Mediterranean crisis response

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MapAction is deploying volunteers to UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) offices in Athens, Belgrade and Geneva to support the coordination of the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean. Alongside this, MapAction will be working with ACAPS looking at the potential evolution of the situation and analysis of the crisis over the next few months.

Europe is experiencing a movement of people on a scale not seen since the Second World War. The reasons for this are complex; the scale of the situation is deeply concerning. According to recent figures from UNHCR, as of 15 October more than 600,000 people have arrived in Europe by sea during 2015 alone. Tragically this year more than 3,000 are estimated to have died or gone missing while attempting to make this crossing.

As winter approaches, sea crossings are becoming ever more precarious and onward movement is even more challenging for already vulnerable people. Reports have highlighted that reception facilities are often overstretched, leading to new arrivals having to sleep rough in deteriorating weather conditions.

Refugees then embark on a long and often difficult journey across Europe – taking a variety of different routes – all looking for safety and security for them and their families. Responders typically do not know how many people they may need to support on a daily basis, and numbers are always one of the most fundamental considerations in planning any response.

MapAction’s highly skilled team of volunteers will be working in partnership with UNHCR to analyse and map the movements of refugees, so that relief efforts can be coordinated and targeted effectively. MapAction will also be working with ACAPS to explore scenarios of how the situation in the Mediterranean could unfold in the future – again to support the effective programming of aid.

MapAction estimates that this response will cost approximately £12,500. We do not currently have any external funding for this, so we are appealing for your support.

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