EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in North Africa – Regional Launch Event in Egypt

Monday, September 9, 2019

Cairo – The European Union (EU) funded EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration in North Africa (EU-IOM Joint Initiative) kicked off on Monday 9 September 2019 in a regional event hosted by the IOM Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa, in collaboration with the Government of Egypt and the European Union Delegation in Cairo. The event brought together key stakeholders, including representatives of North African governments, as well as EU and IOM officials, to establish a common understanding of the EU-IOM Joint Initiative in the region and formally kick-start the implementation of the regional programme.

The EU-IOM Joint Initiative will support stranded and vulnerable migrants in North African countries (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia) with the provision of protection services, including the possibility to return voluntarily to their country of origin and receive reintegration assistance upon return.  During his opening remarks, Mr. Ibrahim Laafia, Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation to Egypt iterated the intention of the programme to “continue to expand the provision of sustainable solutions for migrants stranded across the North of Africa region and to foster a common approach to return and reintegration”.

Her Excellency,  Ambassador Dina el Sehy, the Deputy Assistant Minister for Migration, Refugees and Combatting Human Trafficking, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Egypt, spoke of the Government of Egypt’s “commitment to protecting the most vulnerable, including victims of trafficking, sexual and gender-based violence, unaccompanied children, single women and mothers and other vulnerable groups.”

The Programme will offer integrated support to migrants returning to Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia with the aim of achieving sustainable reintegration in their communities. It follows the approach developed as part of the Joint Initiative Framework Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) offering options for individual, collective or community-based reintegration assistance that will be adapted to local contexts through a consultative process. Supported returning migrants will receive economic, social and psychosocial support following a tailored approach based on identified needs and opportunities.

Mrs. Carmela Godeau, the IOM Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, spoke about “the opportunity for further cooperation and partnerships on the Programme across the region of North Africa” and the extension of IOM’s programming on Voluntary Return and Reintegration into more innovative and comprehensive approaches. The Joint Initiative in North Africa will work hand in hand with the two other components of the Programme, in the Sahel and Lake Chad region and in the Horn of Africa region. Migrants returning to countries outside the geographic coverage of the Joint Initiative will also be entitled to receive reintegration assistance through the Programme.

BACKGROUND 

Launched in December 2016 with funding from the EU Emergency Trust Fund (EUTF) for Africa, the EU-IOM Joint Initiative on Migrant Protection and Reintegration is an innovative and comprehensive programme facilitating orderly, safe, regular and responsible migration governance through the implementation of policies focused on migrant protection and sustainable reintegration. The EU-IOM Joint Initiative is divided into three regional components, in the Sahel and Lake Chad region, in the Horn of Africa region, and now in North Africa.

For more information please contact Programme Coordinator, Milen Emmanuel, at memmanuel@iom.int

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