Spain and Morocco continue to be key partners in the fight against irregular migration and to reinforce collaboration in terms of border control.
Rabat – The Spanish government is satisfied with the intensified border control from the Moroccan side as part of the collaboration in the fight against irregular migration.
Spanish news outlet El Pais reported that the Spanish-Moroccan cooperation in irregular migration helped Sanchez’ government to reduce “more than half of the arrivals on Spanish coasts.”
Spanish NGO Salvamento Maritimo shared data revealing Morocco’s intensified cooperation to rescue migrants off waters.
“Morocco is cooperating more than ever in recent years,” El Pais quoted sources from Salvamento Maritimo as saying.
Spanish emergency services rescued only rescued 11 boats, nine of which were rescued in the first half of 2019 and only two in the second half.
Spain rescued 669 people during the operations. The number represents a 4% decrease in migrants compared to 2018.
Meanwhile, El Pais recalled that Morocco rescued over 8,000 migrants last year.
Last year in August, El Pais said the number of irregular arrivals had reached 24,159.
The number marked the “first time since 2010,” helping Spain to reach its goal of reducing undocumented migration by half.
The number of undocumented migrants reached a record of 64,298.
Spain and Morocco maintain good cooperation in the fight against irregular migration. Spain has also served as an advocate for Morocco’s interests in the European Union.
Last year in November, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez asked the EU to increase the funding it grants to Morocco to help Europe fulfill its border control goals.
Morocco “must be endowed with sufficient resources to deal with illegal immigration,” said the prime minister.
The EU granted Morocco a new financial grant of €101.7 million last year in December. The fund aims to prevent would-be migrants from risking their lives at sea.
The fund is part of the €147.7 million that the EU earmarked for the Emergency Trust Fund for Africa to combat illegal immigration and human trafficking, protect vulnerable people, and increase economic development in North Africa.