The European Commission adopted five new programmes and three top-ups of current programmes worth €115.5 million under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa to complement ongoing efforts in the Sahel and Lake Chad region.
Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development Neven Mimica said: "We have witnessed in the recent weeks an increase of widespread violence and terrorist attacks in the Sahel and Lake Chad region. New EU programmes and top-ups to existing programmes worth €115.5 million will further strengthen our actions on the development and security fronts. They will also help reinforcing the State presence in fragile areas, create jobs for young people and protect migrants in need. In order to continue the good work of the Trust fund in the near future, its quickly depleting resources have to be replenished.”
With the security situation in the Sahel becoming increasingly volatile, the EU is committed to continuing its cooperation at regional and national level. It will support the G5 Sahel countries (Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger) in their efforts to provide a common response to major cross-border threats and regional development needs. An additional €10 million will strengthen the G5 Sahel's defence and security capacities, while €2 million will support the coordination of the Sahel Alliance. In Burkina Faso, an extra €30 million will reinforce the existing Sahel Emergency Programme to strengthen access to basic social services and foster community dialogue.
Other measures will bolster efforts to protect migrants, fight human trafficking and improve migration management. An additional €30 million will serve to protect migrants and refugees along the Central Mediterranean route and look for sustainable solutions in the Sahel and Lake Chad region. It will further increase the number of migrants benefitting from protection and voluntary return while ensuring their sustainable and dignified reintegration. In Niger, the Joint Investigation Team has dismantled 33 criminal networks and 210 smugglers have been convicted over the past two years. It will receive an extra €5.5 million to build on this success. In Ghana, €5 million for capacity-building and equipment will strengthen the country's border management.
Two measures aim specifically at developing economic and development opportunities. In Ghana, new activities worth €20 million will improve job prospects and encourage the transition to green and climate resilient economies. In Mali, an additional €13 million will support job creation and the provision of State public services in fragile security areas around Gao and Timbuktu.
The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa was established in 2015 to address the root causes of instability, irregular migration and forced displacement. Resources currently allocated to this Trust Fund are €4.2 billion from EU institutions, EU Member States and other donors.
Today's assistance adds to the 188 programmes already approved across the three regions (North of Africa, Sahel and Lake Chad region and Horn of Africa), worth a total of €3.6 billion. These funds were divided up as follows: Sahel/Lake Chad €1.7 billion (92 programmes); Horn of Africa €1.3 billion (70 programmes); North of Africa €582 million (21 programmes). This amount includes 5 cross-region programmes.
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Previous sets of actions approved
-Seventh package of actions in the Sahel and Lake Chad under the EU Trust Fund for a total amount of € 141 million approved in November 2018
-Sixth package of actions in the Sahel and Lake Chad under the EU Trust Fund for a total amount of €173 million approved in May 2018
-Joint operational Committee for the Sahel and Lake Chad, North of Africa and Horn of Africa windows approves a package for a total amount of €150 million in February 2018
-Fifth package of actions in the Sahel and Lake Chad under the EU Trust Fund for a total amount of €274.2 million approved in December 2017
-Fourth package of actions in the Sahel and Lake Chad under the EU Trust Fund for a total amount of €381 million approved in December 2016
-Third package of actions in the Sahel and Lake Chad under the EU Trust Fund for a total amount of €146 million approved in June 2016
-Second package of actions in the Sahel and Lake Chad under the EU Trust Fund for a total amount of €280 million approved in April 2016
-First package of actions in the Sahel and Lake Chad under the EU Trust Fund for a total amount of €100 million approved in January 2016