The European Commission has already paid more than €3.5 billion in advance payments to Member States to help them manage the reception of Ukrainian refugees arriving in their country.
At the end of March, the Commission proposed to increase EU financing by €3.4 billion for EU countries that were welcoming those fleeing the war in Ukraine due to the “urgency and severity of the crisis triggered by Russia’s invasion.” Since this announcement, an additional 1.6 million people fled the country.
“Today we see another concrete outcome of our solidarity with the mobilisation of cohesion funds to where these are more needed,” Commissioner for Cohesion and Reforms, Elisa Ferreira, said, adding that the EU stands with Ukraine as well as with Member States to support their solidarity effort.
Belgium received more than €11 million in REACT-EU additional pre-financing in total.
Need for immediate support
The payments are aimed at providing infrastructure, housing, employment, education, social inclusion and health- and childcare and were made under the EU’s Cohesion’s Action for Refugees in Europe (CARE).
“People fleeing the war in Ukraine need immediate support to rebuild their lives in safety,” Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, said.
“With these advance payments, Member States can offer food, accommodation, healthcare, education, help to access jobs and more to those in need.”
He added that the Commission has introduced the possibility to flexibly mobilise the available resources from cohesion policy within the 2014-2020 programmes. “The EU contribution will alleviate the additional burden on the public budgets of Member States,” according to Schmit.