Commission announces €180 million to support refugees in Greece

Refugees at the harbour side in Mytilini, Greece. [European Parliament]

The European Commission has announced new funding of 180€ million for aid projects in Greece, including the expansion of an aid programme for refugees. EURACTIV’s partner Euroefe reports.

The Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, announced after meeting the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens that 180€ million would be provided for aid projects in Greece.

The funding includes the expansion of the Emergency Support to Integration & Accommodation programme (ETSIA), which “helps get refugees into urban accommodation and out of camps and provides them with regular cash assistance”, according to the Commission’s statement.

“Our humanitarian programmes for refugees in Greece are a clear and loud signal of European solidarity. We continue to deliver on our strong commitment to help refugees in Greece live more secure, normal and dignified lives, and facilitate their integration into the local economy and society,” said Stylianides.

He highlighted the positive results of the ETSIA programme and paid “special tribute to the Greek citizens and mayors who have welcomed refugees”.

Humanitarian crisis management benefits from new technologies

Weather alert systems, real-time communication and debit cards for refugees: the use of new technologies make humanitarian aid more effective, Commissioner Christos Stylianides said in an interview.  EURACTIV’s partner Euroefe reports.

The ETSIA programme, launched in July 2017 with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (HCR), is “the biggest EU aid operation in the country” and aims to help refugees out of camps.

So far, the programme has created more than 23,000 urban accommodation places and has set up a cash assistance scheme serving more than 41,000 refugees and asylum seekers.

Furthermore, six contracts have been signed with various NGOs to “address pressing humanitarian needs in Greece”.

The Commission has provided more than €1.5 billion of support to Greece overall, to help manage the humanitarian situation, migration and the external borders through various kinds of funding.

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