Egypt’s Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Hisham Badr told European Union Members of Parliament (MEPs) that Egypt now hosts five million refugees and migrants from across the region.
Blaming the EU-Turkey deal for an increase in the number of refugees arriving in Egypt, Badr said that pressure has increased on Egypt to accommodate for refugees and to prevent others from attempting the dangerous crossing to Europe.
“You see what has happened as a result of the deal with Turkey. The closing of the Balkan route and the deal in north Africa, the pressure has increased on Egypt,” said Badr, according to the EU Observer. The EU-Turkey deal saw the EU provide billions of dollars in aid in return for Turkey stopping the flow of migration to Europe and accepting refugees.
Badr also told MEPs from the foreign affairs committee that it had prevented more than 5,000 people from crossing the Mediterranean in recent months, including 400 people just days ago.
“We will continue of course to do our jobs and bear our responsibility without trying, unlike certain other countries, to bargain with that for other reasons,” said Badr, adding that Egypt spends $US 300 million a year as a result of the refugee crisis.
Badr also revealed that there are currently 500,000 Syrians seeking refuge in Egypt.
“We are not getting enough support. I don’t want to mention any examples with a country bordering you, which has got 6 billion dollars in help,” continued Badr in reference to Turkey.
Along with Syrians, Egypt hosts hundreds of thousands of Somalis, Eritreans, Sudanese, Libyans, and more.