UNHCR: Serbia needs aid for refugees

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The UNHCR representative in Serbia, Hans Friedrich Schodder, told the public broadcaster RTS on Friday that the UNHCR would continue to provide assistance to the Serbian government in taking care of refugees.

He said that a quarter of about USD 100 million, requested from donors for countries along the Balkan migrant route, would be allocated to Serbia to build provisional accommodation facilities and ensure aid for the refugees during the winter.

Schodder said that 40,000 blankets and 20,000 jackets and winter clothes had been ensured and that the main goal was to reinforce the accommodation facilities and ensure heating.

We need to be aware of the possibility that borders might be closed. We want to assist Serbia to ensure that none of the refugees are at risk, the UNHCR official said, noting that Serbia’s plan to build accommodation facilities for 3,000 people was not enough and that more such facilities should be ensured.

Schodder said that the UNHCR was in talks with the government to prepare state-owned facilities for the accommodation of refugees.

Serbia has informed the European Union this week that it will prepare temporary facilities to accommodate 3,000 more refugees, in addition to the 3,000 it has undertaken to accommodate.

About 1,000 refugees fleeing war and hardship in the Middle East, Asia and Africa have entered Serbia from Macedonia and Greece in the last 24 hours, which is five times less than before. This is because Greek sailors were on strike and ferries were not running. A new wave of refugees is expected later on Friday or over the weekend.

(Hina)

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