European Union approves projects worth €37 million to tackle migration challenges in North Africa

The package will address migration challenges in Libya, Tunisia and Morocco. In Libya, this new EU support will better protect and assist the most vulnerable migrants, such as the persons rescued at sea and disembarked in Libya, and will help their host communities. In Tunisia this programme will tackle the root causes of migration by boosting the creation of economic opportunities. In Morocco an EU programme will support the fight against racism and xenophobia against migrants by strengthening their legal protection. Today’s new funding brings the EU support to Northern African countries through the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa to a total of €64.5 million in 2016.

Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations said: “The new EU assistance package meets both, the very concrete needs of migrants on the ground, and those of our partner countries. Migrants stranded in Libya will receive assistance and protection, including support to return decently to their home country if they wish to do so. By supporting our partner countries in developing their capacities, the EU will also contribute to a safer, more orderly and efficient management of migration flows in our Neighbourhood, which is very much in our interest.”

EU is protecting and assisting most vulnerable migrants while also promoting improved migration management

The EU is strongly committed to stabilising Libya and ensuring efficient protection for Libyans and migrants. The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa is a key instrument for funding priority action areas, such as assistance and protection for the most vulnerable migrants and their host communities, improving protection and addressing the most urgent needs of migrants, including in detention centres, as well as humanitarian repatriation and reintegration of vulnerable migrants.

In Tunisia and Morocco, the new EU support will improve migration management and tackle the root causes of migration by strengthening the capacities of partner countries’ institutions, improving the knowledge of migratory trends, contributing to the enforcement of national policies and strategies, promoting socio-economic development. The new programme will also promote investments in Tunisia by the Tunisian diaspora, thus tapping on the development potential of migrants.

The ‘North of Africa Window’ of the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa covers the following five countries: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. Today’s €37 million envelope comes in addition to the first three programmes worth €27.5 million that have already been adopted in June 2016 under the ‘North of Africa Window’ for actions in Libya, Egypt and the region as a whole. The underlying priority is to strengthen stabilisation in areas particularly affected by migration and forced displacement flows.


The newly adopted €37 million EU assistance package for North Africa consists of three programmes addressing migration challenges in Libya, Tunisia and Morocco.

1) In Libya, a €20 million programme will better protect and assist the most vulnerable migrants and their host communities. It will in particular support:

(i) assisting migrants rescued at sea in Libyan territorial waters and disembarked in Libya;

(ii) improving protection and address the most urgent needs of migrants in detention centres;

(iii) scaling up humanitarian repatriation and reintegration in their home countries of vulnerable migrants stranded in Libya, with a first target of assisting 5000 people.

The programme will be implemented by the International Organisation for Migration. In addition, this programme sets up a ‘Protection Fund’ to cover impellent needs on the ground. Grants under this Fund will be allocated on the basis of an independent needs’ assessment and costs’ analysis mechanism and in strict coordination with the UN-led protection and migration clusters.

2) In Tunisia, a €11.5 million programme will support the country in implementing their National Strategy on Migration. In particular, this EU support will help mobilising diasporas’ potential to create economic opportunities and thus target one main driver of irregular migration.

The programme consists of 4 main components:

(i) support the Tunisian authorities in operationalising the Tunisian National Strategy on Migration through budgeting, implementation and follow up phases;

(ii) support to diaspora’s investments;

(iii) accompany reintegration of Tunisian migrants back in their home country and make it more sustainable;

(iv) support to local inclusive integration of migrants.

3) In Morocco, a €5.5 million programme will support preventing racism and xenophobia against migrants through capacity strengthening and improved treatment of complaints. This programme complements already existing EU support to the main axes of the Moroccan policy on migrants’ integration.

Morocco is already benefiting from a large and diverse pipeline of migration programmes. E.g. in order to support the Moroccan national policies on migration, a €35 million budget support programme has just received the favourable opinion of the EU Member States.

The European Commission launched at the Valletta Summit on Migration the “EU Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa” in November 2015. The Trust Fund is made up of over €2.4 billion from the EU budget and European Develop­ment Fund, combined with contributions from EU Member States and other donors. It aims at supporting all aspects of stability and to contribute to better manage migration, as well as addressing the root causes of destabilisation and, forced displacement and irregular migration.

European Commission.

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