The European Union’s border agency Frontex has pledged 2.1 million euros to help Spain and Malta deflect thousands of African illegal immigrants from trying to reach Europe.
The funding will help coordinate the EU’s first joint sea patrol mission, aimed at helping Spain stop migrants from reaching its Canary Islands.
Almost 10,000 migrants landed there from January to May.
That is double the number that arrived in the whole of last year.
A Frontex spokesman said the Canary Islands mission would be ready in two weeks.
Senegal on Thursday protest that nearly 100 migrants repatriated to Dakar on Wednesday were mistreated by Spanish authorities.
Madrid said it would investigate but hoped to resume the deportations soon.
Frontex will send a fact-finding mission to Malta next week to see what help can be provided there.