The European Union announced Thursday an aid package for Lebanon of 1 billion euros — about $1.06 billion — that will mostly go to boost border control to halt the flow of asylum seekers and migrants from the small, crisis-wracked country across the Mediterranean Sea to Cyprus and Italy.

The deal follows other EU aid packages for countries such as Egypt, Tunisia and Mauritania to fortify their borders. It comes against a backdrop of increasing hostility toward Syrian refugees in Lebanon and a major surge in irregular migration of Syrian refugees from Lebanon to Cyprus.

European Union Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said during a Beirut visit with Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides that the aid distribution will start this year and last till 2027.