IOM Assists 142 Gambian Migrants to Return Home from Libya

Banjul – The UN Migration agency (IOM) together with the Government of The Gambia assisted 142 Gambian migrants to return home on Monday (22/01), of which 17 came from Trig al Seka detention centre. A flight, chartered by IOM Libya landed at Banjul international airport with 6 women and 1 children on board.

Upon their arrival, returnees were provided with immediate assistance by IOM Gambia including medical care, food and hygiene kits. IOM staff began the registration and profiling process which helps provide insight into the profile of the returnees, the reasons of their departure, their migratory path and their living conditions in Libya. The questionnaires will help IOM adapt the reintegration assistance to the needs of the returnees and that of their communities of return.

“So many people are there. Many are dead, not even buried. Some are sick, in prison, without medication they are suffering there. I thank God to be back in my Homeland. You know, you have two choices in life. You can try to go to Italy to help your people, and family. But God made it like this. Don’t lose faith. You just have to keep fighting and look for other things in your country” Hassan, one returnee who spent two years in Libya.

After the registration and profiling process, some of the returnees were provided shelter for the night. The day after they attended (23/01) an information session, where they could ask questions about their reintegration assistance and during which IOM performed health screenings.

IOM Gambia also gave each returnee pocket money (EUR 65), to cover their immediate needs as well as the transportation costs to their final destination. Within the next months, IOM will assess the returnees’ situation on a case by case basis to help them find alternatives to irregular migration and ensure their sustainable reintegration in their community of origin.

These returns and reintegration assistance are funded by the EU-IOM Joint initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration. Since the launch of the programme in the Gambia in May 2017, 1,128 Gambian migrants were able to return home safely.

 

For more information, please contact Marianna Bertelle, at IOM Gambia; Tel: +2202169647, Email: mbertelle@iom.int