Euan McDOUGALL, Project Manager of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has said that 3,484 Gambian returnees are assisted by his organization since January 2017.

Mr Euan made these revelations at the EU–IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration forum held at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi.

“The IOM has assisted 3,484 Gambian returnees since January 2017,” Euan IOM Project Manager said.

The 3 year project which is part of a regional initiative to address 14 Sahel countries including The Gambia, Lake Chad region as well as Libya. It proposes to strengthen migration governance for sustainable reintegration of returning migrants in The Gambia.

“The project is funded by the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF) for a total of €3.9 Million,” he added.

The IOM Project Manager has added that most of the Gambian returnees are male with 98 percent compared to their female counterparts.

The Project Manager of The Gambia Youth Empowerment Project (YEP), Raimund Moser also spoke about the initiatives made since last year.

The YEP Project is reportedly focused on Agribusiness, Tourism and ICT amongst others. It is a 4 year project with budget of €11 Million Euros.

“We are targeting 2000 new jobs and also 2000 improved jobs,” Raimund said.

According to the project manager 1, 531 youths were trained while 425 of them were given support in small and medium enterprises. He added that 57, 841 youths were reached with an estimate of 25 implementing partners.

Questions were asked as to whether the youth were consulted before making interventions. It was disclosed that some of the youth never showed interest in certain intervention areas.

Meanwhile, the project manager said there is communication before reintegration and monitoring as well.