The European Commission has today announced a total of 16 actions worth almost €300 million to address the root causes of irregular migration and displacement, and to increase the positive impact of migration on the economic and social development in countries of origin, transit and destination of migratory flows.
This includes a package of 10 actions for an amount of €253 million in the Horn of Africa, decided today by the first Operational Committee meeting of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, set-up at record speed to respond to the challenges of instability, irregular migration and forced displacement. Further Operational Committee meetings will be held as of the beginning of 2016 to decide on new actions.
EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said: "The adoption of the five-pillar action plan at the Valletta Summit on migration was a major first step towards a renewed partnership with African countries to address migration, mobility and forced displacement through concrete action. Today we are taking the second step, showing the real work has started. The fast-tracked approval of today's new projects proves that this is not business as usual".
These new actions will start in early 2016, and they will focus on building the capacities of the countries of the Horn of Africa to manage migration and, in particular, to fight against the trafficking of human beings and smuggling of migrants (€40 million); creating employment opportunities and better livelihoods in particular areas of Ethiopia which are the origin of migratory flows (€67 million); facilitating the return to stable areas of Somalia of Somali refugees hosted in the region and in Europe (€50 million); improving the reintegration of South Sudanese refugees in host communities of Uganda or creating favourable conditions for their return (€14.3 million); and supporting the implementation of the peace agreement in South Sudan and the return of internally displaced persons to their areas of origin (€77.6 million). All these actions and future packages of projects will benefit from evidence generated by a new research facility (€4.1 million), which will ensure that evidence is collected, disseminated and used amongst African partners, donors and the broader international community further to inform policy and decision-making.
The majority of these 10 actions under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa will be implemented jointly by the European Commission and EU Member States, in full partnership with African partners.
The other six actions are to be financed under the Development Cooperation Instrument Global Public Goods and Challenges Programme, through its thematic component on migration and asylum. The new actions aim at promoting sustainable voluntary return and reintegration and supporting the implementation of the cooperation framework known as the Rabat process. Improving the recruitment framework of labour migration, supporting countries in Eastern Africa to address mixed migration flows and contributing to the effective mainstreaming of migration into development policies will also be among the activities of the new projects.
These 16 actions will contribute to implement the commitments made at the migration summit between the EU and African partners held in Valletta on 11 and 12 November 2015. In particular, they will focus on the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement, legal migration and mobility, protection and asylum, prevention of and fight against migrant smuggling and trafficking of human beings, and return and reintegration. The actions announced today will also contribute to deepening progress in the implementation of the Khartoum and Rabat processes, two frameworks of cooperation and political dialogue between the EU and countries of origin, transit and destination along the East and West Africa migratory routes respectively, as well as the high level dialogues on migration with African partners.
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