Spain grants Morocco a €32.2 million aid to control irregular immigration
The Spanish Ministers’ Council Friday approved a grant of €32.2 million to help Morocco in its efforts to control illegal immigration from the North African kingdom to Spanish southern shores.
This aid, which aims to support international police cooperation, comes from the budget of the Spanish Home Affairs Ministry. It will support Moroccan authorities’ efforts to fight irregular immigration, smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human beings, reports MAP news agency.
Last July 5, the Spanish Government had granted a €26 million aid to Morocco to support its efforts to strengthen the control of its borders and to contain illegal immigration.
The Spanish Executive considers cooperation with third countries and shared responsibility are essential to combat, more effectively, smuggling networks and to curb irregular migration flows.
Spain’s grants add to the €140 million committed by the European Union to back Morocco’ initiatives to control the flow of undocumented migrants into Europe.
Morocco’s efforts actually bore fruit as they curbed illegal migration flows to Spain by 70% despite the crackdown elsewhere in the Mediterranean that pushed many migrants to consider the Western Mediterranean route.
In July, Khalid Zerouali, director of immigration and border surveillance at the Moroccan Ministry of the Interior, said that Morocco has foiled more than 40,300 irregular migration attempts since January 2019.
Zerouali said that the number of foiled irregular migration attempts represent a 25% increase from the same period of 2018.
Morocco’s efforts to fight illegal migration networks were recognized by the EU border agency, Frontex and the IOM as well as the European Union and Spain in particular.