VOICE Out Loud 23: Humanitarian NGOs and the European 'refugee crisis'
2015 was the year that put refugees and the movement of people back on the global and European agenda. Europe saw the biggest refugee flow since World War II, many crossing over from Turkey into Greece. They flee from ongoing armed conflicts and mass killings in countries such as Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan and South Sudan. So long as these conflicts are not resolved there is no end in sight to the refugee flow. Following border closures throughout Europe, increasing numbers of refugees are finding themselves stuck in Greece, which is under pressure to cope. Humanitarian NGOs are trying to support the efforts of local civil society and authorities to alleviate the humanitarian crisis in Greece and elsewhere, but in a difficult political environment, are concerned about the humanitarian principles and maintaining standards.
Kicking off this issue, the Danish Refugee Council describe the difficulty of upholding humanitarian standards in the midst of this humanitarian crisis. Complementing the basic needs of people in open air refugee camps in Greece is a challenge which Secours Islamique France addresses in its article on needs assessment. The Doctors of the World International Network highlights the best and worst in the European crisis facing migrants. Looking at the humanitarian principles in the context of the Europe Refugee Response, the Norwegian Refugee Council compares operations before and after the EU-Turkey Deal. SOS Childrens Villages draws lessons from the Balkan Route with an eye on children’s protection in the European migration crisis.
In a View from Turkey, Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe explains how it uses partnerships to support refugee protection and assistance in South-Eastern Turkey.
The View from the EU section contains an interview with Catherine Woollard, Secretary General of the European Council on Refugees and Exiles. She shares her views on the EU’s response to the refugee crisis, the key issues with the EU-Turkey deal, and the recently adopted Communication on Forced Displacement and Development. We also hear from CARE on the additional challenge that humanitarian financing poses in this EU refugee crisis.