Source : http://europa.eu
« European Commission - Statement
Statement by Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides on his visit to Belgrade, Serbia
Brussels, 22 January 2017
I was in Serbia last year at the height of the refugee crisis, as hundreds of thousands of men, women and children were moving through the country and the Western Balkans region.
Back then I saw, despite the challenging circumstances, how the EU’s humanitarian partners were making a real difference, distributing essential supplies to those in need.
Today arrivals have dropped drastically. But refugees and migrants are staying longer.
Vulnerable refugees and migrants, including young children, are still in need of assistance.
We can’t leave them to face the harsh winter conditions alone.
Here in Belgrade, as I said both to Prime Minister Vučić and Minister for Labour, Employment, Veteran and Social Policy, Vulin I would like to reiterate that the European Union is committed to assist with concrete funding and support, for as long as it takes.
We are stepping up our humanitarian assistance in Serbia bringing it to a total of €20 million.
This emergency assistance will help provide food, water, hygiene and other essential items, as well as healthcare.
We will continue working closely with the Serbian authorities with the help of UN agencies and other humanitarian organisations to meet the most urgent needs, in particular to ensure that centres are adequate for the winter.
Together, as Europeans, we have a moral obligation and humanitarian duty to act and help.
EU support to Serbia for the refugee crisis
With today’s funding announcement, since the beginning of the crisis more than €44 million have been allocated to help Serbia in this challenge, both through humanitarian aid and pre-accession assistance, making the EU the largest donor in this respect.
The Commission’s humanitarian aid to help with the situation in Serbia now stands at €20million which contributes to the provision of emergency assistance (food, water, hygiene, essential items, health and protection) at transit and reception points, including borders waiting areas. EU humanitarian aid is the largest donor for the country’s winter plan.
€24 million has been financed through the Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA) and is helping Serbia in ensuring the accommodation of migrants and refugees in accommodation centres, support the delivery of health and other primary services to the migrants and refugees and the hosting communities, and are helping Serbia reinforcing its capacities in controlling its borders.
Serbia has also benefitted from support via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism ; 10 EU Member states provided a total of over 246.000 items to Serbia such as blankets, sleeping bags, mattresses, beds and heaters. »