• On 23 August, authorities in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia opened its southern border with Greece allowing the crossing of 5,000 refugees and migrants. Long queues formed as local authorities processed their papers to legalise their transit north and transport was organized to take them to the border with Serbia. In Presevo, on the Serbian side, the Ministry of the Interior registered 2,000 persons at the reception centre during the weekend.
Sofia, Bulgaria | AFP | Friday 8/21/2015 - 15:10 GMT
Bulgaria said Friday it was ready to dispatch its armed forces to secure its southwestern borders with Greece and Macedonia against any fresh influx of refugees.
The announcement came after Macedonia declared a state of emergency and closed its border with Greece because of large numbers of migrants trying to cross.
The move could divert migrants towards Bulgaria, which borders both countries.
According to the information collected by the Red Cross Societies, between November 2014 and mid-2015, 28 migrants died in train accidents in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, four froze to death in Bulgaria, three died in traffic and train accidents in Serbia and two died in a fire in Croatia.
East Med & Balkan - ECHO involvement
In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia ECHO is providing financial support to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) through the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to assist 4 600 vulnerable migrants/refugees in need of humanitarian assistance.
In recent weeks, the Turkey to Greece sea passage has surpassed the North Africa to Italy route in volume of migrants and asylum seekers attempting to reach Europe. Increasing numbers of refugees are fleeing extreme human security situations in Syria (ranked 1st and most at risk out of the 198 countries assessed in Verisk Maplecroft’s Human Rights Risk Index 2015), Iraq (3rd) and Afghanistan (5th), placing further pressures on a weakening Greek economy and struggling infrastructure.
I. Situational overview
Situation at the border
Sofia, Bulgaria | AFP | Monday 5/25/2015 - 17:52 GMT
Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey agreed on Monday to set up a common border police and customs centre to exchange information to combat a surge in illegal migration.
"This agreement guarantees closer cooperation of the three countries that face one and the same challenges... migration, organised crime and terrorism," Bulgaria's Interior Minister Rumyana Bachvarova said after a signing ceremony in Sofia.
Bulgaria will provide USD 40 000 in humanitarian aid to children and their families who suffered in the Nepal earthquake. This decision is an expression of Bulgaria's solidarity and commitment to the international efforts to overcome the consequences of one of the most devastating natural disasters in recent times and to the restoration of Nepal. It is only a small part of the efforts of Bulgaria and of the general public to support the victims of the earthquake by voluntary donations to international humanitarian organizations.
How European indifference pushed MSF to take 'controversial' action.
By Aurélie Ponthieu, MSF Humanitarian Adviser on Displacement, Brussels.
EDIRNE, 25 March 2015 (IRIN) - Thousands of asylum seekers, many of them from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, are being denied entry to the European Union via Turkey’s border with Bulgaria. According to testimonies from asylum seekers, they are not only denied the opportunity to apply for asylum, but turned back by Bulgarian border police and, in many cases, beaten.
A. Situation analysis
Bulgaria: progress needed to better protect children, improve media freedom and uphold the human rights of migrants
Sofia, 12/2/2015 - « Bulgaria should ensure that children’s rights are fully respected in the process of de-institutionalisation and reforming the juvenile justice system» said today Nils Muižnieks, Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, at the end of a three-day visit to Bulgaria.
The MISP Readiness assessment tool was developed by the Inter-Agency Working Group (IAWG) on Reproductive Health (RH) in Crises for Eastern Europe and Central Asia in 2013 to help country teams assess their readiness to provide the Minimum Initial Service Package for Reproductive Health in case of a humanitarian crisis.
Severe weather,including heavy snowfall, rains, winds, low temperatures and thunderstorms are affecting several countries of southern Europe.
Croatia: Power outages and traffic disruption due to heavy snowfall, ice and winds.
Albania: Heavy rains caused floods in several areas of southern Albania since 31 January. The situation is most critical in the south-western areas of the country (Fier and Vlore). At least 1,600 families have been affected and 17,000 ha of land have been flooded.
• Heavy rains affected several areas of Zimbabwe in the last few days, causing floods mostly in Harare. Media reported several homes damaged and one person missing due to floods and ten people killed by lightning.
• In the next 48 h thunderstorms may affect several
• According to media, 3 February, due to the severe weather of the last two days, floods were observed in at least five counties of southern Albania. Fier and Vlore are the counties most affected. Media reported at least 1 700 houses flooded, 1 200 of them in Fier and 500 in Vlora.
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
• The situation in the eastern part of the country is still serious. Issues remain with clean drinking water.
• Heavy rain and snow affected several areas of southern Albania in the last two days, causing rivers to overflow and floods. Fier and Vlore are the counties most affected (according to media).
• Media reported hundreds of homes and roads flooded; no deaths reported (as of 2 February).
THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
• Heavy rains and snow melt caused severe flooding in the last few days. The situation is most alarming in the eastern part of the country along the river Bregalnica.
New Report Showcases U.S. Global Leadership in Landmine Clearance and Conventional Weapons Destruction