Refugee Crisis Update


The following is a typical update on the refugee crisis in the Balkans, sent out to select personnel to cover each common site of interest.  I am sharing this in the hope it will give people a deeper understanding of the daily issues and concerns that arise, and to help find volunteers and folk who can donate items and cash to the cause.

The update has not been edited, with the exception of phone numbers and email addresses that have been removed.


SERBIA /CROATIA /SLOVENIA 10/11/2015 (Tuesday 23:45 - evening)

  • GENERAL: The ferry strike in Greece has ended, many refugees now moving to Athens and further up to Macedonia and Serbia. On Tuesday, again, 10,000 refugees crossed the border between Greece and Macedonia. Situation very tense in Idomeni and Preševo and will be tense also in Croatia/Slovenia in the coming days.
  • Slovenia has decided to build a wire fence on its border with Croatia, but still guarantees free entry to refugees.
  • Follow for detailed info (but be aware of the "last updated" date, compare info with this update).


PREŠEVO - Material aid and MONEY NEEDED! Situation getting tense and worse (also in Miratovac). 10,000 arrived on Tuesday, queues up to 12 hours, thousands will be sleeping outside and not all are equipped with blankets. The nights are very cold, temperature drops to 3-5 degrees. Boots, socks, raincoats, jackets, blankets needed. Financial help needed to arrange the food for refugees. At least 45 volunteers outside the camp and more are not needed at the moment. Due to huge numbers of refugees on the street it is also difficult to distribute food/water/clothes effectively.
For volunteers generally 2 days notice required and length of stay at least 1 week.
Contact UVP - United Volunteers of Preševo.  PLEASE if you can, send money to these organizations, they do great job and thousands of refugees depend on them.

BUJANOVAC - Transit point at the moment, hundreds of refugees come here daily from Presevo as Bujanovac has got better transport connections - bus and train. UNHCR partner "Sigma Plus" on site. Sigma Plus say items that are needed here are: food, clothes, shoes and blankets.

ŠID (train station) - Buses bring refugees here from Presevo. Refugees stay just half an hour at the train station, buses are stopped earlier (on highway close to Adaševci) and refugees wait in the bus (sometimes up to 6 hours) until the next train is ready. Serbian side has got capacity up to 1000 people in Principovac and other places around Šid in case the trains are not able to transport all refugees. No help apart from UNHCR and Red Cross allowed at the moment at the train station. Czech team is on site and agreeing on coordinated help together with UNHCR. More information on the structure of our help will be given on Wednesday.

SLAVONSKI BROD - 6500 refugees entered Croatia today so far (Tuesday). Trains come here from Šid, refugees spend just few hours and leave for Slovenia in a fluid manner. Situation is calm, registration and trains to Dobova are working smoothly. Accreditation needed for the camp. Also - no material aid needed now!

DIMITROVGRAD - Refugees: hundreds come daily. Needs: FINANCIAL HELP, TENTS, shoes, jackets, gloves, hats, socks. Medical help would be appreciated. VOLUNTEERS have been needed since Sunday.

BEOGRAD - Refugees here have the option to go to the Asylum Center at Krnjaca, where they have access to hot meals, showers and a place to rest. From Belgrade, they can take the bus to Šid.
At "Miksaliste" Volunteers are still NEEDED, despite it not being as sexy as direct field volunteering. Join us distributing clothing, shoes, food and hygienic items and creating a welcoming atmosphere for the stop-over in Belgrade. We're still accepting and also redistributing donations to border points, which requires help in sorting and packing. Find out more and please register at Volunteer Spot to see what is needed there and to sign up for timeslots.



DOBOVA - Slovenian police are in control of the area, with ADRA and Caritas as head NGOs on the spot. Several thousand people cross Dobova Train Station per normal day. All of them are boarding directly onto trains going to the Austrian border (Sentilj/Spielfeld) after spending a couple of hours there with the registration procedure. Hungarian volunteers also on site, they are asking for baby bottles, bags, socks (size 38-42), wet wipes, plastic cups, baby formula, cookies, chocolate bars, warm hats and scarfs.

SPIELFELD/SENTILJ - IMPORTANT: "Are you Syrious" gained access to No-Mans-Land! Big success for them, more info here: (you have to be registered before entering NML!). They have established 12 hours shifts (7 am - 7 pm) and take care of approx 5000 refugees daily.

Volunteers may also sign up with Slovenska Filantropija through their online form (, but no volunteers needed at the moment. Volunteers welcome in Spielfeld, but only have access if registered with the Red Cross (Team Österreich) - See timetable to register for a shift here: For donations, please check this FB site:


- If you have enough time and resources to travel to Lesvos, Greece, where the situation is desperate, please do so. Volunteers are saving lives from sea, but there are many desperate scenes including those refugees, who were not lucky enough and drowned in the sea. Read this volunteering guide to Lesvos: Czech group of volunteers is preparing to help there as well, more information here: Doctors/Arabic speakers welcome!

- Situation in Macedonia has somehow stabilised; official NGO's helping. Independent volunteers NOT able to help, accreditation with official NGO necessary!

- Large amounts of supplies can be picked up in Zagreb, if you are able to bring any supplies from Zagreb to any of the borders.

- Also SIM cards for those who have to wait are great so people can contact their relatives.

- and don't forget to act:




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