By: Momodou Jarju
The Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment has informed the National Assembly that over eight thousand migrant returnees have been assisted upon their arrival in the country.
Lamin Jobe said his ministry in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration through the European Union supported- Initiative for Migration Protection and Reintegration executed the initiative.
The minister was answering to a question raised by the national assembly member for Lower Nuimi Momodou S Ceesay who inquired about how many returnees has his ministry trained so far.
Minister Jobe said the initiative extended support to 4,103 returnees with reception assistance (settlement), 2,255 returnees with reintegration assistance and 2,115 returnees with micro business.
He further said they have “Sensitized over 6,600 people in 22 communities through outreach awareness raising campaign on illegal migration, human trafficking and related risks.”
Jobe said last month the project was expected to graduate beneficiaries from its technical and vocational trainings and will be supported with start-up packages in cash and in kind.
The issue of migrant returnees and integration has been a much-talk-about issue recently brewing heated debate at some quarters with many believing that only creating jobs for the youth is the solution.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Gambia Youth Chamber of Commerce, GYCC, hinted in an exclusive interview that migrant returnees and potential migrants need enhanced skills and decent jobs to solve the migrant crisis and the recent repatriation saga in the country.
Alagie Jarju, the Program Manager of National Youth Council (NYC), said if the youth get employment and are assured of a decent livelihood, they wouldn’t risk taking the “back way” journey.
Jarju said youth don’t get to Europe to see the skyscrapers but their wishes are to earn a living and take care of their families back home.
On Thursday March 7, 2019, an anti-deportation protest held at Westfield was organized by concerned Gambians who expressed their dissatisfaction regarding the mass deportation of Gambians and urged President Barrow’s government to provide answers as to who stroked the deal especially with German government. Thirty five Gambians have been deported from Germany so far.