The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MAECI), drawing upon the resources of the Africa Fund, has arranged for a 5-million-euro financing to support the activities of the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Libya, Sudan and Ethiopia. The Foreign Ministry’s Director General for Italians Abroad and Migration Policies, Luigi Maria Vignali, said: “Managing migration flows requires an articulate and diversified response. Italy and the IOM have established a strategic cooperation focused, on the one hand, on providing assistance to particularly vulnerable migrants – especially women – and, on the other hand, on managing assisted voluntary returns with a view to actively support the reintegration of migrants in their Countries of origin.”
In Libya, a further 2-million-euro financing was provided to help finalise the initiatives already financed by the MAECI in the past years. This contribution aims to assure the continuation of Voluntary Humanitarian Return (VHR) programmes for migrants who are trapped in the Country, ad to boost the direct assistance provided to vulnerable migrants in conditions of extreme distress.
In Sudan, the 2.5-million-euro financing will support activities to assist vulnerable migrants (the victims of human trafficking, refugees, unaccompanied minors, domestic workers). The IOM will assure medical and psycho-social assistance, provide food, hygiene kits and other non-food items, work with the communities of migrants in order to improve their capacity to identify and to protect vulnerable people, and support those migrants who will ask to voluntarily return to their Countries of origin.
In Ethiopia, thanks to the 1-million-euro financing, IOM will work to improve the living conditions of 1000 female-headed households in the Somali and Oromia regions of the Country, helping them to more effectively access sustainable subsistence means, start up business activities and assure that local communities become ever more open to women engaged in the world of labour and in female-managed businesses through awareness-raising campaigns.
“These financings provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation reveal the intention of the Italian Government to contribute to the main Countries of migrant transit through initiatives aimed at improving the living conditions of the most vulnerable groups and providing them with alternative options to irregular migration, an option that is growingly proving to be risky if not lethal. In this scenario, these financings specifically respond to the criticalities that currently exist along migratory routes,” said Federico Soda, Director of the IOM Coordination Office for the Mediterranean.