European Union Unveils $8 Billion Aid Package for Egypt Amid Migration Concerns

The European Union has announced an $8 billion aid package for Egypt in response to mounting economic pressures and conflicts in neighboring regions, potentially driving more migrants towards European shores.

The agreement is set to be finalized during a visit by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and leaders from Belgium, Italy, Austria, Cyprus, and Greece. Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi met separately with von der Leyen and Belgium Prime Minister Alexander De Croo ahead of the signing ceremony.

The aid package, comprising grants and loans over the next three years, aims to bolster cooperation between Egypt and the EU, particularly focusing on economic and non-economic areas. The EU will support Egypt in fortifying its borders, particularly with Libya, a key transit point for migrants, and assist in hosting Sudanese refugees fleeing conflict.

While Egypt has long been a destination or transit point for migrants, especially from sub-Saharan Africa, it faces migratory pressures amidst regional conflicts. The deal seeks to inject vital funds into Egypt’s economy, which has been impacted by government austerity, the pandemic, and recent conflicts.

The agreement follows similar deals with Tunisia and Mauritania, aiming to enhance border security in exchange for financial support. However, the package has drawn criticism from international rights groups over Egypt’s human rights record, with calls for clear benchmarks to address concerns.

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