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Impact of the European Union Emergency Trust Fund in Mali: Does not meet the expectations of migrant associations (by the Malian Association for Deportees)

On Saturday July 3, 2021, the Town Hall of Commune I of the District of Bamako hosted a workshop to share the results of survey research on the impact of the European Union (EU) Emergency Trust Fund implemented in Mali, Senegal, and Niger. The research was carried out by the CIMADE, the Association Malienne des Expulsés (AME), REMIDEV (Senegal) and Alternatives Espaces Citoyens (Niger). The general objective was to share their analysis of the Emergency Trust Fund’s impact with civil society organizations.

“Through this space, we want to invite Malian civil society organizations to join with us, to form a bloc, to defend the cause of migrants by calling on government authorities,” declared the president of the AME, Ousmane Diarra. He also drew participants’ attention to the fact that the Emergency Trust Fund is drawing to a close, at the end of the year 2021. After that, he says, “we must join together more than ever in order to be able to safeguard our migrant compatriots.” According to him, the Emergency Trust Fund is being implemented in Mali and it is working. But he regrets that a single European expatriate who works in Mali for the Fund receives more than ten projects of our funded associations combined. "Solutions must be found so that the fund is intended for the true recipients—the migrants," said the president of the AME.

Lamine Diakité, legal assistant at the AME, recalled from the outset that the Emergency Trust Fund (ETF) is made in favor of stability and to fight against the root causes of irregular migration and displacement. It was, he said, created at the EU-Africa Summit on Migration in Valletta in 2015 in response to the increased arrivals of African migrants to European coasts shores.

Today’s meeting, continues Lamine Diakité, is to analyze the impact produced by projects funded by the EU through the ETF. According to him, some projects have been funded by the fund, including the following: the creation of jobs by improving the cashew sector in order to mitigate the causes of emigration in the regions of Sikasso, Kayes, and Koulikoro (implemented by AECID); the Support Program for Strengthening Security in the Mopti and Gao regions and for the management of border areas (PARSEC Mopti-Gao, by Expertise Franc), Strengthening the management and governance of migration and sustainable return and reintegration in Mali (IOM), Youth Employment Creates Opportunities At Home in Mali (EJOM, SNV – Netherlands).

According to the findings of the AME, says Lamine Diakité, the main objective sought by the EU Fund is to stem irregular migration. Thus, the Fund puts the needs of the EU ahead of those of the beneficiary countries. The implementation is carried out by the EU through European agencies or cooperation, and the ETF finances projects that are ill-suited to national contexts (most of these projects were developed in Brussels before the EU started discussions with governments of the beneficiary countries).

According to Pierre Yossa, president of GRAM (Group for Reflection and Action on Migration), this Fund is not intended for us. It is intended at best for the Europeans who financed it, who give with the right hand and snatch with the left hand, rather than for the migrants who should be the real beneficiaries. We must come together to say that the fund serves donors more than those who actually benefit. The AME initiative was strongly welcomed by the participants who pledged to support the idea of cohesion and solidarity to defend migrants.

Hadama B. Fofana

Source: Le Republicain (Mali)
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Thursday 5 August 2021

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