Bertaud: EU has pledged 1.0 billion euros to help Greece tackle migration challenges

Τhe European Union has pledged 1.0 billion euros to help Greece tackle migration challenges, European Commission spokesperson for migration issues Natasha Bertaud said on Thursday. She clarified that 295 million euros of this amount has already been disbursed to Greece and the “international partners” that the EU works with, such as the UNHCR and the IOM.

“Overall, the EU is providing over 1.0 billion euros in support to Greece in tackling the migration challenges, making Greece the largest beneficiary of EU funds in this area,” she said in response to questions.

Bertaud noted that Greece has been awarded 352 million euros in emergency assistance from the home affairs funding since the beginning of 2015. Roughly half of this went directly to Greek authorities, she explained, and the other half to the EU’s international partners.

“On top of that we have the 198 million, which is being provided through the EU Emergency Support Instrument that was recently created. Then, lastly, all this emergency funding comes on top of the 509 million euros that have been allocated to Greece under the national programmes that run from 2014 right up to 2019,” she said.

Of these amounts, “295 million euros have already been disbursed to Greece and to the international partners that we work with,” Bertaud said, of which 70 million came from the national programme of 509 million euros.

European Commission sources told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) that of the 198 million euros approved for Greece under the EU Emergency Support Instrument to improve conditions for refugees, 185.95 million euros have so far been disbursed.