By Thomson Reuters Foundation
Image Attribute: Migrants are seen during the rescue operation in the Mediterranea Sea October 20, 2016. Yara Nardi/Italian Red Cross press office/Handout via Reuters (This image was provided by a third-party. Editorial Use Only)
LONDON - Refugees trying to reach Europe will be encouraged to move to Asia and Latin America as part of a British aid package intended to bolster a U.N. scheme, Prime Minister Theresa May announced at an EU summit.
A 30 million pound ($37 million) aid package, providing life-saving supplies across Eastern Europe and Greece and support for vulnerable women refugees traveling alone, will also support a scheme helping refugees start new lives in Asia and Latin America.
European Union leaders were meeting on Malta on Friday to endorse plans they hope can prevent a new wave of migrants sailing for Italy from Africa.
Some 370,000 refugees and migrants arrived in Europe last year, many fleeing war, poverty, and persecution in the Middle East and Africa.
Britain's International Development Secretary Priti Patel said in a statement the "government is stepping up its support for the most vulnerable refugees."
The voluntary resettlement program, jointly run by the U.N. refugee agency and the International Organisation for Migration, also aims to help countries build infrastructure for new refugee arrivals.
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(Reporting by Zoe Tabary @zoetabary, editing by Ros Russell. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights, climate change and resilience. Visit news.trust.org)
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