• Germany's news in English
 
jobs_header_v3
Germany paying refugees cash to head back home
Photo: DPA

Germany paying refugees cash to head back home

AFP/The Local · 25 Feb 2016, 12:22

Published: 25 Feb 2016 07:56 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Feb 2016 12:22 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Most money is paid out by the REAG/GARP return programme, described as a "humanitarian aid programme" by the government, which is run in co-operation with the IOM.

Even people with open asylum applications can apply, Spiegel Online reported on Thursday - not just those whose applications have been refused.

Officials hope that the small extra push will convince those with little chance of receiving asylum or who were already thinking of returning to go.

Simply paying travel costs to voluntary leavers can free up space in refugee homes and be less expensive than forced deportation procedures.

The amount paid out – or whether anything is paid at all – depends on a migrant's country of origin.

REAG/GARP can cover train, bus or air tickets or pay out up to €250 for someone travelling home by car.

Returnees also get €200 – or €100 for children – to cover sundry travel costs.

Meanwhile, there is “starting aid” available for any migrants not from the western Balkan nations. Returners from Afghanistan, Iraq, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Nigeria, Pakistan and Ghana can receive up to €500.

In a lower category, “Group 2” - which includes Syria - aid of up to €300 is available.

Funding for REAG/GARP comes from Germany's federal and state governments and is expected to reach €10.1 million in 2016 budget plans.

More than 37,000 people took up the offer in 2015.

Afghan migrants 'voluntarily' head home from Germany

A group of 135 Afghan migrants landed back in Kabul from Germany on Wednesday after volunteering to return home due to a lack of prospects in Europe, officials said.

The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) arranged the transport and reception of the group, which included 107 males and 18 females including ten children.

It did not say how the Afghans reached Germany or how much time they had spent there.

Applications for assisted voluntary returns from Germany to Afghanistan have significantly increased over the last week, officials say.

The Afghan Embassy in Germany said there were as many as 1,000 Afghan migrants in Germany urgently wishing to return voluntarily to Afghanistan.

"The main reasons invoked by the returnees to go back ... are the limitations they perceive in their long-term opportunities in Germany," said IOM chief in Germany Argentina Szabados.

This included "the limited possibilities for family reunification," he added in a statement.

The IOM has run the Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programme in Afghanistan since 2003. The number of assisted returns from Germany rose from 92 in 2014 to 304 in 2015.

"The Afghan government welcomes any voluntary returns of its nationals .. from foreign countries," Said Hussain Alemi Balkhi, Afghan minister of refugees and repatriation.

The 28-nation European Union has since last year been struggling to cope with a massive influx of migrants, the biggest wave of migration since World War II, fuelled by the war in Syria and Iraq.

German media reported on Thursday that the country could be dealing with 3.6 million new arrivals within its borders by 2020.

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit


Today's headlines
Teen's murder-rape arrest reignites refugee debate
Flowers and candles set up in Freiburg to honour the student found dead. Photo: DPA.

The German government pleaded for calm on Monday after the arrest of a teenage Afghan asylum seeker for the alleged rape and murder of a German student triggered fresh criticism of the country's liberal refugee policy.

China criticizes US for blocking sale of German firm
Aixtron's headquarter in Herzogenrath in North Rhine-Westphalia. Photo: DPA

The US is reportedly worried that China could use the firm's technology in its nuclear programme.

Germany should deport sick refugees: Merkel party mate
Rejected asylum seekers in Leipzig being taken to the airport. Photo: DPA.

A top member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative CDU party on Monday defended his proposal for Germany to deport sick refugees after receiving harsh criticism.

Rail worker jailed over train crash that killed 12
Rescue workers at the scene of the crash. Photo: DPA

A German rail dispatcher who admitted that his negligence caused a train crash that killed 12 people has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison.

Why Germany is worried by Italy's referendum result
Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned after a crushing referendum defeat on Sunday. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel lost a key ally on Sunday night.

These are Berlin's seven most exquisite restaurants
Two-star chef Tim Raue. Photo: DPA.

The capital city still hasn't managed to snag three stars in the new 2017 Michelin guide released on Thursday, but it still boasts seven two-star eateries. Here's a look at what they have to offer.

Austrian vote a 'good omen for Europe': German minister
Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Photo: DPA.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Sunday said that the far-right defeat in Austria's presidential election was "a good omen" for Europe.

VW bosses forced to pay back private jet costs

Bosses at troubled German auto giant Volkswagen have been forced to pay the company back millions of euros for flights on its private jets, the Bild am Sonntag newspaper reported Sunday.

Germany arrests Marxist militant 'leader'
Photo: Julian Stratenschulte / DPA / AFP file picture

A radical Marxist suspected of belonging to a left-wing extremist group accused of terrorism by Turkey has been arrested in Germany, judicial sources said on Saturday.

Afghan teen arrested over German murder-rape
Photo: Hendrik Schmidt / DPA / AFP file picture

A teenage Afghan asylum seeker has been arrested on suspicion of the rape and murder of a 19-year-old female student in Germany, police and prosecutors said Saturday.

Lifestyle
10 German Christmas cookies you have to bake this winter
Sponsored Article
The key to launching your international career
Lifestyle
Our 10-step guide for doing Christmas just like a German
National
Here's why so many Germans vote for the far-right AfD
National
7 events in Germany that'll make December unforgettable
Lifestyle
7 frosty German sayings to make you a winter wordsmith
National
This is how unequal German society has become
National
Six things you should know about the Lufthansa strike
National
9 ways living in Germany will make you a better person
National
These 10 German Christmas markets cannot be missed
Features
8 German words that unlock amazing secrets in English
Culture
10 German words with simply hilarious literal translations
Lifestyle
7 things Germans do that make foreigners feel awkward
International
Why Donald Trump's grandad was booted out of Germany
National
This is what is really inside your Döner kebab
National
Rejoice! Christmas markets start opening across Germany
Education
These German universities are best at landing you a job
Travel
Why Heidelberg is Germany's most inspiring city
Lifestyle
This soppy German Christmas ad will bring you to tears
National
Here's where Germans speak the best (and worst) English
Culture
10 German books you have to read before you die
Culture
U-Bahn train found filled with autumn foliage in Berlin
Features
Seven German words that unlock amazing secrets about English
Travel
Germany's ten most beautiful towns you've never visited
6,552
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd