The Latest: Germany offers funds to improve migrant safety

AP News
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Posted: Dec 14, 2015 10:03 AM
The Latest: Germany offers funds to improve migrant safety

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — The latest developments in Europe's immigration crisis. All times local:

4 p.m.

The German government is offering increased financial support to communities to improve safety for women and children in refugee shelters, and is expanding the training of social workers to identify abuse.

Germany's Family Minister Manuela Schwesig said Monday the government-owned bank KfW will provide loans of up to 200 million euros (219 million dollars) to create and rebuild shelters and add safe rooms for children and make bathrooms more secure.

She says UNICEF will also now help train social workers.

Another 4 million euros (4.4 million dollars) will be used to increase staff at torture victim centers across the country whose focus is abused migrant women.

There are more than 300,000 children among some 1 million asylum seekers who arrived in Germany this year.

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2:40 p.m.

The Czech Republic has agreed to give asylum to 153 Iraqi Christians who are threatened by extremists.

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka says the group found itself in a difficult situation due to the aggression of Islamic State extremists and approached the Czech Republic with a request for help. He said Monday the government will share the expenses for their move to the Czech Republic with NGOs, and religious institutions will help them settle in the country.

The Interior Ministry says the Iraqis will come in from January to April and will be allowed to stay even after the current conflict is over.

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10:20 a.m.

Croatian police say more than 500,000 asylum-seekers have crossed into the country since mid-September on their way toward Western Europe.

Police said Monday that 501,987 people have entered Croatia since Hungary closed its border with Serbia, redirecting the flow of refugees to Croatia. All have continued their journey toward the wealthy nations of the European Union, primarily Germany or Sweden.

The countries along the Balkan migrant corridor in the past weeks have been allowing in only refugees from war-torn countries such as Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan. That has slowed down the movement of people and angered asylum-seekers from Iran or African nations.

Migrants usually cross the Aegean Sea from Turkey into Greece and then move on to Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia before reaching Austria.