An installment of the €140 million promised by the European Commission, the grant will support Morocco’s efforts to control irregular migration between North Africa and Europe.
Rabat – Morocco’s Interior Ministry will receive €26 million from Spain to support the country’s ongoing efforts to manage the flow of undocument migrants into Europe.
The grant comes as part of the €140 million promised by the European Commission in the 2019 budget for the “Support for the integral management of borders and migration in Morocco” project.
Spanish outlet El Pais reports that the fund is also intended to boost Moroccan border security, in particular in the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla.
The payment contract between Spain and Morocco is expected to be approved by the Spanish Council of Ministers on July 05.
Morocco has already received €40 million for Spain as part of the European Commission’s grant. Upon the approval of the new agreement, Spain will transfer the additional €26 million.
This most recent installment of the payments to Morocco will be used to purchase equipment including a fleet of vehicles to reinforce its border control.
The fleet will include seven sets of vehicles comprised of four different SUV models, including ambulances, as well four truck models, including tankers and refrigerated vehicles.
Increased surveillance of Moroccan borders has significantly reduced irregular entries into Spain during the first 5 months of 2019.
The Spanish Ministry of Interior registered the arrival of 13,263 people between January and June 2019, showing a decrease of 23% from the same period in 2018.
The statistics on migration began to fall in February 2019, coinciding with Spanish King Felipe VI’s visit to Morocco. During a brief meeting in Rabat, the Spanish monarch discussed the issue of irregular migration with King Mohamed VI.
During the visit, both neighbouring countries agreed on the need for stronger border security to quell the flow of undocumented migrants travelling through Morocco and into Spain.
Spain will also be taking steps to tackle the issue of irregular migration. The European commission granted Spain an emergency fund €5.3 million to support their border security efforts.
The funds are intended to support national police in the management of four temporary migrant holding centers, in which authorities can detain newly arrived undocumented migrants for up to 72 hours pending identification.
The fund is intended to improve the conditions of these facilities, called Temporary Migrant Help Centres (CATE), with the outsourcing of food services, health, cleaning, and translation. The fund will cover the purchase of clothing, blankets, towels and medicines.