The war trauma of a Syrian child
ISRAAID RESPONSE TO DATE
IsraAID’s Advance team arrived in Greece on the 7.9.15 for an immediate relief mission and a needs assessment, aimed at identifying both the short- and long-term needs of the asylum seeker population overflowing Greece and creating a major humanitarian crisis.
The capacity of local officials and international actors to coordinate the arrival, registration, information sharing and provision of basic needs for the new arrivals is limited, and IsraAID’s team on the ground rapidly identified and began to implement activities. These included the distribution of basic supplies and winterization items, information sharing regarding the process from arrival to exiting the country, the provision of immediate Psychological First Aid (PFA) support to individuals and families of new arrivals, and the delivery of medical services to new arrivals to support the overwhelmed local systems.
Following a series of tragic shipwrecks on the beaches of Greece, local authorities and the UNHCR requested that IsraAID provide psychological support to the surviving family members of those lost, emphasizing children. In addition, MHPSS training for officials, as well as medical services for those in need has been requested as well.
To date, hundreds of asylum seekers have received PFA and emergency care.
- Serbian Borders
On September 13th, IsraAID sent an assessment and relief mission to Serbia to determine both the short term and long term needs of both the refugee population crossing through Europe as well to support a number of national and international agencies struggling to cope with the changing humanitarian needs on the ground.
As of mid-September, IsraAID completed a thorough assessment in several Balkan states, with a focus on Serbia and Croatia, the crucial gateway and mid-way point of a refugee’s journey, in most cases, to Germany. IsraAID was on the ground to assess the humanitarian situation and conditions that result from a growing trend of border closures and overwhelmed logistical infrastructure, subsequently impacting the movement of thousands of refugees. Such disruptions to the flow of people quickly lead to unmanageable bottlenecks around key locations, such as bus and train stations, roads and public spaces, as well as around border crossings and in the ‘no man’s land’ between two states.
IsraAID assessed the conditions of a growing phenomenon: the arrival of thousands of refugees within the span of just 2-3 hours, by buses, taxis and/or by foot, to key sites with insufficient or poor infrastructure to cope with the sheer number of arrivals. Basic necessities such as such as toilets/latrines, running water, protection from the elements (sun/rain/snow), water and food etc. are simply not available or sufficient. The lack of basic information and crowd control upon arrival further exacerbates the situation, causing much stress, hardship and at times chaos as refugees attempt to re-group, orient themselves and cope with the new environment as they plan the next leg of their journey.
As bottlenecks continue to spring up across several Balkan states, the humanitarian conditions on the ground deteriorate for the thousands of new arrivals who are simply stranded and unable to pass. Relief items, such as water and snacks are often urgently needed first, followed by basic Non-Food Items (NFIs) such as clothing, shoes and hygiene items to replace worn out, lost and/or abandoned items along the route.
IsraAID first piloted and then launched the Mobile Relief Unit during the week of September 14th – 21st, at a crucial period in the development of EU policies towards refugees, and in anticipation of Hungary’s stricter border controls and fencing of its southern, open border with Serbia, where thousands of refugees had been crossing through freely on a daily basis.
IsraAID subsequently expanded its work to locations where refugees were being re-routed, on the Croatia side of the Serbian border, in several transit points, train and bus stations as well as in ad hoc camps that sprung up. At its peak, IsraAID was among the first agencies providing relief to over 11,000 refugees crossing from Serbia into Croatia in under 24 hours.
IsraAID Mobile Relief Unit proved to be one of the most efficient and effective solutions, given the rapid and changing movements and flow of refugees seeking to cross Serbia and Croatia. The Mobile Relief Unit continues to provide on-going humanitarian relief at strategic periods and points of the long and often treacherous journey across Europe.
Psycho social for children
slings for refugees