The International Organisation for Migration on Thursday welcomed the 'steady stream' of migrant relocations from Malta this year.
In a statement, it said the relocation of 81 asylum seekers to Germany on Wednesday was the fourth relocation flight organised to Germany this year. In addition, last month a further 89 people were relocated from Malta to France through the same EU Commission-financed project.
"Even though COVID-19 has presented unprecedented challenges to this project, with airport closures, travel restrictions and increasing rate of local infections, there has been a steady stream of relocations from Malta throughout 2020 to the EU member states who expressed solidarity with Malta, in line with the 2019 Malta Declaration and the relocation exercises coordinated by the European Commission," the IOM said.
In order to ensure safety of all involved in the relocation process, pre-migration health assessment including COVID 19 testing, is held for all asylum seekers departing Malta.
Relocations of groups including a substantial number of single mothers and young children is also planned for the coming weeks.
The IOM said the new EU Pact on Migration and Asylum provides a unique opportunity for the EU to move beyond one-off relocation exercises and establish more predictable arrangements for relocation, for longer-term solidarity between member states.
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