UN Agency Says 10,000 Refugees Left Greece Voluntarily From June 2016



The International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN migration agency, is reporting that more than 10,000 migrants left voluntarily from Greece between June 2016 and April this year.

Among the returnees, almost 8,380 were men and 2,125 were women. The IOM says special assistance was provided to 77 unaccompanied migrant children, helping them to reunite with their families.

The voluntary returns saw people go back to their homes in 84 countries and territories over a 20-month period through a program funded by the EU and Greece.

Five countries make up more than 80 percent of the returnees: Pakistan (3,105), Iraq (1,980), Afghanistan (1,096), Georgia (1,044) and Algeria (986).

Eligible migrants are also entitled to medical assistance, education grants, temporary accommodation, vocational assistance, material assistance and job placement according to their needs.

Meanwhile, residents of Aegean islands where overcrowded refugee camps are struggling to cope, have protested against Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

The island of Lesvos has seen a spike on trouble at refugee camps, attacks on migrants by right-wing extremists and sit-ins by refugees in the center of the island’s capital, Mytilene.