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Emergency Trust Fund for Africa

Policy approach in the Sahel and Lake Chad

A two-fold approach for the Sahel and Lake Chad window

1. To prevent irregular migration and forced displacement and facilitate better migration management and returns

In 2016, 181 000 migrants have reached the European shores in Italy, most of them transiting through Chad and Niger. An increasing part is coming from West Africa: Nigeria, Guinea, Ivory Coast, The Gambia, Senegal and Mali featuring in the top ten countries of origin. Driven by economic precariousness, insecurity and violent conflicts, and social, political and historical context, migrants are facing important risks during their difficult journey along the central Mediterranean route, among which torture, trafficking in human beings, exploitation, or robbery.

Our action takes place all along this route: we improve the living conditions in regions with a high migration potential through the development of economic and employment opportunities in order to prevent irregular migration and facilitate reintegration. In transit countries, we transform the systems built around irregular migration and strengthen national authorities' capacities to fight against smugglers and traffickers and better control their borders. All along the route, we protect migrants and displaced people, support voluntary returns, facilitate sustainable reintegration and capacitate the authorities to implement a better migration management.

2. To build a comprehensive approach for stability, security and resilience

The security situation in the Sahel and Lake Chad region remains volatile due to the presence of terrorist and criminal groups, the trafficking of drugs and human beings, and the spreading radicalisation. Management of cross-border issues is crucial for stability and security in this context, and has national, regional and global implications, including for the EU. Poverty and food and nutritional security vulnerabilities are also both a source and a result of instability sometimes exacerbating pre-existing pressures. The Sahel continues to face an ongoing structural food crisis, aggravated by the weakness of public institutions that cannot ensure the access to basic services nor foster the resilience to chronic crisis and external shocks.

The EUTF for Africa works towards reinforcing the resilience of local communities through Linking Relief, Reconstruction and Development (LRRD) efforts in areas particularly affected by the current environmental, socio-economic and security challenges. At the same time, actions are engaged with a view to supporting national governments to improve border management, fight against transnational trafficking and criminal networks and terrorism-related activities. Finally, a support is also offered to national and local authorities in the prevention of radicalisation and violent extremism.