News item | 02-03-2016 | 07:00
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is to provide Greece with medical equipment and supplies, in response to a recent plea by the Greek government for assistance with the refugee crisis. Ministers Bert Koenders (Foreign Affairs) and Lilianne Ploumen (Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation) will be providing specialised vehicles and medical supplies in the short term, for use in locations where refugees are stranded.
The tens of thousands of refugees currently stranded in various parts of Greece urgently need first aid and medical care. It has been agreed that the Netherlands will provide nine mobile aid units, each consisting of two vehicles, a generator, a tent and medical supplies. Greece will also receive sleeping bags, sheets, blankets and other items from the Netherlands as requested. The supplies will be dispatched as soon as possible.
Mr Koenders said the aid is meeting an urgent need. ‘It also shows that we are not abandoning Greece at this time of crisis which is weighing so heavily on the country. That’s why I believe there needs to be a European humanitarian aid programme for Greece. We must all pull together to help the refugees stranded there and also support the Greeks in the tremendous efforts they are making.’
Ms Ploumen added, ‘In recent months we have already donated humanitarian supplies to Greece and several Balkan countries, including lighting columns, camp beds and water pumps. The Netherlands is now sending this new aid consignment in response to the Greek government’s request, and I hope that other EU member states will quickly follow suit. We cannot leave all these people in the lurch.’