Stories
06 Sep 2021

Atiq left the Helmand province, Afghanistan 21 years ago. Like many migrants before him his goal was to find peace and security. His journey took him to Iran - where he lived for 16 years; to Pakistan – where he stayed for just 15 days; and then finally on to Norway where he lived and worked for four years.

​The journey to Europe from Pakistan took two and a half months and cost Atiq 14 000 USD. Life in Norway was financially stable. Atiq worked for a construction company; and even managed to learn Norwegian. Despite being financially independent, his asylum claim and subsequent unsuccessful appeals left him in an uncertain and illegal situation. Threatened with imminent deportation he turned to IOM.

​Atiq qualified for the former IRRANA project and in addition to having all travel costs covered, he received the full re-integration package of: business start-up grant, one-off cash payment and housing allowance. With the help of the business start-up grant Atiq is now a partner in an auto-engine oil business.

​Having lived outside of Afghanistan for 2 decades returning to Kabul was challenging: "I’d been away for such a long time that I’d lost touch with Afghan culture, but my family helped me adjust. IOM provided me with detailed information that helped me rebuild my life."

"I’d been away for such a long time that I’d lost touch with Afghan culture, but my family helped me adjust."

SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities