Malawi reintegrates 158 returnees repatriated from South Africa

Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare has disclosed that it has managed to successfully reintegrate 158 out of 335 returnees that were repatriated from South Africa last year.

Nkomo: MAny migrants are successfully integrating back in communities.

Speaking in Salima on Friday on the side-lines of a sensitization meeting for the District Executive Committee on the pilot Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) program, Chief Social Welfare Officer in the Ministry of Gender, Macleod Mphande said the program is making great impact as integrated migrants are settling down.

“We have been assisting migrants who voluntarily choose to return home, but the difference between AVRR is that it has an element of supporting the migrants to reintegrate in their communities and start economic activities that support their lives,” said Mphande.

Mphande said beneficiaries of the program receive counselling and material support to put up their own economic activities.

“We are piloting the project in six districts of Mangochi, Salima, Nkhota-kota, Mzimba, Dedza and Chiradzulo,” said Mphande.

In another interview, IOM head in Malawi, Mpilo Nkomo said the pilot project is showing a lot of success as many migrants are successfully integrating back in communities.

“The program is not about rewarding the migrants for migrating but rather helping them to understand that they can still do better if they stay within their communities, so the support that we give for the integration process targets the community,” said Nkomo.

Nkomo further said that the project is also doing a lot of sensitization in the target communities to make sure that people understand challenges with migration and the opportunities that exist in the country.

IOM and the UN Migration Agency, in partnership with the European Delegation to Malawi   supports the Action on Voluntary Return and Sustainable Community-Based Reintegration.

According to Nkomo the Pilot Action focuses on addressing the challenges of irregular migration flows in the Southern Africa region, by enhancing the national structures and capacities of governments and stakeholders to facilitate dignified voluntary returns and sustainable reintegration processes.

It will also enhance the sustainability of returnees’ economic, social and psychosocial reintegration through tailored individual and community level assistance.

The project is funded by the European Union.

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