Red Cross at the forefront of response to needs of migrants in Europe

تم النشر: 19 أغسطس 2015

Geneva / Kos, 19 August 2015 The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is concerned at the increase in the number of vulnerable migrants needing urgent help in Europe, and is scaling up its response across affected countries.

The number of migrants arriving in Greece this year has reached 158,456, more than half of the total arriving in Europe by sea (264,500). In July more migrants crossed Greek borders than in the whole of 2014. Red Cross volunteers are providing vital humanitarian assistance to thousands of people on the move along the Western Balkans migration trail which runs from Greece through the former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) of Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary.   

In Greece, Red Cross is addressing the needs of 10,000 migrants on six islands, distributing food, water, and hygiene kits, and providing medical, psychosocial and family tracing services. The Hellenic Red Cross is intensifying assistance to people arriving in Kos and Lesbos – where the number of people in need are highest – while continuing to provide services in Chios, Crete, Rhodes and Samos. 

“Many of the people we are seeing are traumatized. They have endured dangerous and difficult journeys; some have seen family members die along the way, and still others have been subjected to prejudice and inhumane treatment,” said Irene Panagiopoulo, president of Kos branch of Hellenic Red Cross.

“Some have medical issues that have been left untreated, while others do not know if their families are alive or dead. We are trying to meet their most immediate needs but it is not enough. More support is  urgently required.”

 The Red Cross is also providing first aid, food and blankets to 85,000 migrants arriving in three Italian harbours, as well as 4,600 people travelling through the FYR of Macedonia, and 67,500 mothers and babies in Serbia. Mobile Red Cross teams are present at railway stations, border points and other key locations to provide food, first aid, clothing and shoes, blankets, hygiene items, infant and sanitary packs, psychosocial support and help in contacting families. In Hungary, Red Cross assisting 72,000 migrants at the Röszke pre-registration facility by improving their sanitary and psychological conditions with special focus on hygiene needs for women and infants.

More than 2,100 people have already drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea this year. Preventing further loss of life is an absolute priority and a humanitarian imperative. The IFRC stresses the importance of guaranteeing the dignity and rights of all migrants and their families, regardless of their status. The life of a migrant is not worth any less than that of another person.

For more information on IFRC’s migration work go to or 

 For further information, please contact:

In Kos / Lesbos:

▪       Angelica Fanaki, international relations/communication department, Hellenic Red Cross

E-mail: ¦ Mobile: +30 693 6695925+30 693 6695925

▪       Stephen Ryan, emergency communication consultant, IFRC Europe

E-mail: ¦ Twitter: @stiofanoriain ¦ Mobile: +36 70 430 6500+36 70 430 6500


In Geneva:

▪       Reeni Amin Chua, public communications, IFRC

E-mail: ¦ Twitter: @reeniac ¦ Mob: +41 79 708 6273+41 79 708 6273


▪       Corinne Ambler, communications coordinator, migration, IFRC

E-mail: ¦ Twitter: @corinneambler ¦ Phone: +41 22 730 4696+41 22 730 4696

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the worlds largest volunteer-based humanitarian network, reaching 150 million people each year through its 189 member National Societies. Together, the IFRC acts before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. It does so with impartiality as to nationality, race, gender, religious beliefs, class and political opinions. For more information, please visit You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.