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Christian Aid: Border controls won't solve migrant crisis

by Aaron James

It's speaking after a spokesman said the government was considering diverting some of its foreign aid budget to places such as Niger, Eritrea and Somalia, where significant numbers of migrants are coming from.

The spokesman said that the diversion of funds could include both development and tightening border controls to stop migrants leaving, according to The Daily Express newspaper.

At the G7 summit, David Cameron referred to the Spanish government, who increased border controls in the Canary Islands to stop migrants coming to the mainland.

More than 1700 people have died this year so far trying to cross the Mediterranean from Africa and the Middle East. Britain has maintained that it will help alleviate the crisis without physically taking migrants in, despite calls from some in the European Union to do so.

Louise Finan, the Middle East Programme Officer for Christian Aid, told Premier's News Hour: "We would obviously broadly welcome any measures to increase aid to countries that need it.

"But in terms of dealing with the actual issues as to why these people are fleeing, border controls are not really what is going to solve the crises.

"For these migrants coming across, well refugees if you like, they're seeking protection and they're escaping very very violent situations... really, pumping money into border controls is not going to alleviate their misery.

"Rather than building walls or looking at border controls, we would say invest in diplomatic efforts to bring peace and to bring stability to these countries. By targeting traffickers in Libya you are really only targeting the symptoms."

Listen to Premier's Marcus Jones speaking to Louise Finan:

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