Irish Red Cross launches appeal to support humanitarian response to migration crisis


Europe is experiencing unprecedented inward population movement, requiring a response on a breadth and scale unseen since World War II.

The Irish Red Cross has launched an appeal for donations to help with the migration crisis that has gripped many parts of the world.

Donations can be made at or by phoning 1850 50 70 70.

Mediterranean ports and border crossings in the Western Balkans are overwhelmed with the number of people arriving from the Middle East, South Asia and Africa. Some 340,000 migrants have sought entry to Europe, according to EU border agency Frontex.

The International Red Cross Movement has been dealing with the migration surge in Europe and other parts of the world for several years but the spike in population movement since the start of 2015 has led to a massive increase in the need for humanitarian aid.

Red Cross operations have been established at ports and border crossings in many of countries including Greece, Former Yugoslav Republic (FYR) of Macedonia, Hungary, Serbia and Italy but supplies to help the vulnerable people pouring into Europe need replenished.

Irish Red Cross Asia and Middle East Desk Officer AnnaMarie O’Carroll said: “We are focused on meeting the humanitarian needs of migrants and refugees by providing food, water, shelter, hygiene kits and medical treatment at all the key landing points in Europe.

“We also provide psychological support for the many people who have endured dangerous journeys that often involve family members dying along the way.

“We provide further support in helping trace and reconnect family members who become separated along routes that are often thousands of miles long.

“Many of those arriving on the shores of Europe are fleeing conflict, persecution and poverty in their countries of origin. They desperately need your donations so we can further scale up our operations.”

The number of migrants who have arrived in Greece this year is over 160,000 and the number making the perilous trip across the Mediterranean since the start of the year is heading for 300,000. Some 5,000 people have already died at sea and many more on land routes to Europe.

“Donations will be used for protecting people on the move, preventing loss of life and treating people with dignity. We also call for a humanitarian approach to tackling the vulnerabilities of migrants,” Ms O’Carroll added.

Greece: Kos, 18 August 2015.This family have received assistance from Hellenic Red Cross in Kos, including food and hygiene packs, as well as other non-food relief items. So far in 2015, 160,000 migrants have arrived in Greece, already almost four times more than in the previous year. Kos, just kilometres from the Turkish coast, has received thousands of migrants already this year. Photo: Stephen Ryan / IFRC