The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported that the number of migrants assisted by the organization in their voluntary repatriation and reintegration into their communities was 63,316 immigrants last year, 2018, a decrease of 12% compared with the number of people repatriated in 2017.
In a report by IOM issued Friday, the organization noted that this trend in the voluntary return of migrants indicates a return to normal status, after an exceptionally large number of aid from the European Economic Area and Switzerland in 2016.
Last year’s figures revealed an increase in voluntary returns from areas outside the European Economic Area and Switzerland, particularly West and Central Africa, as well as other vulnerable cases of migrants in other parts of the world.
FAO spokesman Joel Millman told a press conference in Geneva on Friday that since the launch of its voluntary repatriation program in 1979, the organization has helped 1.7 million people.
He added that 65 regional offices in the host countries of migrant or transit countries provided last year’s reintegration services to some 18,724 immigrants before leaving, explaining that about 49 percent of the total assistance to return last year reached them The other countries that sent large numbers of beneficiaries to their homes included Greece (4968 immigrants), Austria (3469 immigrants), Djibouti (3392), Belgium (2795), the Netherlands (2149) ), Morocco (1508), Turkey (1494) and finally Italy with about 958 immigrants.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said that among those who chose to return to their countries, the Iraqis formed the largest unit last year with about 5561 returnees followed by Guinea (5088), Ethiopia (4792), Mali (4041), Georgia (2681).