Europe Zone Office Consolidated Development Operational Report January - June 2013 MAA65001

1. Executive summary

The economic crisis in Europe continues to hit headlines. According to the last EU figures, 43.6 million of EU citizens find difficulties in accessing food on a daily basis, and trends show that the need for food assistance is likely to increase in the near future.

Over 26 millions of people were unemployed across the EU in April 2013, by 1.7 million more than in April 2012. Youth unemployment figures are particularly alarming, with peaks of 56 per cent in Spain and 62.5 per cent in Greece.

Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Europe and Central Asia are striving to address growing needs with shrinking resources. Many of them have reinforced their existing programmes, adapting these to the newly identified needs and vulnerabilities. Over six million people benefitted from food aid from the Red Cross Red Crescent in 2012. The figure has almost doubled since 2009.

The Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement witnesses existing vulnerabilities staying and new groups of vulnerable people emerging. Social welfare systems and networks are stretched to their limit and often social networks are inadequate to assist the new categories of vulnerable, or the “new poor” or “working poor” from the middle income segments.

The crisis has also in some places sparked a growth in solidarity and willingness to donate money or time, which also presents some opportunity to tap into those resources and engage new groups of volunteers in meaningful activities.

At the end of the second quarter of 2013, there were over 1.68 million refugees (registered or awaiting registration) in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, Egypt and North Africa. In Turkey alone, the total number of Syrian citizens already registered, or with registration appointments, was almost 390,000 people, while the number of people living in camps was over 200,000.

Between the end of May and mid-June 2013, Central Europe was affected by one of most widespread flooding in years or even decades, with Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Croatia and Serbia being heavily affected.