Under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative, IOM Ghana Welcomes Home 132 Migrants, Totaling 833 Ghanaians Supported with Voluntary Return in 2022
Accra – On 30 November 2022, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in partnership with the Government of Ghana (GoG), assisted 132 Ghanaian migrants (122 men and nine women) to return home from Libya. To date, in 2022 IOM Ghana has assisted 765 Ghanaians (833 men and 68 women) to safely return home through IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return Assistance Programme. The returns were made possible with funding from the European Union under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration.
IOM Ghana and the Government of Ghana welcomed the returnees upon arrival at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra where they were provided with food, water, hygiene kits, cash assistance for their immediate needs, and tested for COVID-19.
“Life in Libya wasn’t easy. I was suffering a lot. I was trying to move on to Italy, but they caught us in the sea and I went to prison for three months. I’m appreciative of IOM for bringing me back,” said one returnee.
In close collaboration with the Government of Ghana and officers from the National Disaster Management Organisation (NADMO), screenings were conducted for returnees to assess the need for psychosocial assistance as well as to create awareness of the psychosocial support services provided by IOM.
“I’m so happy to be home and am looking forward to seeing my family again. There is not enough work in Libya. It is not a place where you can survive. I wouldn’t wish my experience on anyone,” remarked another returnee.
In the coming weeks, IOM Ghana 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. This holistic approach ensures that reintegration happens in a sustainable manner.
“With support from Government of Ghana partners and donors, we continue to assist and provide protection to stranded vulnerable migrants. Because of these strong partnerships, 132 Ghanaians have had a safe and dignified return home. IOM Ghana will continue to work with its partners to raise awareness about the risks of irregular migration among communities, promote safe migration, and counter stigmatization and discrimination,” said Ms. Pooja Bhalla, Project Manager, IOM Ghana.
Since 2017, IOM Ghana has assisted 3069 Ghanaians (2819 men and 250 women) to return home voluntarily, the majority of those being from Libya followed by Niger, Morocco and Algeria.
For more information, please contact Pooja Bhalla, Project Manager, IOM Ghana, at firstname.lastname@example.org.