Find out about the work we are doing in Serbia.
Since our first grant for emergency aid in October 2015, Help Refugees has supported grassroots local responders, helped coordinate volunteers and now currently has a team working tirelessly on the ground in Serbia.
From 2015 to early 2016, the Serbian leg of the ‘Balkan route’ into Europe saw almost 1 million refugees passing through on their journey to find safety in Europe.
Last year, as the borders of Hungary and Croatia closed to refugees, approximately 7,500 refugees were left stranded in Serbia. During the winter of 2016, they faced exceptionally harsh conditions as temperatures reached below -15 degrees, at a time when several refugees froze to death at the borders of Europe.
“I just want to go to some safe country, To start a normal life… like other people. Just to be safe, in peace” – Amir
These miserable conditions were most pronounced in the ‘Barracks’, a squalid warehouse housing around 1,000 refugees in the centre of Belgrade. According to estimates, up to 60% of those living in this space were unaccompanied minors. These children lived without sanitation and hygiene provisions, and without means of keeping warm during the harsh winter months until we partnered with local groups and volunteers to install showers and toilets, distribute aid and food, and provide basic medical care.
While the Barracks were evicted in May 2017, Help Refugees has continued to support stranded people in Serbia through local partners, working to provide food, aid and improving living conditions for refugees in the region.