Germany Backs IOM Reintegration of Chadian Migrants Returning from Libya

IOM's efforts to provide social reintegration assistance to
Chadians who have returned empty-handed from Libya has received new
backing from the German Government.

The Euro 1 million German funding will support returnees and
host communities in areas with high levels of returnees by
providing small scale grants that will directly benefit over 50
vulnerable communities and up to 75,000 beneficiaries.

North and West Chad, which is suffering from prolonged drought,
food insecurity and extreme poverty, experienced high levels of
return from Libya following the overthrow of Gaddafi regime.

"The sudden return from Libya of some 90,000 Chadian migrant
workers to their home communities and the resulting loss of
remittances is putting additional strain on their families and home
communities," says Qasim Sufi, IOM's Chief of Mission in Chad.

Throughout the one-year project, IOM will provide a large-scale
outreach campaign to help communities overcome social friction
between the returnees and their communities of origin, and will
support community-driven socio-economic infrastructure projects to
be implemented for the benefit of entire communities.

A recent IOM assessment funded by the Humanitarian Aid
Department of the European Commission (ECHO) found that most
Chadians who had returned from Libya were in urgent need of
reintegration support in their communities.

It noted that returnees have often become estranged to the
traditional ways of life in a rural Chadian community after having
lived and worked in Libya for years.

The study also found that social tensions in communities of high
returns, between returnees and host communities, are increasing.
Returnees, who often experienced tremendous trauma before leaving
Libya, are faced with a variety of challenges when returning home,
including housing shortages, unemployment, no access to medical
infrastructure, and even language barriers.

These challenges are being multiplied by the fact that many are
returning to their families and communities empty-handed. A
majority of returnees said that they were unable to meet their
basic needs for food, housing, health and education.

Many of the Chadian returnees had lived in Libya for many years
and had little or no connection to their places of origin. Children
and adults born in Libya were unable to communicate in French or in
the Chadian dialect of Arabic, making it difficult for them to
attend schools or socially integrate.

Since their return, only a small number of them have found
steady jobs. Most have had to resort to petty trade such as selling
cigarettes and sweet tea. In some rural areas, returnees have set
up parallel markets known as "Libya Markets," where they sell the
few goods they managed to bring back to feed their families. This
often results in conflict with market traders from host

The socio-economic reintegration project is aiming at bridging
the gaps between the returnees and the home communities by
providing a platform for social interaction. Through increased
dialogue and the successful implementation of community-chosen
socio-economic infrastructure projects, communities will get the
opportunity to work together, thereby reducing social tension and
potential conflicts.

For more information, please contact:

Qasim Sufi

IOM Chad

Tel: +23562900674

 E-mail: "">


Anne Schaefer

Tel: +23562901118

E-mail: "">