IOM Welcomes Home 162 Ghanaian Migrants from Libya

Migrants arriving at the airport in Accra (photo: IOM Ghana/Randi-Lyn Miller)

 IOM Ghana staff assists a migrant upon arrival at the airport (photo: IOM Ghana/Randi-Lyn Miller)

A migrant arriving at the airport in Accra (photo: IOM Ghana/Kate Endswell)

Accra, Ghana - On 24 August 2023, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), in close collaboration with the Government of Ghana, assisted 162 Ghanaian migrants (158 men, 3 women and 1 child) to voluntarily return from Libya through IOM’s Voluntary Humanitarian Return Assistance Programme. Following their arrival, IOM will engage with the returnees to begin their reintegration process involving economic, social, and psychosocial assistance. These interventions are made possible under the Migrant Protection, Return and Reintegration Programme for Sub-Saharan Africa (MPRR-SSA) funded by the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration.

“Considering the recent increase of instability in Tripoli, the safe return of the Ghanaians migrants was of priority for IOM. We work in close collaboration with the Ghana Embassy in Trpoloi-Libya to ensure the dignified transit of the migrants,” commented Pooja Bhalla, Project Manager, IOM Ghana.

The Ghana Health Service (GHS), Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), National Investigation Bureau (NIB) and Ghana Police Service (GPS) joined the team at the airport to ensure a smooth arrival process for the migrants.

“The Government of Ghana has worked collaboratively with IOM over the years to return thousands of migrants back home to Ghana. The psychosocial support and business development trainings that IOM provides during the reintegration process show that there is a sustainable plan for returnees, not only helping them to enter back into the workforce but also to strengthen their dignity after returning,” said Kofi Osei, Director of Migration and Reintegration, National Disaster Management Organization (NADMO).

Staff from IOM, GHS, and NADMO provided psychological first aid and mental health screenings, and ensured psychosocial referrals as needed.

“Having a relative who died travelling through the desert to Libya didn’t deter me from making the same journey. It was very scary, but I was determined to make it to Italy,” one returnee told IOM. “Living in Libya was not as I expected. I lived in fear for my life. Coming back to Ghana was a dream come true and I am grateful to IOM for their assistance in realizing this dream.”

Among the returnees were 15 migrants with moderate medical conditions. IOM Libya provided the individuals with necessary treatment prior to departure and medical escorts onboard the flight, as well as a three-month’s worth of supply of medication. After their health screenings, IOM Ghana referred the migrants to medical facilities in their respective regions; GHS will continue to offer medical assistance moving forward with IOM’s support.

“Life in Libya was not as easy as I imagined. I was injured while working as a mason and now I suffer from blindness in both eyes. Life will be a bit more difficult for me now, but I am hopeful that things will improve. I thank God I arrived safely – I’m just happy to be back home,” one returnee told IOM colleagues during his screening.

IOM Ghana staff registered all returnees to ensure adequate follow-up during their reintegration process. Migrants received food, water, hygiene kits, cash assistance for their immediate needs, as well as a package containing one month’s supply of food staples. Onward transportation to the main areas of return including Kumasi, Dormaa, Techiman, and within Accra, were also organized.



For more information, please contact:

Pooja Bhalla, Project Manager, IOM Ghana, at

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