Sudan Launches Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration of Returnees
Khartoum - The European Union (EU), IOM, the UN Migration Agency and the Government of Sudan today launched the Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration for Sudan.
Funded through the European Union’s Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) and implemented by IOM, with a budget of EUR 25 million for the Horn of Africa, the initiative runs over the course of three years. It is focused on three areas: 1) well documented return and reintegration procedures; 2) safe, humane, dignified voluntary return processes; 3) sustainable economic and social reintegration, benefiting returning migrants and home communities.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us; however, the integrated approach will enable us to work effectively with a wide range of partners in addressing migrants’ economic, social and psychological needs as well as implement community-based projects in areas of return to ensure self-sufficiency and social stability of the returnees within their communities,” said Catherine Northing, IOM Sudan Chief of Mission, in her opening remarks.
Ambassador Jean-Michel Dumond, Head of the European Union Delegation to Sudan, said: “This is, indeed, a huge undertaking that can only be achieved through joint efforts. I am optimistic that as long as we all work together, we can make migration a safe, dignified process and provide necessary support to the returnees and their communities.”
Sudan is a source, transit and destination country for irregular migrants who cross its borders to Libya with the hopes of reaching Europe or the Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC). Unknown to the migrants is the fact that the smugglers, whom they expect to help them cross the sea, have made false promises that could result in abuse, torture and unpaid labour. Since June 2017 IOM has assisted the voluntary return of more than 630 Sudanese migrants from Libya via chartered and commercial flights. To date, over 600 returnees in Sudan have received counselling, and 194 are ready to start entrepreneurial development and vocational training with an additional 60 having started their small business.
Ambassador Karar Altohami, Secretary General of the Secretariat for Sudanese Working Abroad (SSWA), who has been instrumental in implementing the Joint Initiative project gave a presentation during the launch. “The SSWA is dedicated to the success of this project,” said Ambassador Altohami. “We are hopeful that it will support the reintegration of Sudanese migrants, especially the youth, in a way that helps them engage in income generation projects rather than risking their lives on dangerous journeys.”
The project is part of the larger EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, which facilitates orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration management through the development of rights-based and development-focused policies and processes on protection and sustainable reintegration. The EU-IOM Joint Initiative, backed by the EU Trust Fund, includes close collaboration with 26 African countries.
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