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Lithuania wants the EU to have a fund for countries that receive Ukrainian refugees

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Lithuania’s finance minister Gintare Skaiste urged the EU on Monday to set up a fund to help countries hosting thousands of Ukrainian refugees, as he did for Turkey in 2016, Reuters reports.

“In Lithuania, Ukrainians now make up about 2% of the population, in Estonia about 2.5%, and in Poland about 6-7%, so the sums needed to support them are really high. We are asking for additional funds, which would be helpful in this situation, “Skaiste said in an interview with Reuters.

Lithuania wants EU to set up fund for Ukrainian refugees arriving in EU member states

The average cost for a refugee in the host country is about 500 euros per person per month, she said. The numbers are rising depending on how long the refugees remain, the minister added.

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According to the UN, about 6.5 million Ukrainians left the country after the Russian invasion on February 24. The majority, about 3.5 million, entered Poland, and almost one million in Romania, according to Reuters, according to agerpres.ro.

The EU has released 325 million euros to expand a refugee aid program in Turkey, out of a total of 3 billion euros announced in June, according to Agerpres.

Funded for five years by the EU, this “emergency program” allows more than 1.5 million refugees living in Turkey to receive monthly aid for their basic needs.

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The amount of aid is 155 Turkish lira (10 euros) per month per person, supplemented, depending on the size of the beneficiary’s family, by quarterly bonuses.

“This aid is invaluable to hundreds of thousands of families, many of whom have been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic,” said European Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic, who is visiting Ankara on Thursday, according to a statement.

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