'Norway is participating actively in European cooperation to address the challenges associated with migration and forced displacement. We will continue to work together with EU countries to provide assistance to the most vulnerable migrants. These efforts will also help to tackle the root causes of migration, such as poverty, a shortage of paid jobs, and poor governance,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide.
Job creation, vocational training, conflict prevention and stabilisation efforts are among the EUTF for Africa’s key focus areas. Priority is given to projects that strengthen the capacity of African countries to deal with migration. With the help of funding provided by the EUTF for Africa, 17 000 vulnerable migrants have been evacuated from North Africa, and 70 000 people have received assistance to support their reintegration into their home countries. The EU is working closely with the African Union (AU) and the UN on these projects. All projects supported by Norway through the EUTF for Africa must ensure respect for human rights and must be in line with Norway’s international obligations.
‘It is vital that European countries work with countries of origin and transit to deal with flows of refugees and migrants. We must also fight organised crime and strengthen efforts to combat people smuggling and exploitation, and reduce the number of lives lost on the journey across the Sahara and the Mediterranean,’ Ms. Eriksen Søreide said.
Most of the people arriving in Europe are economic migrants. At the same time, the number of people fleeing from war and conflict in the world today is at a record high.
‘Norway is providing a substantial amount of humanitarian support to alleviate refugee crises in various parts of the world. The Government has increased Norway’s humanitarian budget by around 65 % since 2013,’ Ms Eriksen Søreide said.
The EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa was established at the 2015 Valletta Summit on Migration, which brought together leaders from European and African countries, including Norway’s Prime Minister, Erna Solberg. Norway has already provided NOK 140 million to the EUTF for Africa, and this new allocation of NOK 60 million will bring Norway’s total contribution to the Fund to NOK 200 million. This funding will be divided between the Sahel, the Lake Chad region, North Africa and the Horn of Africa. This is a substantial contribution towards a common European solution to the challenges associated with migration.