The new programs, under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, will provide support to authorities of partner countries, including Morocco, to improve their ability to manage better their borders and, at the same time, will ensure protection and emergency assistance for vulnerable migrants.
Through the program on border Management for the Maghreb region worth €55 million, the EU will support efforts of national institutions in Morocco and Tunisia to save lives at sea, improve maritime border management and fight smugglers operating in the region, the European Commission explained in a press release.
This program, implemented by the Italian Ministry of Interior, together with the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), will focus on capacity building and providing and maintaining equipment, the release said.
With an additional €6.5 million, the EU will reinforce its assistance to vulnerable migrants, supporting the 2014 Moroccan National Strategy on migration. It will facilitate access to basic services for vulnerable migrants and improve the capacity of local associations and organizations to deliver those services effectively. Civil Society Associations will implement this program.
Under the “Integrated approach to protection and emergency assistance to vulnerable and stranded migrants in Libya” program, worth €29 million, the EU will reinforce its support to the protection of refugees and migrants in Libya at disembarkation points, in detention centers, in remote southern desert areas and urban settings.
The program will be implemented together with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). It will also promote initiatives to develop economic opportunities for migrants in the domestic labor market, together with the Libyan Ministry of Labor.
The European Commission’s move follows last week European Council’s conclusions whereby European leaders committed to stepping up support along the Central Mediterranean route, the press release said.
“Today’s new programs will step up our work to managing migration flows in a humane and sustainable way, by saving and protecting lives of refugees and migrants and providing them with assistance and by fighting against traffickers and smugglers,” said High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini.
“It is our integrated approach that combines our action at sea, our work together with partner countries along the migratory routes, including inside Libya, and in the Sahel,” she said.
Commissioner for European Neighborhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, on his part commented that partnership is key to respond to the challenges posed by irregular migration.
“By working together with our southern neighbors we can tackle this challenge and bring benefits to the partner countries, the migrants and Europe,” he said.
The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa was set up at the Valletta European summit, in 2015.