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Gambia, IOM Launch EU Funded Migrant Protection Project

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Dakar - In the presence of the EU Ambassador to The Gambia, His Excellency Attila Lajos, a local signing of the Agreement to implement the project, “EUTF-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration: The Gambia,” took place at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Banjul on 3 November 2017 and was chaired by the Honorable Minister of Interior, Mai Ahmed Fatty.

The three-year project is funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) for a total of 3.9 million Euros.

A significant number of Gambians leaving the country often become stranded on the migration routes to North Africa and Europe, with no means to continue their journeys. With little hope of reaching their intended destinations, many of them decide to return home.

This new project, part of a regional initiative addressing 14 countries in the Sahel and Lake Chad region as well as Libya, proposes to contribute to strengthening migration governance and to the sustainable reintegration of returning migrants in The Gambia, with the following three objectives:

  • To support 1,500 migrants returning to the Gambia to reintegrate into their communities of origin and to contribute to the strengthening of the Government of The Gambia’s capacity to provide sustainable reintegration support, including specialized assistance for vulnerable migrants;

  • To raise awareness of 250 communities and 2,500 potential migrants of safe migration options and alternatives to irregular migration;

  • To support national and local authorities and development partners in having access to data on migration factors, flows and trends to support evidence-based policy development and programmes.

IOM Chief of Mission, Ms. Fumiko Nagano, noted that the Joint initiative “aims to ensure that migrant rights are respected, that returning migrants are able to contribute positively to their communities, and that the migration process is safer and better managed. At the core of the Initiative’s aim is to respond to migrant needs.”

The Initiative’s inclusive approach will involve key stakeholders, such as migrants associations, community based organizations, and local communities to ensure the sustainability of reintegration and that Gambian migrants in the future will be opting to migrate via regular means as a matter of choice, rather than necessity. IOM will be working very closely with the Government of The Gambia, in particular the Ministry of Interior, which has the mandate to lead on migration governance and management in the country.

On 2-3 November 2017, as part of its ongoing collaboration with the Ministry of Interior, IOM Gambia, with financial support from the EU-funded regional project, “Support to Free Movement of Persons and Migration (FMM) in West Africa,” held a validation workshop on the country’s national migration policy, the first of its kind in The Gambia. Once validated, the policy will ensure that the Gambian Government has a comprehensive approach to migration management and governance. “This policy should be anchored on the ideals of African solidarity as well as shared values as informed by existing African Union frameworks including the AU Migration Policy Framework for Africa, the African Common Position on Migration and Development of 2006, the Common African Perspective for Valetta Summit on Migration of 2015, and Agenda 2063,” Minister Mai Fatty noted, as he urged EU and other stakeholders to act in partnership to address the root causes of irregular migration.

For more information, please contact
Tijs Magagi Hoornaert, IOM Dakar, Tel: + 00221785891456 Email: tmhoornaert@iom.int

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