A Message From Assistant Secretary Puneet Talwar
Report calls for building disaster risk into development efforts
Sarajevo, 20 May 2016 – Two years after massive flooding caused widespread devastation and loss of life in the Western Balkans, countries in the sub-region have taken steps to reduce the risk of disasters but more will need to be done to protect people from future destruction, according to the Human Development Report for the Western Balkans, launched here today.
Migratory flows to Europe: new dimensions to deep-rooted patterns
Since the beginning of 2016, almost 184,500 people have crossed the Mediterranean to seek safety and protection in Europe. Of them, 154,914 arrived on Greek shores. Since last March, there has been a significant reduction in the flow of refugee and migrant populations from northern Greece due to the enforcement of more rigid border controls along with adoption of the EU-Turkey agreement.
The Syrian refugee crisis is one of the largest movements of displaced people in Europe since World War II. Dorcas is currently helping out, focusing on those who are most vulnerable, such as children, elderly, pregnant women and women with young children.
Dorcas started responding to this crisis in September 2015 in Macedonia. In the six months that followed, Dorcas helped meet the basic needs of approximately 150,000 refugees. Dorcas distributed items include food, hygiene items and blankets.
Low public spending, ineffective social protection policies and programmes are hampering progress for children in Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia
GENEVA, 20 April 2016 — Children who are falling furthest behind in society benefit the most when countries invest in more effective social protection, according to a new UNICEF Report launched today.
In 2015, Member States reported more than 1 820 000 detections of illegal border-crossing along the external borders.
This never-before-seen figure was more than six times the number of detections reported in 2014, which was itself an unprecedented year, with record monthly averages observed since April 2014.
Athens, Greece | AFP | Saturday 3/26/2016 - 11:00 GMT
by Joe Sinclair
Greece said Saturday it has begun emptying the main migrant camp on its border with Macedonia, as the huge tide of refugees flooding into the country slows to a trickle following the EU-Turkey deal.
Eight buses transported around 400 refugees from the Idomeni camp Friday, while another two buses left on Saturday, taking them to other camps set up in northern Greece, local police said.
SCENARIOS FOR APRIL – SEPTEMBER 2016
These scenarios are a description of situations that could occur in the coming six months, with their associated humanitarian consequences. The aim is to support strategic planning, create awareness, and promote preparedness activities for those responding to this crisis.
See the Methodology section for more information on how these scenarios were developed.
With the continued implementation of new border policies along the Western Balkans migration route, thousands more people are currently stranded en route.
Since the beginning of 2016, almost 153,200 people have crossed the Mediterranean to seek safety and protection in Europe. Of them, 143,205 arrived through the Eastern Mediterranean, on Greek shores.
In February 2016, women and children made up 63 per cent of refugees and migrants crossing from Greece into the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, children were 41 per cent.
Asylum seekers and other migrants are arriving in Europe and encountering rapidly changing border controls as they seek transit through Europe. The EU is implementing its “hotspot” approach for new arrival registration in Italy and Greece. This is a snapshot of the situation based on available unclassified data as of March 4, 2016.
Tirana, Albania | AFP | Tuesday 3/15/2016 - 21:28 GMT
Albania is asking for Italy's help to prevent it from becoming swamped by migrants desperate to reach northern Europe, Albanian Interior Minister Saimir Tahiri said on Tuesday.
"Albania has sought Italy's help to strengthen its border controls and cope with the various security problems should there be a flow of migrants heading towards the Albanian frontier," Tahiri told a press conference.
"Albania cannot cope with a wave of migrants wave by itself," he said.
Ali is a shepherd from Suhe Village in Gjirokaster, in southern Albania. Each day he rises at dawn to care for his grass-fed sheep. He makes a living by selling the milk he gets from the sheep to a local processor.
Sofia, Bulgaria | AFP | Tuesday 3/8/2016 - 14:01 GMT
by Vessela SERGUEVA
As helicopters buzzed overhead, Bulgaria's Prime Minister Boyko Borisov was in defiant form at weekend exercises on the border with Greece -- meant as a show of force to any would-be migrant considering an alternative way into the EU.
"More than 400 personnel from the army, police and gendarmerie will be permanently based here," Borisov declared. "Five hundred more can be mobilised within hours."
Greece - IOM estimates that 134,905 migrants already have crossed the Mediterranean this year. Of these, 125,819 have reached the Greek islands. The remainder landed in Italy. Media reports indicate that arrivals to Spain in 2016 are fewer than 100.
Sea arrivals to Greece averaged 12,800 per week in February, a reduction from 13,500 in January and 22,500 in December. Daily numbers fluctuated from a few to around 4,800. Bad weather and sea conditions are considered the main reasons for the reduction.
Tirana, Albania | AFP | Thursday 2/25/2016 - 22:10 GMT
A "large number" of Syrian refugees are waiting to cross into Albania, the Balkan nation's integration minister said Thursday, as migrants begin to seek out new routes into northern Europe following a series of border clampdowns.
Integration minister Klajda Gjosha said the buildup on Albania's frontier appeared to be in response to neighbouring Macedonia's decision at the weekend to deny entry to Afghan migrants coming from Greece and impose tougher checks for Syrians and Iraqis.