Prospects for refugees and migrants

In action along the migration routes and in refugee camps

Today, at the end of 2015, more than 10,000 people a day – including many women with children, and elderly and disabled people – are making their way along the Balkan migration route in Central Europe. They often have to wait for hours and sometimes even days at the border crossing points. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ has deployed eight mobile teams at the pinch-points where particularly large numbers of people congregate. The 35 members of staff support the work of local organisations, with social workers, psychologists, translators, nurses and legal advisors all providing care for the new arrivals, including hot drinks, dry clothes, and any assistance they may need with formalities. The teams focus especially on the most vulnerable, such as women and children, and assist around 200 people a day.

GIZ is also providing support for municipalities located along the main migration routes, which are finding it almost impossible to provide the essentials for so many people. Water consumption is increasing, and food needs to be brought in and waste disposed of. Sometimes, all that is required to ease the burden on the municipality is a simple repair to a waste disposal vehicle or the reorganisation of waste collection services so that everything runs smoothly. 

Infrastructural development is a key focus of GIZ’s work in refugee camps. In northern Iraq, for example, working on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ has built schools, health centres and community centres in a refugee camp and in six camps for displaced personsin cooperation with Welthungerhilfe and UNICEF. By the end of 2015, more than 200,000 people – both in the camps themselves and neighbouring communities – had gained access to improved health, education and social infrastructure. Psychosocial support is also important, as many refugees are traumatised as a result of their horrific experiences. In northern Iraq, more than two million people have been displaced by civil war and the terror inflicted by the so-called ‘Islamic State’ militants. A further 200,000 have fled to the region from Syria.