The European Investment Bank (EIB) announced that it will extend 200 million euros of immediate aid to Greece for migration response as well as expand its Economic Resilience Initiative to Greece and to other EU states most impacted by the crisis.
The funds – to be channelled into housing, health, water and sanitation as well as into long-term education, skills and training investment for both refugees and host communities – were announced after a meeting in Athens, on Friday, between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, EIB Vice President Andrew McDowell, and Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachis.
“New financing for small business in areas impacted by the migration crisis is essential for host communities on islands most impacted by migration crisis,” said Mitarachis, adding that plans will be finalized in the coming weeks.
The aim of EIB’s support is for new private sector investment, as well as for water sanitation, health and housing projects to assist Greece in accelerating assistance for migrants, refugees and host communities in regions most impacted by the crisis.
“In recent years Greece has taken impressive measures to host hundreds of thousands of migrants and refugees and host communities have welcomed desperate families into their communities. Recent developments call for accelerated engagement by Greece’s partners,” said McDowell.
Meanwhile, through its 6-billion-euro Economic Resilience Initiative, the EIB aims to increase financing and technical assistance for public sector infrastructure and private sector activity in Greece over the next two years.
‘Move migrants from Greek border,’ Commission tells Turkey
In relevant news, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called on Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to stop pressure and move refugees and migrants away from the Greek border.
“Finding a solution to this situation will require relieving the pressure that is put on the border,” von der Leyen said on Monday, ahead of talks in Brussels, with Turkey’s president.
Earlier, she threatened EU leaders with a delayed response to crises unless they reach an agreement on the next seven-year budget.
“In these difficult times, we all sense that people in member states are asking for more Europe. Do more, act more, act more on borders, more on migration support, coronavirus, the micro-economic support Yet without a new budget, we will not be able to respond appropriately. We are at the end of the current budget. The seven-year period is almost over.
And if I look at the tasks ahead of us, we’re running short of the flexibility to act in crises as we see them right now,” she said.