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Thursday, June 01, 2006 

EU ups aid to African, Caribbean, Pacific states
01 Jun 2006 11:10:30 GMT01 Jun 2006 11:10:30 GMT
Source: Reuters

BRUSSELS, June 1 (Reuters) - The European Union announced a 35 percent rise in development aid to poor countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) on Thursday as part of efforts to stem migration into the wealthy bloc.

The aid package to be shared among the 77 ACP countries over the 2008-13 period will total 22 billion euros ($28.1 billion). The announcement was made as EU and ACP ministers met in Papua New Guinea to discuss migration together for the first time.

"Managing migration for the benefit of development is a new priority of EU development assistance," the EU's executive Commission said in a statement.

Governments across Europe are under growing pressure to curb illegal immigration. Spain is struggling to deal with an influx of African migrants to its Canary Islands, while other Mediterranean states such as Italy face similar problems.

The new development cash will be released just as the EU and ACP countries enter final talks on economic partnership accords designed to promote trade and development.
Separately, ACP countries are lobbying hard for the EU to increase aid to their sugar sectors to help them weather price-cutting reforms by the bloc to its import regime.

They stand to lose 265 million euros a year from the reform. The Commission has offered a total 165 million euros for the 2007-13 period, an amount they say is insufficient. ($1=.7829 euro)

© Reuters Foundation 2002. All rights reserved.

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