, GENEVA, Oct 3 – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched an appeal Tuesday for $800,000 (620,000 euros) to help desperate African migrants, including unaccompanied children, return home from Morocco.
Most of the migrants currently in Morocco traveled from Cameroon, Nigeria, Senegal and Ivory Coast in the hope of finding a way into Spain, for them Europe’s southern gateway.
But as it has become increasingly difficult to make the crossing, more and more people have found themselves stuck in Morocco, without a job or a home.
“Among the migrants are unaccompanied minors, pregnant women, women with children and others suffering from chronic illnesses who want to go home at any price,” said Anke Strauss, head of the IOM mission on Morocco.
An IOM statement stressed that the money would fund an entirely voluntary process, flying people home on planes chartered by the Moroccan government.
The IOM funds would be used as seed money for those who chose to return home, to help them start up businesses or pay for professional training once back in their own country.
Since 2005, the IOM has helped around 3,500 vulnerable migrants in Morocco thanks to funding from Belgium and Switzerland.