The International Organization for Migration (IOM) said it has returned 154 migrants from Libya to their countries of origin.
“Last week, 154 Bangladeshi migrants returned home through VHR (the Voluntary Humanitarian Return) charter flight from Benghazi Benina airport” located in eastern Libya, the IOM said.
“Aboard the flight were also seven Indian migrants whom the IOM assisted with the same charter to reach New Delhi,” it added.
The flight was made possible with the support of the European Union Emergency Trust Fund, and close coordination with the embassies of Bangladesh and India in Tripoli, the IOM said.
The VHR program, run by the IOM, arranges the return of illegal immigrants stranded in Libya to their homeland.
The IOM said that more than 4,800 stranded migrants in Libya are registered with the program for returning to their countries of origin amid COVID-19 restrictions.
The state of insecurity and chaos created by the ouster and killing of Libya’s leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 has made the country a preferred point of departure for migrants hoping to cross the Mediterranean towards Europe.
According to the IOM, more than 10,000 migrants have been rescued and returned to Libya so far in 2020.