The Greek Minister of Public order and Citizen Protection, Nikos Dendias, jointly with the British Ambassador, John Kittmer, announced the launch of a 2 million pound assistance program for the voluntary return and reintegration of undocumented migrants to their countries of origin.
The program will be implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in cooperation with the Greek Ministry of Public order and funded by the British government. The project aims to assist 1,500 illegal migrants to return voluntarily to their countries of origin, such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Bangladesh, Morocco, Egypt, India, Nigeria and Sudan.
The British Ambassador, John Kittmer, stated that funding for this program emphasizes the UK’s longstanding position that EU migratory pressures should be addressed through practical cooperation to build capacity in the Member States’ national asylum and migration systems. In his opening speech, Mr. Kittmer said: “The British Government is pleased to be supporting the IOM by funding this project. Our assessment is that the UK remains a primary final destination country for many of the irregular migrants in Greece and British funding for this program is ultimately about reducing illegal migration to the UK. This is why we are co-operating with the Greek Government as it faces the continuing challenge of illegal migration.”
On behalf of Greece, the Minister Nikos Dendias said: “By funding another project in Greece, to provide return assistance to 1,500 third country nationals and reintegration assistance to 75 returning migrants; this time for 24 months and 2 million pounds, the UK Home Office and the Foreign & Common Wealth Office have demonstrated once again the UK Government’s ongoing commitment to support the Government of Greece’s efforts to manage migration more effectively and at the same time to provide migrants with safe and dignified alternatives to return home.