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Migration: EU launches $2b emergency fund for Africa

Leaders of the European Union formally launched
an emergency trust fund for Africa on Thursday
with an initial $2 billion to combat the poverty and
conflicts driving migration to Europe.

The fund, unveiled at a summit with African leaders
in Malta, currently consists largely of 1.8 billion
euros ($1.93 billion) put up by the European
Commission, the European Union executive, from
the bloc’s central budget.

The Commission wants member states to match
that, but few have pledged much so far, Reuters

The new money, which adds to some 20 billion
euros annually donated to Africa by the EU and its
28 states, will finance projects ranging from
training and small-business grants and combating
food shortages to schemes directly aimed at
cutting emigration and tackling radicalisation and
other violence.

With Europeans’ attention now gripped by over half
a million Syrians and others whose arrival has
plunged the EU into crisis, memories have faded of
the drowned Africans whose deaths in April
prompted the Malta summit. However, EU officials
said African migration presents the greater long-
term concern.

Among the biggest concerns in both Europe and
Africa is the extent to which climate change,
turning vast areas around the Sahara into desert,
may set large sections of Africa’s fast-growing
billion-plus population on the move, both within
the continent and north across the Mediterranean.

The new EU fund will focus on areas affected by
migration and drought in the Horn of Africa, the
Sahel and North Africa.

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Posted By Bobricky On 10:28 Thu, 12 Nov 2015

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