Somaliland: Voluntary Assisted Return to Somaliland


By: Elizabeth M. Koikai reporting from Norway

IOM is a leading International organization working with migrants and governments to provide humane responses to migration challenges. It was established in Oslo in 2002 with a mission to worked with it’s partners, both governmental and non-governmental organizations, in implementing programmes to fulfill its mandate.

In the beginning of May 2012 the International Organization for Migration (IOM) started to offer Somaliland citizens assistance to return to their country and reintegrate in the Somaliland community.

Through the Voluntary Assisted Return Programme (VARP), IOM assists asylum seekers with or without a residence permit and other irregular migrants in Norway who wish to return to their home countries voluntarily. The Programme provides a return option, which is safely organized and dignified.

Persons to be assisted must have a background in Somaliland. This means that individuals will not be granted participation in the program if they are from Puntland or southern and central Somalia.

International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Oslo will individually give persons information and advice, help to obtain travel documents, tickets and transit visas as well as help in organizing the trip and assistance in transit. Somaliland citizens living in Norway without documents or if asylum application for stay in Norway has been rejected and wish to return home are required to register and apply. All the services provided are free of charge for all applicants.

Upon arrival in Somaliland persons will receive 30,000 Norwegian kroner in cash, this will be paid in three installments by IOM Hargeisa. Individuals will receive the first payment on arrival. They will also be able to apply for housing benefit for a while, if need be.

IOM Hargeisa offers personalized information and guidance on arrival of persons. The organization which collaborates with other independent organizations throughout Somaliland, will assist with follow-up.

Original Post by African Press International