The European Union Ambassador to The Gambia, Attila Lajos Wednesday organized a breakfast briefing with the Press at the Kairaba Beach Hotel in Kololi.
The briefing was to inform journalists about the EU Emergency Trust Fund Project in the Gambia. He said the Fund was created to foster stability and contribute to better migration management and to address the root courses of destabilization, forced displacement, irregular migration and challenges as well as the opportunities of migration
The Trust Fund for Africa is worth 3.4 Billion Euros with over 88% of contributions from the EU and around 12% from EU members states and other donors. The bulk of its resources are dedicated to the creation of jobs and economic development especially for young people
Ambassador Lajos revealed that in the Gambia the EU is running two projects funded by the EUFT: The Youth Empowerment Project (YEP) implemented by the International Trade Center (ITC) and the project EU-IOM Joint Initiative for Migrant Protection and Reintegration; The Gambia (EU-IOM joint initiative) implemented by the International Organization for Migration which has a budget of 11 and 3.9 Million Euros respectively.
The other priority areas are supporting resilience, support basic services for local populations, ensuring local government ownership and capacity building in migration management to prevent irregular migration, fight human trafficking and make reintegration more sustainable for returnees as well as stability and governance in particular, by promoting conflict prevention, addressing human right abuses and enforcing the rule of law.
Ambassador Lajos said that the European Union stands ready to fully support President Adama Barrow, his government and the Gambian people on the path to democratic reforms.
The EU Ambassador expressed confidence in the new Gambia saying there is peace which can help offer a great future to all its sons and daughters to live up their hopes and expectations in freedom and prosperity.
“This is The Gambia we wish to accompany the Gambia Government towards. This is not about aid or charity but it is about cooperation,” he stated.
The YEP Country Director, Mr.Raimond Moser, stated that their project is to boost the country’s economic development, reduce migratory pressure, and to develop the economy by increasing training and employment opportunities for populations prone to migration or returnees to the Gambia and tackle the root causes of irregular migration through increased job opportunities and prospects for the youths.
He mentioned that over 1531 youths have benefited from training and other forms of support, over hundred youths are currently enrolled in training activities under the project and are not yet reflected in this figure.
He further stated that, YEP is a four-year project beginning from 2017, funded by the EU Trust Fund for Africa and has a total budget of 11 Million Euros.