The International Organization for Migration Office in Cyprus organised a press conference to launch the second phase of the assisted voluntary returns and reintegration programme for third-country nationals

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) Office in Cyprus, organised on Thursday, 9th March, a press conference within the framework of the programme ‘’Cyprus Information and Support Centre for Voluntary Returns’’ which is implemented for a second consecutive year. The press conference, which took place at the premises of the Organization, marks the continuation of the programme and aimed at informing the media and consequently all relevant actors and the general public about the targets of the programme and results achieved in 2016.

In her address, the Head of the International Organization for Migration Office in Cyprus, Ms Natasa Xenophontos Koudouna, referred to the successful implementation of the assisted voluntary returns programme in 2016. Specifically, the Head of the Office, mentioned that 224 migrants were provided information, 188 people received migrant assistance, including families, unaccompanied minors, victims of trafficking and beneficiaries with health needs, and 84 beneficiaries safely returned to countries of origin such as India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines.

In his address, the Head of the European Funds Unit, Mr Constantinos Kyprianou, said that the project ‘’Cyprus Information and Support Centre for Voluntary Returns’’ has been set as one of the highest priorities of the national programme. He also referred to the co-operation between the Unit and IOM since the Organization’s extensive experience on safe and regular migration, that respects human rights, contributes to the strengthening and improvement of return procedures of the Republic of Cyprus.

The project ‘’Cyprus Information and Support Centre for Voluntary Returns’’ is co-funded by 90% through the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and by 10% by the Republic of Cyprus.