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Representatives of the European Union and the International Organization for Migration (IOM, the UN migration agency) met in Brussels today to discuss the way forward on some of the most pressing issues linked to migration, including managing migration flows, better protection of vulnerable migrants, the UN Global Compact on Migration, cooperation on forced displacement and development, and on return and reintegration of migrants.
During her meeting with Pierre Krähenbühl, Commissioner-General of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), High Representative Federica Mogherini announced €82 million in funding for UNRWA. The money was made available in a sped-up procedure and will provide access to education for 500,000 children, primary health care for more than 3.5 million patients and assistance to over 250,000 vulnerable refugees. "Preserving UNRWA is not just a matter of humanity. It is also our strategic interest. The situation in the Middle East is extremely volatile and we can't afford even greater destabilisation", High Representative Mogherini said in her speech at the Ministerial Conference on UNRWA.
The EU's partnership approach to protecting migrants and refugees and supporting their reintegration in their countries of origin is delivering strong results. Working with the UN and African Union, more migrants stranded in Libya were supported in the first two months of 2018 than throughout 2017, while the fight against trafficking in human beings continues.
Thanks to the strong support of the European Union and the active cooperation of the African Union, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) assisted 15,000 migrants to return voluntarily to their homes from Libya. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has also evacuated over 1,300 refugees from Libya.