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Refugees/Migrants Emergency - Europe

IOM reports that 358,403 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2016 through 21 December, arriving mostly in Greece and Italy. Deaths in the Mediterranean this year reached 4,913, according to IOM’s Missing Migrants Project with 13 new fatalities reported since its last report on December 20. Six of those deaths occurred on the route between Turkey and Greece late Tuesday, with another seven corpses reportedly discovered during a high seas rescue on the Libya-Italy route early Thursday. The 4,913 deaths in the Mediterranean through December 21 indicate a 2016 average daily death toll of nearly 14 men, women and children per day. IOM believes many more deaths at sea may have gone unreported this year – in the Mediterranean and elsewhere – particularly between North Africa to Spain, where data collection this year has been sporadic and many smaller vessels are believed to have been lost without detection. (Source: IOM, 23 Dec 2016)

All Updates on Refugees/Migrants Emergency - Europe

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18 Jan 2017 description

Snow and freezing temperatures have made it impossible for refugees in Greece to continue living in tents. NORCAP experts are alarmed and urge the EU to accelerate the relocation process. "It is extremely sad and worrying that refugees have to stay in these conditions and that the EU is not doing more to help relocate and speed up the asylum process," says our expert Patric Mansour, deployed to UNHCR on Lesvos.

He has worked on the island since the start of the refugee influx in August 2015, where he coordinated large parts of the humanitarian response on the island.

18 Jan 2017 description

Refugees and migrants in Greece age 15 to 24 have an overwhelming interest in continuing their education, a desire to work and willingness to learn new skills, according to a new report by the global organisations Mercy Corps and Norwegian Refugee Council. The study “Don’t forget us” explores for the first time in Greece the needs and vulnerabilities of the estimated 18,000 young women and men stranded there.

The two organisations conducted 17 focus group discussions with 120 adolescents and youth from 11 different countries residing on Greek islands and mainland sites.

18 Jan 2017 description
report Human Rights Watch

Identify People with Disabilities; Ensure Access to Services

18 Jan 2017 description

2,876 arrivals by sea in 2017

219 dead/missing

published 09:00 CET 17 January

387,487 arrivals in 2016

18 Jan 2017 description

Refugees are suffering terribly in the bitter cold gripping the Greek islands, and the Dutch government does not intend to abandon them to their fate. The Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen, said, ‘Consultation between Dutch diplomatic staff in Athens, representatives of the Greek government and aid organisations has revealed that the bulk of relief supplies have already arrived in the country. That’s good news, because it cuts down transport time. Now we need to get the supplies to the refugees as fast as possible.’

17 Jan 2017 description


Total number of places: 19,089

17 Jan 2017 description


“La Résolution 46/182 des Nations Unies reste aussi pertinente et fondamentale aujourd’hui qu’en décembre 1991 et les principes d’humanité, de neutralité, indépendance et d’impartialité qu’elle contient continuent de guider une assistance humanitaire stratégique, coordonnée et efficace aux personnes qui en ont besoin”

17 Jan 2017 description
report ACT Alliance

Geneva, 17 January 2017

1. Brief description of the emergency and impact

17 Jan 2017 description

Switzerland - IOM reports that 2,876 migrants and refugees entered Europe by sea in 2017, through 15 January, arriving mostly in Greece and Italy, compared with 23,664 through the first 14 days of January, 2016.

There have been 219 estimated deaths, compared with 91 during the first two weeks of 2015. This fatalities figure is considered low by IOM’s Missing Migrants Project, which is investigating reports that surfaced over the weekend that would add at least 200 deaths to the total.

17 Jan 2017 description

Turkey - In 2016 IOM Turkey’s refugee resettlement program moved 21,120 refugees from Turkey to new homes abroad. This was double the previous year’s total and the largest number of refugees ever resettled by IOM Turkey in a single year.

The top three destination countries were the United States (nearly 8,500), Canada (over 7,000) and European countries (approximately 4,800). Women and children accounted for 73 percent of the refugees resettled.

17 Jan 2017 description

Switzerland - The Western Balkans migratory route may largely be closed, but the number of migrants stranded in Serbia continues to climb. Latest figures show 7,500 migrants are stuck in the country, unable to reach the European Union (EU).

Now atrocious winter weather spreading across Central Europe is adding to their plight. The Serbian government has provided reception centers where IOM is working together with government officials. Over the past three months, four such centres have been established – the most recent in Divljana, near the southern city of Nis.

17 Jan 2017 description

The situation

Severe winter weather and extreme temperatures as low as – 30 degrees Celsius in some areas affected much of Central, Southern and Eastern Europe, including Turkey and Greece in the first two weeks of January 2017.

17 Jan 2017 description


  • Around 7,300 refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants seeking were counted in Serbia, of which 5,942 (i.e. 82%) were accommodated in 16 government shelters, many exceeding capacities (see below chart). Some 49% are from Afghanistan, 19% from Iraq, 10% each from Syria and Pakistan, 5% from Iran and 7% from other countries. 46% are children, 39% adult men and 15% adult women.

17 Jan 2017 description
report UN News Service

Le HCR, l’Agence des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés, s’est félicité de l’intervention des garde-côtes italiens qui, en collaboration de Frontex, l’Agence européenne pour la gestion de la coopération opérationnelle aux frontières extérieures, ont porté secours à quelque 1500 personnes à bord d’embarcations confrontées à une mer démontée et à des conditions dégradées en Méditerranée ces trois derniers jours. Après le naufrage connu d’au moins une embarcation légère et surchargée au large des côtes libyennes, les autorités européennes ont repêché au moins huit corps sans vie.

17 Jan 2017 description

285 illegal border crossers were apprehended on the territory of Hungary between Friday and Sunday, according to a statement by the National Police Headquarters.

According to the statistics published on the Police website, 78, 110 and 88 migrants were apprehended on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively, and were accompanied back across the Serbian-Hungarian border by police and border guards on duty at the border. 9 illegal migrants were apprehended within the 8-kilometre border zone and along other external stretches of the border.

17 Jan 2017 description

“Last year’s figures show that, although to a lesser extent than in 2015, the Hungarian-Serbian border is still under permanent pressure”, the Chief Security Advisor to the Prime Minister said.

György Bakondi emphasised: “There have been 1142 attempts to illegally enter the country along the Hungarian-Serbian stretch of the border so far this year, which is at least the same order of magnitude as last year, despite the cold weather and the fact that countries to the south are implementing more intensive protection”.

16 Jan 2017 description
report Mercy Corps

Following the treacherous winter weather in Greece, some refugees and migrants are being temporarily housed on a navy ship docked at the island of Lesvos. Mercy Corps provided transport to move refugees and migrants to the ship, and today, is undertaking cash distributions to help them meet their urgent needs.

Alan Glasgow, Mercy Corps Director of European Migration Response says:

16 Jan 2017 description

The situation for what according to the Greek Government amounts to 60,000 refugees and migrants, stranded on the Greek mainland and islands, is becoming more desperate as winter hits with rare snowstorms and temperatures below zero.

Tents offer little protection and warmth. On the island of Chios women, men and children stand in freezing temperatures for hours waiting for their food. In warehouses in Thessaloniki people have had to resort to burning whatever they can get their hands on to keep warm.