Press Release —Global April 29, 2022

IOM Assists Nearly 100 Third Country Nationals Fleeing War in Ukraine to Return Home

Emotional scenes earlier this week in Quito, Ecuador, as the relatives of nearly 450 people who fled the war in Ukraine were reunited with their loved ones. IOM provided assistance to returnees aboard the flights organized by the government. Photo IOM/ Ramiro Aguilar

Geneva – The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has helped almost 100 third-country nationals (TCNs) from Tunisia, Ghana and Lebanon, who fled the war in Ukraine, to voluntarily return safely to their countries of origin.

Among them were 77 Tunisians forced to flee to Romania and Poland, three Lebanese nationals who had moved to Romania and 17 Ghanaian students. Seven other students will leave for Ghana on Thursday.

Since the start of the war, more than 2.2 million people including 109,000 TCNs have fled Ukraine. IOM is collaborating with States, embassies, border authorities, and government partners to ensure TCNs are able to return home from surrounding countries. Among the Tunisians were three adults and a two-year-old child who spent five days hiding in their Kyiv, Ukraine, basement before leaving the country.

In addition to supporting the returns, IOM provided pre-departure medical assistance, food, COVID-19 testing, Personal Protective Equipment and much-needed ground transportation to the points of departure.

In some cases, IOM staff in destination countries are stepping up to help both arrivals organized by IOM and those coordinated by individual states. Earlier this week, IOM Ecuador staff in Quito provided psychosocial support, information, hygiene kits and transportation assistance to nearly 450 people who arrived on flights organized by the government.

IOM is providing TCNs – some of whom have faced discrimination and xenophobic attacks during their journeys – streamlined referral mechanisms with governmental authorities, and has created a network of Hotlines in Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Lithuania providing information to all those forced to leave Ukraine.

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For more information, please contact:

IOM Geneva: Paul Dillon, Spokesperson, Email: pdillon@iom.int, Tel:  +41796369874