A sum of CHF1.1 million ($1.13 million) has been promised by the Swiss government to finance emergency measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus in asylum centres.
The money will go to aid organisations and will mainly target children and young people living in asylum centres on the Greek Aegean islands, according to the State Secretariat for Migration.
Switzerland is also preparing to receive 22 asylum-seeking minors from the region.
The funds will support projects initiated by the United Nations refugee agency, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Orthodox Church to provide legal advice and psychological support to minors.
Preventive measures will be implemented to protect asylum seekers from possible coronavirus infection. Other projects are also under consideration.
In January, Switzerland had already proposed to host unaccompanied minors in Greece with family ties in Switzerland on the basis of the so-called Dublin III asylum regulation. To date, the Swiss immigration authorities have received and accepted applications of 22 unaccompanied minors from Greece. Although Dublin transfers are currently suspended throughout Europe because of the coronavirus, the Greek authorities have been informed that these minors may enter Switzerland immediately - in accordance with the instructions of the Federal Office of Public Health.
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