Austria grants NGOs 15 mn euros to tackle migrant crisis

Vienna, Oct 24 (IANS) Austria transferred 15 million euros ($16.5 million) to the country’s non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to cover their costs in dealing with the present migrant crisis, the interior ministry said.

The funds, part of a government special budget, mark the beginning of monthly payments to cover expenses incurred in supporting migrants in September, Xinhua reported.

A majority of the money, about 9 million euros ($9.9 million), is to go to the Red Cross, while Catholic church charity Caritas will also receive a sizeable sum.

Additional costs that exceed the given sum will also reimbursed by the government, the interior ministry said on Friday.

A Caritas spokesperson confirmed that the group’s expenses will be calculated and then reimbursed in such a manner monthly, saying government funding will cover the costs of full-time employees, materials and rent.

In recent months, Austria, together with Hungary, has become a major transit corridor for tens of thousands of migrants struggling to reach their preferred destination – Germany.

Due to the deteriorating situation in the Middle East, more migrants are expected to come in the near future.

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