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People in Need sends aid to refugees in Serbia, Macedonia

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Prague, Aug 28 (CTK) – People in Need, a Czech humanitarian organisation, will send 1.7 million crowns for immediate aid to refugees in Macedonia and Serbia, the organisation’s spokesman Petr Stefan told CTK Friday.
Local nongovernmental organisations will then give water and food to the poorest migrants, and provide psychological, social and legal consulting and information on risks, such as gangs of people smugglers, to the migrants, Stefan said.
The aid should go primarily to women and children, he added.
“The vast majority of these people flee from war or protracted conflicts, and so they are refugees, not economic migrants. They have been on the way for weeks and they badly need basic humanitarian, psychological, social and legal aid,” Jan Mrkvicka, from People in Need, said.
About 100,000 migrants, often from Syria and other Middle East regions hit by conflicts, entered Serbia this year and moved north to Hungary and the Schengen area without borders. Hungary started building a four-metre high and 175-km long fence at its border with Serbia in an effort to stop the immigrant wave.
According to People in Need, more and more refugees are coming every month. In July, over 29,000 refugees arrived in Serbia. Nearly 20,000 of them were escaping from the war-stricken Syria, others came from Afghanistan or Iraq.
In Macedonia, the situation is similar to Serbia. Refugees come also from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Palestine or some African countries, and women and children represent about 30 percent of them.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) recently criticised the European Union for its migration policy and it called for more solidarity in carrying the burden of the refugee crisis. UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming called for support for countries whose capabilities have been exhausted, namely Greece, Macedonia and Serbia.
($1=24.022 crowns)

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