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LE TEMPS (Switzerland)

Worldcrunch

BERN - A study by Swiss foreign policy think-tank Foraus says that aid development policies in poor countries have no direct effect on reducing immigration flows, Le Temps reports.

The study found that most migrants come from countries that are already emerging or developed, but where there aren't enough jobs, like Tunisia or Turkey, not from much poorer countries such as Mali or Sierra Leone. As a result, aid policies that focus on these poorer countries have little to no effect on immigration.

"This thesis strengthens our opposition to the parliament's attempt to tie Swiss aid to the beneficiary countries' efforts to curb departures," Peter Niggli, director of a Swiss aid NGO conglomerate, told Le Temps.

There is an "immigration bump" when the average income per inhabitant is between $1,500 and $8,000 per year, as people gather enough resources to emigrate.

"This exploiting cooperation for interior political gain is dangerous because it generates the false hope of a quick regulation of immigration," said Stefan Schlegel, one of the study's authors. "It also risks diverting aid away from its main goal: reducing poverty in the most impoverished countries."

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