Global migration, which had decreased by almost 27 percent during the Covid-19 pandemic, has begun to rebound to pre-pandemic levels, according to a recent report by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
In 2021, the IOM assisted 49,795 migrants to return to their countries of origin, representing an increase of 18 percent from the previous year, the UN migration agency's "Return and Reintegration Key Highlights 2021," published Thursday, said.
Yitna Getachew, head of the agency's Protection Division, said noteworthy in the report is the continued trend of increasing returns from transit countries in other host regions outside Europe.
In 2021, Niger was the largest beneficiary of the IOM's efforts to assist in dignified returns, with the UN agency helping 10,573 head home. Niger's beneficiaries dramatically overshadow any nation in Europe. However, Europe's accumulated beneficiaries still outnumber Niger.
The bedrock of assisted voluntary return programmes are reintegration schemes, which provide opportunities to returnees and promote sustainable development, the IOM said.
In 2021, the IOM offices in 121 countries supported 113,331 reintegration activities at the individual, community, and structural levels.
Overall, the top three countries, including both host and countries of origin, that provided reintegration support in 2021 were Germany, Nigeria and Guinea.
The support consisted mainly of social and economic assistance, as well as reintegration counselling.
The aims of these multi-dimensional schemes are to ensure a level of economic self-sufficiency, social stability and psychological well-being to make further migration a choice rather than a necessity.