Iraqi government to offer loans and training to return migrants
In an effort to encourage Iraqi refugees and asylum seekers in EU countries to return home, the Iraqi Ministry of Displacement and Migration has offered to grant loans of IQD 8 million (USD 6,720) to returnees.
“The loan is available for all Iraqi nationals who return to Iraq from the EU countries voluntarily,” said Ali Abas, Spokesperson to the Ministry of Displacement and Migration in a statement issued on 25 September. The statement did not mention other eligibility criteria.
Returnees who participate in the programme would receive entrepreneurial training and support. Abas said that “the funding would come from the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs’s reintegration and loans programme to establish small projects in Iraq.”
“The programme aims to promote people’s livelihoods and prevent illegal migration,” Abas added.
Since 2014, more than 600,000 Iraqis have left the country due to political conflict and economic struggles, and have sought asylum in more than 34 countries, primarily in the EU. Iraqi migrants often face difficult journeys, and many even die en route. After arrival, there is a long waiting time for asylum applications to be processed, and some Iraqis are deported.
There are several voluntary return programmes aimed at Iraqi migrants in Europe, such as the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) of Irregular Migrants in Turkey which began earlier this year.
Photo credit: Shutterstock.com
Photo caption: Piraeus, Greece – February 23, 2016: Migrants and refugees arrive at the port of Piraeus. Syrians and Iraqis to continue their journey towards the borders after their arrival to the port