Refugees in Serbia are experiencing life-threatening conditions as temperatures in the south of the country have plummeted to -30⁰C.
Vranesevic, Programme Manager at Philanthropy - Christian Aid's partner
in Serbia, commented: "Refugees are being exposed to life-threatening
conditions because of the extremely cold weather we are currently
They are also at risk of disease, as well as a flu
"While most refugees are now staying in heated buildings, some are
still outside of the camps. These people are particularly vulnerable.
Every day we are seeing more and more refugees arrive. We are witnessing
a visible increase in levels of anxiety and depression among the
refugee population. The provision of food is becoming a major challenge
for agencies. In this cold weather, people need access to hot,
nutritious food, as well as adequate shelter and heating."
Earlier today it was reported that two Iraqi men have died in
Bulgaria after walking through the snow for 48 hours without access to
food or water. In Greece, where temperatures have reached -14⁰C, an
Afghan refugee has also died.
Tom Viita, Head of Advocacy at Christian Aid, said: "It's wholly
unacceptable that refugees are freezing to death, while European leaders
turn a blind eye to the suffering of people on their doorsteps.
"European countries last year pledged to relocate 66,000 refugees
from Greece. Yet almost a year on, only twenty per cent of them have
been relocated. Across Europe the political will to act is falling
desperately short of the human need. People need immediate protection.
Governments and agencies need to pull together to stop people needlessly
dying, and work to find effective longer-term solutions that honour
everybody's human dignity, regardless of origin."
Christian Aid partners in Serbia and Greece are currently providing
hot meals, water and sanitation facilities, and cash assistance to
refugee communities. In the sites in which Christian Aid partners work,
refugees have been moved into heated buildings.
In addition, these partners are providing legal protection services
to unaccompanied children, and families, on the Greek mainland, and
housing support to some of the most vulnerable refugees awaiting
relocation to other countries in Europe.
Christian Aid and our partners
continue to provide support to refugees and displaced people in Syria,
Lebanon, Iraq, South Sudan, and many other countries throughout the