The Horn of Africa, with its geostrategic location, is a source, as well as an area of transit and of destination of mixed migratory flows, and a centre of migratory routes towards Europe, the Gulf countries and the Middle East, and Southern Africa. The region is affected by the challenges of irregular migration, forced displacement, trafficking in human beings, smuggling of people and violent conflict. With nearly 250 million inhabitants and a rapidly growing population, the Horn of Africa hosts the largest number of internally displaced persons and refugees in Africa, and one of the biggest in the world. These challenges have numerous drivers which vary according to local contexts, but are commonly rooted in a lack of socio-economic opportunities, poverty, instability or climate change.
The EU Trust Fund is a key tool to address these challenges. Its implementation in the Horn of Africa puts into practice the joint commitment of the EU, its Member States and African partners to better manage migration flows, agreed upon at the Migration Summit of the 11th and 12th of November 2015 in Valletta. EU Trust Fund projects in the Horn of Africa therefore contribute to the priority initiatives set out in the Valletta Action Plan, in complementarity with other relevant financial instruments.
The EU Trust Fund focuses on communities located along migratory routes who experience high levels of irregular migration, by supporting the creation of economic and employment opportunities and by strengthening their resilience.
It addresses the needs of displaced persons as well as host communities through Regional Development and Protection Programmes, contributing to their social cohesion and peaceful coexistence.
The Trust Fund supports the return and reintegration of returnees into their areas of origin by increasing access to basic services and economic opportunities for both returnees and the communities they return to, as well as promoting greater harmony between the two.
Finally, the Trust Fund finances projects aimed at building the capacity of governments to manage migration more efficiently. This is done by helping them to prevent and fight human trafficking and smuggling, to improve border management, to offer assistance to victims of trafficking and smuggling, and to raise awareness of the dangers of irregular migration and the alternatives to it.
In doing so, the Trust Fund is key in facilitating progress on cooperation frameworks and High Level Dialogues on migration, such as the Khartoum process and the Partnership Framework with Ethiopia under the European Agenda on Migration adopted in June 2016, as well as the Comprehensive Refugee Response Framework launched at the High Level Summit on Migration of 19 September 2016.
To pursue these objectives, the EU Trust Fund has provided a budget of approximately €878.8 million to date for the Horn of Africa until 2020, including €100 million channelled through a Special Measure for Sudan. For more information on budget sources, please see the main Trust Fund page.