European Union Pledges $1.1 Billion To World Food Program, Money Sorely Needed To Address The Refugee Crisis
In an ongoing effort to combat the European refugee crisis, the European Union has pledged $1.1 billion to the World Food Program and other United Nations agencies. The funding will be dedicated to providing food and housing for those fleeing conflict and seeking refuge across Europe. In Brussels Wednesday, 28 EU leaders congregated at an emergency meeting to address the current refugee crisis in which 120,000 people have been displaced in Hungary, Greece, and Italy. They sought a solution for relocation under a mandatory quota system, as EU President Donald Tusk of Poland urged nations to put impassioned differences aside and acquiesce a solid plan to address the situation.
"A concrete plan must finally appear in place of the arguments and the chaos we have witnessed in the last weeks," Donald Tusk at the summit, where a divided continent confronted its various dissents over the mounting crisis. For instance, Slovakia and Romania are against the quotas that passed in a majority vote Tuesday. Hungary, also reluctant to take in refugees, erected a hundred-mile razor wire fence along its borders and have sent thousands of migrants away to its Austrian border so refugees can continue their trek to wealthier northern Europe.
By the end of the EU meeting early Thursday morning, the countries were able to reach modest agreements. In addition to the money towards the World Food Program, more than 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) will go to the neighboring countries of Syria, where most of the migrants come from. Additional funds will be set aside for countries particularly affected by the rush of refugees. The Wall Street Journal reported several leaders thought the atmosphere of the summit was "better-than-expected." Although some countries indicated unwillingness to comply, others exhibited exceptional initiative. Despite the fact that he was criticized for lack of action towards the crisis a just a few weeks ago, British Prime Minister David Cameron said the U.K. will give another 100 million pounds ($152 million) to help Syrian refugees, 40 million of which will go toward the World Food Program.
Nearly 480,000 migrants arrived in Europe by sea this year, but even more are anticipated. Currently, refugees and asylum seekers are reaching the European shores at a rate of about 6,000 people everyday. In the mean time, some EU leaders are imploring other nations to play their part and uphold EU resolutions. "Europe is a community of values," said French President François Hollande. "Those who don't share those values and principles have to question their presence in the EU."
Hollande is right. After all, teamwork is key.