Posted on Friday, 29 July 2016 14:26

Italy, Ethiopia sign 20 million euro migration agreement

By Tinishu Solomon

Refugees from East African countries including Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia gather outside the offices of the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR in 6th October City on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt Monday, Feb. 14, 2011, demanding they be resettled outside Egypt. Photo©Ben Curtis/AP/SIPAAid agencies and donors signed a 20 million euro grant agreement on Thursday to stem irregular migration from Northern and Central Ethiopia.

Giuseppe Mistretta, Italian ambassador to Ethiopia, signed the two grant agreements with the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) on Thursday.

The signed agreements will be used to fund a Programme called Stemming Irregular Migration from Northern and Central Ethiopia (SINCE).

The signatories said the project would work on creating more employment and economic opportunities for migrants, potential migrants, refugees and returnees.

The initiative is part of the strengthened co-operation between the EU, Italy and Ethiopia on migration policies.

With about 100 million inhabitants and more than 740,000 refugees, Ethiopia is both an origin and transit point for migrants, with the main destination being Europe, while other destinations are the Gulf, Middle East and South Africa.

"This signature builds on our excellent partnership with ILO and UNIDO," Ginevra Letizia, of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS), said.

They "will bring their valuable expertise in the realisation of a socio-economic assessment to identify the most significant value chains to boost sustainable employment for women and youth identified by the government of Ethiopia as key targets for the development of the Country," Letizia continued.

The SINCE programme will be implemented in urban areas within the regions of Amhara, Tigray, Oromia, SNNPR and Addis Ababa – which have high incidence of migration.

"The development of targeted agro-industries, and related sectors, goes hand in hand with employment creation and the new generation of development strategies," UNIDO's representative, Jean Bakole, said.

"Labour-intensity is indeed one of the key parameters taken into account for creating economic and education opportunities, building better governance and tackling causes of irregular migration."

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