European Union announces $8 billion package of aid for Egypt

The European Union on Sunday announced a USD 8 billion aid package for cash-strapped Egypt amid concerns that economic pressure and conflicts and chaos in neighbouring countries could drive more migrants to European shores.

The deal is scheduled to be signed during a visit by European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and the leaders of Belgium, Italy, Austria, Cyprus and Greece, according to Egyptian officials.

The package includes both grants and loans over the next three years for the Arab world’s most populous country, according to the European Union Mission in Cairo.

The EU will provide assistance to Egypt’s government to fortify its borders especially with Libya, a major transit point for migrants fleeing poverty and conflicts in Africa and the Middle East, and will support the government in hosting Sudanese who have fled nearly a year of fighting between rival generals in their country.

Egypt has for decades been a refuge for migrants from sub-Saharan Africa trying to escape war or poverty. For some, Egypt is a destination and a haven, the closest and easiest country for them to reach. For others, it is a point of transit before attem

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