Mali: Strengthening Psychosocial Support for Sustainable Reintegration of Returned Migrants

Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration, Migrant Assistance

Bamako – Since 2017, over 11,000 Malians have been assisted by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Government of Mali to voluntarily return home. Many of these migrants were exposed to difficult travel or detention conditions, as well as other risks, along the Central Mediterranean Route. Upon return, they often need psychosocial support to ensure sustainable reintegration within their communities. 

“The protection of migrants, wherever they are, has always been a priority for IOM. This protection involves immediate humanitarian assistance for returning migrants along migration routes, but also post-arrival psychosocial support,” said IOM Chief of Mission in Mali Pascal Reyntjens. “But we must provide ‘psychological support’ to these individuals before we talk about their economic reintegration.” 

Meet Aissata, a social worker working in a transit centre for migrant women and girls in Bamako, Mali. 

On Wednesday (27/3), IOM, the Government of Mali, and the Swiss Confederation State Secretariat for Migration launched the project Support to the Sustainable Reintegration of Returnees in Mali Through Psychosocial Assistance, which is expected to reach more than 5,000 beneficiaries in the main regions of return including Bamako, Kita, and Kayes. 

The USD 280,000 project aims to support the sustainable reintegration of returned migrants in their families and communities of origin through the provision of care; training of social actors and medical workers in the country; the development of information and awareness-raising campaigns; as well as workshops on theatre, artistic creation and sport for psychosocial support.  

“In light of the significant returns of migrants in distress and vulnerable situations, this project comes at the very right time. It strengthens the Government’s actions for the Malian returnees’ protection and reintegration, the capacity building of civil society organizations, and a better understanding of migration dynamics and immigration trends in Mali in line with the National Migration Policy (PONAM),” said Tangara Nema Guindo, Secretary General of the Ministry of Malians Abroad and African Integration. 

Since May 2017, IOM and the Malian Government have implemented the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration which has supported 11,505 Malians stranded along the migratory routes to Algeria or Libya to voluntarily return home in decent conditions, and with respect for their fundamental rights.  

This one-year project will be implemented by IOM in partnership with the Government of Mali, the Italian NGO COOPI (Cooperazione Internazionale), and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).  

For more information please contact: Seydou Tangara at IOM Mali, Tel: +223 76 42 63 59, Email: 

  • An IOM staff member leads a psychosocial support session with a woman in West Africa. IOM/Muse Mohammed.