60% of West Africans have no plans on leaving Antigua, UNHCR report suggests

Editorial Staff

Apr 16, 2023

A report from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) has found that 60% of the West Africans who arrived here have no plans of leaving.

The team which arrived in Antigua and Barbuda on an invitation of the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party has submitted their preliminary analysis following interviews with over 100 West African migrants living in Antigua.

The assessment was conducted between April 1 and 10 and it also found that 16% of those who arrived here said their final destination was the United States of America while 36% planned to leave the island

Additionally, the West Africans, mainly from the Cameroon told the representatives from the agency that they left their country of origin due to violence-related reasons.

Almost 100% of the visitors feared that if they returned to their homeland, they could be killed or face worse conditions

More than 50% of the Cameroonians are educated at the tertiary level, according to the latest report, while 44% have a university education, and 5% were educated at the post-graduate level.

The government has been trying to assimilate them into the Antiguan and Barbudan society and the report found that 83% are currently unemployed in Antigua.

The Africans have said that the chartered flight to Antigua and Barbuda cost them in excess of USD$5000 and the preliminary reports suggest that family paid for travel for 31% of the respondents.

82% said they said they experienced discrimination while in Antigua.

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