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Croatia: Population Movement Emergency Appeal n° MDRHR002

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Appeal
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This Emergency Appeal seeks 2,601,799 Swiss francs to support the Croatian Red Cross (CRC) to respond to the needs of 175,000 vulnerable migrants over the coming six months. The CRC’s operation will focus on the distribution of food and non-food items (NFIs); the distribution of hygiene items and provision of psychosocial support; protection activities, including screening and referral; restoring family links (RFL) and National Society capacity building.

The planned response aims to meet the evolving needs of vulnerable migrants entering into or transiting Croatia. The content of this emergency appeal and the attached emergency plan of action (EPoA) reflects the current situation and information available at this point, however, as the situation is evolving the plan and appeal may be revised depending on the humanitarian situation.

The disaster and the Red Cross and Red Crescent response to date

  • Since 16 September 2015, after Hungarian authorities closed the border with Serbia, migrants following the main migratory routes from Turkey and Greece to Western Europe started arriving in Croatia.

  • On 2 October 2015, CHF 361,559 was released from the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to meet the immediate needs of 70,700 individuals to cover their basic emergency needs through the provision of food and non-food items, hygiene kits and tracing services (Restoring Family Links – RFL).

  • On midnight 17 October 2015, the Hungarian authorities closed the “green border” (illegal crossing points through the fields) with Croatia.

  • Up to 31 December 2015 some 555,761 migrants have entered Croatia and have been registered by the Croatian authorities. The daily average has been 5,146 people, while on peak days, e.g. 24 October and 12 November, 9,000 to 10,000 people per day arrived in country.

  • On 1 December 2015, the DREF emergency plan of action was updated to extend the operation’s timeframe until 30 January 2016. It also revised the operating budget in line with the winterisation needs of migrants and in response to the relocation of the main reception camp.

  • 9 February 2016: an Emergency Appeal is launched for CHF 2,601,799 to assist 175,000 beneficiaries to continue the support that the National Society was providing to the migrants through the DREF allocation for a further six months. Additional activities are included in this Emergency Appeal, as it is anticipated that more migrants will be arriving in the coming months.

The operational strategy

This appeal aims to mobilize support for 175,000 people for a period of six months. It will primarily focus on assisting women and young children, as well as providing care for some sick and injured adult males, temporarily sheltered in the Slavonski Brod Winter Reception Camp.

Summary of the situation, needs assessment and beneficiary selection

Since 16 September 2015, when the Hungarian authorities closed the border with Serbia, people on the move have started arriving in Croatia, as they follow the main migratory route from Turkey and Greece to Western European countries. Up until 31 December 2015, some 555,761 migrants have entered Croatia and have been registered by the Croatian authorities. The daily average has been 5,146 people so far, while on peak days, e.g. on 24 October and 12 November, up to 9,000 - 10,000 people per day arrived in the country.

On 2 October 2015, CHF 361,559 was released from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to meet the immediate needs of 70,700 individuals, through the provision of food and non-food items, hygiene kits and tracing services (Restoring Family Links – RFL). The DREF emergency plan of action was updated on 1 December 2015 extending the operation`s timeframe by one month from the end of 2015 until 30 January 2016. The operating budget was also revised to include winterisation needs and to cover costs relating to the relocation of the main migrants’ reception camp.

Despite the fact that the efforts of the Croatian Government and the Croatian Red Cross have helped to reduce the distress felt by migrants in transit through Croatia, the emergency situation of those people on the move has not been fully resolved. As the situation is still unclear and there is no obvious end date or reduction in the number of migrants coming into Croatia (numbers are higher than those expected for the winter months), an Emergency Appeal is needed to enable the Croatian Red Cross to access resources to deal with this ongoing crisis. The further movement of people from the Middle East and other regions is expected to continue and even to increase in the spring, as the conflicts continue and the humanitarian situation in the affected countries continues to deteriorate. After four months of the current response, the human and logistics resources of the Croatian Red Cross are fully stretched and will not be able to cope with the growing situation if additional resources are not secured.

Under the Emergency Plan of Action of this Emergency Appeal, the National Society will focus on the following immediate activities in the Slavonski Brod Winter Reception Camp:

  1. Food relief sorting and distribution
  2. Supplementary non-food relief distributions
  3. Supplementary distribution of hygiene items
  4. Upgrading of shelter facilities
  5. Restoring Family Links (RFL)
  6. Community engagement
  7. Provision of psychosocial support
  8. Protection of migrants
  9. National Society capacity building

This Emergency Appeal operation will provide assistance to address acute vulnerability, based on criteria defined by the Croatian Red Cross and the IFRC, which will focus assistance on the most vulnerable such as women with young children, unaccompanied minors and injured or sick adults. The operational plan is fully in line with the IFRC’s mandate, policies, and commitments, and seeks to provide critically needed humanitarian aid to the intended beneficiaries over the coming seven months.