SHORT NOTE 14 January 2017
Temperatures have dropped down to -20°C at night in Serbia since early January 2017 – way below the average low of -2°C. Even during the day, temperatures are sometimes below -10°C.
The refugee and migrant population has been particularly affected by the cold wave, due to poor shelter and NFI conditions, and low access to healthcare. There are at least 7,200 refugees in Serbia, with 80 to 100 arriving daily, and around 100 crossing onwards into other countries every week.
The lowest temperatures in decades and a blanket of heavy snow in parts of the Balkans, Greece, and Eastern Europe are causing dozens of deaths, power outages, and travel delays.
Authorities have blamed at least 73 deaths on the extreme weather, the coldest since 1963, including at least 15 people who froze to death in the Balkans this week -- four elderly men in Bosnia-Herzegovina, six people in Serbia, two homeless men in Kosovo, and an elderly woman and two homeless men in Macedonia.
Switzerland - IOM today expressed its concern for thousands of migrants, asylum seekers and others enduring freezing winter conditions across Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. The region has been hit by some of the heaviest snowfall and the most severe icy temperatures in years.
With temperatures hovering below zero (centigrade) across the Continent, the United Nations Migration Agency has learned of dozens of deaths due to exposure—including those of migrants recently arrived in cities like Rome and of others in transit across the Balkans.
Severe winter weather and extreme temperatures as low as – 30 degrees Celsius in some areas are affecting much of Central, Southern and Eastern Europe, including Turkey and Greece. The worst of the cold weather began at the beginning of January in many countries but in Poland, the impact of freezing temperatures was felt as early as November 2016.
The media has reported at least 40 deaths. Homeless people, asylum seekers, refugees in camps and IDPs in Ukraine are among the most vulnerable.
2017 Requirements: US$43,452,000
Registered intentions to seek asylum in Serbia
of registered refugees and migrants were minors
Applications for asylum
Persons granted refugee status
Persons granted subsidiary protection
Background and context
HIGHLIGHTS AND STATISTICS
Authorities, UNHCR, and partners encountered close to 7,000 refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants. Over 5,670 (i.e. 81%) were accommodated in governmental facilities (see chart), while the remainder were counted sleeping rough in Belgrade City centre or at the border with Hungary. With the centre in Pirot receiving its first residents this week, there are now 15 government centers sheltering refugees, asylum seekers and migrants.
Oct 2015 – 06 Dec 2016
1,950 persons relocated
5,839 places pledged
As of 06 Dec 2016
381,307 Total Arrivals
357,249 Total by Sea
24,058 Total by Land
4,812 Dead/ Missing
EUROPE—COUNTRIES OF FIRST ARRIVAL
Looking across Europe, arrivals to Greece and Italy alone account for 93% of the 381,307 arrivals in 2016 (as of 14December 2016). Congruently, nearly all new arrivals in 2016 have come to Europe by sea (93.6%). Just 6.3% (24,058) of migrants in 2016 have entered Europe by land, through Bulgaria, Greece and Spain. Importantly, arrivals to Italy outstripped arrivals to Greece this year.
The map below shows asylum applications by under age 18 year olds and gender. Darker colours mean more people have applied in a certain country. Use the slider to select a year or the drop down menus below to display data for different age groups or different home countries.
This briefing updates the July 2016 report ‘Border Wars: the arms dealers profiting from Europe’s refugee tragedy’ . It shows that the European policy response to the refugee tragedy continues to provide a booming border security market for Europe’s arms and security firms, some of whom are involved in selling arms to the Middle East and North Africa and all of whom encourage European policies focused on keeping refugees out.
With the increased movement of refugees and migrants on the Central Mediterranean route over the past months, the number of sea arrivals in Italy in 2016 has now exceeded arrivals in Greece. Nearly one third are children, and over 90 per cent of all arrivals in Italy are unaccompanied and separated children.
Ottawa Convention concludes in Chile
Santiago, Chile – The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention's Fifteenth Meeting of the States Parties (15MSP) has concluded a week of work in Santiago, Chile, recording success in stockpile destruction with Poland announcing it had destroyed one million stockpiled landmines bringing to 158 the number of States that no longer hold stocks. With Poland's stockpile destruction, the States Parties have now destroyed more than 49 million landmines.
This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson William Spindler – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
UNHCR is concerned that a protest at Bulgaria’s largest reception centre for asylum-seekers has prompted calls for asylum-seekers to be expelled on national security grounds.
Bulgaria has built a fence along its border with Turkey and has beefed up border controls to deter the migrants
More than 400 migrants arrested over camp riot
Bulgaria hopes to extradite some back to Afghanistan
PM Borisov urges local people to stay calm
By Dimitar Kyosemarliev
Despite decreasing numbers, Bulgarian nationalists call for the immediate closure of all refugee centres in the country
SOFIA, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Migrants clashed with police and set fire to furniture and tires at a refugee camp in Bulgaria's southern town of Harmanli on Thursday, two days after the facility was sealed off following reports alleging outbreaks of disease among residents.
Read more on the Thomson Reuters Foundation
To Walk the Earth in Safety 2016: U.S. Global Leadership in Landmine Clearance and Conventional Weapons Destruction
Office of the Spokesperson
November 17, 2016