On 11 September, UNHCR has declared the situation in Hungary as a Level 2 Emergency. On 15 September, the border fence was completed and a set of amendments to the law started to be implemented, resulting in extremely limited access for refugees at the border. Hungary has also begun to return asylum-seekers to Serbia, against standing UNHCR advice to governments.
In Greece, tensions between the police and also between different groups of refugees and migrants on Lesvos, Kos and Leros were reported as a result of the congestion on the islands, registration backlogs changing registration policies and lack of dedicated sites. The Government has implemented some exceptional measures to accelerate preregistration for Syrians and started to gradually decongest the island of Lesvos. Following negotiations, two military sites have been offered but formal agreement is pending.
In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, UNHCR continued to work with the Government on improving the conditions at Vinojug reception centre close to the town of Gevgelija. While some visible improvements have taken place in the areas of shelter and provision of assistance, the progresses made to enhance registration remain insufficient in light of the increasing numbers of arrivals. UNHCR will continue to support this process, including through the development of SOPs and the provision of additional data entry clerks.
The Government of Serbia has worked to improve its reception and registration capacity. However, further efforts are needed in light of the increase in the number of arrivals and the urgent need for sanitary installations, water, clothes and other humanitarian aid is to be expected.
Following the closure of the Hungarian border, UNHCR, partners and NGOs, together with the support of authorities, provided humanitarian assistance to some 3,000 refugees stranded at the border crossings in Horgosz. Most of them have now left this location proceeding to the Croatian border