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INCLUSION POLICIES
Italy is to receive the most aid

Europe approves 2.4 billion euros funding for migration crisis


The European Commission approved 2.4 billion euros of aid over six years for countries including Greece and Italy that have struggled to cope with a surge in numbers of immigrants. Italy is to receive the most aid - nearly 560 million euros, while Greece will receive 473 million.
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This week, the European Commission announced that it had set aside 2.4 billion euros of aid over six years for countries like Greece and Italy to help them deal with increased arrivals, often from stricken countries like Libya, Iraq, Syria or Eritrea.

85% of the Funds are channelled through the multiannual strategic national programmes: covering the 2014-2020 period. After Commission approval, these programmes are prepared, implemented, monitored and evaluated by the responsible authorities in the Member States, in partnership with the relevant stakeholders, including civil society. The resettlement and relocation schemes recently proposed by the Commission and endorsed by the Council will be implemented through the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) national programmes.

The remaining funds, accounting for around 15% of the total resources, are managed by the Commission, based on individual work programmes. It is through these Commission work programmes that Union Actions and emergency assistance to Member States are funded.

23 national programmes were approved by the Commission over the past weeks: 7 AMIF programmes (Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden) and 16 ISF programmes (Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and Spain). Earlier this year, 22 national programmes were approved by the Commission: 17 AMIF programmes (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, The Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia and the United Kingdom) and 5 ISF programmes (Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, France). The remaining 13 national programmes will be approved later in 2015.

The hundreds of thousands of people believed to have migrated to the EU this year as refugees pales in comparison to the millions of refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, Pakistan and Jordan, displaced as a result of conflict in the Middle East. Yet the crisis has gained more global visibility as attention shifts to Western Europe.

Tensions have escalated this year as thousands of migrants from the Middle East and Africa try to gain asylum in the European Union. Calais, a bottleneck for migrants attempting to enter Britain illegally through the Eurotunnel from France, has seen several migrant deaths this month.

Britain has already received its 27 million euros from the commission in emergency aid funding, which it applied for in March. France will receive its 20 million euros later this month.

The Commission plans to approve an additional 13 programs later this year, which will then be implemented by EU member states.

Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said: "Member States nowadays face unprecedented challenges in the fields of migration and security and the Commission is taking action in a spirit of solidarity. Through the European Agendas on Migration and Security, the Commission is taking bold steps to improve migration management, foster cooperation and make Europe safer from organised crime and terrorism for our citizens. The national programmes approved by the Commission provide significant financial assistance to the Member States to address these challenges. We are determined to continue to put solidarity into practice."

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