Europe's leaders pledge $3.8bn to Africa to help stop migration

What you need to know:

  • The rare gathering of around 50 leaders from the two continents was the newest prong in the European Union’s strategy to deal with the biggest flow of refugees and migrants since World War II.

  • As a carrot, the European Commission, the 28-nation EU’s executive arm, is setting up a 1.8-billion-euro trust fund for Africa and has urged member states to match that sum.

VALLETTA, Wednesday

Europe’s leaders have offered Africa up to 3.6 billion euros ($3.8 billion) at a summit in Malta in exchange for help in tackling the migration crisis rocking Europe.

The rare gathering of around 50 leaders from the two continents was the newest prong in the European Union’s strategy to deal with the biggest flow of refugees and migrants since World War II.

The money is meant to persuade African leaders to take back more economic migrants from the EU, with many African countries reluctant to lose the billions of dollars in remittances sent by citizens working abroad.

UNWANTED MIGRANTS

EU migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said European nations would  enhance collaboration with African countries to protect refugees, send home irregular migrants and stop those who smuggle them, while offering Africans legal channels of migration.

“That is why this week’s summit in Valletta is very important,” Avramopoulos told reporters.

As a carrot, the European Commission, the 28-nation EU’s executive arm, is setting up a 1.8-billion-euro trust fund for Africa and has urged member states to match that sum.

The money would go towards tackling the causes of migration like poverty and armed conflict.

Progress on the main thrust of the EU’s current migrant strategy will be discussed when EU leaders meet on Thursday in Valletta.

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