By Tarek Bazza
The trust fund comprises 3 new migration-related programs of more than €90 million. One of these programs, which is worth €55 million, is dedicated to border management for Morocco and Tunisia. It will support the efforts of national institutions in both countries to save lives at sea, improve maritime border management, and combat smugglers operating in the region, the European Commission said in a press release on July 6.
“Today’s new programmes 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.
The program, under the, EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, will increase EU assistance to refugees and vulnerable migrants, and improve countries affected by increased irregular flows along the Western Mediterranean, in particular, Morocco, to better manage their borders.
“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. Today’s new programmes will provide support to authorities to improve border management but at the same time will also ensure protection and emergency assistance for vulnerable migrants,” Commissioner for European Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn said.
This program is implemented by the Italian Ministry of Interior, together with the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD).
The second program will strengthen the EU assistance to “vulnerable migrants”, which supports the 2014 Moroccan National Strategy on migration. Moroccan civil society association and organizations are given privilege to benefit from this fund program of €6.5 million to facilitate access basic services for vulnerable migrants.
The International Organization of Migration (IOM) defines vulnerability within a migration context as “the diminished capacity of an individual or group to resist, cope with, or recover from violence, exploitation, abuse, and violation(s) of their rights.
The third program, which worth €29 million, will focus on the protection of refugees and migrants at disembarkation points and in detention centres in Libya.
The approval of these three migration-related programs comes after the European Council’s leaders decided to increase the EU support and assistance to refugees and vulnerable migrants in the Central Mediterranean region.