Updated appeal: Europe refugee crisis

December 2, 2015

Appeal Code:  76-6640
Appeal amount:  $200,000
Funding Received to date: $141,000
This is an update to our October 8 appeal.


As of the end of October, more than 689,000 Syrians have sought asylum in Europe since the beginning of the conflict in 2011. They are joined in this journey into Europe by refugees and migrants from many other nations. As winter begins, the need for food, water, shelter and other services in the countries through which they are passing are great.

Serbia is one nation through which many refugees are passing on their way into the European Union. According to the UNHCR, Serbia and Germany have received a combined total of 52 percent of asylum applications filed by Syrians. In November, Serbia closed its borders to refugees who are not coming from war zones, defined as Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.  The number of refugees arriving to Serbia decreased in the last 10 days to slightly more than 1,000 persons per week.  Whether arrival numbers through the winter months will continue to decrease is not yet possible to project.  


A shipment of CWS Blankets and CWS Baby Care Kits is currently en route to Serbia. These supplies will be utilized in refugee shelters. Additionally, CWS looks to provide emergency winter packages in Presevo and Kanjiza containing waterproof emergency blankets, winter sneakers and thermal socks, jackets and thermal or disposable underpants. (The latter are a great need for most of the refugees but many are too uncomfortable to voice it). CWS will also deliver custom care packages for mothers with children.

In Kanjiza, CWS is providing shelter to refugees in cooperation with the Serbian Red Cross. With ELCA’s support, CWS is distributing food to migrants and refugees, including snacks to school and pre-school children, in Presevo.

CWS will monitor the situation in other refugee/migrant entry points in Serbia (such as Zajecar and Dimitrovgrad) and will be ready to respond to rising needs of winter emergency shelter, packages and food. Priority will be given in the poorest regions of Serbia, already economically vulnerable before the crisis.


Contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may be sent to your denomination or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515 (designate 76-6640, European Refugee Crisis). Donations for this appeal can also be made online.

The CWS Immigration and Refugee Program has a network of affiliate offices that are located throughout the United States. These offices work hand-in-hand with local communities, churches, organizations and individuals to provide a welcoming and safe home for refugees. Get connected to a local office to see how you can sponsor refugees in your community and volunteer or partner with our local offices.

Additional resources can be found at www.cwsglobal.org/helprefugees.

CWS is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.