May 6, 2015, 10:22 AM
The Gambia is among the countries to benefit from the “emergency” fund by the EU to address the causes of migration and displacement of persons on the continent.
The other countries to benefit from the fund are Senegal, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt.
Whether this will help to stem the current wave of migration in Africa is yet to be determined as the youths of the region, especially are desperately in to cross the Mediterranean Sea dead or live to make it to Europe where their fate is increasingly becoming unclear, as those who manage to make their way continue to face another round of struggle in European countries.
The EU is now facing a major migrant crisis that needs the involvement of both the source and destination countries, EU Commissioner for International Co-operation and Development Neven Mimica has said, adding that the fund, which will be launched before the end of the year, will be of great help to African countries in the quest to address the socio-economic challenges that force people to migrate from their original homes.
“The EU will work to help African countries achieve economic development that tackles unemployment and prevents migration and radicalisation,” said Mimica at a recent press briefing in Nairobi, Kenya.
While the fund is expected to foster stability in the region and contribute to better migration management, the International Organisation for Migration is reported to have detected more than 350,000 migrants at the EU’s borders between January and August 2015, compared with 280,000 detections for the whole of 2014. This, however, does not include those who entered the 28-member bloc.
The recent trend of migration in the region has taken its toll on Gambian youths, with about 500 Gambians having lost their lives over the recent years in the desert and Mediterranean Sea trying to reach Europe.
Whether the EU’s US$2 billion will be of any meaningful help to this crisis is a matter of wait and see.
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