EU must activate more refugee funding, official says
The EU should set up a new financial instrument to aid countries that take in Ukrainian war refugees as the European Commission's funding conception may prove insufficient, a Polish deputy interior minister said on Monday in Brussels.
Poland is carrying the brunt of the current exodus of refugees from Ukraine, mostly women, children and elderly people, fleeing their country after its invasion by Russia.
Bartosz Grodecki, in Brussels for a meeting of EU interior ministers devoted to the inflow of Ukrainian refugees to the EU, said that refugee-admitting EU countries will need additional financing to cope with the task, and suggested that the EU establish a special fund for the purpose.
Referring to the EC's idea to finance refugee aid with EUR 3.5 billion from the EU's REACT-EU fund, Grodecki pointed out that the REACT-EU funding was difficult to access and failed to cover running needs, and stressed the need for a new instrument.
Moreover, he added, none of the refugee-receiving countries have yet been informed about REACT-EU funds' application and accounting procedures.
"None of the member states know… how soon they will be able to use them, or if they will be retroactive, i.e. if they will cover the costs already borne by the member states," Grodecki said.
Poland is expected to receive around EUR 600 million under the REACT-EU fund.