Serbia received a donation from Austria through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, to help the country manage the reception centre in Obrenovac during the COVID-19 epidemic.
The donation includes 300 field beds, 1000 blankets, 500 mattresses and 25 family tents.
The donation was given by Austria following Serbia’s request for assistance from the European Union, through activation of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism (EUCPM) in which Serbia is a full member.
“Austria and Serbia enjoyed excellent cooperation throughout this crisis. There is no doubt that migrants and asylum seekers belong to the most vulnerable groups as far as health and hygienic protection is concerned, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. Therefore, Austria gladly responded to Serbia’s request for equipment needed in the Reception Centre in Obrenovac which was made through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. In addition to this support Austria stands by Serbia through her contributions to the EU assistance and offered to treat intensive medical COVID-19 cases from Serbia in Austria. We will continue to support Serbia also in the future”, said the Austrian Ambassador to Serbia Nikolaus Lutterotti.
Earlier in April, also through the EUCPM, Slovenia donated family tents, field beds, sleeping bags, tent heaters, and other equipment for the reception and transit centres in Serbia.
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism facilitates cooperation in emergency response, preparation and prevention between the Member States, as well as several other European countries. Serbia became a member of the Mechanism in 2015, but even before that, during the devastating floods in May 2014, Serbia felt the benefit of European solidarity through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. That operation was one of the largest ever since the Mechanism was established.
By pooling together civil protection capacities and capabilities, it allows for a stronger and more coherent collective response. In addition to the EU Member States, there are currently 6 Participating States to the Mechanism (Iceland, Norway, Serbia, North Macedonia, Montenegro, and Turkey). Since its inception in 2001, the EU Civil Protection Mechanism has responded to over 330 requests for the assistance inside and outside the EU.
For more information about the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, please visit https://ec.europa.eu/echo/what/civil-protection/mechanism_en
The EU is the largest donor in Serbia in migration management. Since 2015, with the increased mixed migration flows to Serbia, the EU has donated more than EUR 117 million worth of assistance to state institutions, local self-governments, international and civil society organisations and other beneficiaries.
In particular, the EU has supported the functioning of reception centres. Food, running costs of the centres, transport to schools, health care services and staff are also funded with EU assistance.
Furthermore, the EU works together with national authorities in improving migration management capacities, namely with the Commissariat for Refugees and Migration to establish the system for managing accommodation capacities in line with international and EU standards.