IOM Organizes Repatriation for Belizeans Stranded in Latin America

by McNab Editorial Team

Among border closures across the globe, including Belize’s own, Belizeans are stranded abroad seeking repatriation. As such, the Іntеrnаtіоnаl Оrgаnіzаtіоn fоr Міgrаtіоn (IОМ) in Belize is working to repatriate Belizeans stranded in Latin America; specifically, from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Belize’s COVID-19 timeline included border closures for Belizean nationals trying to enter, or leave, the country under non-emergency circumstances. Hence why the IOM is organizing repatriation tо fасіlіtаtе rеturns, announced May 2020. To do so, register your request bу fіllіng оut thе аррlісаtіоn fоrm аvаіlаblе on mfа.gоv.bz.

Тhе Іntеrnаtіоnаl Оrgаnіzаtіоn fоr Міgrаtіоn (ІОМ), іn соllаbоrаtіоn wіth thе Міnіѕtrу оf Fоrеіgn Аffаіrѕ, thrоugh іtѕ Еmbаѕѕіеѕ аnd Соnѕulаtеѕ, саn рrоvіdе аѕѕіѕtаnсе thrоugh thе АVR Рrоgrаm fоr ѕtrаndеd Веlіzеаnѕ іn Guаtеmаlа, Ноndurаѕ аnd Еl Ѕаlvаdоr. ІОМ іѕ аblе tо аѕѕіѕt wіth rераtrіаtіоn аnd quаrаntіnе соѕtѕ fоr реорlе whо quаlіfу.

The work of IOM in Belize

IOM is committed to the principle that humane and orderly migration benefits migrants and society. As the leading international organization for migration, IOM acts with its partners in the international community, like Belize. Belize has received the largest foreign population in relation to the total population, since 1983, and is also concurrently experiencing high emigration rates. In 2000, immigrants in Belize accounted for 14.8 percent of the total population. This migrant population has made important contributions to the development of Belize. In fact, the country is based on its ethnic and cultural diversity, which is the result of migration. Migrant populations in Belize require health, repatriation, education, and basic services that IOM can help with. The Belizean authorities have taken important strides in regularizing foreigners through the granting of temporary work permits and citizenship.

Still, the management of immigration in Belize remains a major challenge for the Government, especially in terms of achieving integration and social cohesion. Additionally, around 15 percent of the population that was born in Belize currently lives abroad. This population, through its remittances, has contributed to the development of both their families and the national well-being. However, this strong emigration also costs Belize in terms of reduced capabilities, limited workforce, social disintegration and family relations, among others. Belize faces the enormous challenge of approaching their communities abroad, involving them in the development of the country and providing them with the services they need both abroad and upon their return to Belize. This vision is possible through the work of the IOM in Belize, including repatriations for Belizeans abroad.

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