Development Aid Alone Won’t Reduce Migration

by Bavo Stevens
United Nations University, July 2017

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If policymakers take it for granted that development reduces migration, despite evidence on the contrary, they are unlikely to create policies that effectively manage the increase in migration. To a certain extent, this is already happening in Europe. The EU’s development aid to Africa has coincided with further fortification and militarisation of its borders, which has often led migrants to use more irregular and dangerous routes. From a policy standpoint, there needs to be greater acknowledgement that migration cannot be “extracted” from development and managed separately. In order to develop an effective global compact on migration, governments need to grasp the reality that, although migration and development influence each other, increased development aid will not directly reduce migration.

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