OXFORD, 27 November 2015 (IRIN) - Two weeks have elapsed since the terrorist attacks in Paris. With the news that at least two of the attackers posed as refugees to enter Europe via Greece, a number of EU countries have taken steps to shore up their borders and restrict entry by asylum seekers, citing both security concerns and capacity problems. Here’s a round-up of which countries have done what:
Today, Sweden is taking a decision on support to the areas in Iraq that have been liberated from ISIL, as well as to areas in Syria controlled by the opposition and in affected neighbouring countries. The increased support totals SEK 79 million.
“This support to Iraq and Syria is important to enable a long-term solution to the conflicts. Sweden continues to work on both the political and the military track, as well as through aid measures,” says Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström.
Lund, Sweden | AFP | Wednesday 11/25/2015 - 03:25 GMT
by Sören BILLING with Gael BRANCHEREAU IN STOCKHOLM
"I came from my room to see what was happening. I saw the fire and ran outside," says Dawit, a 13-year-old Ethiopian boy living in a Swedish centre for asylum seekers.
His voice is steady and lacking emotion, but the arson attack on his temporary home for unaccompanied children has cast a shadow over his hopes of living in safety one day.
Stockholm, Sweden | AFP | Tuesday 11/24/2015 - 16:52 GMT
Sweden said Tuesday it would drastically tighten its asylum rules in a bid to stem the flow of migrants coming to the country, putting its rules on a par with the EU's minimum regulations.
"It pains me to say that Sweden can no longer take in asylum seekers at the same high level ... Sweden needs some breathing room," Prime Minister Stefan Lofven told reporters.
"Swedish laws will be adapted to the European Union's minimal level" for three years, he said.
ADDIS ABABA – A major contribution of 140 million Swedish kronor (US$16 million) from the Government of Sweden is allowing the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to provide relief food assistance this month for more than 1.5 million people in the Somali region of Ethiopia.
The contribution from the Swedish International Development Agency, or Sida, is one of the first international responses to the crisis amidst rising food needs across the country and increased efforts to support the Government of Ethiopia in the response.
Sweden has reached the breaking point. The country's migration agency has said it can no longer put a roof over the heads of the high number of people requesting asylum each day. Richard Orange reports from Malmö.
Munir Mohammed, a refugee from Baghdad, opens the flap of the white plastic emergency tent, and points to his nine-year-old daughter Noora, sitting shivering in a toddlers' stroller.
An Update on the Migrant and Refugee Crisis
ADDIS ABABA – Thanks to timely contributions from key donors, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is able to continue food distributions later this month for more than 1.5 million people in the Somali region of Ethiopia, and can scale up nutrition help to more than 700,000 children and nursing mothers in the most drought-affected areas. The scaling up of food and nutrition support is crucial to prevent vulnerable people falling into a deeper crisis.
KATHMANDU – Airlifts of food and other humanitarian items will continue to reach earthquake-affected people in Nepal, after Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom agreed to donate more than US$ 2.58 million to the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS).
Paris, France | AFP | Friday 11/13/2015 - 19:27 GMT
Several EU countries have reintroduced border checks as Europe struggles under the strain of its worst migrant crisis since World War II, threatening to undermine the bloc's cherished passport-free Schengen zone.
EU President Donald Tusk warned on Thursday Europe faces a "race against time" to save the 20-year-old system, which is seen as one of the union's most concrete achievements.
Valletta, Malta | AFP | Friday 11/13/2015 - 02:54 GMT
by Lachlan CARMICHAEL / Angus MACKINNON
EU leaders on Thursday struck an aid-for-cooperation deal with Africa and proposed a summit this year with Turkey in a two-front push with wary partners to tackle an unprecedented migrant crisis.
Meeting with their African counterparts in Malta, the leaders approved a 1.8-billion-euro ($1.9-billion) plan to fight poverty in Africa while accelerating the repatriation of failed asylum-seekers, despite open reluctance from the African side.
Malmö, Sweden | AFP | Thursday 11/12/2015 - 12:54 GMT
Sweden reinstated border controls on Thursday in a bid to gain control over the massive influx of migrants arriving in the country, without blocking the steady flow of asylum seekers.
On Thursday at 12:00 pm (1100 GMT), police began carrying out identification checks on passengers travelling on trains crossing the bridge over the Oresund strait from Denmark, an AFP correspondent reported.
Police were also checking papers at at terminals for ferries arriving in southern Sweden from Denmark and Germany.
La Valette, Malte | AFP | mercredi 11/11/2015 - 22:53 GMT
par Cédric SIMON / Olivier BAUBE
L'UE a décidé jeudi à Malte d'aider financièrement l'Afrique et de proposer un sommet à la Turquie, dans l'espoir que ces partenaires l'aideront à endiguer des flux de migrants qui mettent l'Europe de plus en plus sous pression.
Stockholm, Sweden | AFP | Wednesday 11/11/2015 - 19:10 GMT
The Swedish government on Wednesday said it would temporarily reinstate border checks to deal with an unprecedented influx of migrants, making it the latest country in Europe's passport-free Schengen zone to tighten its borders over the crisis.
"A record number of refugees are arriving in Sweden. The migration office is under strong pressure... and the police believe there is a threat against public order," Interior Minister Anders Ygeman said.
Saturday 11/7/2015 - 12:23 GMT
A planned refugee shelter was burned down in Sweden on Saturday with police saying the fire may have been started deliberately, the latest in a string of suspected arson cases targeting a huge influx of migrants.
"Several buildings were burnt, including one which witnesses say has been destroyed completely," police said in a statement.
"For the moment the cause of the fire is not certain but as there are reasons to suspect it may have been started deliberately, a preliminary arson inquiry has been opened."
Stockholm, Sweden | AFP | Saturday 11/7/2015 - 03:03 GMT
by Jonathan EWING
Overwhelmed by a massive influx of migrants, Sweden is approaching its fiscal and emotional limit and this "humanitarian superpower" is now being forced to hit the brakes.
The Scandinavian kingdom, in which one in every five residents is of foreign origin, is expected to receive up to 360,000 new immigrants in 2015 and 2016. That's roughly the equivalent of Germany dealing with 3 million new migrants or 2.2 million arriving in France.
Commission president says member states need to urgently implement concrete list of steps they agreed to in September
EU member states are falling short of all the main commitments they agreed to in September to urgently address the refugee crisis.