Germany has launched a program for asylum-seekers that offers up to €1,200 to applicants who voluntarily decide to go back to their home countries.
The StartHilfe Plus program, initiated by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) in cooperation with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), kicked off on Wednesday, the German Interior Ministry reported, according to DPA.
Berlin plans to allocate nearly €40 million for asylum-seekers willing to take part in the project.
Under the scheme, any participant over 12 years old will receive 1200 euros after they withdraw their asylum application in Germany. Rejected asylum seekers who decide not to appeal the decision in court will be provided with 800 euros.
Families consisting of more than four people will receive an additional €500 on top of the initial amount for each member. Children under 12 will also be entitled to an increased amount.
At the moment, BAMF has to process 430,000 pending applications for asylum.
The plan was met with criticism from a charity organization of the Evangelical Church that believes the incentives put pressure on asylum-seekers and are not actually aimed at resettling migrants in their home countries, but only at getting rid of refugees from Germany.
RT reported that Germany has seen an influx of more than a million refugees and migrants over the past two years. A refugee’s trip to Germany takes 35 days and more than €7,000 on average, a BAMF survey suggests.
The deportation of asylum-seekers is an expensive process, while the StartHilfe Plus program is much cheaper and therefore more advantageous for the government.
Source: DW, Afronews, RT