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EU pays €3.5bn to member states to welcome refugees

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THE European Union Commission has said it paid €3.5 billion in advance payments to member states to help them manage the arrival of people fleeing the war in Ukraine to their territories.

So far, the Russian-Ukraine war has dragged on for 66 days as Ukraine suffered aerial attacks on Thursday and Friday, including in the capital, Kyiv.

According to a statement on the commission’s website, the payments were made under the EU’s Cohesion’s Action for Refugees in Europe (CARE).

The EU Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, she said, was quoted in the statement as saying, “The EU stands in solidarity with Ukraine against the invasion by Russia, as well as with our Member States in their solidarity effort of welcoming people fleeing the war. Today, we see another concrete outcome of our solidarity with the mobilisation of cohesion funds to where these are more needed.”

400 civilians Ukraine Mariupol
Residents avoiding the shelling in Mariupol, Ukraine. Copyright: AP Photo/Evgeniy Maloletka

Similarly, the Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, added, “People fleeing the war in Ukraine need immediate support to rebuild their lives in safety. With these advance payments, Member States can offer food, accommodation, healthcare, education, help to access jobs and more to those in need.”

The commission had mobilised every effort to support civilians fleeing from the war, and to help member states to host and take care of them, following the invasion by Russia on February 24, 2022.

It encouraged member states to take full advantage of the opportunities introduced by the commission.

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“The EU contribution will alleviate the additional burden on public budgets of Member States as the expenditure that can be covered is retroactively eligible from the date of the invasion of Ukraine,” the statement read.

Nigerians at Ukraine embassy
Nigerians at Ukraine embassy

Ukraine’s Deputy agriculture minister, Taras Vysotskiy, on April 30, 2022
accused Russian forces of theft of “several hundred thousand tonnes” of grain in the areas of Ukraine they occupy, warning of the increased threat to global food security.

Earlier, Agriculture Minister, Mykola Solskyi, had said grain theft had increased in the last two weeks.

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