IOM Supports 125 Afghan Nationals in their Voluntary Return from Germany

Date Published: 
Wednesday, February 24, 2016

On February 24th, 125 Afghan nationals departed voluntarily from Germany to Kabul thanks to Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) assistance from the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The group consisted of 107 male and 18 female including ten children who travelled with their family members (13 families in total). They all arrived safely in Kabul, where they have been welcomed by IOM staff. The entire operation, from departure in Frankfurt until arrival in Kabul, occurred very smoothly.

IOM Afghanistan coordinated with the Afghan government and authorities at Kabul Airport to plan the flight arrival and reception. The returnees benefit from return and reception assistance back home, which may include temporary accommodation and onward transportation to their final destinations.

The AVRR programme is run by IOM in Afghanistan since 2003 in close collaboration with a wide network of partners. Return and reception assistance is key to ensure means for safe, dignified and humane management of returning migrants.  “The AVR assistance is a positive alternative to other types of return, or to remaining in the country of destination with limited possibilities of participation in the host society. It offers migrants the opportunity to re-think their future and make an informed choice prior to return”, says IOM Chief of Mission/Special Envoy for Afghanistan Mr. Laurence Hart.

The assisted voluntary returns from Germany to Afghanistan significantly increased in 2015.

92 persons voluntarily returned in 2014 while 304 voluntary retunes were recorded in 2015 and this figure outlines almost 70 % increase compared to 2014. Most of them have returned to Kabul and other main destinations across the country.

The Afghan Minister of Refugees and Repatriation Mr. Said Hussain Alemi Balkhi highlighted: “The Afghan government welcomes any voluntary returns of its nationals back to Afghanistan from foreign countries and will explore options to assist them as much as possible.”

Applications for assisted voluntary return from Germany to Afghanistan have significantly increased during the last week, with the Afghan Embassy in Germany citing as many as 1,000 Afghan migrants in Germany urgently wishing to return to Afghanistan voluntarily.

Mrs. Argentina Szabados, Chief of Mission for Germany said: “The main reasons invoked by the returnees to go back to Afghanistan are the limitations they perceive in their long-term opportunities in Germany, including the limited possibilities for family reunification.”

"We thank the support of IOM for arranging our travel back home,” one returning migrant told IOM staff after landing in Kabul. “I feel so happy to be back at home, and want to make the best of what we have here in our country."

For further information, please contact IOM Afghanistan: Mr. Nasir Ahmad HAIDARZAI, Email: nhaidarzai@iom.int, Tel: +93(0)794 100 542 or IOM Germany: Mrs. Marian Benbow Pfisterer, Email: mbenbow@iom.int, Tel:  +49 911 4300 120