The European Commission has awarded 12.7 million euro in emergency funding to Greece to support the establishment of reception facilities on the Greek mainland and a further 10 million euro to the Republic of Macedonia to help that country improve its border and migration management systems in the face of the migrant crisis.
The granting of the money to the two countries was announced by the European Commission on February 15 2016.
The money for Greece comes from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and will be used to set up at least 8000 new reception places.
European Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said that the award of 12.7 million euro to set up new reception facilities ?is another sign of the EU?s solidarity and strong support to Greece in its efforts to manage the unprecedented migratory flows into the country.
?It will help Greece to reach the objective of increasing its reception capacity to 50 000 places, as agreed at the Western Balkans Leaders? Meeting of October 25 2015,? Avramopoulos said.
The emergency funding will be used to finance the procurement and installation of portable prefabricated houses to offer temporary accommodation for third-country nationals in the Attica and Central Macedonia regions of Greece.
The award of moeny will complement funding provided under Greece?s National Programme for AMIF, which covers the construction costs for the preparation of the sites and the facilities? operating costs. In 2015, the Commission awarded 146 million euro in emergency assistance to Greece, either directly to the Greek authorities or through international organisations such as the IOM and the UNHCR.
The European Commission, announcing the additional 10 million euro for the Republic of Macedonia, said ?migration is by its very nature a regional issue and the EU is ready to extend the assistance to other Western Balkan countries facing similar challenges?.
Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, said: ?The refugee crisis has put a particularly high pressure on the countries along the route and Europe must stand united in tackling this situation.
?This new funding will help the authorities of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to improve border and migration management, and support their costs relating to the guest officers sent by EU Member States and Serbia to the country?s southern border. This support is complementary to the actions taken to support Greece, including through Frontex,? Hahn said.
(Archive photo, of refugees in the Greek ? Macedonian border region in 2015: iom.int)