In light of the dramatic situation of the refugees travelling through the Western Balkans, the Federal Foreign Office is making one million euros available at short notice for humanitarian relief measures. Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued the following statement on this today (26 August):
We cannot stand by and watch when refugees seeking protection are in need in the European Union’s neighbouring countries. We need to support the Governments in these countries so that they can live up to their responsibility to provide swift and effective assistance to the refugees. As an initial emergency measure we are making one million euros available to provide for refugees in the countries of the Western Balkans.
We must act swiftly and show that the European Union still upholds its values in difficult times, we are not leaving our neighbours in the lurch. That includes a fair distribution of refugees within the European Union, as we have proposed in our ten-point plan for a European refugee policy response.
Within the framework of immediate humanitarian relief, initial sums of 400,000 euros for projects run by Caritas International and Help – Hilfe zur Selbsthilfe e.V. in Serbia as well as 200,000 euros for projects run by the German Red Cross in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will be provided.
The focus of the humanitarian relief measures is on supplying the refugees with food, medical and psychological care as well as distributing hygiene items, blankets and sleeping bags.
To read Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Economics Minister Sigmar Gabriel’s ten-point plan for a European refugee policy response, click here: