stranded mainly in Libya and Niger were also assisted in their return to Chad and their reintegration. The Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration programme is supported by the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration.

For more information, please contact François-Xavier Ada AFFANA, Communication Officer. Email: fadaaffana@iom.int