European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, together with some European Heads of State, launched today in Valletta the EU's Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa.
President Juncker said: "Through its long-standing development cooperation over the years, the EU has been substantially contributing to tackling the root causes of poverty and migration. Today, we are taking a step further. This Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, set up at a record speed, shows once more the EU's commitment to swiftly reply to the large challenges we are facing in the region. To succeed, 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 €1,8 billion the EU has put forward."
The Emergency Trust Fund is made up of €1.8 billion from the European Union financing instruments as well as contributions from EU Member States and other donors. So far, 25 EU Member States and 2 non-EU donors (Norway and Switzerland) have announced a total contribution of around €81.3 million. The Emergency Trust Fund is an innovative way how the EU is stepping up its collective response to current challenges on the ground and is a complementary tool to the EU's already existing development cooperation in the region to assist the most fragile and vulnerable countries across Africa. It represents an important instrument to effectively implement the Action Plan to be adopted at the Valletta Summit and will benefit the Sahel region and Lake Chad area; the Horn of Africa and the North of Africa. Together, these encompass the major African migration routes to Europe. Neighbouring countries in these regions may also benefit from the Trust Fund's projects to address regional migration flows and related cross-border challenges.
The first meeting of the Strategic Board of the EU's Emergency Trust Fund will take place already today in Valletta to ensure the swift launch of activities. The Trust Fund Board is chaired by the European Commission and composed of representatives of Member States and other contributing donors. Partner countries and regional organisations have also been invited to participate.
Valletta Summit on migration
Migration has long been a key component of EU-Africa relations. The EU and its Member States have already been investing towards tackling the root causes of migration with over €20 billion of official development assistance (ODA) to Africa every year. The current refugee crisis has however shown that it is time to increase this cooperation between Europe and Africa, based on partnership and shared responsibility. Both continents share a commitment to improve migration management.
The Valletta Summit was called by the European Council in April 2015 to discuss migration issues with African and other key countries concerned. The Emergency Trust Fund for Africa is one of the main deliverables of this summit. An Action Plan to step up cooperation on migration is also expected to be adopted at the Valletta Summit, including concrete actions in order to:
- maximise the development benefits of migration and address root causes;
- better organise legal channels for migration and mobility;
- ensure international protection for migrants and asylum seekers;
- intensify the fight against criminal networks engaged in migrant smuggling and human trafficking,
- step up our cooperation on return and readmission.
For more information
 See factsheet on the EU's Emergency Trust Fund