At the Italian embassy in Addis Ababa, its newly anointed ambassador signed a grant worth 20 million Euro with a number of civil society groups as a complement to the European Union strategy to help end the flow of Ethiopian migrants from reaching the European soil.
The initiative named SINCE (Stemming Irregular Migration in Northern and Central Ethiopia) is to help train young people and women to be self-sufficient and resilient and not take the dangerous Mediterranean route for economical opportunities elsewhere.
“With the signature of the agreements, SINCE Program enters the operational phase with the implementation of the activities which will last 24 months,” Ambassador Arturo Luzzie said. “The migration issue is crucial for both Europe and Africa but first of all for the dignity of human beings. We have a common responsibility to protect and save lives and fight the criminal networks.”
The program is to include Ethiopian and Italian civil societies along with organizations such as the International Labor Organization (ILO). The later is said to provide technical support for the program. The program will focus on the rural and urban areas, which the embassy described as “migration-prone regions” in the Amhara, Oromia, Southern Nations, the Nationalities and Peoples Region and Tigray.
“SINCE will create the conditions for a better access to decent work and will improve the living conditions of the population,” said Ginevra Ietizia, the Director of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in the capital. The organization has been announcing such funding on a regular basis, mostly on job creation programs for the youth.
Among the noted partners of the funding announced are Mesfin Industrial Engineering PLC, Care Ethiopia, LVIA Italian, Kidane Garment and Concern Worldwide, an Irish-based agency, now operating in Ethiopia.
The ambassador reflected on the hardships of migrants in hub nations such as Libya, which was recently featured on CNN harboring the mistreatment of migrants, including the selling of humans in the open market and utter abuse. “The migration issue is crucial for both Europe and Africa but first of all for the dignity of human beings”, he said. “The images of slavery in Libya are really shocking but we know that they are not new. We should also open regular channels for mobility and migration and create economic opportunities to young people in the countries of origin”.