Tripoli — SOME 3 800 refugees stranded in Libya are to be evacuated after the European Union (EU) provided funds worth €150 million (R2,15 billion) to that effect.
The funding will provide protection and voluntary humanitarian return to 15 000 migrants stranded in the North African country and support them with reintegration assistance in their countries of origin.
It will also support the resettlement of more than 14 000 people in need of international protection from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad and Niger.
The new programmes complement ongoing efforts of the EU to protect migrants and provide them with sustainable reintegration options in Libya, along the Central Mediterranean Route and in Ethiopia.
EU Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said these new measures, the European bloc continued to save and protect lives and tackle the root causes of migration.
"The EU stands by the many African migrants and refugees in need," Mimica said.
The programes are rolled out under the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa.
It was established in 2015 in order to address the root causes of irregular migration and forced displacement.
The initiative has provided significant results, by enabling, the rescue of more than 3 600 migrants in the desert, the voluntary return of more than 15 800 migrants to their countries of origin from Libya and the post-arrival assistance and reintegration to more than 23 500 migrants.
Thousands of migrants are stranded in Libya after failed trips to Europe via the Mediterranean.