UN launches the Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan for Europe: Eastern Mediterranean and Western Balkans route

from UN Country Team in Serbia
Published on 26 Jan 2016 View Original

The UN Country Team in Serbia – an estimated 47 million USD pledged for Serbia alone for 2016

Belgrade, 26-January-2015 – The UN Country Team in Serbia announced to its partners community in Serbia that the Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan has been launched in Geneva yesterday under the auspices of UNHCR and IOM. The Regional Refugees and Migrants Response Plan calls for assistance to Greece, FYR of Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia and Turkey in addressing the needs of refugees and migrants in 2016.

According to the plan, the UN Country Team in Serbia announces that an estimate 40 million USD has been pledged for Serbia alone for 2016. Assistance provided under the plan includes both humanitarian assistance and provision of medium term development support to the Government of Serbia in addressing the needs of refugees and migrants in the following areas: protection, education, food, health and nutrition, logistics, shelter, non-food items, wash and local community support.

Parties responsible for implementation of activities designed in the plan are: UNHCR and IOM as lead international organizations, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women, OHCHR, UNOPS, WHO, WFP, as well as the 11 international and 7 local NGOs.

“I am pleased to inform that the launch of the Regional Refugees and Response Plan held in Geneva that I attended yesterday under the auspices of UNHCR and IOM was very well attended. Many donor countries came to learn about the needs of countries along the Western Balkans route in addressing the immediate humanitarian and medium term development needs of refugees and migrants, with particular focus at this moment to irregular migrants and returnees. This was an opportunity to applaud strong cooperation of UN agencies with Serbian authorities and CSOs. We hope that the European legal framework will soon be implemented in a coherent way release the suffering of refugee and migrants,” says Irena Vojackova-Sollorano, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Serbia at a briefing for international partners in Belgrade.

According to the UNHCR, the number of refugees passing through Serbia declined to 2000 persons per day on average. Starting from November 17, Serbia has closed its borders to refugees and migrants who are not coming from war-affected areas of Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

UNHCR together with IOM and the other partners participating in the implementation in the Regional Refugee and Migrants Response Plan stand ready to facilitate further dialogue with donors and ensure that all contributions are committed in line with this programmatic framework that will allow for coherence in response at country level and in the Region.

“The response strategy that we are launching today aims to further assist the Government of Serbia in operationalizing a sustainable, comprehensive and cooperative framework for concrete actions in the area of refugee protection and migration management. Pressing needs, falling under diverse protection frameworks include those of refugees, asylum-seekers, irregular migrants, smuggled migrants, trafficked persons, unaccompanied and separated children, stranded migrants, victims of exploitation and abuse, as well as individuals seeking to re-unite with their families. The refugee and migrant crisis is fast moving and dynamic and based on the complex context along the migratory route, together with our partners we will further support authorities to ensure coherent response and to strengthen national asylum and migration systems,” says Lidija Markovic, IOM Head of Office in Serbia. UNCT Serbia continues to provide assistance the Government of Serbia in addressing refugees/migrants needs. Between June and the end of December 2015, the UN Country Team in Serbia has already provided support worth USD 8.9 million worth of assistance. US$ 2.5 million are available for immediate disbursement in January 2016 and over US$ 10 million are in the pipeline in the form of donors support through the UN to the Government of Serbia for disbarment in early 2016.

Coordinated by the UN Refugee Agency, the UN Country Team comprises the efforts of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), the UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS), Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN), the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as the World Food Programme (WFP).

More information:

Aleksandra Stamenković, UN Country Team Communications Expert m: 063 302 831, t: 011 2040-406 e: aleksandra.stamenkovic@one.un.org.

This press release is also published at: http://www.rs.one.un.org/

Additional information: rs.one.un.org, www.facebook.com/UNCTSerbia i @UNCT_Serbia