President Sheikh Mohamed announces $100m for countries affected by 'irregular migration'

UAE leader was at the International Conference on Development and Migration in Rome

President Sheikh Mohamed with Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the International Conference on Development and Migration. Wam
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President Sheikh Mohamed has announced $100 million (Dh367 million) to help countries to deal with large numbers of illegal migrants reaching their borders.

At the International Conference on Development and Migration in Rome on Sunday, Sheikh Mohamed said “irregular migration”, which kills thousands of people every year, was a critical challenge.

Irregular migration includes activities such as human trafficking, crossing borders illegally, smuggling people across borders, and overstaying.

Sheikh Mohamed said that the conference proved that the countries involved were taking action to improve co-operation and integration, according to state news agency Wam.

Representatives from countries such as Tunisia, Cyprus and Libya were in attendance.

On his arrival, Sheikh Mohamed was met by Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the headquarters of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, where the conference was held.

Sheikh Mohamed said that the conference came at a crucial stage, where greater co-operation and solidarity among nations were required.

The UAE firmly believes that international collective action is the best way to tackle shared global challenges, he said, and dealing with asylum or migration cases required strengthening joint efforts to address the causes, and increase co-operation between affected nations, whether a country of origin, transit or those hosting migrants.

Since January, 80,000 migrants have arrived on Italy's coast, compared with 33,000 in the same period last year.

Representatives of Mediterranean countries were among those attending the conference, with the aim of extending an EU-backed deal with Tunisia to curb the arrival of migrants to European shores high on the agenda.

Last week, the EU signed an agreement with Tunisia that provides €105 million in aid to prevent the departure of migrant boats and combat people smugglers.

Ahead of the Cop28 climate summit in Dubai this November, Sheikh Mohamed also reminded delegates in Rome that climate change was one of the main drivers of irregular migration as it can cause drought, destruction of crops and increased poverty. The climate conference will accelerate efforts to address global warming, he said.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohamed, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Tahnoun, Adviser for Special Affairs at the Ministry of Presidential Court, Ali bin Hammad Al Shamsi, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for National Security, and Reem Al Hashemy, Minister of State for International Co-operation, were also in attendance.

Updated: July 24, 2023, 5:24 AM