The European Union will provide Egypt with 20 million Euros ($21.8 million) to support refugees from Sudan, amid the continued influx from the conflict-ravaged country and the perceived threat of a new migration crisis.
In a tweet by the EU’s Foreign Policy chief and the Vice-President of the European Commission, Josep Borrell, he announced that the bloc will “provide as immediate reaction [an] additional €20 million to support Egypt in addressing this new refugee crisis”.
The EU’s decision, said Borrell, stems from the acknowledgement that “Egypt is playing an important role as host country and showing generosity to Sudanese refugees fleeing the country”, as the conflict in Sudan continues to rage on over the two-month mark.
Egypt is playing an important role as host country and showing generosity to Sudanese refugees fleeing the country.
The EU will therefore provide as immediate reaction additional €20 million to support Egypt in addressing this new refugee crisis. pic.twitter.com/guFj4z82Zq
— Josep Borrell Fontelles (@JosepBorrellF) June 18, 2023
Since 15 April, the Sudanese Army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have been battling for control of the country following a disagreement regarding the integration of the RSF into the military.
As a result, roughly a thousand civilians have been killed in the fighting and thousands more have been wounded, with the toll potentially being much higher. Around 1.6 million people in Sudan have also been forced to flee their homes for other areas within the country or to neighbouring countries, and foreign diplomatic missions have also been evacuated.
The EU’s decision comes after Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Ahmed Abu Zeid, said late last month that the number of migrants and refugees hosted by Egypt had increased to nine million, with the arrival of tens of thousands from neighbouring Sudan, putting particular burden on the country.
Earlier this month, Cairo then issued a crackdown on the influx when it announced a new visa entry system for any Sudanese who attempt to cross the border. The reason, it said, was to prevent “illegal activities by individuals and groups on the Sudanese side of the border, who forged entry visas” to make profit. The Egyptian government denied the ruling was an effort to “prevent or limit” the entry of Sudanese nationals.
The EU’s move to further provide Egypt with funds to help host the refugees from Sudan also comes as fears grow in Europe of a potential new refugee crisis from the coasts of northern Africa, in which millions would attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea to the continent in proportions seen during the refugee crisis of 2015.
Provision of funds to host countries between conflict states is, therefore, seen as a buffer strategy to prevent such an influx overflowing beyond their regions.