Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan for Europe 2017

Humanitarian Compendium

Total Requested:
Total Funded:
Percentage Funded:
Introduction and Needs

The regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RMRP) was initiated following the large-scale population movements registered throughout Europe in 2015. During 2016, a further 347,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe, in addition to the over one million refugees and migrants that undertook the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea in 2015. Most refugees and migrants have crossed by boat from Libya to Italy or from Turkey to Greece through the Aegean Sea. Both routes have proved more perilous during 2016 than in 2015. In 2016, 4,690 refugees and migrants died or were reported missing in the Mediterranean Sea, 25% more than in 2015.

The majority of these people are in search of safety and protection, as almost 60 per cent of those arriving in Europe in 2016 come from the world’s top 10 refugee-producing countries, primarily from the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria), Afghanistan and Iraq.The majority of arrivals are expected to stay in Greece, Italy and Spain and are likely to apply for asylum in these countries. Some of them will be eligible for relocation to another country in Europe, or alternatively resettlement. Countries, such as those in the Western Balkans and Central Europe, that were previouslypart of an important transit axis between Greece and refugees’ and migrants’ intended final destination in northern or Western Europe are unlikely to receive significant numbers of new arrivals. However, persons are still moving through and are subject to additional protection risks. Residual populations of refugees and migrants are likely to remain in these countries in 2017.

In 2017, the response to the influx of refugees and migrants required by humanitarian partners is likely to involve a longer term, planned approach, still focused on ensuring immediate assistance and protection of new arrivals, but also increasingly on cash based interventions and ensuring that accommodation conditions are adequate and safe. During 2016, the living conditions in the sites in Greece have deteriorated due to the congestion of people. These include many having specific needs, such as unaccompanied or separated children (UASC), single women, pregnant or lactating women, the elderly, people with disabilities, as well as the sick and injured. The number of children arriving remains high, 27% of the total arrivals, and the number of UASC in particular has increased during 2016, now comprising over a quarter of all children (24,135 up until the end of October). In this context, the response during 2017 by humanitarian partners will primarily focus on the relatively static and increasing populations in Greece and Italy. The 2017 RMRP outlines the intended operational response and financial requirements. It presents a set of measures that will enable the humanitarian community to contribute to the protection of refugees and vulnerable migrants, as well as the human rights of all people involved.


Greece 2017

  • As of June 2017, 4 new fully rehabilitated sites (Thiva, Serres, Drama and Kavala) opened and received their first residents. Beneficiaries have been successfully transferred to the new accommodation centers from other sites where they were being temporarily accommodated. Now, settled in a safe and protected environment, beneficiaries receive basic assistance from IOM which, as the Site Management Support agency, is daily present to ensure safe and quality living conditions, based on beneficiaries’ needs and feedback. 
  • Upon the official ending of the current school year in mid-June, the education project was successfully completed with approximately 2,500 children benefiting from IOM services, including transportation and distribution of school kits and materials. Children have attended afternoon classes in public primary and secondary schools, as well as kindergartens established within specific sites, allowing them to access formal education and pave the road for their future integration in the Greek education system. 

Turkey 2017 

  • Since the beginning of 2017, IOM Turkey provided food, non-food items, and psychosocial support for 2,601 migrants and refugees rescued at sea in Çeşme, Bodrum, Kuşadası, Dikili, Küçükkuyu, Ayvalık. Among them, 98 migrants and refugees  had  specific needs and were referred  for medical services , family reunification and legal counselling.
  • IOM has also provided capacity building to 566 Turkish Coast Guard (TCG) staff on different subjects including mixed migration and protection of vulnerable migrants, counter-migrant smuggling and human trafficking training and effective communication.
  • Lastly, the TCG received two sophisticated search and rescue vessels that will boost their abilities to rescue even more migrants and refugees as they try to reach Europe.

Serbia 2017 

  • Throughout 2017, IOM mobile teams in all reception/transit centres continued to provide access to protection services such as transportation to health and social care services, referrals and interpretation assistance. 2,030 migrants/refugees provided with transportation assistance to local institutions and service providers.
  • During April-June 2017, 80 migrants were assisted with voluntary return to their countries of origin, including information provision and counselling on assisted voluntary return.
  • Skills and capacities of migration institutions and service providers for ensuring protection-sensitive migration management increased through capacity development initiatives related to assisted voluntary return and reintegration.
  • 60 border police officers were trained in humanitarian border management, joint operations and risk analysis and modus operandi of smuggling of migrants and trafficking in human beings  

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 2017 

  • Between April and June 2017, IOM Skopje organized capacity building trainings for 96 border guards. The trainings included the following topics: standard operating procedures for dealing with vulnerable categories of migrants & indicators for identification of victims of trafficking of human beings; stress level assessment and management & prevention of stress, managing conflict and crisis situations in the centers for reception and accommodation of migrants.
  • During the reporting period, the IOM Skopje medical teams have provided the following assistance: medical, food and clothing, legal support, accommodation assistance, provision of Information and counselling on AVR, as well as interpretation and psycho-social support.
  • Moreover, 7 migrants were provided with initial assisted voluntary return counselling and have expressed their willingness to return to their country of origin. Currently they are waiting for the issuance of their travel document from the respective embassies.
  • Between 1 June to 30 June 2017, IOM maintained an Emergency Fund that facilitates the provision of direct assistance to certain particularly vulnerable migrants that are in need of assistance. IOM Skopje has provided regular health and nutrition support to total of 52 cases, including vulnerable migrants with specific urgent health care needs and protection needs. IOM field team based in Kumanovo and Gevgelija have made 434 interventions with psychosocial support and interpretation services to refugees and migrants accommodated in Kumanovo and Gevgelija. Majority of those assisted include Syrians, Afghans, Iraqis and Pakistani.
  • WASH and non-food item support at reception centers is ongoing in both camps in the Transit Reception Centers in Gevgelija and Kumanovo.
    Overall Targeted Beneficiaries: 84,416 beneficiaries
    Contact Information: Greece: Kelly Namia, Program Assistant: / +302109919040 Turkey: Mazen Aboulhosn, Emergency Coordinator, Ankara: 0533 0338132, Pınar Genç Akçakaya, Emergency Assistant, Izmir: 0532 3405659 Serbia: Monika Petrovic, Project Officer: / +381 11 2638 218, Donatella Bradic, Regional IPA II Project Manager: / +381 69 1288 000 Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: Vanja Mirkovski, Project Assistant: vmirkovski@iom / +389 2 30 95 477   
    International Staff:  14
    National Staff:  460
    IOM Offices: Greece: Country Office: Athens. Sub-Regional Office: Thessaloniki. Sub Offices: Crete, Ioannina, Patras. Turkey: Country Office: Ankara, Sub Office: İzmir. Presence in Dikili-İzmir, Çeşme-İzmir, Küçükkuyu Çanakkale, Bodrum-Muğla, Antalya. Serbia: Country Office: Belgrade. Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia: Country Office: Skopje. Sub-offices: Gevgelija, Kumanovo.
    Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan for Europe
    Requested 108,433,702 | Received: 18,028,846 | Percentage funded: 17%


    • Serbia
      Amount Requested: USD 3,800,000.00 Amount Received: USD 0.00
      In 2017, IOM Serbia will continue working on Protection of migrants. IOM is present in reception centres with mobile teams that are conducting counselling in Assistance and Voluntary Return (AVR), transportation, assistance to vulnerable migrants in medical cases and improving the conditions and services in the reception centres to match the standards for a protracted stay.
      Beneficiaries: 2,170 beneficiaries


    • Turkey
      Amount Requested: USD 13,600,000.00 Amount Received: USD 0.00
      In 2017 Turkey will remain an important point of departure for refugees and migrants seeking entry into Europe. IOM Turkey will continue providing humanitarian assistance (food, NFI and PSS support) for migrants and refugees rescued at sea. Additionally, IOM will build the capacity of front line institutions such as Turkish Coast Guards (TCG) and Directorate General for Migration Management (DGMM) on several areas of migration management including Humanitarian border management and flow monitoring through DTM. EU resettlement and AVRR program are also covered under this appeal.
      Beneficiaries: 66,000 beneficiaries

      Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

    • Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
      Amount Requested: USD 2,950,000.00 Amount Received: USD 0.00
      In 2017, IOM will continue working closely with the Government to design and implement initiatives that will enhance the migrants€™ access to the protection system. This support will encompass measures to enhance the capacity of the relevant institutions to provide direct assistance and early integration services to the vulnerable migrants with particular focus on education and skills trainings. The migrants and refugees that are transiting through the Western Balkans route are increasingly at risk of exploitation and abuse, in order to raise their awareness on the risks associated to smuggling and trafficking in human beings IOM plans to implement awareness raising and education activities.  Moreover, IOM will continue implementing activities aimed at voluntary, safe, humane and orderly return of the migrants who are not in a need of international protection to their countries of origin. IOM will also support the migrants€™ reception centers in meeting the WASH needs of the affected populations. 
      Beneficiaries: 1,227 beneficiaries

      Southern Eastern Europe and Central Europe

    • Southern Eastern Europe and Central Europe
      Amount Requested: USD 4,066,077.00 Amount Received: USD 0.00
      Regional response strategy border goals are to ensure access to territory, reduce the use of detention, ensure dignified reception conditions, especially with unaccompanied minors and separated children and other people with special needs, ensure access to asylum and fair and effective asylum procedures, promote as appropriate integration, resettlement and assisted voluntary return.


    • Greece
      Amount Requested: USD 84,017,625.00 Amount Received: USD 18,028,846.00
      The response strategy for 2017 is focused on: Protection, including child protection, sexual and gender based violence and communication with communities; Basic Assistance, including Food, Non-Food Items and Cash; Health and Nutrition, including Sexual and Reproductive Health; Shelter and Water; Sanitation and Hygiene, Site Management Support and Education.
      Beneficiaries: 15,019 beneficiaries