EUROPE/SERBIA - Rigid temperatures and difficult conditions for refugees

Thursday, 15 October 2015 refugees  

United Nations Photo

Presevo (Agenzia Fides) - According to data collected by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), at the end of September the number of people emigrated between Turkey and Greece reached 7,000 a day. The rough sea and the cold temperatures were supposed to record a reduction in the number of refugees seeking to cross the Mediterranean to reach Europe. About 600,000 people have arrived in Europe by sea this year, 83% from countries with high numbers of immigrants, according to data of the United Nations for Refugees (UNHCR). In the coming months, refugees and migrants still traveling from Greece through Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia will face more difficult conditions due to the fact that part of their journey is on foot, and many have to transport the disabled and the sick on wheelbarrows, or carry small children. The temperature in the western Balkans is already very low, just above zero at night. During the dark winter days of December and January they will drop further, between minus 3 and minus 5 degrees Celsius, while the arctic winds and snow can plunge the temperatures to minus 20. In Serbia, after passing through Macedonia the refugees wait to be registered in the town of Presevo. Three local Macedonian NGOs, LEGIS, Nun, and Help the Refugees, are engaged in the storage of linen, blankets, waterproof clothes and shoes. Many of the camps and transit centers along the Balkan route have tents, while a large number of migrants in Serbia, Croatia and Hungary are still sleeping outdoors, unprotected from the weather. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 15/10/2015)