EU launches emergency fund to stabilise African migration

12 Nov 15

The European Commission has established a €1.8bn emergency trust fund to address instability and the causes of irregular migration and displacement in Africa.

Commission president Jean-Claude Junker, member states and other EU donors launched the fund today at the Valletta Summit on migration in Malta. The summit was called for by the European Council back in April as the EU began to confront unprecedented flows of migrants and refugees fleeing violence and poverty.

Speaking today, Junker said: “We need to work together with other European countries and our partner countries in Africa in addressing the root causes of irregular migration and promoting economic and equal opportunities, security and development.

“For the Africa Trust Fund and our response to be credible, I want to see more member states contributing and matching the €1.8bn the EU has put forward.”

So far 25 member states and 2 non-EU donors, Norway and Switzerland, have announced a total of €78.2m.

The fund will support both the EU’s current development efforts in the region and implementation of an action plan on migration to be adopted at the summit.

This plan aims to improve legal channels for migration, boost international protection for migrants and asylum seekers and foster greater cooperation on returns and readmissions.

The Sahel and Lake Chad area, the Horn of Africa and North Africa ‒ encompassing the main migration routes to Europe ‒ will be the main focus on the fund, although neighbouring countries may also benefit from project efforts to address regional migration flows and cross-border challenges.

The summit brought together European and African leaders, representatives of regional bodies such as the African Union, the United Nations and NGOs such as the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

It also saw the EU and Ethiopia, the largest refugee-hosting country on the continent, sign a common agenda to two work together to manage migration.

 

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