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IOM Supports Voluntary Humanitarian Return of 89 Comorian Migrants from Libya

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Moroni – A flight chartered by IOM, the UN Migration Agency in Libya, arrived yesterday (21/12) at the Moroni Hahaya International airport, Comoros, carrying 89 Comorian migrants, including 30 women and one unaccompanied child. Among the returnees were two medical cases that received immediate attention for medical follow up.

The returnees were welcomed by representatives from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Interior, Health, Social Affairs, and by a delegation of IOM headed by Daniel Silva y Poveda, IOM Chief of Mission to Madagascar, Comoros and the Seychelles.

Upon their arrival, returnees were provided with immediate assistance by government stakeholders, and each returnee received pocket money (EUR 50) from IOM, to cover their immediate needs. Buses were arranged by the Government of Comoros to transport the returnees to their villages of origin. Within the next two months, IOM will assess the returnees’ situation on a case by case basis to help them find alternatives to ensure their sustainable reintegration in the Comoros.

Most of the stranded migrants were held in detention centres in the Tripoli region, Libya. Once they agreed to return, IOM conducted pre-departure interviews, medical examinations, and the Comorian Embassy in Tripoli facilitated the acquisition of travel documents and issuance of exit visas for all passengers.

As of 19 December, IOM had assisted 17,744 voluntary humanitarian returns from Libya in 2017. With the agreement reached at last month’s EU-AU Summit in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, IOM has assisted 4,258 individuals through its expanded humanitarian returns programme, addressing acute vulnerabilities and working closely with consular officials from countries of origin. This is the first flight to the Western Indian Ocean region.

The returns and reintegration assistance are funded by the EUTF-IOM joint initiative for migrant protection and reintegration. As part of this project, IOM Comoros will support returnees, depending on their profiles and needs, to establish small businesses, as an individual or within a group, or to enroll them in vocational trainings.

For more information, please contact Daniel Silva y Poveda, IOM Madagascar, Tel: +261 325654954, Email: dsilva@iom.int

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