Supporting Refugees, Migrants, and Asylum Seekers
Although Serbia is not the ultimate destination for the majority of migrants, it has become an epicenter of the migration flow through Europe. Over a million people have passed through Serbia since June 2015, and as of July 2019, there are about 4,200 refugees and migrants in the country.
RMF has been responding to the refugee crisis in Serbia since January 2016, by providing comprehensive protection and medical services, including emergency triage, to persons of concern. Our team works in and around the Belgrade city center and at Obrenovac Transit and Reception Centre, the second largest refugee camp in Serbia. We operate 3:00 PM to 10:00 PM five days a week at our mobile medical clinic located in Obrenovac, with a second medical team providing referrals for secondary and tertiary care institutions. From 2017 to 2018, we also provided services near the border with Croatia, operating the medical clinic at Adaševci Transit Centre from 4:00 PM to 12:00 AM, seven days a week.
- Medical doctors provide first aid and primary health care for refugees.
- Tanslators and cultural mediators provide understanding and support.
- Medical teams and cultural mediators identify and refer extremely vulnerable cases.
- Teams remain mobile and flexible, able to rapidly relocate to areas in greatest need.
- RMF partners with national and local government, as well as multilateral organizations such as UNHCR and other NGOs to support a comprehensive and well-coordinated response.
- RMF works in collaboration with other organizations to provide supplies such as food, water, clothing, and hygiene kits.
- We ensure linguistic and cultural understanding through Arabic and Farsi speaking interpreters and cultural mediators.
Refugees and migrants in Serbia face overcrowded conditions and a lack of comprehensive health and dental care. Due to work permit restrictions and linguistic and cultural barriers, most are unable to integrate into the local community, and children cannot continue their educations past elementary school. Many are exposed to exploitation, violence, and human trafficking, while insecurity about their long-term prospects has contributed to persistent feelings of distress and anxiety.
RMF Balkans will continue to support the government of Serbia in responding to the refugee crisis by filling gaps in medical service provision as directed by the Ministry of Health and by collaborating with other key partners working in the field, primarily those focused on medical, psychosocial, and humanitarian needs. Our doctors, interpreters, and drivers provide support to state medical institutions with capacity to increase the scale and scope of the current response. Due to the unpredictable nature of the crisis, our team remains mobile, flexible, and responsive, able to rapidly relocate to the areas in greatest need.
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