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EU ministers relocate 40,000 refugees from Italy and Greece

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Brussels: European Union (EU) ministers decided to relocate 40,000 refugees from Italy and Greece at an emergency meeting.

Photo Credit: www.un.org
Photo Credit: www.un.org

The Justice and Home Affairs Council on migration on Monday said EU ministers adopted a decision establishing provisional measures in the area of international protection for the benefit of Italy and Greece, reported Xinhua news agency.

It will apply to 40,000 persons in need of international protection who have arrived or are arriving on the territory of those member states as from 15 August 2015 until 16 September 2017.

Jean Asselborn, Luxembourg’s Minister for Immigration and Asylum and President of the Council said: “I am delighted that the Council has now been able to adopt this decision.”

The member states participating in the mechanism will receive a subsidy of 6,000 euros ($6784) for each relocated person.

Denmark and the UK are not participating in this decision.

The European Committee made the proposal of redistribution in May in dealing with the rising refugee crisis. At the last meeting in July, EU home affairs ministers failed to reach the target of 40,000 pledging to redistribute only 32,256 asylum-seekers around Europe.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker last week called for relocating more 120,000 migrants under a compulsory scheme, bringing the total proposed number up to 160,000.

Juncker, together with leaders of Germany and France, have been pressing all member states to support commission proposals.

(IANS)

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As Refugees Flee DR Congo, UN Steps Up to Reduce The Risk of Ebola

The UNHCR says refugees are at the same risk of contracting and transmitting the Ebola virus disease as local farmers, merchants, business people and others moving through the area.

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Ebola Congo, WHO
A Congolese health worker checks the temperature of a man before the launch of vaccination campaign against the deadly Ebola virus near Mangina village, near the town of Beni in North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo. VOA

The U.N. refugee agency reports it is stepping up efforts to reduce the risk of the spread of the deadly Ebola virus as refugees flee DR Congo. Latest estimates put the number of confirmed and probable cases of Ebola in eastern DRC at 49, including 38 deaths.

The U.N. refugee agency is working closely with DRC authorities and other agencies on actions to contain Ebola on the national and regional level. But, its main focus is to monitor possible Ebola infections among refugees fleeing across the border, mainly to Uganda, from conflict ridden North Kivu and Ituri.

UNHCR spokesman, William Spindler says the number of newly arriving refugees into Uganda from these two Ebola affected provinces increased during July from 170 a day to 250 a day. He says the majority currently is crossing at the Kisoro border point.

A family sits outside in a neighborhood where three people died of Ebola last month, in Mbandaka, Congo, June 1, 2018. For the first time since the Ebola virus was identified more than 40 years ago, a vaccine has been dispatched to front line health workers.
A family sits outside in a neighborhood where three people died of Ebola last month, in Mbandaka, Congo,
VOA

“So UNHCR is working with WHO, UNICEF and other partners and with the Ministry of Health of Uganda to intensify screening for Ebola at all border entry points. And, additional health workers have been deployed in the border districts to improve response capacity,” he said.

Spindler notes the World Health Organization is not recommending any restriction on the movement of people. Therefore, he says UNHCR is urging countries neighboring DRC to allow refugees in need of protection to enter their territory and to include them into preparedness and response plans and activities.

Also Read: United Nations Security Council to Closse 13-year-old Haiti Peacekeeping Mission in October

The UNHCR says refugees are at the same risk of contracting and transmitting the Ebola virus disease as local farmers, merchants, business people and others moving through the area. Therefore, it urges governments and local communities not to adopt measures that single out refugees. Those measures may not be scientifically sound and will only serve to stigmatize and restrict refugees’ freedom of movement. (VOA)

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