FYR Macedonia Inter-Agency Operational Update, 11 - 17 December 2015
■ 20,774 refugees and migrants crossed the border into fYR Macedonia during the reporting period 11-17 December, with a daily average of 2,968. Since UNHCR began monitoring departures from Gevgelija on 1 July 2015 some 648,178 refugees and migrants have departed.
■ Intention to apply for asylum: 348,017 applications have been filed from 19 June through 17 December 2015 (source: Ministry of Interior).
■ In the period from 11 to 17 December, 14 applications for asylum were filed, while from January to end of November 1,803 asylum applications were submitted out of which 993 were submitted by Syrians, 349 by Afghans and 156 by Iraqis. So far only two persons have been recognized as refugees in 2015, both unaccompanied children, one from Iraq and one from Syria.
■ On December 16, during a meeting President Ivanov initiated in Brussels with Donald Tusk, President of the European Council; Mr. Tomislav Nikolic, President of Serbia; and Johannes Hahn, EU Enlargement Commissioner, he reiterated that fYR Macedonia only hasthe capacity to receive 2,000 refugees for short-term transit, as was pledged during the Leaders’ meeting held in Brussels in October, and will not put in place any longer-term stay capacity in the country. (Official press release in Macedonian can be found at http://president.gov.mk/en/media-centre/news/3571.html)