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148 Bangladeshi migrants return home from Libya

  • Published at 04:31 pm January 29th, 2020
Photo shows an IOM staff providing information to one of the Libya returnees at Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on Wednesday, January 29, 2020Courtesy

Among the returnees, eight persons are physically ill

The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the United Nation’s (UN) migration agency, has facilitated the safe return of 148 Bangladeshi migrants stranded in Libya through its Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) program.

A charter flight carrying the returnees, including those wounded in conflict, survivors of failed sea crossings to Europe, and former detainees, arrived in Dhaka’s Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on Wednesday morning. 

The flight left Misrata Airport in Libya on Tuesday bound for Dhaka, where they were assisted upon arrival by IOM staff, said a press release.

Photo shows the Libya returnees waiting at the immigration area at Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka on Wednesday, January 29, 2020 | CourtesyReturned migrants received counseling and vulnerability screening, immediate direct assistance, assistance to obtain travel documents and other consular services, pre-departure health checks, coordination with countries of origin for specific assistance to returnees IOM at the Shelters and Misrata Airport in Libya. 

IOM staff in Dhaka provided food, health screenings, psychosocial support, information and cash assistance for onward travel from the airport to home.

Among the returnees, eight persons are physically ill. They have been given intensive health care support and admitted to a hospital for treatment. Supported by the European Union Trust Fund, returnees will also receive reintegration assistance to restore their lives.

IOM Bangladesh Chief of Mission Giorgi Gigauri said: “As hostilities continue in Libya, we spare no effort in protecting and assisting the most vulnerable Bangladeshi migrants who find themselves stranded in most precarious conditions."

Since 2015, over 1,400 Bangladeshi migrants have returned home through the VHR program. IOM’s VHR program, funded by the European Union (EU) in cooperation with and support from Libyan and Bangladeshi authorities, provides vital assistance to thousands of migrants every year. 

"We also make sure that there is a support system available for them upon return home to address the immediate humanitarian and longer-term reintegration needs.”

Building on experience and a worldwide network of offices and partners, VHR program strives to ensure that vulnerable migrants receive requisite protection and assistance.