European Commission to disburse 1.7 billion euros to tackle the refugee crisis

The European Commission decided on Wednesday to earmark 1.7 billion euros from the European budget to tackle the refugee crisis, ahead of the summit meeting on the issue later today.

“We have taken a decision to propose an additional 1.7 billion euros,” EU budget commissioner Kristalina Georgieva told a press conference in Brussels.

She said the funds will be used inside the European Union “to improve emergency reception facilities and the capacity of the most overburdened countries to cope,” and to help refugees outside the European Union, primarily via the World Food Programme, the UNHCR and the ICRC (Red Cross) but also other humanitarian organisations, “especially those who put their people at risk” operating inside Syria and Iraq.

Georgieva also said that the Commission will spend in total 9.2 billion for the refugee crisis reaching, as she said, “the ceiling” of funds that may be used for helping “host countries, neighborhood countries and refugees themselves”.

The summit tonight is will discuss the need to increase the money spend by member-states for this purpose, she told the press, adding that it will also be important to increase the staff working in Frontex and the European Asylum Support Office.