EU-Egypt Historic Aid Package Signed to Tackle Migration and Boost Development

EU-Egypt Historic Aid Package Signed to Tackle Migration and Boost Development

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In a significant development in Cairo, the European Union and Egypt have embarked on a new chapter in their relations with the signing of an aid package deal, hailed as “historic” by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni. This monumental agreement, aimed at curbing illegal migration and supporting development, marks a pivotal moment for both parties involved.

Historic Pact to Combat Illegal Migration

Speaking at the Egyptian-EU summit in Cairo, Meloni underscored the importance of addressing the root causes of illegal migration by promoting development within the African continent. She emphasized that ensuring citizens of Africa do not feel compelled to migrate towards Europe is crucial, a goal achievable only through sustainable development initiatives.

A Generous Aid to Support Egypt

The European Union has stepped forward with a substantial aid package for Egypt, amounting to 7.4 billion euros ($8 billion), in response to the growing economic challenges and potential migration pressures stemming from conflicts in neighboring countries. This financial assistance aims to bolster Egypt’s economy and manage migration more effectively.

The package includes a combination of grants and loans spread over the next three years, targeting various development projects in the Arab world’s most populous nation. A significant portion of the funds, 5 billion euros ($5.4 billion), is allocated as macro-financial assistance, showcasing the EU’s commitment to Egypt’s economic stability.

Strategic and Comprehensive Partnership

The deal, known as the Joint Declaration, was signed in a ceremony that saw the attendance of key figures, including Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, along with leaders from Belgium, Italy, Austria, Cyprus, and Greece. This agreement elevates the cooperation between Egypt and the EU to a “strategic and comprehensive partnership,” facilitating broader collaboration across economic and non-economic sectors.

Despite criticism from human rights groups regarding Egypt’s record, the EU and Egypt are determined to advance their partnership with a focus on democracy, fundamental freedoms, human rights, and gender equality. The aid package also includes measures to enhance border security, particularly with Libya, and support for Sudanese refugees in Egypt.

Addressing Regional Challenges

The cooperation extends to tackling challenges related to migration and terrorism, with the EU providing support to Egypt in hosting over 460,000 Sudanese refugees fleeing conflict. Additionally, the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict and its potential implications for regional stability underscore the importance of this EU-Egypt partnership.

With nearly 9 million migrants in Egypt, including around 480,000 registered refugees and asylum-seekers, the EU’s support is timely. It aims not only to manage migration flows but also to contribute to the economic integration and stability of the region.

The EU-Egypt aid package is a testament to the power of international cooperation in addressing global challenges. By focusing on development and strategic partnerships, the EU and Egypt are laying the groundwork for a more stable, prosperous future for the region, with the hope of mitigating the factors that drive illegal migration and ensuring the well-being of millions in need.

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