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The German returnees programme "Returning to New Opportunities"

2030 Agenda migration-relevant and related target Labels: 
Subgoal 10.7 on safe, orderly and regular migration
Targets that could benefit from the potential of migration and migrants
GCM Thematic Cluster Areas: 
International cooperation and governance of migration
Return and Reintegration, Social Cohesion and Integration

The German returnees programme "Returning to New Opportunities"

The German government has launched a new initiative entitled “Returning to New Opportunities”, which aims at supporting people returning to their countries of origin to reintegrate by providing economic opportunities and the chance of a new start. An additional amount of 150 million euros was committed for the program. Currently, the following countries are part of it: Albania, Serbia, Kosovo, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The final objective of the program is that people have decent conditions for returning to their countries of origin. This is vital to their successful reintegration. People will not be left simply to manage on their own when they return.

The returnees program works in three phases:

1. Information and advice for returnees while in Germany

Strengthening of existing pre-departure counselling services for returnees so as to provide more targeted information on the reintegration schemes offered by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and other organizations in the countries of origin. As of July 2017, an overview is available of the schemes offered by the BMZ on the website www.build-your-future.net. The website is starting out by giving information on reintegration schemes in Albania, Serbia, Kosovo and Tunisia. More countries will follow.

2. Initial point of contact, matching and advice in the countries

Migration counselling centres provide an initial point of contact for returnees, pointing them to the reintegration schemes available in the country concerned. A mapping exercise is currently being conducted of all projects implemented under German development cooperation, by other donors and through local structures.

There are already migration counselling centres in Serbia, Albania and Kosovo. In March, Development Minister Müller opened a migration advice centre in Tunisia. Another counselling centre will be opened in Morocco soon. Further migration counselling centres will be established in the other target countries of the returnee programme before the end of the year.

3. Education/job promotion on the ground

Expanding existing education, training and employment schemes and opening them up to returnees. Microcredit and support for start-ups will make it easier for returnees to make a new start.

  • Funding for the 26 German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (GIZ) vocational training and employment projects in the eleven countries mentioned above will be increased.
  • Soon we will begin supporting civil society organisations to implement projects to accompany the reintegration of returnees.

Throughout all three phases, Germany maintains a close cooperation with its partner countries.

For further information, please view http://www.bmz.de/en/issues/Sonderinitiative-Fluchtursachen-bekaempfen-Fluechtlinge-reintegrieren/deutsche_politik/aktionsfeld_4/index.jsp and don’t hesitate to contact Mr. Bernhard Braune, Head of Division “Return/ Reintegration”, German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development”: Bernhard.braune@bmz.bund.de.

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