DOCUMENT TAGS MERF
Migration Emergency Response Fund Report Summary: Serbia (Alert 1), Oxfam
11 April 2017
A summary report of Oxfam's winterisation response in Serbia assisting migrants and refugees in need, as part of the Start Network's Migration Emergency Response Fund (MERF).
- Implementing agency: Oxfam
- 60 days: January 14th – March 14th 2017
- Budget: £149,940
- Beneficiaries reached: 3,402
- Locations: Belgrade and Subotica
- Start of activities: January 20th 2017
In early January, around 2,000 migrants and refugees were living outside the state reception system in Serbia. In Belgrade alone around 1,400-1,500 migrants and refugees were sleeping rough in the central parks and abandoned warehouses around the central bus and railway station under winter temperatures below -10°C. In addition, volunteer organisations working with refugees in the north of Serbia (Subotica, including Horgoš and Kelebija) reported that over 200 migrants and refugees were hiding in makeshift camps in the woods and secluded places along the Hungarian border.
The situation was exacerbated by the fact that Serbian authorities, namely the Serbian Commissariat for Refugees and Migrants, were strongly advising all present NGOs and organisations to stop distributions and support to migrants/refugees outside of the state sponsored asylum system, in an attempt to lower the number of people sleeping rough in public areas in Belgrade. This was particularly weighing heavily on new arrivals.
Through its local partner, the Mikser Association, Oxfam responded to this situation with procurement and distribution of over 15,000 essential non food items (NFIs). Distribution of the items was carried out at Miksalište, Mikser's distribution and service centre for refugees and migrants in Belgradeand in Subotica area.