The EU has adopted a €147.7m funding package to support four projects addressing issues related to migration in North Africa.
The funding, to be delivered through the North Africa Window of the EU’s Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, which was established in 2015 with the aim of improving migration management across the continent and addressing the key factors which contribute to forced displacement. The package, which brings the EU’s total funding commitments through the North Africa Window to €807m, will be distributed across four key initiatives:
- €101.7m will go towards supporting efforts to manage irregular migration and prevent human smuggling in Morocco, including a publicity campaign targeted towards young people warning of the dangers of attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea;
- €24m will go to support protection measures and voluntary return processes for migrants stranded in Libya, operating in co-operation with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM);
- €17m will be disbursed through the German Development Agency (GIZ) and UNICEF in Libya to shore up support services for vulnerable children and communities – to date more than 1.7 million people in Libya have benefited from increased access to basic services with EU support and the bloc has declared its intention to boost support for education, healthcare and utilities provision in 50 Libyan municipalities; and
- €5m will go towards labour migration expansion and promoting the growth of economic opportunities throughout North Africa, with measures aimed at promoting entrepreneurship and increasing opportunities for labour mobility to be delivered by GIZ, IOM, the International Labour Organisation and Enabel, Belgium’s development agency.
Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Olivér Várhelyi said: “With this new package we are deepening our partnership with Morocco to further reduce irregular arrivals on the Western Mediterranean route and prevent people risking their lives. Our programmes in Libya address both the needs of local communities and offer safe options to migrants stranded in Libya through voluntary returns. Lastly, we are supporting labour migration and mobility.”