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EU relocates scores of vulnerable asylum seekers from Greece, Cyprus to Germany & Finland

EU relocates scores of vulnerable asylum seekers from Greece, Cyprus to Germany & Finland

A group of asylum seekers, including minors, has been relocated from Greece and Cyprus to Germany and Finland, the EU’s asylum coordination agency said Wednesday. The first relocation – of 83 people from families with seriously ill children from Greece to Germany – took place on July 24, according to the European Asylum Support Office (EASO).

The move was part of an ongoing EU scheme to relocate 1,600 minors to various European countries. In a separate move, not part of the EU initiative, 16 Somalis and Congolese from single-parent families were relocated from Cyprus to Finland on July 27. All were tested for coronavirus before leaving Cyprus and Greece, EASO said.

The program is supported by the European Commission, the UN refugee agency and the International Organization for Migration. Greece has some 5,000 migrant minors, most of them living in unsanitary conditions in refugee camps, or in housing not suitable for their needs.

Many European states have shut their borders in response to a surge in migration and refugees, mainly from war-torn Syria. Around a dozen European countries have agreed to make an exception for minors.