News story

New funds to help tackle causes of migration

Prime Minister announces £200 million to help tackle causes of migration, and £2 million UK contribution to the EU’s Africa Trust Fund.

The UK is providing a further £200 million in bilateral aid to Africa to tackle the root causes of migration, the Prime Minister announced, as European and African leaders gathered in Malta to develop a coordinated approach to address the migrant and refugee crisis.

The UN estimates there are almost 15 million forcibly displaced people in Africa, including three million refugees. So far this year around 140,000 migrants have arrived in Italy by sea – the majority from African countries such as Nigeria, Somalia and Sudan.

The new funding, announced at the EU-Africa Valletta Summit, is part of the UK’s comprehensive approach to address the migration crisis.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening, said:

If we are to stop people risking their lives by making dangerous journeys to Europe, we need to tackle the root causes of problems such as instability and lack of opportunity that drive people to move in the first place.

If people don’t have access to basics like clean water and healthcare, education for their children and the dignity of a job to support themselves and their family, they will try to find a better situation somewhere else. So creating better lives and opportunities, helping the countries that people want to migrate from develop, is the only long term solution to help lessen the drivers of migration.

On top of our existing work in Africa, our new support will create jobs in East Africa, give food and water to people in Sudan who have fled their homes, and provide education and training in Ethiopia. It stands alongside all our other work responding to the Syria crisis where our help on food, shelter, health, water and education is giving people a better option to stay in the region. We are also ensuring those who have already made the journey to Europe have basics such as shelter, food and water as winter approaches.

The £200 million package is made up of:

  • £15 million to provide life-saving aid and humanitarian assistance for those forcibly displaced by recent crises in the Sahel and Sudan
  • £125 million to give refugees in Ethiopia displaced by protracted crises access to education, healthcare, water, shelter and training programmes so they can build a better life for themselves
  • £27 million to build resilience and mitigate the impact of environmental pressures such as El Niño in areas of Africa that are particularly vulnerable, including in Somalia, Kenya, Uganda and the Sahel
  • £33 million for economic development programmes in Somalia and East Africa which will boost private sector investment in agriculture and high value industries and create tens of thousands of new jobs.

The UK is also contributing around £2 million to the EU’s £1.3 billion Africa Trust Fund which will focus on tackling the root causes of migration in the Sahel, North Africa and the Horn of Africa.

The funding will be used to tackle the lack of jobs, growth and opportunities for people in their home countries and in the region. The UK’s contribution will be allocated to countries in the Horn of Africa – the largest source of migration into the UK from Africa.

The latest support builds on the UK’s work in Africa to bring stability, jobs and livelihoods to irregular migrants’ countries of origin, helping tackle the root causes of the pressures to migrate.

Our support is helping register refugees in Ethiopia and providing food vouchers for refugee camps in Sudan along the border with Eritrea. We are also investing in employment programmes for young people in Ethiopia, Uganda, Nigeria and Somalia which has created thousands of jobs.

Notes to Editors

  1. The UK is the second largest bilateral donor in Africa providing around £2bn this year.
  2. The new £200 million in bilateral support builds on a recent announcement of £217 million for projects in Africa to help approximately 2.5 million refugees and vulnerable people in the countries that the majority of migrants are travelling from or through. This includes the Sahel region, South Sudan, Kenya, Sudan, Central African Republic and Nigeria.
  3. The UK is also providing more than £1.1 billion in response to the Syria crisis. This is providing food, water, shelter, healthcare and education for people affected by the conflict and helping them stay close to their homes in neighbouring countries.
  4. For migrants and refugees who have already made the journey to Europe, the UK is providing nearly £25 million in basic supplies such as tents, sleeping bags and clothes.