IOM launches project to manage migration
Facilitates return of 29,000 stranded Nigerian migrants
The International Organization for Migration (IOM), in collaboration with the Edo State government, has announced the launching of a new project to improve migration management through development.
The project titled ‘Managing Migration Through Development’, (MMDP 2.0), funded by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is expected to span through 24 months with a focus on Edo State.
It will provide comprehensive reintegration, complementary assistance, and livelihood support to 225 returning migrants, and vulnerable and unemployed youth in the State.
In a communique by the IOM’s communication specialist, Mariam Owoeye, the agency said the new project builds on the foundation laid by the Migration Management Development Program (MMDP 1.0) which enacted the anti-human trafficking law and established the Edo state taskforce against human trafficking (ETAHT) in 2018.
This will include protection and shelter assistance to vulnerable migrants including victims of trafficking. Additionally, the project will strengthen strategies and digital campaigns that aim at preventing human trafficking and irregular migration in Edo state.
“Our goal, through this project, is to reinforce existing community development initiatives by placing migrants and potential migrants at the centre of the project thus curbing irregular migration in the state,” said Laurent De Boeck, IOM Nigeria Chief of Mission.
Across West and Central Africa, IOM’s return, and reintegration focus on a “whole government approach”, aimed at encouraging strong partnerships and relationships among the international community, the government, the civil society organization, and the media in addressing irregular migration and providing sustainable reintegration to retuned migrants and their communities.
The statement notes that since April 2017, IOM has facilitated returns of over 29,000 stranded Nigerian migrants from different transit and destination countries out of which 46% of those returned voluntarily account for Edo state.
“The objective of this 2-year project is to support and cooperate with the Edo State government in strengthening its socio-economic capacity, to provide skills and education to returned migrants, and vulnerable categories and to prevent human trafficking by supporting economic, social growth and development.
These partnerships are increasingly important tools to tackle challenges in the long term”, said Stefano De Leo, Ambassador of Italy to Nigeria.
“When I returned in 2017, things were very difficult but thanks to IOM which organized business skills training and assisted me to set up a building materials shop. The shop has really helped me, with this new project, I will further expand the business and employ youths from the community to work with me, I am glad that I am going to contribute in my own way by employing and training others to be self-sufficient”, said Abieyuwa, a returned migrant.
The project also builds on the previous and current IOM-implemented projects funded by the European Union (EUTF-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration), Strengthening Direct Assistance through a Victim Centred Approach by United Kingdom Home office (UKHO) and (Cooperation On Migration And Partnerships To Achieve Sustainable Solutions (COMPASS) by the Kingdom of the Netherlands.