Published in: Africa, Algeria, Europe & Russia, Greece, International Organisations, IOM, Iraq, Middle East, News
More than 10,000 migrants in Greece have voluntarily returned home in the last 20 months, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said today.
“More than 10,000 migrants returned voluntarily and safely to their home countries from Greece between June 2016 and April 2018, with nearly 2,500 eligible migrants receiving targeted reintegration support,” IOM spokesman Joel Millman said in a press conference at the UN Headquarters in Geneva.
“IOM assisted with a total of 10,576 voluntary returns to 84 countries and territories over the 20-month period, through an EU and Greece-funded Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme,” Millman said.
He said 8,375 of the returnees were men and 2,125 were women, adding that special assistance was provided to 77 unaccompanied migrant children to help them reunite with their families. “Five countries’ citizens make up more than 80 per cent of the returnees: from Pakistan (3,105), Iraq (1,980), Afghanistan (1,096), Georgia (1,044) and Algeria (986).”
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Some 22,439 migrants and refugees entered Europe through the Mediterranean Sea in the first 122 days of 2018, comparing with 45,540 arrivals across the region in the same period last year, Millman said.
According to UN, 615 migrants died trying to cross the Mediterranean in 2018.