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Migrants: IFRC, more assistance needed in the Balkans

Number of people crossing through the region increasing

18 June, 12:55
(ANSA) - BELGRADE, 18 GIU - More assistance is needed in the Balkans to provide basic humanitarian services and support to migrants and refugees travelling through Bosnia and Herzegovina, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said in a statement today.

IFRC recalled that "the number of people entering Europe through Greece and then making their way towards Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina is increasing," with more than 5,600 people have reached Bosnia since January, compared to 754 in the whole 2017. In north-western Bosnia and Herzegovina, about 1,000 people are gathered near to the border with Croatia, in dire conditions, IFRC said. Also Montenegro registered 557 new asylum requests in May 2018, the highest figure in five years.

"We are concerned that people are not receiving the assistance they need. People are keen to keep moving and are reluctant to access state services for fear of being detained," said Simon Missiri, IFRC Regional Director for Europe. Missiri added that "Red Cross Societies in the Balkans are doing what they can to reach and help people migrating through their territories, but the scale and complexity of this operation is such that more assistance is needed." (ANSA).

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