‘The loss of thousands of lives on the journey across the Sahara and the Mediterranean is a terrible tragedy. Norway is therefore providing a further NOK 60 million to the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.
The EU Emergency Trust Fund for stability and addressing root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa aims to strengthen the capacity of African countries to deal with migration. Priority areas for the Fund include job creation, conflict prevention, stabilisation measures, reintegration of returned migrants, and humanitarian assistance for particularly vulnerable migrant groups.
‘Poverty, unemployment and poor governance are the root causes of migration. European countries must work with countries of origin and transit to deal with migration and refugee crises. We must also fight organised crime and strengthen efforts to combat people smuggling,’ Ms Eriksen Søreide said.
So far this year, about 86 000 migrants have come to Europe from Africa. Although this figure is lower than in 2014 and 2015, the number of migrants arriving from Africa is still high. Nearly 1600 people have been reported dead or missing thus far in 2018 while crossing the Mediterranean.
‘Norway has now allocated a total of NOK 140 million to the EU Emergency Trust Fund, which is a substantial contribution towards a common European solution to a global challenge,’ said Ms Eriksen Søreide.
The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa was established at the 2015 Valletta Summit on Migration, which brought together leaders from European and African countries, including Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg. Norway has so far contributed NOK 80 million to the fund, and is now allocating a further NOK 60 million. This funding will be split between the countries in the Sahel and Lake Chad regions, North Africa and the Horn of Africa.
‘Most of the arrivals are economic migrants. At the same time, record numbers of people are fleeing from war and conflict. Norway is providing substantial humanitarian aid to people who are fleeing from war and conflict,’ Ms Eriksen Søreide said.