Morocco to receive $64.2 million from EU to help halt migration
40 migrants who have been kept at sea for two weeks arrived Tunisia “for humanitarian reasons.” The migrants were reportedly stranded in the Mediterranean Sea for five days before a Maltese ship picked them up and then transferred them to the Tunisian-flagged commercial boat on July 16. Italy, Malta and France all refused to let the vessel into their ports. (AP Photo/Mounir Beji
London, August 2, 2018 (AltAfrica)-Spain’s foreign minister says the European Union’s executive branch has allocated 55 million euros ($64.2 million) to manage an upsurge of migrant arrivals, mostly from Morocco.
Josep Borrell says that at least half of the funds will be used to “alleviate the current circumstances in Morocco,” where an increase of smuggling boat departures has put a strain on Spanish authorities across the Strait of Gibraltar.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says the EU has given the North African kingdom more than 100 million euros ($117 million) to tackle migration over the past decade.
In a letter published Wednesday on Twitter, Juncker told Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez that the EU was “ready to increase its contribution,” but member countries need to feed a common fiduciary fund for Africa.
With nearly 23,000 migrants arriving so far this year, Spain has become the main entry point into Europe for migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea by boat.