Migrant repatriation scheme hits funding snag

A few days after the Citizens? Protection Ministry heralded the second wave of a repatriation scheme aimed at returning thousands of migrants to their homelands, the Greek office of the International Office for Migration (IOM), which is managing the repatriation program, says it has yet to receive funding for the first phase.

The second phase of the program has been budgeted at 800,00 euros. But, the director of the IOM?s Athens office, Daniel Esdras, told Kathimerini that his office has yet to receive the funding for the first phase of the program, launched early last year, due to changes in the way the state disburses money. Esdras said his office had received more than 1,500 applications from migrants wanting to return home. ?Many people want to go home but they don?t have the means to do it,? Esdras said. The cost of returning one migrant home is around 1,300 euros.

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