New EU aid plan aims to partner with Middle Eastern and African countries to help curbing the influx of African migrants
The new project led by the European Commission and estimated at €62bn aims developing partnerships with countries in the Middle East and Africa to address the migrant crisis, as well as security issues in Eritrea, Ethiopia and Sudan.
As over a million refugees have used the Mediterranean route to enter Europe in 2015 and many of them died in the attempts, the EU plan targets to avoid further tragedies.
After the EU-Turkey deal two months ago, the number of migrants coming from Turkey dropped. Nevertheless, the number of refugees entering Italy remained the same. Libyan people continue fleeing from their country at constant rates. According to the UN refugee agency, Nigeria, Gambia, Somalia, Ivory Coast, Eritrea, Guinea and Senegal are also consistent migrant influx sources, due to people trafficking phenomenon and extreme poverty.
€8bn of EU budget funds are set to be invested into the migration partnership during 2016-2020, as Africa’s migration crisis is expected to accelerate in the years to come. Ethiopia, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Tunisia will be the first countries benefiting from the EU partnership programmes.
From border surveillance equipment, police training and technical support to human rights consultancy, all efforts will be invested into stopping migrants heading north of the continent.
As EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said, “we too often forget that countries like Ethiopia or Kenya, let alone Lebanon and Jordan, host huge numbers of refugees. The closure of the Dadaab camp in Kenya could have dramatic humanitarian consequences”.