Today, the European Commission announced the approval by the Operational Committee of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa of a package of 10 actions for an amount of €253 million to address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement in the Horn of Africa region. This package of actions will contribute to the joint commitment of the EU and African partners at the Migration Summit in La Valletta to better manage migration.
Concrete activities will start in early 2016. They will focus on building the capacities of the countries of the region to fight against trafficking of human beings and smuggling of migrants (€40 million); creating employment opportunities and better livelihoods in particular areas of Ethiopia which are at 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 to further inform policy and decision-making. See below for a more detailed summary of the actions approved today.
This package of actions will help realise the outcomes of the Migration Summit between the EU and African partners held at La Valletta on 11 and 12 November 2015. In particular, it will contribute to the Summit's objective of launching specific priority interventions in 2016 in the areas of addressing the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement, legal migration and mobility, protection and asylum, prevention of and the fight against migrant smuggling and trafficking of human beings, and return readmission and reintegration. The actions approved today will also contribute to deepening progress in the implementation of the Khartoum process, a framework of cooperation and political dialogue between the EU and countries of origin, transit and destination along the East Africa migratory route, as well as the high level dialogues on migration with countries of the Horn of Africa, such as the recently signed "Common Agenda on Migration and Mobility" between Ethiopia and the EU and its Member States.
The majority of the actions will be implemented jointly by the European Commission and EU Member States, in full partnership with African partners.
Summary of the projects announced today
1. Better Migration Management in Support of the Khartoum Process (€40 million): This project aims at better managing migration in the countries of the Horn of Africa through the provision of capacity building and basic equipment to government institutions, in particular in relation to investigating and prosecuting cases of trafficking and smuggling, improving border management, generating and using statistical data. The project will also help in the development and harmonization of policies and legislative frameworks, notably on trafficking and smuggling, the provision of protection to victims of trafficking and smuggling, and the set-up of awareness-raising campaigns about the perils of irregular migration and options for legal migration and mobility.
2. Research facility (€4.1 million): This project aims at filling evidence-gaps through operationally-focused research with a view to informing project design and implementation; disseminating research results to African partners, donors and the broader international community to further inform their policy- and decision-making; and strengthening the capacities of partner governments and regional organisations to use evidence-based approaches to better manage migration and more effectively prevent and manage violent conflict.
Two actions will be implemented in the migration-prone regions of Tigray, Amhara, Oromia, Afar, Somali and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Region (SNNPR). They will complement each other in order to provide a comprehensive response to addressing prevalent root causes of irregular migration and displacement.
3. Stemming Irregular Migration in Northern and Central Ethiopia (€20 million): This project aims to address the root causes of irregular migration in the regions of Tigray, Ahmara, Oromia and SNNPR, in particular in urban centres and urban towns. It will do so by enhancing the living conditions of potential migrants and returnees. This will be done by prioritising the creation of economic opportunities and job skills for vulnerable groups, in particular women and the youth, through technical vocational training, access to micro-financing and actions related to employment generation. A direct effect of these actions will also be the creation of conducive conditions for the effective return and reintegration of Ethiopians hosted in other countries.
4. Resilience Building in Ethiopia (€47 million): This project aims to address root causes of irregular migration and displacement in the regions of Afar, Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR and Somali, in particular in remote and drought-prone areas. Interventions will strengthen economic opportunities and resilience of the most vulnerable communities, through measures that increase livelihoods and employment, as well as better access to basic services such as health or water, hygiene and sanitation.
5. Enhancing Somalia's responsiveness to the management and integration of mixed migration flows (€50 million): This project aims to support the management of the voluntary return of Somalis hosted in Kenya, as well as other parts of the region and Europe, or fleeing conflict in Yemen, into stable regions of Somalia. It aims to create a favourable environment for return and reintegration, including through economic and social development, increased access to basic services, economic opportunities, and improved peaceful coexistence of both returnees and return communities.
Three actions will support the implementation of the recently signed peace agreement, in particular those chapters dealing economic and financial management, and development of social services. In doing so, the actions will strengthen the resilience of vulnerable communities and facilitate the return of displaced populations from protection camps to their areas of origin.
6. Provision of basic health – Health Pooled Fund 2 (€20 million): This project aims at supporting the implementation of the peace agreement, and in particular the development of social services by increasing access to, utilisation of and quality of health services (including maternal and child health, nutrition and availability of essential drugs) countrywide. Additionally, it will strengthen core local administrative systems to increase the efficacy of health services, and engage with local communities to integrate these interventions into existing community structures.
7. Improvement of delivery of basic education through improved management and teacher's training (€45.6 million): This project aims at supporting the implementation of the peace agreement, and in particular the development of social services by increasing equal access to primary education, improving rates of retention and completion, and increasing the skills and knowledge of teachers. Additionally, it will strengthen the capacity of authorities to improve teacher management policies and practices, hence making public systems more resilient to emergencies and crises.
8. Support to stabilisation through improved resource, economic and financial management in South Sudan (€12 million): This project aims at supporting the implementation of the peace agreement, and in particular the chapter dealing with economic and financial management, by strengthening a culture of accountability for lower levels of government, helping local institutions to manage public finances and human resources more transparently and responsibly. The project will also support the creation, reinforcement and functioning of key institutions for a responsible public financial management, such as the National Revenue Authority, hence tackling mismanagement of public resources as a key root cause of the conflict.
Two actions will address the protection and developmental needs of people affected by long-term displacement in rural areas of Northern Uganda, particularly South Sudanese refugees who have fled conflict in South Sudan, and urban settings in Kampala and other densely populated areas, in particular Somali refugees.
9. Support programme to the refugee settlements and host communities in Northern Uganda (€10 million): In response to the recent influx of forced migration due to violent conflict in South Sudan, this project aims at addressing the developmental needs of South Sudanese refugees and host communities in targeted areas of Northern Uganda through actions supporting improved livelihoods, economic opportunities, food security, intercommunity dialogue and conflict prevention, and education. Through this approach, the project will equip these populations with the necessary tools for their integration in host communities or return to South Sudan.
10. Strengthening social cohesion and stability in slums populations (€4.3 million): In a context of rapid and unplanned urbanisation and increased competition for scarce resources, this project aims to increase social cohesion and peacebuilding amongst refugees and host communities, in particular by providing economic opportunities and basic services to both communities alike, enhancing the space for refugees to participate in the social and economic life of local communities, and creating platforms for dialogue between civil society and public authorities.
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