The European Unions' assistance package worth a total of €467 million under the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa add up to the 147 already approved programmes and will protect lives and assist people on the move, improve migration management as well as employment opportunities for young people in the Sahel/Lake Chad region and the Horn of Africa.
The measures will complement the work of the African Union-European Union-United Nations Joint Taskforce. In her speech before Parliament EU High Representative / Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: "it is the first time ever that a work like this has been put in place. This has been possible over the last months thanks to a partnership that has never existed like this before, between the European Union, the United Nations and the African Union." The European Union's work with the UNHCR has so far allowed for 1,287 refugees to be evacuated from Libya to Niger through the Emergency Transit Mechanism and 108 people have been further resettled to Europe. In parallel, assisted voluntary return and reintegration assistance under the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration is continuous work. Thanks to joint efforts by the EU and UN – in collaboration with the Libyan and Somali authorities – 150 migrants were able to return from Libya to Mogadishu, Somalia, today. With the IOM, the EU helped 22,000 migrants stranded along the routes to return home, where they receive reintegration support.
At last week's College-to-College meeting between the European Union and the African Union both partners "have decided to extend the work of the Taskforce so that [they] can continue working together on the ground in Libya", the High Representative said. The additional amounts of €60 million for voluntary return and reintegration assistance by the IOM and of €10 million for accelerating resettlements under the UNHCR's Emergency Transit Mechanism will help achieve further progress. High Representative / Vice-President Mogherini has made migration a priority of the EU's external action and joint work with partners is underway. The fight against migrant smuggling and human trafficking networks as well as the continuous work with the Libyan authorities to stop the detention of migrants remain high on the agenda.