EU falls short of migrant redistribution target

Brussels, July 21 (IANS) The European Union (EU) has failed to meet a targeted redistribution of 40,000 migrants who arrived in Italy and Greece earlier this year, a media report said on Tuesday.

The 40,000-figure was proposed by the European Commission (EC) following a shipwreck in the Mediterranean in April that left nearly 800 people dead, BBC reported.

At a ministerial meeting held in the Belgian capital of Brussels on Monday, the EU members agreed to start the relocation of just over 32,000 in October.

The allocation of the remaining migrants will be decided by the end of the year, officials said.

At least 150,000 migrants fleeing war and poverty were estimated to have reached Europe so far this year.

The majority have arrived in Greece and Italy where they were being housed in overflowing camps.

Both countries have called on other EU states to share the burden.

Meanwhile, aid group Doctors Without Borders said thousands of migrants and asylum seekers were stranded in poor conditions across several Greek islands.

It said that at least 5,000 people, mainly from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, had arrived on the island of Lesbos in the past few days and a reception centre there was “on the verge of collapse”.

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