DOCUMENT TAGS Start Response
MERF Project Summary - Alert 10 Serbia (Basic needs and protection)
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.
On Monday August 21st, Catholic Relief Service (CRS) raised an alert following a drop in funding to cover migrants’ basic needs in Serbia. While the total number of refugees in Serbia dropped below 5,000 in the summer months, refugees continued to reside in government centres for increasing lengths of time and needed their basic needs to be met. Not only were the arrivals through the Balkans continuing albeit at a slow rate, the length of stay of many centre residents meant that there was a continuing and increasing level of basic needs and protection needs for those in government facilities.
3 projects were therefore awarded to cover the needs.
- CRS provided services through 2 local non governemnt organisations – Philanthropy and Atina.
- International Rescue Committee worked in partnership with local partners Psychosocial Innovation Network, Divac foundation and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency.
- Care International supplied additional food with added nutritional value for children, minors and pregnant/lactating women, as those vulnerable groups are not covered by regular menus in most of the centres in Serbia.