IOM Helps Stranded Nigerian Migrants Return from Sudan
IOM has helped a group of 42 stranded, vulnerable Nigerian migrants, including 31 women and 19 children, to voluntarily return home to Nigeria. They flew to Kano International Airport from Khartoum.
The operation was part of a Norwegian government-funded IOM project: “Enhancing Protection and Improving Knowledge on the Risks of Irregular Migration in Sudan”, which was launched in December 2014 and has established a Migrant Resource and Response Centre (MRRC) in Khartoum.
Most of the Nigerian migrants, who had been in Khartoum for 1-3 years, were close to destitute and surviving on the streets through begging and casual work.
They included Ameena* (name changed*), an grandmother who came to Sudan in 2013 hoping to reach Saudi Arabia to perform the Muslim Hajj. She left her daughter and six grandchildren behind in Nigeria. After struggling for over three years, she failed to save enough money to complete the journey. Her daughter recently died and Ameena now needs to return home to take care of the children.
The return, facilitated by IOM’s Sudan MRRC, is part of IOM’s global Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme, which provides durable solutions for stranded migrants, migrants in an irregular situation, victims of trafficking, and unsuccessful asylum seekers worldwide.
IOM Sudan’s MRRC provides AVRR services focusing on humane, coordinated and cost effective returns and reintegration of migrants who cannot or do not want to stay in host countries and who voluntarily wish to return to their country of origin.
The AVRR services offer information and counselling to potential returnees, medical assistance for those with health problems, post-return assistance in the country of origin; as well as services focused on reintegration assistance and monitoring of migrants wellbeing after their return to the country of origin.
In addition, the MRRC in Sudan provides migrants with accurate and timely information on regular migration channels and the dangers of irregular migration to enable them to make informed decisions on safe migration. Planned services include language classes and other capacity building activities, to be designed in consultation with the migrant community.
In 2015, IOM helped 260 Sudanese from 16 countries to voluntarily return to Sudan. Over half – 142 – came from Egypt. Greece, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden all helped 10-25 Sudanese to return. Other countries of departure included Australia, Belgium, Denmark, and Estonia.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Office of Migration (IOM).