World with worst refugee cri­sis since WWII: EU

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

The EU said Fri­day that Greece will re­ceive fur­ther emer­gency fund­ing to tackle a surge in mi­grant ar­rivals as the world faces the worst refugee cri­sis since World War II.

“To­day the world finds it­self fac­ing the worst refugee cri­sis since the Sec­ond World War,” EU Mi­gra­tion Com­mis­sioner Dim­itris Avramopou­los told a press con­fer­ence.

Avramopou­los, speak­ing af­ter a trip to Athens on Thurs­day, said Europe as a whole was strug­gling with a surge in mi­grants, with the sit­u­a­tion in Greece “par­tic­u­larly ur­gent” as al­most 50,000 peo­ple ar­rived there last month.

“What we must do and the (Euro­pean) Com­mis­sion has done it, is to or­ga­nize our sys­tem in or­der to face this prob­lem in a de­cent, civ­i­lized and Euro­pean way,” he added.

The U.N. refugee agency said the num­ber of peo­ple driven from their homes by con­flict and cri­sis has topped 50 mil­lion for the first time since World War II, with Syr­i­ans hard­est hit.

Avramopou­los said Greece will soon re­ceive a first dis­burse­ment of 30 mil­lion eu­ros from a to­tal of 2.4 bil­lion eu­ros ( US$2.6 bil­lion) of fund­ing for EU mem­ber states to cope with the flood of mi­grants un­til 2020.

Of­fi­cials said the money — Greece will re­ceive 474 mil­lion eu­ros over the next six years — will help build re­cep­tion cen­ters and in­te­grate mi­grants.

The funds are also de­signed to help mem­ber states bet­ter mon­i­tor their borders and boost pro­grams to de­port mi­grants who are re­fused en­try.

Avramopou­los said the 30 mil­lion eu­ros will be sent to Greece in the four to five days af­ter a Greek man­age­ment au­thor­ity for the funds is for­mal­ized.

He said the Com­mis­sion is fast­track­ing a Greek re­quest for 2.74 mil­lion eu­ros in emer­gency fund­ing to sup­port UNHCR ef­forts to deal with newly ar­rived mi­grants on the Aegean is­lands.

He said that dur­ing his visit to Athens, he “asked Greece to put in a fur­ther re­quest for emer­gency fund­ing un­der the Asy­lum Fund, which they will do.”

Some 124,000 refugees and mi­grants landed on the Greek is­lands dur­ing the first seven months of the year — up 750 per­cent from 2014, ac­cord­ing to U.N. fig­ures.

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