A FOREIGN aid programme costing taxpayers £100million could be making matters worse for migrants, a damning report claims today.
The Government’s Illegal Migration Strategy is aimed at stopping African migrants making the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, which killed 4,576 people last year.
But in the case of war-torn Libya, where cash goes to train coastguards, migrants who are sent back are put in squalid detention camps where conditions are more “horrific” than those they fled in the first place.
The Independent Commission for Aid Impact says the Government should have done more to assess the “volatile and insecure environment”.
It adds: “All irregular migrants detained by the Libyan government are held in detention centres, often indefinitely, where they face overcrowded conditions and are at risk of abuse and extortion.”
And it concludes: “UK aid’s focus on irregular migration is at its early stages, but at the moment our review found it is some distance from making a measurable impact in the central Mediterranean.”
The report piles further pressure on the Government to review its ring-fenced £12billion-a-year aid budget.
Last night a Government spokesman insisted: “Cross-government efforts are tackling the root causes of migration by building opportunity and stability for people in their home regions.
“We’re also getting help to vulnerable migrants who have already started their treacherous journey.
“Since May 2015, British vessels have saved more than 13,000 lives in the Mediterranean.”
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