2021.10.28 16:53

Lithuania to hand out aid to migrants who get pushed back to Belarus

BNS2021.10.28 16:53

Lithuania's government has decided to distribute food, water and basic necessities to migrants who get pushed back from the country's border, the Interior Ministry has said.

The decision was made during Thursday's meeting of Interior Minister Agnė Bilotaitė, Social Security and Labour Minister Monika Navickienė and representatives of state institutions as well as NGOs.

Read more: Migration crisis in Baltics and Poland

Under the plan, government institutions will prepare some 5,000 humanitarian assistance packages by the end of this year.

The ministry says that even now border guards have been giving food, water, and medical assistance, when necessary, to migrants. However, humanitarian assistance will from now on be provided in a more systematic and better-organised manner.

“We cannot allow irregular migrants to continue flooding our country, therefore, we will continue our pushback policy. But we need, wherever possible, to provide assistance to people who have been pushed into this dire situation by the Belarusian regime. We do hope for assistance and action from NGOs operating in Belarus in taking care of migrants in their country,” Bilotaitė is quoted in a statement by the Interior Ministry.

Lithuania will start distributing humanitarian packages with dry food, water and basic items.

Since early August, Lithuania has prevented some 5,008 migrants from entering the country from Belarus. Meanwhile, 156 people where let in on humanitarian grounds.

Lithuania's Migration Department has already processed 1,853 out of 3,148 asylum requests. Only six people have been given asylum in Lithuania.

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