ERA Project: High Demand for In Kind Reintegration Assistance
Through the Enhanced Reintegration Support for ex- asylum seekers (ERA) project IOM assisted 526 ex-asylum seekers with their return and reintegration. The one year project ended in June 2015.
Initially the ERA project was set up to provide in-kind reintegration assistance to 425 entitled ex-asylum seekers; both families, single migrants and unaccompanied minor children (UMC’s). Since many more people applied, a budget revision made possible that in the end a total of 526 ex-asylum seekers received assistance. 51% returned with partner and/or children; 49% returned on his/her own.
The majority of the beneficiaries returned to Mongolia, Iraq, Armenia, Egypt or Ukraine.
In total the 526 migrants returned to the following 53 countries:
The entitled migrants were counselled by IOM in the Netherlands about how the diverse possibilities to use the in-kind reintegration assistance: to set up a (micro)business, investing in an existing (micro)business, on education and if necessary on housing.
After return, the migrant developed their reintegration plan with IOM officers in their country of origin. If needed, the reintegration plan was adjusted to the multiple realities of daily life and the wishes of the migrant. IOM in the country of origin coordinated payments to local suppliers for goods and services based on the reintegration plan.
The below chart shows the variety of ways in which the in-kind grant was spent. The most popular reintegration activity was setting up a (micro)business.
One of the migrants that set up his owns business, was a man who returned to Pakistan.
Together with his IOM counselor in the Netherlands he drafted a reintegration plan before his departure. He was not convinced that he would actually receive assistance from IOM in Pakistan. Only after the Terms of Reference was signed and the flight details were shared, he dared to believe he would indeed receive the agreed assistance.
In the end he decided to sell LPG gas in his home town, an activity he did before he came to Europe. Therefore he signed a contract with the state oil company. During the first monitoring, he shared with the IOM officer that he was satisfied about the way his business was operating. He employs two people and his income is steadily increasing. This photo was taken in his shop during the monitoring by an IOM officer.