Lithuanian cabinet approves EUR 670,000 for migrant, COVID-19 related costs

  • 2021-09-08
  • BNS/TBT Staff

VILNIUS – The Lithuanian government on Wednesday allocated 670,000 euros to municipalities for the accommodation and education of migrants and for dealing with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic.

These include 325,000 euros from the state reserve to cover migrant children's education costs. 

Deputy Finance Minister Gediminas Norkunas told the Cabinet that the cost estimate was preliminary and might change depending on the number of children. 

The funds are expected to last until the end of the year.

Another 104,300 euros from the state reserve will go to municipalities to cover their "expenses incurred to accommodate irregular migrants and meet their needs", according to the official. 

This is marks the fifth decision to reimburse municipalities for their costs, with just over half a million euros allocated to them to date in total, he said.

Another 241,100 euros from the state reserve were allocated to cover the costs of dealing with the effects of COVID-19.

"In total, almost half a billion euros have actually been allocated for COVID-related measures through government resolutions," Norkunas said. 

Over 4,100 migrants, mainly Iraqis, have crossed into Lithuania from Belarus illegally so far this year, compared to just 81 in all of 2020. According to the Migration Department, more than 100 irregular migrants have already been sent back to their countries of origin.

Lithuania has declared a state-level extreme situation over the unprecedented migration influx which it says is being orchestrated by the Belarusian regime.