Italy's foreign ministry said on Thursday it is channelling 2.5 million euros through the Africa Fund to support the activities of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Niger and Egypt.
The 1.5 million euro project titled “Direct Assistance to Abandoned Migrants” aims to boost the presence of the IOM in the north-eastern regions of Niger bordering with Algeria, to provide emergency assistance and medical aid to migrants and support their voluntary return to their countries of origin, according to the foreign ministry's statement.
The “Support and Increase Healthcare Access for migrants and vulnerable Egyptian host community members” project is financed with one million euros and seeks o improve the access to medical assistance of migrants and of particularly vulnerable Egyptian hosting communities by building the IOM’s operating capacity in the country, the statement said.
In Niger, through the support given by Italy from 2017 to date, the IOM has assisted more than 15,000 irregular migrants to return voluntarily to their homelands "in decent and safe conditions and in the full respect of human rights," the statement said.
In Egypt, a country of origin, transit and a destination for major migration flows, the IOM is engaged in providing primary healthcare and medical services to the most vulnerable groups such as unaccompanied minors and the victims of trafficking, the statement added.