CARE responds to refugee crisis in Europe

A young Iraqi boy receives a CARE package including nappies, wipes, baby food and disinfectant for his two younger sisters

The international aid organisation CARE and its partner organisation Novi Sad Humanitarian Centre have started their assistance for refugees crossing into Serbia hoping to make their way into the European Union.

CARE International has made 50,000 Euros available to provide emergency aid to approximately 10,000 people in the coming weeks. Felix Wolff, Balkans director of CARE, said:

Having endured an extremely hard journey, people are exhausted and desperately need basic items such as water and food.

According to the United Nations about 1,000 refugees are crossing into Serbia on their way to the European Union every day. Most refugees have fled the war in Syria and have been walking days and even weeks in order to reach safety.

A family from Aleppo is waiting for a bus from Kanjiza to Horgoš, a small Serbian town right at the border to the EU
A family from Aleppo waits for a bus from Kanjiza to Horgoš, a small Serbian town right at the EU border 

Yesterday, CARE distributed emergency kits to around 300 women, children and men. The packages contain drinking water, food and hygiene items for women. In addition, families with small children have been provided with nappies, wipes, baby food and disinfectant.

People were very grateful for the help. Most of them asked for water and immediately began to eat and drink once they had opened the packages. Many were completely exhausted.

Cila Stojanovic, who led the distributions for CARE's partner organisation Novi Sad Humanitarian Centre, also said:

People sleep in parks, old factory premises or in tents. They fled with nothing but the clothes they were wearing when they had to flee. They have no resources left and are in desperate need of assistance.

CARE and Novi Sad Humanitarian Centre will distribute emergency aid packages to as many people as possible in the coming weeks. In the forthcoming autumn the situation is expected to further deteriorate. "The nights are already getting colder. In a few weeks people will urgently need warm clothes and blankets", says Wolff. He added:

Most people have lost loved ones and had to survive many years of war in Syria or Iraq. We need to make sure that they get the assistance they need.

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About CARE International in the Balkans

CARE International in the Balkans has existed since 1992. Since its early days, CARE’s programme has expanded and elaborated to meet the changing needs of the region’s vulnerable population. CARE's initial mission was to contribute to post-war recovery and the socio-economic development through the former Yugoslavia.

Today, CARE in the Balkans focuses on developing sustainable economic opportunities, increasing the effectiveness of civil society to address issues associated with social reconstruction and inclusion as well as improving access by the most vulnerable and least advantaged members of society to minimum levels of social protection and entitlement.  

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News and stories are provided by CARE staff working to support our emergency responses and long-term development programmes.