"This Council decision shows that the EU stands by Greece at this difficult time. The Netherlands presidency will do all it can to ensure that the necessary EU funds are mobilised as quickly as possible," Bert Koenders, who is president of the Council and foreign minister of the Netherlands was quoted as saying in the statement.
The deal, a political agreement on which was reached by the Council on March 9, stipulates the provision of humanitarian aid, including food, shelter, water, medicine and other basic necessities, it is noted in the statement.
According to the statement, the new regulation enables the bloc to provide “an immediate and effective response to the very difficult situation that is rapidly developing on the ground.”
The European Union is struggling to manage a massive influx of migrants as millions of people are leaving the Middle East and North Africa but also other regions as well. Greece is the main transit route for refugees coming across the Aegean Sea from Turkey and many of them have been stuck in the country since the closure of the so-called Western Balkan route of refugee migration earlier this month.
Around 300 million euros ($333 million) will be needed to meet the needs of refugees based in the European Union in 2016, and a further 200 million euros will be needed annually in 2017 and 2018, according to the European Commission.