Refugee crisis: Commission supports aid deliveries to Greece via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism

Today, two trucks have arrived in Greece loaded with 150 electric heaters, 100 beds, 50 tents, 150 fire alarms, 32 fire extinguishers and 500 blankets provided by Sweden, as well as 100 field beds and 1000 pillows offered by Germany, as part of the latest batch of material assistance recently made available via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The transport costs of this latest delivery were co-financed by the European Commission. Over the past week, Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Spain, Sweden, as well as Norway have delivered thousands of urgently needed items to Greece. This material assistance includes accommodation containers and winter tents, beds, sleeping bags and blankets, heaters, power generators, water tanks and pumps. The majority of the transport costs were co-financed by the European Commission. European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, welcomed the substantial level of offers saying: Since Greece activated the Civil Protection Mechanism in December last year to support refugees, 17 countries have made offers, helping deliver over 87,000 items. I thank all the countries that have channelled support so far and in particular their civil protection authorities. More offers are needed since there’s no doubt humanitarian needs of refugees in Greece remain high.” The Civil Protection Mechanism can be activated by a Member State or a country outside the EU if it feels overwhelmed by a crisis. The European Commission then coordinates the offers made by participating states, and can co-finance the transport of relief items and experts to the country in question up to a rate of 85%. In addition to Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia and Serbia have activated the Mechanism since June 2015.  Unlike the new instrument proposed by the Commission for emergency support, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM) relies on voluntary offers from participating states. The new emergency support instrument will allow the EU to directly finance humanitarian activities inside the EU. The table with the latest offers via the Civil Protection Mechanism is available here.