EU offers over $5 mn to help refugees in France

Paris (IANS) The European Union (EU) will grant $5.6 million to France to better accommodate thousands of migrants camping in the northern port city of Calais, the European Commission’s vice president Frans Timmermans said on Monday.

“These new funds will help to establish a camp that can provide humanitarian assistance to around 1,500 migrants and to help asylum seekers in Calais move to other destinations in France,” Timmermans was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

“We never repress those who need protection,” he added, calling on EU member states to be “faithful” to their “human values” in the face of what he called a “global crisis”.

In a visit to Calais with Timmermans and migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls noted the necessity “to act methodically and refuse any form of demagogy” to cope with what he anticipated would be “a long crisis”.

“All of Europe is affected by this crisis of exceptional gravity; it must mobilize,” he added.

Thousands of migrants from Africa and the Middle East have fled war and poverty in their native countries and are seeking a better life in Europe.

In an unprecedented migration crisis, 300,000 people crossed the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe so far this year. Some 2,500 people perished during the journey.

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