AYS NEWS DIGEST 13/10 — “EU-Turkey Deal 2.0” with African states? A no-go.

A man displays the phone numbers of his loved ones which he has written on his shirt so that they may be informed of his death. Photo Credit: MSF Sea

Feature

In the midst of German Prime Minister’s Angela Merkel historic trip to North Africa to address the problem of Mediterranean crossings, the Interior Ministers of EU countries are gathering in Luxembourg to discuss the flow of refugees from Africa to Europe, namely to Italy. Merkel has offered military and financial aid (read: bribes) to Ethiopia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Senegal in exchange for halting immigration, while the German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizere has called for a new solution to the problem; those who are rescued at sea ought to be taken to centers in North Africa while their case for asylum is studied.

Syria

Syrian government agrees to UN aid plan.

The plan will cover 25 of 29 designated besieged and hard to reach places, but Aleppo notably isn’t among them. The government is dead-set on retaking the rebel-occupied eastern Aleppo districts, and has an interest in keeping aid out, as demonstrated by its criminal bombing of an aid convoy during the short-lived ceasefire. The rebel-occupied districts are home to 275,000 people, and supplies are running dangerously low.

Doctors in Aleppo have released a letter asking for medical airdrops.

As the Syrian regime’s siege around rebel-occupied areas in Aleppo tightens, all kinds of goods are difficult to come by. Hospitals and clinics are in especially bad shape, as they are regularly targeted by Russian and Syrian airstrikes and the shortages. As such, if the regime does not weaken its grasp, other means of delivery will be necessary.

Greece

Refugees are increasingly resorting to making a land crossing from Turkey to Greece.

As fall and winter weather approaches, police say the number of refugees and migrants trying to get across Greece’s northern land border with Turkey is growing. Hundreds of asylum seekers have continued attempting to cross the frontier during the past several weeks despite authorities recently breaking up a smuggling ring on the Greek side and arresting 70 people. Much less dangerous than the sea-crossing from Turkey to Greece’s eastern Aegean islands, many asylum seekers have been apprehended after walking across the shallows of the Hebrus River, which marks the Greek-Turkish border.

93 appointments to take place at Piraeus have been rescheduled! If you are supposed to come in on December 12, check your status at www.search.rescueapp.org

Information for people applying for relocation together with others.

The following helpful information was posted on Facebook:

To those in need of accomodation

UNHCR will make their accomodations available to needy persons starting from next week. Please also refer to EKKA.

Numbers

A total of 160 refugees have arrived on the islands today. 72 of them on Lesvos, 43 on Chios, and 45 on Samos. Additionally, 4 volunteered to be returned, bringing the monthly total to 23. There have been no deportations to Turkey this month.

InterVolve is seeking donations!

In Softex, there are four expecting mothers who will be giving birth soon. With winter approaching, they are in need of help. You may contribute here.

Serbia

UNHCR releases report on Serbia.

The report may be accessed here. Among other things, it states that 6,300 refugees are currently in Serbia. 80% are being accomodated in government facilities, the rest are in asylum centers and reception centers. Around 1,000 spend the night in the Belgrade city center.

Hot Food Idomeni calls for donations!

The group is now in charge of hot meal distribution in Mikaliste, and they need your help as the number of refugees in Belgrade steadily grows. Currently there are over 500 people depending on Mikaliste’s services. Please consider donating by going to their Facebook page.

Italy

Italy has rebuked other EU members for shirking on their responsibilities.

The other countries are not doing enough to take their fair share of refugees, according to Italy. In just the first half of October, 10,000 people have arrived in Italy, bringing the total number of refugees in the country to 470,000. Only 13,000 of the 39,000 refugees to be relocated have been moved. The Italian PM Matteo Renzi called for funding to non-cooperating countries to be cut.

Daily news digests from the field, mainly for volunteers and refugees on the route, but also for journalists and other parties.

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