Danish assistance worldwide may send more refugees to Europe

Ray W
June 22nd, 2016

This article is more than 7 years old.

Improving economies in poorer countries may make it possible for more people to migrate

Kristian Jensen said the urge to travel west is strong (photo: Folketinget)

Danish development assistance to countries in Africa and elsewhere in the world may actually be counterproductive, if the aim of the funds is to help people make a better life in their home country. The financial assistance may, instead, help more people to make the trip to Europe.

“Financial aid is not a quick fix to slow migration,” Ninna Nyberg Sørensen from the Danish Institute of National Studies (DIIS) told Berlingske.

“On the contrary, development in a country may make it possible for people to migrate.”

Go West, young migrant
Sørensen and her colleagues have researched the correlation between increased development in a country and the number of residents who leave for greener and wealthier pastures abroad.

Lars Engberg-Pedersen, a senior DIIS researcher specialising in development, agreed that economic developmental funds can actually lead to migrants pulling up roots.

“Development helps people gain an insight into how they can come to Europe and they gain the resources to afford the trip,” said Engberg-Pedersen.

Kristian Jensen, the foreign minister, acknowledged that development is not a guarantee against migrants seeking to come to Europe.

“The desire to migrate to the West can be so strong that nothing can dissuade people from doing it,” he said.


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