The European Commission today announced the adoption of 20 new measures to assist the Sahel region and the Lake Chad Basin under the 'Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa'.
These measures, with a budget of over EUR 280 million, correspond directly to the commitments made under the Action Plan adopted at the Valletta Summit (11‑12 November 2015). The aim of the measures is to improve the management of migration flows, create sustainable economic opportunities for young people and address the factors of instability and vulnerability. Under these measures, EUR 100 million are earmarked for the Lake Chad region, in particular to support those affected by the Boko Haram terrorist group.
EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, added: 'With these twenty new measures worth almost EUR 300 million, the Trust Fund is demonstrating once again its added value in swiftly launching projects to tackle the root causes of instability and irregular migration in the Sahel and Lake Chad Basin regions. We are focusing in particular on job creation, especially for young people, and the socio‑economic reintegration of vulnerable groups. These sections of the population are the main victims of instability and they should be the main beneficiaries of our projects.'
The measures are targeted specifically at the areas of origin and transit of migrants and the main areas of instability. They are part of a comprehensive response by the European Union and are the result of an enhanced political dialogue with its partners on the question of migration.
Eight countries in the region will benefit from this assistance through an integrated approach which reflects the complexity of migration and the diversity of the challenges in the region:
- Three measures (EUR 63 million) will be geared to the regions of origin of migrants in Senegal and Mauritania in order to create economic opportunities for young people, prevent irregular migration and promote voluntary returns.
- Two measures (EUR 37 million) will target the areas of transit in Niger in order to increase employment opportunities and income-generating activities for migrants and local populations.
- One measure (EUR 6 million) will be aimed at setting up a joint investigation team in Niger to combat networks engaged in smuggling migrants and human trafficking.
- A regional measure (EUR 5 million) will build on the capacities of the countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in the fight against organised crime, trafficking and terrorism by creating or strengthening capacity to collect, pool, manage and share police data.
- One measure (EUR 3 million) will help to protect migrant children from exploitation and human trafficking in Mauritania.
- One measure (EUR 6 million) will be aimed at strengthening the commitment of the Malian diaspora in Europe to developing Mali's economy and in particular the areas of origin of migrants.
- One measure (EUR 10 million) will underpin the implementation of the Northern Mali Peace Agreement.
- Eight measures (EUR 118 million) will target the Lake Chad region and the areas affected by the crisis linked to Boko Haram in order to boost the resilience of vulnerable groups, in particular women and the displaced, and strengthen conflict prevention and management.
- Two measures (EUR 30 million) will be aimed at supporting the most vulnerable groups and contributing to the socio-economic integration of women in northern Burkina Faso.
Other measures more specifically aimed at combating migrant smuggling and human trafficking, supporting internal security forces, border management and governance of migration flows are currently being formulated and will be presented in the coming weeks.
Following the adoption of 10 measures in January 2016 worth EUR 100 million in addition to today's EUR 280 million, the Fund thus confirms its ability to respond swiftly and in a targeted manner to the specific challenges of the region, complementing other EU action.
For more information
MEMO/16/1426 : Factsheet on the 20 new measures adopted
Press release on the initial 10 measures adopted in January 2016: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-68_en.htm
Ten new measures adopted in January 2016: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-16-69_en.htm