Samaritan's Purse Responding to Refugee Crisis in Europe
September 5, 2015 • Europe
Samaritan's Purse is providing relief to vulnerable families as they make a perilous trek through Europe.
Samaritan's Purse is providing relief to vulnerable families as they make a perilous trek through Europe.

Our staff and local partners will be meeting urgent needs in Hungary and other affected European countries.

Hundreds of thousands of refugees desperate to start new lives in the West have rapidly streamed through Europe this year, overwhelming certain nations along their path. It is the largest crisis of its kind in the region since the Second World War.

Many of these men, women, and children are in a mad scramble to transit through the Balkans and Hungary in search of better opportunities—sometimes exiting countries in less than 24 hours.

Samaritan’s Purse has deployed a multinational team of personnel to Hungary, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece, and Croatia to meet the immediate needs of displaced people. We are supporting trusted, local Christian partners with the aim of facilitating as many intersections between them and refugees as possible—offering a variety of physical relief and the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Samaritan's Purse is working with partners in Hungary and Serbia to distribute needed relief, including food and hygiene items, to refugees fleeing the Middle East.

Samaritan’s Purse is working with partners in Hungary and Serbia to distribute needed relief, including food and hygiene items, to refugees fleeing the Middle East.

A typical route takes refugees—many from Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan—through Turkey (by sea or land) to Greece, then through the Balkans and Hungary, and then onto Austria, Germany, the United Kingdom or other northern European nations.

Well over 4 million refugees have fled Syria since violence erupted in the spring of 2011.

A Samaritan's Purse staff member (in red) listens as young men share their journey from Iraq to Europe.

A Samaritan’s Purse staff member (in red) listens as young men share their journey from Iraq to Europe.

The German government has in recent days said it will take in up to 800,000 Syrian refugees this year. The United Kingdom has also said it will take in 20,000 refugees over the next five years directly from camps on the borders of Syria. Well over 4 million refugees have fled Syria since the start of a civil war that is now more than four years old.

The video below is from a bridge into the town of Gevegelija, Macedonia, just across the border from Greece. The refugee-processing center is on one side of the bridge, and the town is on the other. In a recent 14-hour period, approximately 4,500 refugees crossed the border. Due to the situation on Lesbos in Greece, Samaritan’s Purse predicts that approximately 20,000 refugees will attempt to cross the border in the next few days.

Current conditions on the Greece-Macedonia border are cold and rainy. Infants are wrapped in plastic bags to protect them from the rain. Clothing is inadequate even for current temperatures, much less dropping temperatures that will follow in the next few weeks. Soon it will not be possible for people to sleep outdoors as they will be at significant risk of hypothermia, particularly infants, young children, and the elderly.

Refuge Crisis on Macedonian BorderPosted by Samaritan’s Purse on Thursday, September 10, 2015

 

Please pray for the safety of those moving through Europe now, and ask God to bless our work as we seek to provide physical relief and share the love of Christ with them. Please pray for wisdom for Samaritan’s Purse staff around the world as our response continues to develop. Finally, pray for our personnel on the ground and those who will be joining them shortly.

—Article Last Updated: September 10

SUPPORT
Europe Refugee Relief Hundreds of thousands of refugees—many from the war-torn countries of Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan—are streaming across Europe right now in hopes of building a new life. The conditions they face are difficult and put them at great risk in multiple ways. Samaritan's Purse is responding to this crisis—the largest of its kind since the Second World War—by providing physical relief and offering the hope of the Gospel to these displaced families.

Europe Refugee Relief 013806
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