Belgrade, 23 January 2016 – The UN Refugee Agency, and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) today presented a new strategy and appeal to help respond to the situation of refugees and migrants in Serbia in 2017.
The strategy and appeal for Serbia are part of a bigger Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan for Europe (RMRP) covering Turkey, Southern Europe, Western Balkans, and other parts of Europe presented to potential donors in Geneva on 19 January. It aims at complementing and reinforcing the Governments’ efforts to ensure safe access to asylum and the protection of refugees and migrants. It also aims to support long-term solutions and orderly and dignified migration management. Strengthened partnerships and coordination will also be given priority in 2017.
Introducing the RMRP, Lidija Marković, Head of IOM Serbia said “Over the past two years, Europe’s response to the arrival of over 1.3 million refugees and migrants on its soil has been faced with many challenges, including how to protect refugees and migrants. This Plan is an operational tool, which will play a key role to ensure efficient and well-coordinated assistance throughout 2017. In Serbia, we have seen a change: from transit to a more stable situation which requires systemic responses as outlined in this Plan.”
“We are especially concerned about the particular vulnerabilities and needs of unaccompanied and separated children, women and girls. This Plan, if adequately funded, would greatly assist in addressing them.” added Francesca Bonelli, Senior Field Coordinator of UNHCR Serbia.