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Cotonou, Benin – The Government of Benin, in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), facilitated the voluntary return of seventy-four (74) migrants, including 29 men, 16 women and 29 children, from Libya by charter flight on Thursday 27 June 2024. This operation is part of an initiative funded by Italian cooperation.

Upon their arrival in Cotonou, the migrants were welcomed by representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of the Interior and Public Security, Ministry of Social Affairs and Microfinance, Ministry of Health and IOM Benin team. 

The migrants received immediate assistance from IOM, including food, water, hygiene kits, and an allowance for urgent needs such as transport to their ultimate places of residence, notably Djougou and the surrounding area.

IOM then continued the registration and profiling process that began in Libya, enabling reintegration measures to be tailored to migrants’ specific needs. Working with officials from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Ministry of Health, IOM also provided psychological and health support to migrants in need of care.

Mr Idrissa Tamboura, Head of IOM Office in Benin, highlighted that migrant protection and assistance activities, such as assisted voluntary return, facilitated by IOM, guarantee stranded and vulnerable migrants access to assistance respectful of their human dignity. He also expressed his gratitude to the Government of Benin for their continued collaboration in organizing the voluntary return of Beninese migrants.

IOM and its partners will continue to support returnees by developing comprehensive reintegration plans, factoring in economic, social and psychosocial needs. These plans will include initiatives such as the identification of income-generating activities, housing, education, and vocational training to develop small businesses, as well as the enhancement of professional skills acquired before and during the migration journey.

Claire, a returnee from Avrankou, expresses her joy at being back home and encourages her compatriots to avoid the irregular migration routes. “Coming back home is a huge relief. I now can rebuild my life and reunite with my family. We should be determined in the small jobs we do in our country. If you’re patient, you can make it. You won’t find anything better elsewhere,” she says. Claire will receive IOM reintegration assistance and plans to start a business. 


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Source of original article: International Organization for Migration (
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