The European Commission has announced plans to allocate €27.5 million to the North of Africa region as part of their EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa programme, which aims to provide stability and contribute to better migration management.
As well as the North of Africa region, which comprises of Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia, the Trust Fund for Africa also provides resources for the following regions:
- The Sahel region and Lake Chad area (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal)
- The Horn of Africa (Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda)
€1.8 billion has been set aside from the EU budget and European Development Fund towards the Trust Fund for Africa. This amount has also been bolstered by contributions from EU Member States and other donors, taking the total amount to almost €1.88 billion.
Due to the instability in the North of Africa region, particularly in Libya, an increasing number of people native to the region are seeking international protection and are migrating to Europe. The Trust Fund aims to create a secure and stable environment in the region, and plans to improve management of migration.
The Trust Fund can finance projects such as economic programmes that create employment opportunities, improving health and education and improving governance to prevent conflict. For the north of Africa region, the main focus will be on migration management, addressing the following priorities:
- Building on legislations and regulations so as to create a solid migration system and to ensure protection of migrant”s rights.
- Supporting social and economic programmes in areas prone to migration, to increase the employment and education opportunities.
- Improving legal migration to increase the human and financial capabilities of migrants.
- Improving the protection of vulnerable migrants.
- Strengthening border management to tackle migrant smuggling and human trafficking.
- Entering countries into partnership and improving on their policies to facilitate better asylum legislations, and improving access to services and income-generating opportunities for the displaced population and their host communities.
These actions will be run alongside programmes that are already in place, such as the Mobility Partnership between Morocco and Tunisia.
Programmes such as this one have courted controversy in the past, with Médecins Sans Frontières announcing that they will no longer accept contributions from the EU in protest of their strategy for managing migration. This refers most specifically to the EU-Turkey bilateral deal, where the EU pledged €1 billion in aid on the proviso that Turkey agreed to accept returned refugees from countries such as Greece, meaning thousands of migrants would be forcibly returned to Turkey.