The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Tuesday that it organized a voluntary return flight this week for 114 migrants hailing from Ivory Coast, Guinea and Liberia who had been stranded in Algeria amid restrictions to combat the novel coronavirus.

“The group, including one hundred and two men, six women, four boys, and two girls, had been stranded in Algeria. As their socio-economic situation became challenging due to COVID-19, they had approached IOM and their respective Embassies to request assistance to return home and to reunify with their families,” it said.

“Upon arrival to their respective countries, migrants will be received by IOM staff at the airport and benefit from assistance on arrival, including protection and medical services, before returning to their communities of origin,” it added.

The IOM said that in the coming weeks, the returnees will receive “socio-economic reintegration assistance including medical and psychosocial support, educational and vocational training, support for housing and other basic needs as well as the set-up of income generating activities to ensure a sustainable reintegration into the origin communities.”

While hailing the Algerian authorities for their support in facilitating the safe return of the migrants back home, the IOM also noted that the return assistance was made with support from the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

“This is the second voluntary return operation to be facilitated by IOM amid COVID-19 within less than two months, following the voluntary return of eighty four migrants to Mali on July 14,” it said.

The flight departed from Algiers toward Conakry, with a stopover in Monrovia and as its final destination, Abidjan, it added.

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