Bulgaria Contributes EUR 50,000 to EU's Emergency Trust Fund for Africa
Bulgaria will contribute EUR 50,000 to the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, which seeks to tackle the root causes of migration.
The EUR 1.8 B fund, which was launched by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Thursday, is aimed at providing stability and addressing the root causes of irregular migration and displaced persons in Africa.
It was launched by Juncker and several European Heads of State or Government, who are participating at the international summit on migration, which is taking place in Valletta on Wednesday and Thursday.
The funding will be provided from EU financing instruments and contributions from member states and other donors.
So far, 25 member states and two non-EU donors (Switzerland and Norway) have announced a total contribution of around EUR 78.2 M, the website of the European Commission informs.
The fund steps up the EU's collective response to current challenges on the ground and is a complementary tool to the Union's already existing development cooperation in the region.
The regions that are to benefit from the fund are the Sahel region, the Lake Chad area, the Horn of Africa and the North of Africa, which together encompass the major African migration routes to Europe.
The first meeting of the Strategic Board of the fund will take place in Valletta on Thursday to ensure the swift launch of activities.
On Wednesday, Juncker and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini signed the Common Agenda for Mobility and Migration with Ethiopia.
The agenda notes the importance of Ethiopia as a key country of origin, transit and destination of irregular migrants and refugees from the Horn of Africa on their route to Europe.
The two parties vowed to cooperate on issues of international protection and refugees' needs, legal migration and mobility, irregular migration, smuggling and trafficking in human beings and development policy.
The participants at the summit also adopted a political declaration and a joint action plan, which are aimed at stepping up cooperation on migration.
The action plan aims at taking concrete actions in order to: maximise the development benefits of migration and address root causes; better organise legal channels for migration and mobility; ensure international protection for migrants and asylum seekers; intensify the fight against criminal networks engaged in migrant smuggling and human trafficking; step up cooperation on return and readmission.
The summit in Valletta brings together European and African Heads of State or Government as well as representatives of the EU, the African Union Commission, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, the UN, UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
The summit will be followed by an informal meeting of the European Council later on Thursday.
The EU summit, which was convened by European Council President Donald Tusk, will discuss the latest developments in the migration crisis.
Bulgaria is represented at both summits by Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
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