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EU allocates 11 million euros for evacuations from Lebanon
2006-07-26 16:13:32

Nicosia, Jul 26 (CNA) -- The European Commission has allocated 11 million euros to help around 10,000 citizens from developing countries return home from Lebanon.

An EU Commission press release says that this package will assist in evacuating the most vulnerable people, in particular single women and children, while it will also assist the Lebanese authorities and developing countries evacuate those who remain in Lebanon, provide support and medical assistance to evacuees in transit countries, mainly Syria, Jordan and Cyprus, and help in a swift and orderly repatriation to their home countries.

So far more than 35,000 persons have been evacuated from Lebanon through Cyprus.

There were around 100,000 to 200,000 workers from developing countries living in Lebanon at the start of the conflict. The authorities of many of these countries do not have the means to support their citizens' evacuation. The largest groups of workers are from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Ethiopia and Bangladesh, with also significant numbers from Ghana, Vietnam and Nepal, and a few from Eastern Europe and Russia.

Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner said that ''the EU is doing everything in its power to help civilians of all nationalities caught up in this conflict,'' adding that alongside all that is being done to help EU nationals get out of Lebanon, it is crucial that we bring third country nationals to safety.''

''The package announced today will mean swift help for those who need it most, and help to avoid creating new humanitarian crises in transit countries,'' she added.

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