Banjul, Nov 10 (IANS/AKI) UN migration agency, the International Organisation for Migration, the Gambian government and the European Union have launched a multi-million euro project to help Gambian migrants, the IOM said on Thursday.
The three-year project is funded by the EU's Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) for a total of 3.9 million euros, the IOM said.
Fumiko Nagano, IOM's chief of mission in Gambia, said: "The initiative aims to ensure that migrant rights are respected, that returning migrants are able to contribute positively to their communities, and that the migration process is safer and better managed."
The project comes at a crucial time as a significant number of Gambians who have left the country become stranded on the migration routes to North Africa and Europe, with no means to continue their journeys.
With little hope of reaching their intended destinations, many of them decide to return home but lack resources to do so, IOM said.
The new project, part of a regional initiative addressing 14 countries in the Sahel and Lake Chad region as well as Libya, proposes to contribute to strengthening migration governance and to the sustainable reintegration of 1,500 returning migrants to the Gambia, IOM stated.
Other project objectives are to raise awareness in 250 communities and among 2,500 potential migrants of safe migration options and alternatives to irregular migration, and to help give national and local authorities and development partners access to data on migration triggers, flows and trends, according to IOM.
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