Brussels coordinates humanitarian aid to migrants in Lithuania

Already twelve EU Member States have offered support such as tents, beds and generators

Photo: EPA Trucks with Polish humanitarian aid to Lithuania arrive in the vicinity of the Vilnius airport, Vilnius, 22 July 2021.

Following a request for assistance from Lithuania, the European Commission is helping European countries send support through the European Civil Protection Mechanism. Lithuania asked for help following increased arrivals of migrants and asylum seekers coming from the Middle East and Africa and entering Lithuania via the border with Belarus. Already twelve countries have offered support such as tents, beds and generators. The Commission coordinates the delivery and finances up to 75% of the costs for transporting the assistance, EC Press service reported.

“Lithuania's border is an external EU border, which is currently experiencing an unprecedented influx of migrants and asylum seekers. These people, many of the vulnerable, need urgent support such as food and shelter. The European Union and other Member States will not leave Lithuania in this difficult situation alone,” Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management, said.

“The authoritarian regime in Belarus is exploiting human beings for political reasons: this is completely unacceptable. The European Union and the Member States are showing strong solidarity with Lithuania, and together we fully support civil society in Belarus, Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson pointed out.

Humanitarian support will make sure basic needs such as food and shelter are met. The Commission is ready to provide further emergency funding to Lithuania as needed. Also Union agencies are quickly providing support: the European Asylum Support Office is helping protect people, manage reception and process asylum applications; Frontex is deploying personnel and equipment to protect the European external border; and Europol is deploying staff to help safeguard European internal security.

 

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