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EU pledges $1.1 billion refugee aid

Thursday, September 24, 2015 - 02:01

European Union leaders have offered at least $1.1 billion dollars to help Syrian refugees after an emergency summit in Brussels. Paul Chapman reports.

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Syrian refugees like these fleeing through Lebanon to reach Turkey are the target of the European Union's extra cash. E.U. leaders are pledging $1.1 billion for the United Nations and other aid agencies to help Syrians in the Middle East. They're also increasing funds to countries like Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey to help ease the factors driving Syrian refugees to risk their lives trying to reach Europe. European Council President Donald Tusk says the measures include much closer co-operation and tighter controls. (SOUNDBITE)(English) EUROPEAN COUNCIL PRESIDENT DONALD TUSK SAYING: "It's clear that the greatest tide of refugees and migrants is yet to come. Therefore we need to correct the policy of open doors and windows." German Chancellor Angela Merkel, whose government's been accused by some E.U. states of fuelling the migrant influx, also appeared content with the measures. (SOUNDBITE)(German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL SAYING: "The German government supports the European Commission's proposals. This means this is a first step but we are still far from where we need to be." Italy's prime minister hailed Thursday's agreement as recognition that nation's on the fringes of Europe shouldn't have to tackle the crisis alone. (SOUNDBITE)(English) ITALIAN PRIME MINISTER MATTEO RENZI SAYING: "This question is about everyone, and not only about single member states." French President Francois Hollande wants other countries beyond the E.U. to take on a greater role. (SOUNDBITE)(French) FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE SAYING: "If Europe is a collective founded on values and principles there are other countries - the United States and Canada - which also have to do their bit." Despite a lack of much anticipated animosity at the E.U summit what they've agreed is far from a long-term solution. At least one member state set for a legal challenge to plans for the distribution of 120, 000 migrants and that number alone is just the tip of the iceberg.

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EU pledges $1.1 billion refugee aid

Thursday, September 24, 2015 - 02:01