EU plans to take 50,000 refugees from Mideast, Africa

The EU on Wednesday (September 27th) unveiled plans to take at least 50,000 refugees directly from the Middle East, Turkey and Africa, to discourage migrant boats from making the risky Mediterranean crossing, AFP reported.

The proposal involves admitting refugees to EU countries over the next two years under the bloc's resettlement programme, introduced during the migration crisis of 2015.

"We need to open real alternatives to taking perilous irregular journeys," EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said.

The European Commission said in a statement it was "recommending a new EU resettlement scheme to bring at least 50,000 of the most vulnerable persons in need of international protection to Europe over the next two years".

Resettlement will continue from Turkey and Jordan, which have been overwhelmed with people fleeing Syria, but there will be "increased focus" on North Africa and the Horn of Africa -- particularly Libya, Egypt, Niger, Sudan, Chad and Ethiopia, the commission said.

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