The European Commission awarded another 20 million euros to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to improve reception conditions in Greece, notably on the island of Lesvos, the Commission said in a press release on Monday.
The additional funding awarded to the UNHCR will be used to help manage the facilities on the island of Lesvos, support local community projects and provide further emergency accommodation on the islands, the Commission said.
“It will also go towards stepping up measures for the protection of children, non-formal education and to prevent sexual and gender-based violence,” it added.
This funding decision comes on top of more than 1.6 billion euros of funding support awarded by the Commission since 2015 to address migration challenges in Greece.
“The Commission continues to deliver on its commitment to support member-states under pressure,” EU Commissioner for Migration Dimitris Avramopoulos said.
“And while the EU-Turkey Statement has greatly contributed to lowering the number of arrivals in Greece, the country is still facing significant migratory pressure, in particular on the islands.”
The Commission has mobilised a total of more than one billion euros in emergency assistance to help manage migration under the current financial framework (2014-2020) that has gone to the member-states most affected such as Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Sweden and Spain.