Syrian refugee crisis: Suffering on the Serbia-Hungary border

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CARE
A Syrian refugee holds his two-month old daughter who was born in Turkey after he and his wife fled Syria six months ago. The baby was screaming from the tear-gas and has an infection but they don’t have access to medical care.

Laura Gilmour, CARE International UK press officer, reports from the Serbian/Hungarian border where CARE is distributing food, water and other supplies to Syrian refugees:

“The sense of desperation and chaos is immense. CARE’s been trying to do distributions, to give out emergency food and water and baby kits, and there’s just no place to do it.

The tear gas, the water bombs, have been non-stop for many hours now.

A crowd of people at the border
People at the border with clouds of tear gas in the background

“There are streams of people backed up along the road. They’re trying to find food and water. A lot of people are dehydrated.

People say, ‘We’ve come this far, we have walked 200km’. Some of them haven’t slept for nine days, and they say they can’t go back, they don’t have a home to go back to in Syria.

“They’re saying, ‘We’ve left one war zone to find ourselves in another – where are our human rights?’

Syrian refugees resting by roadside
Syrian refugees resting in scrubland near the border

“They are very very tired, they haven’t had food or water for many days. CARE is trying to find out if we can set up some basic shower facilities, somewhere to sleep, particularly for women who are much more vulnerable and haven’t been able to shower.

We’re providing immediate help, food and water, hygiene kits particularly for women and children.

“It’s basic but these people literally don’t have anything. They’ve been walking for so long, they didn’t carry any luggage, a lot of them have been robbed on the way so they don’t have money, they don’t have phones.”

CARE staff member provides family in tent with emergency supplies
A Syrian refugee family in a makeshift tent receive an emergency CARE package

CARE is working with our partner organisation Novi Sad Humanitarian Centre to distribute emergency kits to refugees in Serbia. 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.

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