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European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations
News article16 July 2020Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations

EU delivers support to border management in Libya

Today, the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF Africa) is announcing delivery of 30 vehicles (SUV) by the Italian Ministry of Interior, the main implementing partner, for use by the Libyan authorities as part of the EU border management...

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Today, the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF Africa) is announcing delivery of 30 vehicles (SUV) by the Italian Ministry of Interior, the main implementing partner, for use by the Libyan authorities as part of the EU border management programmes in Libya (worth €57.2 million).

Since 2017, the EU is providing support to increase the operational capacity of the Libyan Coast Guard (LCGPS) and Navy and the General Administration for Coastal Security (GACS) through the North of Africa window of the EUTF Africa in order to prevent further tragic losses in the Mediterranean and to crack down on migrant smuggling networks.

Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Olivér Várhelyi, said: “With this delivery, the European Union is continuing its close cooperation with Italy to strengthen the border management and Search and Rescue capacities of our Libyan partners. This remains a priority for the EU. We remain also fully committed to the UN-led Berlin Process as the sole viable framework to relaunch the political process in Libya.”

EUTF support to Libyan border management aims to protect the lives of those making dangerous journeys by land or sea.

Improving the treatment of those rescued is a priority for the EU, including through the provision of direct emergency assistance and protection at disembarkation points being delivered through the EU’s protection programmes in the form of blankets, clothes, hygiene kits and medical assistance. Border management needs to go hand in hand with the work we are doing on the sustainable socioeconomic development of local communities in Libyan municipalities, as well as humanitarian evacuations, assisted voluntary returns and reintegration of migrants.

Background

Libya remains the biggest beneficiary of the EUTF Africa North of Africa window, with a total value of €455 million in programmes and with substantial funding going to protection of migrants and refugees and community stabilisation, alongside actions for border management.

Border management programmes in Libya under the EUTF now amount to €57.2 million. So far, a series of technical trainings have been provided to 83 GACS staff on issues like navigation skills for ship management and diving to increase their capacity to save lives at sea, the courses including human rights.

Further imminent actions under the Trust Fund will include the signature of a contract for six nine-meter rubber boats for GACS and LCGPS, due in the coming days and a tender for 14 additional rubber boats to be launched in September. Regarding land vehicles, future deliveries will include 40 SUVs, 13 buses and 17 ambulances for the LCGPS.

The EUTF is also contributing to the basic infrastructure for the Libyan coast guards. Satellite telephones have been supplied to LCGPS and tenders for the purchase of 10 office containers as well as the purchase of 500 uniforms for the LCGPS have been launched.

While border management in Libya remains a priority in particular to save lives at sea, €30 million has recently been reallocated to respond to needs arising from the COVID-19 virus and the repercussions of the ongoing conflict.

The revised border management programme will strengthen the Libyan Coast Guard and Port Security's capacity for search and rescue activities and prevention of migrant smuggling, support the maintenance of boats to be delivered by the Italian Government, provide further training as well as support the establishment of the Libyan Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre.

The EUTF Africa has set up a third-party monitoring framework to assess the human rights compliance of its interventions in Libya.

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