Italy will spend €8 million on a plan to reduce migration flows through Niger. This was announced by Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Emanuela Del Re during a visit to the African country.
Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Emanuela Del Re told Radio Anch'io on October 14 that she was "in Niger to bring humanitarian aid to a population that needs support due to the recent flooding, but also to launch a new action plan for the migratory question."
She said Niger is "one of the most collaborative countries in terms of migration."
"It's a transit country that has committed itself to reducing migratory flows by fighting human trafficking," Del Re said. "Therefore, in collaboration with the United Nations, and in partnership with Niger, Italy wants to support a new action plan."
Five pillars of the plan
The Niger action plan for migratory flows, drafted by the Italian foreign ministry together on-site with UN organisations that will put the plan into action, is financed with €8 million.
The plan aims to protect and assist migrants and refugees, to help their integration into local communities and to develop job opportunities for (potential future) migrants back home. The goal is also to fight human trafficking and to coordinate migration projects already underway in Niger.
This is the first time Italy is pursuing this type of plan.
Niger is a transit country
On Wednesday, Del Re introduced the plan to Nigerian Foreign Minister Kalla Ankourao. She said that given its location, "Niger is a strategic political and security partner and currently represents one of the major beneficiaries of Italian aid in the field of cooperatiom."
(Niger is located in West Africa. It borders on North African countries Algeria and Libya. Because of this, it is a transit country for many migrants trying to cross from Sub-Saharan countries further south to Europe.)
"Helping a country such as Niger is helping ourselves, because by now we understand how we are all interconnected," Del Re told Radio Anch'io. "Therefore, bringing humanitarian aid to the people of Niger doesn't take anything away from the Italian people, but instead we are supporting a country that's very close to Italy and needs to solve its security problems."