The International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Libya has helped 80,000 immigrants return home voluntarily and safely since 2015 under its Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) program which has been a critical lifeline for stranded immigrants from 49 different countries across Africa and Asia, offering them a safe and dignified way to return home and rebuild their lives.

The immigrants who benefited from VHR included 2,733 victims of trafficking, 843 unaccompanied or separated children and 5,144 migrants with medical needs. Returning immigrants receive post-arrival reception assistance in the countries of return as well as comprehensive reintegration support through individual reintegration assistance packages, including economic, social, and psychosocial support.

Through VHR assistance in December 2023, IOM returned to Bangladesh 38 immigrants, who were affected by Storm Daniel in eastern Libya, especially in Derna. They had been displaced from community houses in Derna, Shahat and Albayda, and received crucial medical care and protection assistance until departure.

"IOM Libya’s staff work around the clock to assist vulnerable migrants in Libya that are in need of urgent protection assistance” said Tauhid Pasha, IOM Libya's Acting Chief of Mission, adding: "Enabling migrants to make informed choices and ensuring their right to return home is advocated for, the VHR programme offers a glimmer of hope in the face of extreme adversity”.

The Voluntary Humanitarian Return Programme provides lifesaving, safe, dignified, and expedited return assistance to migrants in the context of emergency operations with complex security and operational contexts. The programme is funded in Libya by the European Union as well as the Governments of Italy and Switzerland.