On Monday, Germany pledged an additional 61-million-euro ($67.44 million) in funding U.N. relief operations in Africa, in hopes that fewer Africans will embark on dangerous journeys to Europe.
This increment in funding puts Germany’s 2016 total contribution to the UN refugee agency at 298 million euros, it had initially budgeted 1.28 billion euros in humanitarian aid for 2016.
This comes as increasingly more people migrate to the European country. Since 2015, Europe has witnessed a large inpouring of migrants from Africa, as well as the Middle East and Asia.
The Foreign Minister of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced Germany’s increase in funding during a meeting with the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi in Berlin, Germany’s capital.
Migrating to Europe comes at high costs to many; riding on overcapacity boats to the shores of Europe, with some losing their lives in the process. This year alone has seen about 4,220 migrants drown at sea, according to the International Organization for Migration
“These countries urgently need our help,” Steinmeier said in a statement after the meeting with Grandi. “The money will allow people to be cared for near their homes so they don’t have to make the dangerous journey to Europe.”
The countries expected to benefit immensely from this aid include; Burundi, Mali, Somalia, South Sudan, as well as western African countries like Nigeria and Chad affected by the Boko haram insurgency.
The UNHCR is also charged with returning migrants to their home countries.
Similarly, the German Interior Ministry is thinking up plans to pick up Migrants at sea and return them home. Although Germany has had the most generous refugee policy, this new plan comes as a necessity to prevent illegal migration; by helping to improve the conditions in Africa through trade and aid, Germany hopes to solve the root cause of migration.