€100 million is welcome interim measure in addressing refugee crises
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has welcomed the creation of a new instrument to provide emergency funding and support for humanitarian aid.
Coordinator of the EU budget committee, Liadh Ní Riada,
"As we far as we are aware more than 60 million people have been displaced as a result of war, protracted conflict or severe natural disasters. Between January 2015 and February 2016 alone, over 1.1 million people – refugees, asylum seekers and migrants – came to the EU escaping conflict in their countries of origin and in search of a better and safer life.
"Even during the winter, the number of refugees and migrants reaching EU shores in 2016 has been ten times greater than the figures registered during the same period in 2015. Despite all the talk of the EU giving Turkey billions to take back refugees the EU has paid only a fraction. NGOs have been shouldering much of the costs in assisting vulnerable refugees and migrants, and it is important that the EU puts its money where its mouth is.
"In this context, the Member States have decided that immediate and additional coordinated action was required in order to complement and support the Member States' response.
"It is heartening to see practical measures being put in place to deal with such a humanitarian crisis. Men and women with their children dying in our waters every day is heart-breaking on any level and so there is a huge urgency to alleviate and help these people; this new instrument means that we can allocate €100 million to be made available immediately.
"Although the reason for people needing to flee their countries due to war and poverty needs to be addressed, this is a welcome immediate step towards helping those suffering presently." ENDs