The measures were adopted under the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa and supplement the 68 measures approved since December 2015 at a total cost of EUR 1 billion. They are designed to address the urgent and multiple crises in Africa by providing a flexible, rapid and integrated response.
The Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said: ‘With the approval of these new programmes totalling 274.2 million euros, we will have mobilised almost one billion euros in two years, in addition to everything else we are doing for these regions through our traditional instruments. The measures approved today illustrate the integrated approach we are developing to address the instability and fragility of certain areas, but also to promote job creation and offer a future to young people.'
At regional level, three measures aim to encourage academic mobility, with EUR 10 million in funding for the Erasmus + programme, support entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (EUR 15.8 million), and fight against trafficking in human beings in the countries of the Gulf of Guinea (EUR 17.4 million).
The resilience of vulnerable populations plays an important role, with measures in Chad, Niger, Mauritania and Mali amounting to EUR 65 million. The creation of jobs and economic opportunities, in particular for young people, will be supported in Niger, with EUR 30 million in funding, and Guinea (EUR 65 million).
In Burkina Faso, initiatives will be put in place to tackle extremism and radicalisation. In addition, EUR 50 million will support the Emergency Programme for the Sahel in the country. Finally, the integrated management of border areas will be strengthened.
The 13 measures adopted today supplement the 68 measures approved under the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa in the Sahel region and Lake Chad Basin since December 2015 at a cost of EUR 1 billion. They are intended to address in an integrated manner the urgent and multiple crises faced by Africa (food, migration, security) by providing a rapid and flexible response, together with political dialogue, development cooperation programmes and the humanitarian assistance provided by the EU.
The Trust Fund aims to improve the resilience of vulnerable populations, increase economic opportunities, promote equal opportunities, foster security and development, and support safe, orderly and responsible migration, particularly by encouraging the implementation of planned and well-managed migration policies, as well as by providing support and protection to migrants, and ensuring voluntary return and durable social and economic reintegration.
In addition, in view of the urgency of the situation along the central Mediterranean routes, and in order to alleviate the plight of migrants and refugees detained against their will or held up along the routes, the EU is committed to increasing its support by funding the voluntary return of 15 000 migrants in cooperation with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) by February 2018, and to supporting the UNHCR evacuation mechanism, with a view to resettling 1 000 people by February 2018.
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*modified on 14 December 9h30, correcting the figure