Serbia + 8 more

UNHCR Serbia Update, July 2022

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As at 31 July, 7,275refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants are present on the territory of Serbia (comp. to 6,313 at end-June), including 5,719in governmental centres, 13 in specialised institutions for unaccompanied and separated children (UASC), 156 in private accommodation (known to UNHCR) and 1,387 staying in hostels/hotels or abandoned houses in border areas with Hungary/Romania/Croatia. 88 refugees from Ukraine were accommodated in the dedicated Vranje Asylum Centre (AC), and an estimated 4,000 had registered residence in hotels and privately. 13,425 new arrivals to governmental centres were registered by the authorities in July 2022 (compared to 10,039 in June).

In the first half of 2022, 34,155 new arrivals have been registered in governmental centres (including 266 from Ukraine). Arrivals originating from Afghanistan remain the most numerous group (32%), followed by those from Syria, Pakistan, Iraq, etc. In the last weeks of July, Serbian Commissariat for Refugees and Migration (SCRM)recorded a refugee/migrant influx of some 3,000 persons per week, compared to 1,000 per week in the same period in 2021.

Meanwhile, the pressure in the Reception Centres in the North and North-West of the country is increasingly high, with overcrowding resulting in the emergence of health risks caused by lack of hygiene and social distancing, coupled with the poor health condition of new arrivals.

In response, UNHCR purchased a contingent of 1,500 anti-scabies creams and the first batch of 700 has been forwarded to the SCRM management of affected reception centres. Departure of the Representative: The outgoing UNHCR Representative to Serbia, Francesca Bonelli, engaged in farewell meetings with the key UNHCR’s governmental counterparts -Aleksandar Vulin, the Minister of Interior, Darija Kisic, the Minister of Labour,Employment, Veterans' Affairs and Social Affairs, Marija Obradović, the Minister of Public Administration and Local Self-Government, Vladimir Cucić, Commissioner for Refugees and Migrants, as well as the international partners and supporters of UNHCR. The meetings took place in a cordial atmosphere, and the fruitful cooperation that the Government of Serbia has had with the UNHCR for years was underlined. Stefanie Krause remains the Acting Representative of UNHCR in Serbia.