Since mid-2015, Europe has been faced with a massive increase in arrivals of refugees and migrants fleeing conflict or poverty in their countries. In response to this crisis, the European Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department has mobilised both its humanitarian aid and civil protection assistance tools.
The Commission has released funding for humanitarian assistance to Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to help them respond to refugees' needs. Material assistance, such as beds, mattresses, blankets, raincoats, was delivered via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism to Hungary, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, and Greece.
The European Union has also established a new 'Emergency Assistance Instrument' to deliver EU humanitarian funding within the EU territory. This instrument will provide a faster, more targeted response to major crises, including helping Member States cope with large numbers of refugees. The instrument could be used for the provision of basic necessities such as food, shelter, and medicine to the large numbers of children, women, and men currently arriving in EU countries.
Since November 2015, the European Commission and the EU Member States have been working together to set up the 'Refugee Facility for Turkey', a €3 billion fund which will support humanitarian aid and development projects for refugees residing in Turkey in 2016 and 2017. The European Commission has also funded disaster preparedness projects in South Caucasus, ongoing since 2010.