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International cooperation Swiss pledge funds to stem migration from Africa

A group of immigrants from sub-Saharan Africa rescued by the Spanish coast guard in 2014

(Keystone)

The government has decided to contribute CHF5 million ($5.1 million) to a European emergency trust fund to combat the causes of migration from Africa.

The Swiss participation will boost international cooperation to tackle the roots of migration in the countries of origin and in transit states, according to the justice ministry.

It also allows Switzerland to decide which projects it wants to support to complement Swiss aid programmes already underway, the statement added.

At the Africa migration summit on Malta last November, 25 European Union member states, as well as Norway and Switzerland launched the €1.8 billion (CHF1.97 billion) fundexternal link. It aims to support the most fragile countries, notably in the Sahel region, the Horn of Africa and northern Africa.

“The fund aims to help foster stability in the regions to respond to the challenges of irregular migration and displacement and contribute to better migration management,” the statement quotes a European Commission document.

Switzerland, along with most other European states, has been trying to cope with a wave of immigration from the Middle East and Africa over the past few years.

An estimated 100,000 immigrants of African background currently live in Switzerland, according to the African Diaspora Councilexternal link.

Applicants from Somalia and Eritrea, as well as Nigeria, regularly top the list of asylum seekers.

Urs Geiser, swissinfo.ch


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