IFRC quadruples its Emergency Appeal to meet urgent humanitarian needs in Greece

Published: 23 October 2015

Geneva / Budapest, 23 October 2015 - The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched a revised Emergency Appeal, quadrupling the funds needed to support the Hellenic Red Cross as it assists thousands of people moving through Greece.

The revised appeal for 12.7 million Swiss francs (11.6 million euro) will enable the Red Cross to assist 200,000 vulnerable migrants over the next seven months. More than 502,000 migrants have arrived in Greece in 2015, more than ten times the number of total arrivals in 2014 (41,038). Recently, the average number of daily arrivals has risen to up to 8,000.

“The Hellenic Red Cross has been responding to the humanitarian needs of migrants since the onset of the emergency on the islands of arrival: Kos, Lesvos, Samos, Chios, Crete and Rhodes, at Idomeni by the northern border, as well as at transit points in Athens,” said Angelica Fanaki, who is responsible for international relations at the Hellenic Red Cross. “We are constantly adapting our response to evolving needs. This revised appeal will allow us to continue our flexible and long-term assistance to vulnerable migrants.”

In addition to the increasing influx of arrivals and longer stays in Greece, the approaching winter season will dramatically increase people’s vulnerabilities. The appeal anticipates these challenges and will support the Hellenic Red Cross in reaching vulnerable migrants with food, water, hygiene kits, and other essential goods. The Red Cross will distribute high insulation thermal blankets, mats, clothes and backpacks, as well as provide hot meals and beverages at entry and transit points. The appeal will also support first aid, emergency medical care, search and rescue activities on the shores, and the provision of psychosocial support and help in reconnecting family members.

Acting director of IFRC Europe region, Simon Missiri, said: ”The winter brings with it severe health and safety risks to those who have already travelled thousands of miles with limited access to food, basic necessities, shelter and health care. The revised appeal ensures proper preparations for the cold weather and allows for flexible support where it is most needed should the migratory route change during the coming months. People escaping violence must be offered protection. It is our collective responsibility to stand ready to help them.”

European Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies – supported by more than 25,000 volunteers – are delivering assistance to hundreds of thousands of people on the move. The IFRC has launched six country-specific Emergency Appeals totalling over 70 million Swiss francs to support humanitarian responses in Turkey, Italy, Greece, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, and Hungary.

 

To learn more about the IFRC migration response, and to add your voice to the global Red Cross and Red Crescent call for the rights and dignity of vulnerable migrants to be respected, visit www.ifrc.org/protecthumanity.

 

For further information, please contact:

In Greece:

Angelica Fanaki, international relations/communication departments, Hellenic Red Cross
E-mail: angelicafanaki@gmail.com ¦ Mobile: +30 693 6695925

Charlotte Hyest, emergency communication delegate - Greece, IFRC
Mobile: +30 694 9851330

In Budapest:

Linda Low, communications manager - Europe, IFRC
E-mail: linda.low@ifrc.org ¦ Twitter: @linda_low ¦ Mobile: +36 70 953 7704

Caroline Haga, emergency communications delegate - Europe, IFRC
E-mail: caroline.haga@ifrc.org  ¦ Mobile: +36 70 430 6500

In Geneva:

Benoit Carpentier, team leader - public communications, IFRC
E-mail: benoit.carpentier@ifrc.org ¦ Twitter: @BenoistC ¦ Mobile: +41 79 213 2413

Reeni Amin Chua, senior officer - public positioning and strategy, IFRC
E-mail: reeni.aminchua@ifrc.org ¦ Twitter: @reeniac ¦ Mobile: +41 79 708 6273 

Map