IOM brings relief to Malawians stranded in South Africa: Offers voluntary return funding

Malawians living a miserable life in South Africa can now breathe a sigh of relief as Organization for Migration (IOM), a  UN agency, has introduced a European Union funded project called Pilot Action on Voluntary Return and Sustainable Community – Based Reintegration.

From Left: Maria Jose Torres, UN Resident Coordinator;  Marchel Gerrmann, Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Malawi;  Cecelia Chazama  Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security; Thenjiwe Mtintso, South African Ambassador; Charles A. Kwenin, IOM Regional Director for Southern Africa. Photo: EU Delegation to Malawi

The project whose objective is to reduce migration along the Southern Africa routes as it will contribute to the development of sustainable voluntary return and community – based  reintegration approaches, will help change people’s minds in travelling to South Africa for greener pastures.

Speaking in Balaka when he presented the project to the district executive committee (DEC) Shupikayi Nyirenda from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, said the project will be implemented in four districts in the country.

“The pilot action on voluntary return and sustainable community – based reintegration project will be piloted in four districts namely, Balaka, Mzimba, Machinga and Mangochi as these are the districts with the highest migration figures to South Africa,” she said.

“As a way of procedure for voluntary return and reintegration, IOM will ensure effective coordination of return and reintegration process with the national partners. Migrants in need of return assistance will be referred to IOM by government institutions, diaspora and migrant communities,” Nyirenda added.

Nyirenda said once the migrants have been handed over to IOM, they would conduct an assessment on their eligibility to benefit from the return assistance and subsequent repatriation to Malawi.

“Pre-departure assistance which includes counselling, assessment of migrant’s conditions and level of support required will be part of the activities. We will also conduct family tracing and discuss reintegration assistance available as well as travel preparations,” Nyirenda said.

Speaking in an interview after the meeting, Chairperson of the Technical Working Group Dr. Hudson Mankhwala said once the immigrants have reintegrated, there would be follow ups and assistance in form of money and materials.

“We are targeting 500 people but this is not the maximum as we may reach out to more, at least by February 2019. We will also target the families in Malawi to avoid more people going to South Africa,” he said.

Meanwhile, Balaka DEC has advised the project to take precautionary measures to ensure only the needy benefit from the project.

Apart from Malawi, the Project will also be implemented in Zambia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

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3 years ago

maNyasa palibe chikunvekapotu apa angoti eeh tipanga ooh titere ayi we will target 500 individuals blah blah komanso tilowera Ku Zambia moshiko zim

the citizen!!!!!
the citizen!!!!!
3 years ago

the solution to all these problems is creation of employment…. if there were jobs opportunities back home…many people would have chosen to live and work in malawi.
imagine these days in the family you find that there are parents and and four grown up children who are ready to start their own families but non is working?
how do you expect them to support themselves?
solution: leave malawi and go to south africa.

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