DOCUMENT TAGS Start Response
MERF Project Summary - Alert 06 Serbia (Urgent food needs)
27 February 2018
The Migration Emergency Response Fund (MERF), funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), was established in January 2017 in partnership with the 15 member representatives of the Start Network present in the region.
The MERF allows member organisations to react to a significant change of needs, or provide assistance to previously unidentified vulnerable groups. Its aim is to address the unpredictable nature of the mixed migration crisis across the Mediterranean that exacerbated an already difficult operating context for aid workers and made it difficult to plan for a response.
Oxfam, Christian Aid, International Rescue Committee and Care International jointly raised an alert for immediate food needs for specific groups in Serbia. While efforts were made by both the Serbian authorities and UN agencies/non government organisations to cover food needs in the different centres, capacity became overstretched as the duration of stay by migrants grew. This alert focused on the emergence of new vulnerable groups not covered under ongoing programmes, with particular focus on new arrivals in the Obrenevac camp and particular gaps that were appearing for specific vulnerable groups in camps (children, and pregnant & lactating women). Three projects were awarded to cover the needs:
Oxfam covered full meal intervention for new arrivals in the Belgrade Barracks as well as Obrenovac camp.
Care International responded in the camps of Sid, Principovac, Adasevci, Krnjaca, Sjenica, Tutin through the provision of supplementary nutrition for vulnerable groups. Additional food packages were distributed to children and youth under 18, pregnant women and women who were breastfeeding.
Christian Aid complemented existing basic food distributions to refugees and migrants in the camps of Presevo and Bujanovac - which included three meals with minimum proscribed nutritional value - with supplementary food to cover micro-nutrients for vulnerable groups with higher needs.