Europe Gives Extra €180M for Migrant Aid in Greece

The European Commission on Monday revealed that it is to give an extra €180 million ($222 million) for aid projects in Greece.

It is to expand its Emergency Support to Integration & Accommodation (ESTIA) programme to support the estimated 45,000 refugees and migrants currently in the country.

ESTIA was set up in July 2017 and claims to have created more than 23,000 places for refugees and migrants to find urban accommodation.

Acknowledging that “Greece bore the weight of responsibility at the height of the Mediterranean refugee and migrant crisis”, the European Commission said that it works in line with the Greek government’s ‘out of camps’ policy.

However, Greece continues to see daily arrivals by groups of migrants and refugees, leading to overcrowding and chaotic conditions in camps on the Aegean islands.

Greece’s coast guard on Monday rescued a boat carrying more than 30 migrants off the coast of the island of Samos in the eastern Aegean.

Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said: “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.

“Our ESTIA programme is achieving real results to change people’s lives for the better. I pay special tribute to the Greek citizens and mayors who have welcomed refugees in their municipalities with great empathy and care.”