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Czech volunteers provide aid to migrants at Serbian-Croat border

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Berkasovo, Serbia, Oct 29 (CTK special correspondent) – Over 100 Czech volunteers operate at the Berkasovo-Bapska checkpoint at the border between Serbia and Croatia, helping the thousands of migrants heading for the European Union.
The “Czech Team” of volunteers has been working at the border for five weeks now, day and night. When several thousands of refugees got stuck in the rain and wind last week, still only some 30 Czechs operated at the checkpoint.
Jan Pinos, who heads the Czech Team in Serbia, said material and financial aid sent by private donors from the Czech Republic had increased. The Czech government is to earmark over one million crowns for the humanitarian aid in Berkasovo, through the People in Need humanitarian organisation, he said.
About three thousand migrants passed through the Berkasovo border crossing yesterday, mostly during the night, while two days ago it was two times more, Pinos said.
He said many migrants had neither warm clothes nor shoes and the journey was especially hard for small children.
The volunteers offer clothes, water and hot tea to the migrants and provide information about the route ahead of them, Pinos said.
He said the rather unofficial volunteer team was strongly supported by People in Need that rented a house where the volunteers can sleep, bought a new power generator and helped communicate with the authorities in Serbia.
Pinos said the Doctors Without Borders, the WAHA medical alliance and Serbian Christian groups operated at the border, too.
Petra Quirke, who coordinates the activities of the Czech Team group from the Czech Republic, said about 150 Czech volunteers operate along the Balkan route used by the migrants.
($1=24.504 crowns)

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