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EU's Civil Protection Mechanism helps Serbia cope with refugee influx

Refugees at the Serbian border. Photo credit: EU/ECHO/Fabrice Martin
Refugees at the Serbian border. Photo credit: EU/ECHO/Fabrice Martin
Refugees at the Serbian border. Photo credit: EU/ECHO/Fabrice Martin

Yesterday, Serbia has activated the EU's Civil Protection Mechanism to benefit from material support to help cope with the influx of refugees and asylum seekers in the country.

The European Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) is working closely with the Serbian authorities and the other participating states in the Mechanism to coordinate a swift response to the request.

Serbia has requested material support for beds, mattresses, hygiene items, vehicles, fuel and food.

"I call upon EU Member States to show solidarity towards Serbia at this time of need. We are in close contact with the authorities in Belgrade to help coordinate the swift delivery of material support offered by participating states," said EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides.

Background

During the first eight months of 2015 approximately 146 000 people crossed the Serbian border with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Since June, 113 364 people have entered Serbia – the majority of these originate from Syria. 

An increase of 1 000 % is estimated in the number of refugees arriving to Serbia, in comparison to 2014. Four new temporary reception centres have been opened due to the current migration crisis with a total capacity of 1 560 places.

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism facilitates the cooperation in emergency response among 33 European states (all EU Member States, Iceland, Montenegro, Norway, Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). These Participating States pool the resources that can be made available to disaster-stricken countries all over the world.

The Mechanism can be used as a complementary instrument to support EU Member States and other countries in facing major peaks in the migration crisis which overwhelm their immediate response capacities.

Publication date
22/09/2015