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Mediterranean Sea

Home Office written question – answered on 10th November 2014.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), Party Chair, Co-operative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what discussions she has had with her counterparts in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia on the decision to end funding for search and rescue missions for migrants in danger of drowning in the Mediterranean; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), Party Chair, Co-operative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps she is taking to support countries of origin and transit in North Africa to assist them to prevent migrants from attempting dangerous sea crossings to travel to Europe; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), Party Chair, Co-operative Party

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what support she is providing to countries of origin and transit in North Africa to tackle smugglers and criminal gangs who transport migrants across the Mediterranean; and if she will make a statement.

Photo of James Brokenshire James Brokenshire Minister of State (Home Office) (Security and Immigration)

Holding answer received on 03 November 2014

The Government supports the conclusions on the response to migration pressures in the Mediterranean, unanimously adopted at the JHA Council meeting on 9-10 October under the Italian Presidency, which included proposals to strengthen cooperation with transit countries in North Africa whilst phasing out the currentemergency search and rescue operations carried out by Italy.

We are supporting EU proposals for enhanced refugee protection in North and East Africa, building on our current support for those seeking

protection in the region of Syria. We have joined a steering group for a new EU project in the Horn of Africa which will develop, implement and resource concrete actions to address human trafficking in the region. The UK is also among those Member States offering the greatest numbers of resettlement places for refugees from outside the EU, working closely with UNHCR (over 4,000 between 2008-2013). We recognise that there are some particularly vulnerable Syrian refugees who cannot be supported effectively in the region. We have therefore launched our UK Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation scheme. We have also contributed £700 million to the Syria relief effort so far making the UK the second largest bilateral donor after the USA.

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