EU adopts aid package to tackle illegal migration in Morocco and Libya

BRUSSELS The European Union Wednesday adopted four new migration-related actions totalling 147.7 million euro (USD 163 million) that will support Morocco in tackling human smuggling and irregular migration.

The package also aims to improve the living conditions and protect refugees and vulnerable migrants stranded in Libya through voluntary returns and offers opportunities for labour migration and mobility in North Africa, noted an EU press release.

EU Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Oliver Varhelyi, commented: “With this new package we are deepening our partnership with Morocco to further reduce irregular arrivals on the Western Mediterranean route and prevent people risking their lives”.

“Our programmes in Libya address both the needs of local communities and offer safe options to migrants stranded in Libya through voluntary returns. Lastly, we are supporting labour migration and mobility,” he noted.

The aid package includes 101.7 million euro (USD 112 million) to support Moroccan efforts to combat human smuggling and manage irregular migration and 17 million euro (USD 18.8 million) to support communities and vulnerable children in Libya.

It includes 24 million euro (USD 26.6 million) for Voluntary Returns of migrants from Libya and protection measures, and 5 million euro (USD 5.5 million) to foster economic opportunities and expand labour migration in North Africa.

The aid is part of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, which was established in November 2015 to address the root causes of irregular migration and to contribute to better migration management.

The general budget of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa is worth over 4.6 billion euro (USD 5 billion). (end) nk.mb

Source: Kuwait News Agency