IOM assists more than 500 Nigerians stranded in Libya safely return home


162 Nigerian migrants have returned safely from Libya on the fourth charter flight for this year organised by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

This was made known in statement released by the IOM office in Nigeria.

According to the statement, more than 500 stranded Nigerian migrants have so far returned to Nigeria with support from the European Union (EU) through its Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, in 2022

The humanitarian flight departed from Tripoli, the capital of Libya, and landed safely at Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

Out of the 162 migrants, 110 are men and 52 were women including 14 individuals under the age of 18 and 11 infants.

Prior to departure, the returnees underwent health checks including COVID-19 tests and received hygiene kits containing face masks and other protective gear. IOM also provided them with pre-departure counselling services, protection screening, transportation assistance and targeted assistance to migrants with specific situations of vulnerability such as pregnant women, unaccompanied migrant children, victims of trafficking and migrants with medical conditions.

Upon arrival, the returnees are assisted with food and refreshments, and a mobile phone to contact their families and remain in touch with IOM as they receive reintegration support, while vulnerable individuals were provided with non-food items such as clothes, shoes and other essential items.

IOM also revealed that it will provide mental health and psychosocial support and business skills training to help them to kickstart income-generating activities as part of their reintegration assistance.

Reacting to the development, Ambassador of the European Union to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Samuela Isopi said,

“The EU-IOM Joint Initiative has been instrumental in safely returning and reintegrating Nigerian nationals since April 2017 and we are happy to know that operations have resumed.”

“We are welcoming the flight from Tripoli, and we aim at successful reintegration for all returnees.”

Libya has long been an important transit and destination country for migrants arriving from different parts of Africa. An earlier report by the organisation indicates that Nigerian migrants make up 6 per cent of migrants in Libya, the country’s fifth largest migrant population.

According to IOM data, Libya followed by Niger and Mali are the primary transit countries for Nigerian migrants.

Abisola Adebayo is a Reporter/Presenter/Social Media Manager for Tv360Nigeria. She is a first class graduate of the department of Mass Communication at Fountain University, Osogbo. Abisola is currently running her Masters Degree at the University of Lagos. The Social Media savvy young lady is ambitious and driven, likes trying new things and sets new goals for herself. Always looking for an opportunity to do better and achieve greatness.

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