EU sending food, blankets to migrants along border between Poland, Belarus

The European Union announced on Wednesday that it will be sending food and blankets to migrants stuck at the border between Belarus and Poland, Reuters reported.

The EU announced the new aid measures for the migrants following criticism that it was not doing enough to help the people at the heart of the crisis, which has been unfolding since July.

Thousands of migrants, a majority of whom are from Iraq and Afghanistan, have traveled to Belarus's border with Poland in hopes that they can make it into the EU. The migrants have recently faced freezing temperatures and dwindling food and other supplies as Poland continues to block their entry.

At least eight people have died at the Polish border since the crisis started this summer, according to Reuters.

Announcing the aid measures, Ursula von der Leyen, the head of the EU executive body, said it was up to Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko to put an end to the border crisis, per Reuters.

The EU has previously alleged that Belarus is encouraging migrants to cross into Poland and Lithuania via its country in response to sanctions imposed by Western countries. Polish officials have also accused Belarus of wanting to "cause a major incident" on the border. 

"We are ready to do more. But the Belarusian regime must stop luring people and putting their lives at risk," von der Leyen said. 

Belarus has blamed the crisis on the European bloc, however, and Russia has said the same.

Earlier this week, the EU said it plans to broaden sanctions against Belarus.