'Fighting Traffickers': EU Commission Launches New Migration Programs in Africa

© AP Photo / Emilio MorenattiMigrants and refugees call out to Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms workers, after being located out of control sailing on a rubber boat in the Mediterranean Sea, about 18 miles north of Sabratha, Libya
Migrants and refugees call out to Spanish NGO Proactiva Open Arms workers, after being located out of control sailing on a rubber boat in the Mediterranean Sea, about 18 miles north of Sabratha, Libya - Sputnik International
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The European Commission said Friday it had approved three new programs worth 90.5 million euros ($106 million) to strengthen border management and protection of migrants in North Africa.

"Today's new programmes will step up our work to managing migration flows in a humane and sustainable way, by saving and protecting lives of refugees and migrants and providing them with assistance and by fighting against traffickers and smugglers. It is our integrated approach that combines our action at sea, our work together with partner countries along the migratory routes, including inside Libya, and in the Sahel," EU High Representative for Foreign Policy Federica Mogherini said, as quoted by the European Commission press release.

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According to the press release, the programs will be implemented under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa established in 2015 to tackle causes of irregular migration and forced displacement.

Last week, the European Council summit agreed on several aspects of bloc's migration policy, including the establishment of "regional disembarkation platforms in close cooperation with relevant third countries" and controlled centers in the EU member states.

The resettlement or relocation of migrants across the bloc is expected to be done on voluntary basis.

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Europe has been experiencing a large-scale migration crisis since 2015 due to the influx of thousands of migrants and refugees fleeing crises in their home countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Since January 1 of this year, Mediterranean migrant arrivals in Europe have reached 46,449 people, while 1,412 migrants have lost their lives in the sea, according to the International Migration Organization's (IOM) latest figures.

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