The money was set aside by Italy’s Stability Law to deal with the crisis – €100 million each month – but the Italian daily reports that the fees have not been paid since April, despite numerous requests from Interior Minister Angelino Alfano.
Several of the organizations responsible for the centres, including the Italian Red Cross, have said that if they don’t receive the money by September 30th, they will be unable to continue offering their services.
In 2016, 131,000 migrants arrived in Italy. Between these and the large number who arrived last year, the total number of people living in Italian migrant centres is 159,753, plus a further 15,000 unaccompanied minors.
Around 13,000 live in welcome centres, while 22,000 are staying in Sprar (Protection System for Refugees and Asylum Seekers) centres or secondary reception centres, and many are being housed in temporary structures while they wait for the outcomes of their asylum applications.
The cost of providing accommodation, food and healthcare for new arrivals cost Italy over €1 billion in 2015.