The European Commission (EC) announced on April 19 a sum of 83 million euro under the new Emergency Assistance Instrument, to improve living conditions for refugees in Greece.
The EC proposed the funding on March 2, and the sum is being made available immediately to the UN High Commission for Refugee, the International Federation of the Red Cross and six international NGOs. These partners will be working with Greek NGOs who have the necessary local knowledge, the EC said.
Christos Stylianides, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, signed the first contracts in Athens on April 19 under the new instrument for emergency support within the EU, set up to help EU countries cope with crises, such as large numbers of refugees.
“We have to restore dignified living conditions for refugees and migrants in Europe as swiftly as possible,” Stylianides said.
“With the first projects active on the ground we are showing a concrete example of how the EU delivers on the challenges Europe faces. The funding will go to humanitarian aid partners that are working hand-in-hand with the Greek government and local NGOs to ensure that aid is provided in a well-coordinated and structured way in as many places as possible,” Stylianides said.
Stylianides met with Greek Alternate Minister responsible for Migration Policy Ioannis Mouzalas, and visited projects that will support refugees in Eleonas, alongside both the Mouzalas and the mayor of Athens, Giorgos Kaminis.
“Thanks to these new projects, the Commission will help provide tens of thousands of refugees and migrants in Greece with primary health care, food, better hygiene conditions, child friendly spaces and construct temporary housing,” the EC said.
The EC said that the support announced on April 19 comes in addition to overall EU support provided in the context of the refugee crisis in Greece.
Since 2015, Greece has already received 181 million euro in emergency funding from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund and the Internal Security Fund to manage the refugee crisis, on top of 509 million euro already allocated under these funds for the Greek national programme 2014-2020.
(Photo: H Elrasam/VOA)