By: Kebba AF Touray
So far, 1000 youth have been trained and 242 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises supported, and 38,000 youth have been reached in a community outreach programme, courtesy of the 3.9 Million euro EU-IOM Project.
This was revealed by the EU Ambassador to The Gambia Attila Lajos, yesterday July 25th 2018, at a Press breakfast with Journalists and representatives of the Youth Empowerment Project, YEP. The Press breakfast was to discuss the European Union Emergency Trust Fund projects, in the Gambia, namely YEP, ITC, and the EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration, implemented in the Gambia, in order to further deepen the close working relationship between the press and the EU Delegation in The Gambia.
Speaking at the event, the EU Ambassador to The Gambia Attila Lajos, said they decided to discuss the issue of migration, as one of the biggest challenges in the country.
He said the two EU projects, seek to reduce migration and funding is available to the tune of 14.9 million Euros in total and underscored that the EU is keen to assist the Gambia, in line with its developed Action Plans and incorporation with the different stakeholders, both within and outside Government.
“The Emergency Trust Fund was established at the Valletta Summit on migration in November 2015, to foster stability and contribute to better migration management, by addressing the root causes of destabilization, forced displacement and irregular migration. The Trust Fund for Africa is worth over 3.4 billion Euros, with over 88 percent of the contributions coming from the EU and about 12 percent from EU Member States and other donors”, he explained.
He stressed further that the Gambia benefits from both bilateral and regional collaboration. While admitting that migration is multifaceted, Lajos urges journalists to report accurately on migration issues; that a thousand potential migrants have so far been reached out and 500 is expected to be reached through the community outreach sensitization; that 38,000 youth have been reached, 1000 youth trained and 242 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises supported, curtsey of the EU-IOM Project.
Euan Mcdougall, the Interim Project Manager for the Joint Initiative, disclosed that the EU-IOM Joint Initiative, is a three year project that generally seeks to contribute to strengthen the governance of migration and sustainable reintegration of returning migrants in the country, as well as respond to the growing challenges of irregular migration in Africa; that the Initiative covers thirteen countries in West African and Libya.
Raimund Moser, Project Manager, said YEP is a four year project that started during this new dispensation; that the project is worth eleven million Euros and is funded by European Union Trust Fund for Africa and implemented by the International Trade Center. This he added, focuses on providing jobs for returnees and address the root causes of irregular migration as well as provide opportunities for private sector development through the Ministries of Trade and Employment and Youth and Sport, as counterparts.