Egypt said Europe’s deal to stop the flow of refugees from Turkey is increasing the number of people heading to North Africa. However, the European Union statistics show otherwise.
CCTV’s Kevin Ozebek reports.
In Europe there’s been a human flood. Waves of refugees made their way out of Syria, through Turkey and then across Europe. But in March, that flood slowed to a trickle.
As EU signed a deal with Turkey, giving the country billions in aid in exchange for keeping refugees in refugee camps, Cairo now says that deal is partly to blame for an uptick in refugees in Egypt.
“The pressure has increased on Egypt,” Egypt’s Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Hisham Badr said. “And therefor the number of immigrants and refugees coming to Egypt both as a transit and as a destination has increased.”
Badr says 500 thousand Syrians are trying to integrate into the population. But EU maintains that there’s no evidence that its arrangement with Turkey is to blame. “We have nothing that indicates there has been a fragmentation or redirection of route of Syrians else then to Turkey,” said European Commission’s spokesperson Natasha Bertaud.
As part of the deal, Turkey is receiving up to $6.7 billion. Badr said his country too could use more support, and refugee advocates agree.
Egypt may be hosting half a million Syrians, but it’s also home to 4.5 million other refugees and migrants, mostly from Africa. Badr said supporting the millions of new arrivals will cost his country $300 million this year alone.