A coordination meeting was held today to deal with priorities in terms of migration in the Mediterranean area, between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the IOM (International Organisation for Migration), presided over by Vice Minister Marina Sereni and Director General Antonio Vitorino.
The meeting made it possible to consolidate the integrated approach to migration, based on programmes implemented by Italy in transit Countries and those from which the migratory flows originate. More specifically, the IOM programmes financed in recent months by the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s Migration Fund were discussed. This will make it possible to step up combating human trafficking, while promoting peaceful coexistence with local communities. This will obviously have an effect on reducing the migratory pressure on the Central Mediterranean route. In this regard, unanimous appreciation was expressed for support for important programmes in other countries, that are a priority for Italy. These include: Bosnia Herzegovina, where the Euro 1,5 million set aside by the Foreign Affairs Ministry will be used to increase the local authorities’ capacity to assist and welcome migrants, and to improve the resilience of the local communities. Algeria, beneficiary of a Euro 2 million injection for training functionaries involved in controlling borders, especially in relation to safeguarding the human rights of migrants. Libya and Niger, where the Migration Fund’s commitment will be extended, by means of Euro 5 million in financing of activities for assisting migrants, including assisted voluntary repatriation to their respective Countries of origin. The Horn of Africa, where a recent amount of Euro 2,25 million from the Migration Fund will bring relief to migrants who are in the border areas between the Countries in the region, following the Tigray crisis.
Vice Minister Sereni said: “Dialogue with the IOM is an essential occasion for stepping up Italy’s commitment in dealing with a phenomenon as complex as migration in the Mediterranean area. Thanks to the Migration Fund and Cooperation, in recent years relations with the IOM have taken a huge step forward in terms of quality, by promoting projects in Countries of origin and transit that hinge on the principles of partnership, responsibility and solidarity, keeping our sights firmly on promoting development and the essential matter of safeguarding human rights”.