E.U. to Provide $129 Million in Aid for Refugees in Greece
The European Union will give an additional $129 million (115 million euros) to humanitarian organizations in Greece, the European Commission announced on Saturday.
“The new funding has the key aim to improve conditions for refugees in Greece and make a difference ahead of the upcoming winter,” humanitarian aid commissioner Christos Stylianides said.
The money will be used toward improving living facilities, increasing access to education for refugee children, assisting unaccompanied minors and providing “direct assistance to refugees through cash/voucher schemes,” Stylianides added.
The new funding comes in addition to the $93.1 million (83 million euros) the E.U. provided earlier this year, bringing the total emergency support for 2016 to $222 million (198 million euros).
Some 60,000 refugees and migrants are stuck in Greece after a number of European countries sealed their borders, according to the Associated Press.
Women Refugees ‘Forced to Take on New Roles’
The traditional roles of women are shifting due to the Syrian refugee crisis, with more women entering the work force and becoming heads of households, according to a report released by the humanitarian organization CARE.
Many refugee women do not view the changing roles positively, feeling “far more vulnerable to violence, abuse and harassment,” the report said.
“We are seeing something very similar to what happened during World War One and Two across Europe whereby women are forced to take on new roles – and there are both positive and negative aspects to this,” CARE policy adviser Howard Mollett told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
CARE found that 40 percent of Syrian households in Jordan are now female-headed, up from one-quarter a few years ago. Half of Syrian households in Greece are estimated to be female-headed.
CARE has called on world leaders to put the focus on women for the upcoming Summit on the Global Refugee Crisis in New York.
Greece Decries Calls to Return to Dublin Regulation
Greece has dismissed requests to reinstate the Dublin Regulation, an E.U. immigration policy that was in place before last year’s refugee crisis, a government spokesman said.
Under the so-called Dublin Regulation, migrants are forced to apply for asylum in the first E.U. member state they reach and other E.U. members would be able to return asylum seekers to Greece, Al Jazeera reports.
“A country such as Greece which receives a large number of refugees from Turkey, and also hosts a large number of refugees – practically without any outside help – cannot be asked to receive refugees from other European countries,” Migration spokesman Giorgos Kyritsis told the Associated Press. “That would be outrageous.”
“Unless there is an effective means of redistribution across the E.U., a revised Dublin system will force refugees upon receiving states closest to the external border, above all Greece, Italy and to a lesser extent Spain,” Brad Blitz, migration expert and professor of international politics at Middlesex University in Britain, told the A.P.
“That will create an ever greater strain on (Greece’s) asylum system and reception capacity,” he added.
- Deutsche Welle: E.U.’s Refugee Deal With Jordan Stalls
- The Guardian: Small Acts of Kindness … But It’s Not Enough for Women in Refugee Camps
- AFP: In Myanmar, Refugees From Muslim-Buddhist Conflict Remain in Limbo
- The New York Times: Angela Merkel’s Problems in Germany Could Challenge Europe, Too
- BBC News: Syrian Refugees Living in Fear as Lebanon Tightens its Laws