Austria calls for €5bn aid package for region around Syria

GMT 04:23 2015 Sunday ,20 September

Arab Today, arab today Austria calls for €5bn aid package for region around Syria

Syrian refugees and migrants
Vienna - XINHUA

Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann on Friday called for an emergency aid package for the region surrounding Syria of up to five billion euros (5.6 billion U.S. dollars).

The issue had been discussed earlier during a meeting of high-ranking European social democrat leaders in Vienna, which included Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Loefven, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz.

The funds should be used to provide food, shelter, education and medical care in large refugee camps in Syria's neighboring countries. The European Union, Gulf states and the United States should each cover a third of the cost.

In an interview with television program Zeit im Bild 2 on public broadcaster ORF in the evening, Faymann said refugee camps housing large numbers of people in countries such as Jordan and Turkey must have conditions fit for human beings, for which funding is absolutely necessary.

He said the root of the problem must be addressed, in supporting the camps as well as establishing go-to hotspots on the EU borders, and should this not be done, Austria, Germany and Sweden will not be able to cater for refugees alone.

Faymann acknowledged full solidarity will not be achieved at the upcoming extraordinary EU summit on Wednesday that is to tackle the migration crisis, but he remained confident that serious discussions would lead to an acceptable outcome.

Additionally the chancellor reiterated his call for the "fair distribution" of asylum seekers within the EU, for which "orderly regulations" are needed.

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