UK aid in Libya could be harmful — watchdog

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An unrelated watchdog has warned that the UK’s aid programme in Libya could be harming unprotected migrants.

About £9m is spent providing water and sanitation for refugees in restraint centres, training Libya’s coastguard, and helping migrants return on.

But the Independent Commission for Aid Impact says that support could be cardinal to more migrants being detained and denied a right to asylum.

The direction said any such risks around aid had been considered.

It added that it conserved migrants’ human rights and improved their conditions.

‘Unintended hurt’

Libya is the main departure point for migrants attempting the sea crossing to Europe and is homewards to up to one million migrants and refugees, according to ICAI.

All those detained by the Libyan supervision, including those rescued at sea, are held in often overcrowded detention middles where they risk being abused.

The report by the ICAI, which up ons UK aid spending, said there were concerns about the risk that British aid was helping to a system that prevents refugees from reaching a place of solid asylum.

It also warned that the risk that UK aid could lead to «unintended harm» to vulnerable migrants or prevent them from reaching a point of safety had not been adequately assessed.

A government spokesman said: «Cross-government deeds are tackling the root causes of migration by building opportunity and stability for being in their home regions so they don’t need to make the perilous gad about across the Mediterranean.

«We’re also getting help to vulnerable migrants who from already started their treacherous journey.»

He added that UK barques had saved more than 13,000 lives in the Mediterranean Sea since May 2015.

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