Country Specific Approach Afghanistan
The summer of 2015 has markedly influenced the European migration context with 200.000 Afghan asylum seekers in Europe. In Belgium, the number of Afghani asylum seekers quadrupled from 2014 to 2015. While we are only witnessing a slight increase of Afghani returnees in 2016, IOM is anticipating an eventual increase in the number of Afghans returning in the coming years, as these new arrivals begin to complete asylum processing procedures.
As a result, IOM in collaboration with Fedasil, developed a country specific project for Afghanistan offering a tailored reintegration assistance to the beneficiaries returning to their home country with an effort to assist these migrants in finding durable solutions for reintegration. This assistance includes temporary accommodation provided in Kabul, using shelters to facilitate an easy transition to a more sustainable home. In case migrants have certain health concerns, they can also benefit from medical follow-up in addition to the traditional AVRR assistance with cash grant, psycho-social follow up and an in-kind reintegration package.
In Afghanistan, local consultants will also provide business training. More information and guidance with regards to job placement, educational and vocational training will also be provided by the different IOM offices.
From a longer term perspective, this project will have a beneficial influence to the development of local communities. IOM, together with its local NGO partners, intends to do so by setting out synergies between beneficiaries and innovative community level initiatives.
In the year of 2016, more than 150 Afghan asylum seekers opted for voluntary return, mainly referred by reception structures organized by Fedasil and their reception partners. IOM organized interactive information sessions on AVRR in the Belgian reception structures with involvement of IOM Afghanistan expert Masood Ahmadi. In total 453 Afghans participated actively. It allowed IOM and its partners to identify and understand better challenges and difficulties of Afghani migrants.
The project increased the structural support to the IOM office In Afghanistan to deal with return migration and 25 returnees participated in 4 different Micro Business training centers to increase the impact of their reintegration projects and the sustainability of the return. Especially the interaction with other returnees to talk about the challenges they face, returning back from Europe in difficult circumstances, has been extremely appreciated.
* Source: CGVS/CGRA - Asylum Seekers from Afghanistan in Belgium (2014: 2331 Asylum Seekers) – (2015: 8308 Asylum Seekers).