EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa: new actions of almost €150 million to tackle human smuggling, protect vulnerable people and stabilise communities in North Africa


Omo, Ethiopia (Trevor Cole, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.

The European Union – via the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, North Africa Window – adopted four new migration-related actions totalling €147.7 million that will support Morocco in tackling human smuggling and irregular migration; improve the living conditions in Libyan communities and protect refugees and vulnerable migrants stranded in Libya through voluntary returns; and offer opportunities for labour migration and mobility in North Africa.

Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, 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.”

This new package will bring commitments under the North of Africa window to a total of €807 million, responding to multiple needs across the region.

Background on the package adopted

The new €147.7 million actions adopted by the Commission are as following:

€101.7 million to support Moroccan efforts to combat human smuggling and manage irregular migration, and inparticular to raise awareness among young people and their families about the risks involved in attempting to cross the Mediterranean sea.

€17 million to support communities and vulnerable children in Libya through the German Development Agency (GIZ) and UNICEF. The EU is stepping up its support to rehabilitate hospitals, schools, water and electricity facilities in more than 50 Libyan municipalities. So far, over 1.7 million people have improved access to basic services and around 2.500 young entrepreneurs were assisted with job training programmes to develop income-generating activities.

€24 million for Voluntary Humanitarian Returns from Libya and protection measures, in cooperation with the International Organisation for Migration, to give safe alternatives to migrants stranded in Libya, in a context of increasing vulnerability of migrants and internally displaced persons (IDPs) due to the ongoing conflict.

€5 million to foster economic opportunities and expand labour migration in North Africa.  The programme will further promote regional entrepreneurship, governance of labour migration and expands labour mobility opportunities. Actions will be implemented by the German Development Agency (GIZ), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the International Organisation of Migration (IOM), and a component will be implemented by the Belgian Development Agency, (Enabel).

The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa was established in November 2015 to address the root causes of forced displacement and 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. The new package of actions is the biggest adopted to date.

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