EU to tackle migrant crisis with €2.4 billion funding

One of 21st century’s biggest humanitarian crisis continue as migrants try to reach Europe, European Union agrees to provide aid for countries like Italy and Greece

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters


The European Commission on Monday approved €2.4 billion ($2.6 billion) 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, while Greece will receive €473 million.

Tensions have escalated this year as thousands of migrants from the Middle East and Africa try to gain asylum in the European Union.

In Calais, a bottleneck for migrants attempting to enter Britain illegally through the Eurotunnel from France, has seen several migrant deaths this month.

Some of the newly approved aid will be disbursed to French and British authorities tackling the crisis in Calais.

"We are now able to disburse the funding for the French national programme and the UK has already received the first disbursement of its funding," Natasha Berthaud, a European Commission spokeswoman, said in a news conference.

"Both of these programmes will, amongst other things, also deal with the situation in Calais."

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