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NGOs operating in Ethiopia are putting projects into place that include training, support for microbusinesses, cultural activities and access to basic services and academic research, to help respond to the challenge of irregular migration from the country.

 NGOs operating in Ethiopia are putting projects into place that include training, support for microbusinesses, cultural activities and access to basic services and academic research, to help respond to the challenge of irregular migration from the country. The initiatives and projects are being created with the contribution of the Italian Agency for Cooperation and Development (AICS). This theme was the subject of a conference held at the headquarters of the Italian Foreign Ministry in Rome, organised by the NGO International Centre for Childhood and Family (CIFA) in collaboration with the Centre for Politics and International Studies (CeSPI).

 Awareness, research, culture and microbusinesses

"We are carrying out numerous operations with migration as the subject," said AICS Director Laura Frigenti. She said the Agency is focusing on three elements, the first of which is "the diffusion of correct information; only by looking at real data can we find real solutions". To this she added the effort to "promote a different narrative" and activities around work and economic support to "alleviate the quantity of the migrant flows, because migration must be a choice, not a necessity".During the conference, the NGOs CIFA, COOPI (International Cooperation) and VIS (International Volunteers for Development) presented their projects linked to cooperation for fighting irregular migration from Ethiopia.

They highlighted the importance of building public awareness regarding the migratory phenomenon and the risks of the journey, including through games and theatre activities in the country's schools. In addition to this, proposals included academic research activities to strengthen knowledge on the phenomenon, the results of which would be used to strengthen local institutions. The NGOs also carried out activities in work training, women's empowerment, encouraging businesses and microbusinesses including through microcredit financing. The organisations are also involved in providing basic services such as healthcare.

 Proposed roundtable consultation with stakeholders

The NGOs also presented to AICS and the Italian Foreign Ministry a document with a proposal for "creating a roundtable for a consultation and work group of stakeholders on the theme of migration in Ethiopia". According to data provided during the conference, it is estimated that Ethiopia has surpassed 100 million residents and the population growth rate is at 2.8%. In addition, it was reported that there were 480,000 regular migrants between 2008 and 2013, with an estimated 600,000 irregular migrants in 2010. In any case, 70% of Ethiopian migrants are said to be irregular and 90% reach surrounding countries. In the picture, Italian deputy Foreign minister Mario Giro (left) and Mario Pastori, project coordinater of the Ong CIFA, take part to the Conference in Rome

 

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