EU to provide Eritrea with $220m to help reduce poverty

The European Union will provide 200 million euros ($220 million) in long-term support to Eritrea to reduce poverty and stem the flow of migrants to Europe.

The support, through the 11th European Development Fund, will focus on the energy sector and development of governance. The aid is intended to help Eritrea implement the recommendations of a periodic review of human rights by the United Nations, according to an EU statement dated Dec. 11.

The African country has been accused of “gross human rights violations” by a UN commission in Eritrea, while the Eritrean government called the commission’s activities an “unwarranted witch-hunting” last week in a statement.

“In Eritrea, we have agreed to promote activities with concrete results for the population, such as the creation of job opportunities and the improvement of living conditions,” said Neven Mimica, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, in the statement. “We are insisting on the full respect of human rights as part of our ongoing political dialogue with Eritrea.”

More than 5,000 people flee the country each month, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

 – Bloomberg