DOCUMENT TAGS Start Response
MERF Project Summary - Alert 13 Serbia (Food, WaSH, Protection and PSS 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.
On Monday October 23rd, Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Care International and International Rescue Committee (IRC) raised an alert to address essential ongoing needs not being covered in Serbia requiring bridge funding. Despite efforts by Start members to advocate for further long-term funding to cover the ongoing needs in Serbia, decisions were taking time to be put in place and in the meantime a large number of asylum seekers were left living under poor conditions. Furthermore, a high number of newly arrived asylum-seekers was registered during the first two weeks of October. Sample profiling of a group of 118 new arrivals in Belgrade conducted by United Nations High Commissioner For Refugees (UNHCR) showed that 40% were women and children and 60% men.
5 projects were therefore awarded to cover the ongoing needs until new funding would be made available in early 2018:
CRS provided basic needs through cash cards implemented by partner organisation Philanthropy to 3,060 beneficiaries in 15 camps and 4 shelters for unaccompanied minors and victims of trafficking or family and gender based violence.
Care International, throughout this project, 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. CARE's food provision was monitored by the nutritionist, who has prescribed nutritional values for various categories of beneficiaries.