Memo: E.U. to Link Afghanistan Aid to Migration Policy
A leaked European Union memo outlines the organization’s plans to make aid to Afghanistan conditional on the country’s acceptance of deported asylum seekers.
Afghans were the second largest national group arriving in Europe last year, after Syrians. The E.U. says at least 80,000 Afghans could be deported.
The leaked document details the E.U.’s plans to persuade the Afghan government to accept more deportees, including financial incentives such as aid for reintegration, and disincentives like conditioning a major aid package on the government’s migration policy.
“This is putting unreasonable pressure on the Afghan government, which is not able to respond to such numbers,” Timor Sharan, senior analyst for the International Crisis Group in Afghanistan, told the Guardian. The E.U. declined to comment on the document.
The plan echoes E.U. deals with Turkey and several countries in Africa in which aid is offered in exchange for policies that curb migration to Europe.
Officials Say Nearing Deal to Aid Syrians Stranded at ‘the Berm’
Talks between Jordan and the U.N. on how to deliver aid and water to thousands of refugees stranded at the Syrian-Jordanian border are nearing a resolution, officials told the Financial Times.
Some 75,000 Syrians have been largely cut off from aid in the border area known as “the berm,” since Jordan declared the area a closed military zone in June after a suicide bomb attack.
Jordan has restricted aid deliveries to “the berm,” saying they are a security risk. The last aid to reach the camp was delivered by crane over the border in August.
Under the new plan to resume aid distributions, supplies would be delivered to community leaders a few kilometers away from the main camp, Jordanian and aid officials told the Financial Times.
Humanitarian groups say the dire conditions at the camps there have caused widespread disease and hunger among the refugees.
Italy Returning Migrants to Sudan
Italy is returning more Sudanese migrants to Sudan under a recent police cooperation deal, despite the African country’s poor human rights record, rights groups say.
Italian police detained around 50 Sudanese migrants at the French border last month and sent most of them back to Sudan in a few days, according to DPA news agency.
In August, Italy and Sudan signed an agreement to facilitate migrant returns, but most of its contents are confidential. Italy’s interior minister recently defended the deal and pledged to step up deportations.
Human rights groups say sending migrants back to Sudan places them in danger, noting that Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir has been indicted on genocide charges by the International Criminal Court.
“It‘s bit like having about 50 German Jews in 1943 and sending them back to Germany,” said Gianni Rufini, head of Amnesty International in Italy.
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