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Commission gives further aid to Greece for migrant crisis

Greece is set to receive an extra €180 million (AU$288.3 million) in migrant aid from the European Commission for aid projects, thus acknowledging that Greece bore the weight of responsibility at the height of the crisis in the region.

Announced on Monday, the funds will be put towards the Emergency Support to Integration & Accommodation (ESTIA) programme, which will support an estimated 45,000 refugees and migrants currently residing in Greece.

“Greece bore the weight of responsibility at the height of the Mediterranean refugee and migrant crisis,” acknowledged the European Commission, and it continues to do so, with Greece still seeing daily arrivals of migrants and refugees.

On Monday alone, Greece’s coast guard rescued a boat carrying over 30 migrants off the coast of Samos.

Meanwhile a lack of adequate facilities on the Aegean islands to deal with the staggering numbers has led to overcrowding in camps, which is expected to worsen as the cold weather subsides and more people start making the trek across the waters.

Launched by the European Union in July 2017, ESTIA has assisted thousands of refugees and migrants to find urban accommodation.

“Our humanitarian programmes for refugees in Greece are a clear and loud signal of European solidarity,” said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides.

“We continue to deliver on our strong commitment to help refugees in Greece live more secure, normal and dignified lives, and facilitate their integration into the local economy and society.

“Our ESTIA programme is achieving real results to change people’s lives for the better. I pay special tribute to the Greek citizens and mayors who have welcomed refugees in their municipalities with great empathy and care.”