Government budgets €40m for programme amid huge backlog in asylum claims
The German government has budgeted more than €40 million (£35 million) to pay asylum seekers to voluntarily return to their home countries.
Migrants will be offered financial incentives of up to €1,200 (£1,000) each to leave Germany and withdraw their application for protection, with a lower amount of €800 (£700) if they choose to depart after being refused asylum.
The German interior ministry is running the “StarthilfePlus” programme with the UN’s International Organisation of Migration (IOM), mirroring similar initiatives run in other European countries since the start of the refugee crisis.
It is open to “destitute” citizens of some of the world’s top refugee producing countries, including Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq and Nigeria, while Russians, Turks, Ukrainians and other nationalities will be excluded from support after the programme’s “transitional stage”.