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EU warned against using aid to impose migration policy on African countries

European Union (EU) has been warned against reducing development aid in order to impose its migration policy on African countries.

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“Reducing development budgets is not a structural solution to the migration crisis. On the contrary, the population is always the first victim, and that gives it another reason to flee. We cannot use European development budgets as leverage to impose a European migration policy in Africa,” said Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo.

Addressing an informal meeting of EU Ministers of Development Cooperation, Mr De Croo urged the EU to provide positive incentives for countries collaborating on a human and controlled migration. He said such an approach was better than a punitive approach based solely on stopping aid.

Mr De Croo appealed for the use of EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, to create a positive incentive.

He also urged the EU to make good use of the Official Development Assistance (ODA).

“We must be very careful about how we allocate public funds as they become increasingly limited. The Official Development Assistance must go where we make the biggest difference: in least developed countries that have less access to other funding sources such as private investment,” Mr Alexander De Croo said.

The ODA, he added, must also act as an incentive by providing capital to launch new innovating forms of financing where the private sector will have to play a much bigger role.

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