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EU’s assistance to Macedonia for the refugee crisis amounts to EUR 19 million

BRUSSELS – The European Union allocated nearly EUR 19 million over the last year to help Macedonia cope with the refugee crisis (with Special Measures and humanitarian aid combined), states the Delegation of the European Union to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The European Union allocated around EUR 14.5 millionover the last year in additional, i.e. extraordinary assistance to help your country cope with the refugee crisis (so called “special measures”). The European Union granted to humanitarian organisations additional, EUR 4.4 million so far in EU humanitarian aid to help the migrants in Tabanovce and Vinojug transit centres.

Under SPECIAL MEASURE I (EUR 3 million), the European Union supported the government institutions at national and local level with new equipment and vehicles. Border police will receive 31 terrain vehicles in January 2017 that will replace the outdated fleet of cars; the Crisis Management Center received 2 minivans to transport vulnerable migrants and staff. It will further receive 2 terrain vehicles to fulfil their mandate, the release states. The Intelligence Agency will receive 5 vehicles to strengthen their capacities to fulfil their mandate in relation to migrants.

EU support was also granted to the most affected municipalities, Gevgelija and Kumanovo. The General hospital in Gevgelija received specialised medical equipment and 2 fully-equipped ambulances to reach to urgencies, including any citizen of this country.  Also, in 2017 further support will be provided to the Ministry of Health with additional medical equipment for Kumanovo General Hospital and Gevgelija General Hospital. A new field hospital in the Vinojug transit centre was supplied and equipped with modern medical equipment. Public utilities Komunalec in Gevgelija and Čistota i Zelenilo in Kumanovo received new waste management vehicles that will help in keeping these towns and nearby transit centres clean. Thus far, 8 were vehicles delivered and 2 more waste management vehicles will also be provided.

Under SPECIAL MEASURE II (EUR 9 million), the European Union supports the border and migration management capabilities of the Border police. Until March 2016, the government paid from the national budget for the stay of border guards – both guest officers and local police who need to be redeployed to the Southern Border from other parts of the country. Since then, the European Union has paid for their accommodation and meals as well as fuel for their vehicles until October 2017. A senior Border Management Expert is assisting the Ministry of Interior and the border police with this joint operation since March 2016. So far, under this measure the Border police received border surveillance equipment, such as 20 thermal short-ranging cameras, a device for the detection of validity of documents, 100 TETRA handheld devices and 2 radio programming tools . In 2017, the Border Police will receive 10 more thermal long-ranging cameras, 4 specialised vehicles with multipurpose surveillance capabilities for improved border security and 1 Mobile Surveillance system equipped with radar and communication network, says the statement of the Delegation.

Under SPECIAL MEASURE III (EUR 2.5 million), the European Union will support the medical staff of the Ministry of Health in providing services to migrants and local people, and support the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs to refurbishing premises that can accommodate migrants, as well as schemes for assisted voluntary return of migrants, in cooperation with International Organisation for Migration.

This is all within the broader context of overall past and planned EU financial and technical support for the Macedonia in the field of border and migration management amounting to over €50 million. This broader support helps to strengthen the operational capacity of the border police, to improve border surveillance and orderly control migratory flows.

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