Refugees and migrants face heightened risks while trying to reach Europe – UNHCR report
In a new report, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, details the impact of the increased border restrictions introduced in 2016 on refugee and migrant movements towards and inside Europe. It shows that people continued to move but undertook more diversified and dangerous journeys, often relying on smugglers because of the lack of accessible legal ways to Europe.
The European Commission (EC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) have launched an initiative to increase disaster prevention in cities across seven countries and territories in the Western Balkans.
The two-year project, to be implemented by UNDP in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo*, Montenegro and Serbia, will equip municipalities to reduce the risks associated with flash floods, earthquakes, droughts and other disasters.
Tracking Earthquake and Flood Risks across Europe and Central Asia to Enhance Disaster Resilience
A new publication released by the World Bank and the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery examines current and future trends in terms of earthquake and flood risks for 32 countries across the Europe and Central Asia region.
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.
Background and context
Five Balkan countries – Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – are boosting their skills to improve hospital safety and reduce human and economic losses during disasters and health emergencies. This is resulting from a WHO/Europe’s extensive training of experts in Tirana, Albania, from 9 to 13 October 2016.
Heavy rain has been affecting southeastern Europe, especially The Balkans countries, over the last couple of days causing floods.
Protracted complex emergencies and natural disasters, including drought, earthquakes, floods, and wildfires, present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia (EMCA). Between FY 2007 and FY 2016, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided assistance in response to a range of disasters, including floods, wildfires, winter emergencies, and complex crises.
In the second quarter of this year, the number of migrants detected at the borders of Western Balkan countries plunged 88% from the previous three months to 26 488. The figure is slightly higher than in the first quarter of 2015, before the region experienced a massive increase in migrants who had previously arrived on the Greek islands from Turkey. Afghans became the top reported nationality, accounting for a 36% share of the total non-regional migration flow, while Syrians dropped to the second place with 16%.
More partners join forces to end violence against children and to promote social inclusion of children with disabilities into society
GENEVA/ BRUSSELS, 4 August 2016 – The European Union (EU) and UNICEF have broadened an important regional partnership that aims to protect children from violence and better include children with disabilities into society.
The 2015 Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the European Union aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the number and nature of applications for international protection made in the EU+ (1). It examines how those applications were processed and indicates important developments at EU+ and national level in order to describe the functioning of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) in each of its key aspects.
- Reference: 2016-164-EN
A new initiative from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support regions outside of Europe that are significantly affected by the refugee crisis has been welcomed by EU heads of state and governments meeting in Brussels today. Responding to a request by the European Council in March, EIB President Hoyer laid out how the EU Bank could step up its support and address the pressing needs of the regions with action to support growth, jobs vital infrastructure and social cohesion.
Throughout May an average of 50 children travelling without a parent or guardian arrived weekly at Save the Children-supported sites in Belgrade, Serbia, with some having walked for days with little or no access to food or clean water.
Save the Children teams in Belgrade report a five-fold increase in the number of children separated from their families arriving at their facilities last month. The number of new cases identified jumped from 15 during the first week of May to 78 by the final week.
Combined Monthly Europe Population Movement Operations Update
A. Major developments by country
The main route remains to be Southern Italy (especially Sicily) as first entry points from the North African coasts. In 2015, according to the UNHCR,153,842 arrivals arrived in Italy by boats mainly from North African countries. In 2016, 47,820 people have arrived in Italy by sea (UNHCR- 2 June 2016).
STATISTICS AND HIGHLIGHTS
- UNHCR and partners learned of 150 irregular arrivals: 93 from fYR Macedonia, 51 from Bulgaria and six from Montenegro.
- The number of asylum seekers waiting to be admitted into Hungarian “transit zones” increased after Hungarian authorities’ halved daily admission from some 60 to some 30 asylum seekers. As a result, on average 418 asylum seekers, predominantly women and children, were waiting for admission in the open, without shelter or sanitary facilities.
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.
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.
Over the reporting period (31 March –6 April) countries of first arrival (Italy, Greece, and Bulgaria) saw an average decrease of 33% in numbers of arrivals compared with the previous week. In particular, Italy saw a 59% decrease compared to previous week.
The total number of migrants and refugees stranded in Greece and in the Western Balkans is 57,812. For a more detailed look, please see the accommodation pages of Greece, fYROM, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia.