The European Commission has awarded € 5.9 million of emergency assistance from the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) to Greece to support the country in coping with the high number of arrivals of migrants and refugees on the Eastern Aegean islands. The additional funding will support Greece in implementing the hotspot concept and the recently agreed relocation schemes. It will fully cover, for a period of 4 months, the costs for the transportation by ferry of at least 60,000 persons in need of International protection and other migrants from the Eastern Aegean islands to mainland Greece. The additional emergency assistance is strictly limited to persons who have been properly screened, registered and fingerprinted on the islands before their onward transportation to mainland Greece, in order to rule out that EU funding is used for irregular secondary movements.
The provision of emergency assistance under the AMIF is part of the Commission's overall efforts to implement the principle of solidarity through concrete and effective actions addressing urgent and specific needs of Member States facing high asylum and migratory pressure. To this end, for 2015, the Commission has put aside a total of €51.5 million which will be delivered through the AMIF.
Welcoming this decision, Commissioner Avramopoulos said, "I am happy to announce that, in the framework of the implementation of the hotspot concept and the recently agreed relocation schemes, we are making more than € 5.9 million available to the Greek authorities to help them in coping with the daily arrival of the high numbers of persons in need of international protection. This emergency assistance will enable the authorities to cover the transportation costs for a significant number of these persons from the Eastern Aegean islands to reception centres in mainland Greece once they have been properly registered, identified and fingerprinted."