EU to Double Emergency Aid for Refugees Stuck in Greece

Refugees and migrants sit next to tents set on the beach next to a medieval fortification wall, at the Souda municipality run camp for refugees and migrants, on the Greek island of Chios. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

ATHENS, Sept 10 – The European Union will more than double emergency aid to Greece in order to improve living conditions for refugees and migrants who have been stranded in the country for months.

Some 115 million euros ($129 million) in emergency support is being provided by the EU, in addition to 83 million euros earlier this year, the European Commission said on Saturday.

The money would be channelled via humanitarian organisations towards improving living shelters and access for refugee children to education, while part would be given in cash or voucher schemes, it added.

“The new funding has the key aim of improving conditions for refugees in Greece and make a difference ahead of the upcoming winter,” Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Christos Stylianides said.

Just under 60,000 refugees and migrants are stuck in Greece after their attempts to head to central and northern Europe were prevented by a cascade of border shutdowns throughout the Balkans at the start of the year.

Many are accommodated in abandoned army camps or factories. The EU’s emergency support aid is in addition to financial support given under other funding programmes. (1 US dollar = 0.8908 euro)

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