EU allocates emergency funding to Italy for migratory pressure

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​Brussels, Dec 24 (IANS) The European Union (EU) has provided 38.2 million euros ($39.8 million) in emergency funding to Italy to ease migratory pressure, an EU statement said.

Italian Ministry of Defence and Italian Coast Guard will get a bigger share of the funding -- 22.2 million euros -- to enhance border surveillance and to rescue lives at sea, Xinhua new agency reported.

Italian Ministry of Interior will be awarded 13.5 million euros for projects aimed at reinforcing external border checks and border surveillance as well as strengthening health services and linguistic and inter-cultural mediation.

Another 2.5 million euros will be provided to Italian interior ministry to support actions aimed at catering to the special needs of unaccompanied minors.

The money comes from the European Commission's Internal Security Fund (ISF) and the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF).

Italy has been under high migratory pressure since the summer of 2015 as thousands of illegal migrants from North Africa sought to reach Italian shores through the Mediterranean.

According to International Organization of Migration (IMO), a total of 358,403 migrants and refugees have reached European shores so far this year, down from over one million last year.

Most of these immigrants in 2016 have arrived in Italy (179,525 arrivals) and Greece (173,244).

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