By Vafa Ismayilova
IOM (International Organization for Migration) Azerbaijan is continuing its efforts to implement reintegration assistance to returnees – the Azerbaijani citizens who voluntarily returned to the country of origin under the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) projects, IOM Azerbaijan reported on its website on June 22.
Some 97 migrants returned to Azerbaijan during April-May 2021: Germany (88), the Czech Republic (3), Spain (3), Netherlands (2), and Austria (1).
In the specified period, 193 returnees who returned were received reintegration assistance, and 65 returnees received counseling sessions within AVRR projects.
IOM Azerbaijan provided cash assistance to 99 returnees, and 94 returnees received in-kind assistance.
The classification of in-kind assistance: 21 returnees were assisted with housing, 16 returnees were assisted with the startup of small business, 55 returnees received material assistance (home appliance and basic furniture), 1 returnee received medical support, and 1 returnee assisted with education.
IOM Azerbaijan continues providing its assistance activities for the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Poland, Finland, Turkey, and Latvia.
The main part of reintegration assistance provided by IOM Azerbaijan is assistance to returnees with the establishment of income-generating activities such as small-farming (sheep, cattle breeding), businesses in the service sector (taxi), trade, and small-scale production that aims to benefit the returnees and their families. This assistance is intended to ensure the sustainability of returns, i.e., to help individuals who return voluntarily to their countries of origin in re-establishing themselves as part of the Azerbaijan society.
In addition, returnees are also assisted in establishing micro-business activity, housing, material assistance, covering medical needs, and attending language courses within the IOM's AVRR projects.
IOM’s presence in Azerbaijan dates back to 1996 with the establishment of the IOM Baku office in January. In August 2006, IOM's sub-office in the country was opened in Mingachevir. The sub-office in the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic operated from 1998 to 2011. On 8 December 1999, the Agreement establishing the legal basis for further cooperation between IOM and the Republic of Azerbaijan in handling migration issues was signed. Following the Agreement's ratification by the Azerbaijani parliament on 8 February 2000, the Council of IOM, at its 81st Session in Geneva, accepted Azerbaijan as an IOM Member State on 7 June 2001.
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