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European Union emergency aid for migrants is doubled

By AP Reporter

The European Union has doubled emergency aid to front line member states Italy, Greece and Malta to deal with the massive influx of migrants coming across the Mediterranean to €50m (£35m) a year.

EU Commission spokeswoman Natasha Berthaud announced the funds boost following an agreement at an EU summit where leaders also pledged ships, aircraft and equipment after the deaths at sea of more than 1,300 migrants in the past three weeks.

The funds can be used for reception centres for migrants, medical aid or additional staff dealing with the influx. It is part of an overall EU fund for migration and asylum issues.

The leaders also agreed to triple funding to €9m (£6.5m) a month for the EU's border operation patrolling the Mediterranean.

At the same time Ms Bertaud said the EU border agency Frontex is to send its ships further into the Mediterranean Sea in response to the deadly exodus from Libya.

Amnesty International said any failure to extend Triton's area of operations would undermine the fresh EU pledges of ships, aircraft and other resources.

Belfast Telegraph


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