IOM Facilitates Return of 185 Mongolians Stranded in Czechia

Posted: 
08/11/20
Themes: 
Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration, COVID-19

Ulaanbaatar – The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in coordination with the Governments of Mongolia and Czechia, has assisted 185 Mongolians to return home this week (11/08). The group was part of 250 Mongolians stranded in Czechia and some eastern European countries after borders were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

In response to the Government of Mongolia’s request to help Mongolians abroad in situations of vulnerability due to COVID-19-related border closures, IOM missions in Mongolia and Czechia facilitated the movement.

The Mongolian nationals returned home through IOM’s Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme and this latest movement brings the total number of Mongolians assisted to return home by IOM, to 6,300 since 2011.

All returnees had been stranded in Europe since January 2020 when the Government of Mongolia took strict measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including imposing international travel restrictions. Given the high demand for return from Mongolian nationals stranded in Czechia, IOM worked with its government partners in Czechia and Mongolia, paying close attention to individual vulnerability circumstances, including 10 children and more than 50 elderly persons.

Through the support of and close coordination with the government authorities, partners and IOM teams, MIAT Mongolian airlines operated the flight from Ulaanbaatar to Prague and Prague to Ulaanbaatar and, as is the norm currently with repatriation flights, brought to Prague those passengers who requested to leave Mongolia in compliance with COVID-19 preventive and protection measures.

“Although it was a very complex exercise that involved coordination with multiple partners in Czechia and Mongolia, we are very happy that Mongolian citizens are going back home to see their loved ones again after such a long and uncertain absence,” said Petr Karban, acting Chief of Mission at IOM Czechia. “But it is not only that. As soon as the returnees are able to leave mandatory quarantine and self-isolation, we will start working with our colleagues in Ulaanbaatar to support their reintegration.”

All the returnees will be tested for COVID-19 upon their arrival in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. According to the regulations set by the Government of Mongolia, they will stay in mandatory quarantine for three weeks and self-isolation for two weeks, which will also be paid for through the AVRR programme.

The movement was funded by the European Union and the Ministry of Interior of Czechia. 

For more information, please contact Petr Karban at IOM Czechia, Email: pkarban@iom.int, Tel: +420 775965573, and Erkhembayar Munkhbayar at IOM Mongolia, Email: emunkhbayar@iom.int, Tel: +976 88101117.