Serbia received donations from Slovenia to help the country overcome the COVID-19 epidemic in reception and transit centres. These include:

  • 10 family tents
  • 60 field beds
  • 60 sleeping bags
  • 10 tent heaters
  • 1500 blankets
  • 100 pieces of cutlery
  • 20 garbage bag racks

Donations were given by Slovenia following a request by Serbia for assistance from the European Union, through an activation of the EU Civil Protection Mechanism in which Serbia is a full member.

Additional donations for that purpose are to arrive from Ireland in the coming weeks.

Svetlana Velimirović, Deputy Commissioner for Refugees and Migration of the Republic of Serbia, thanked the swift response to the request made by Serbia to the European Union.

“Such measures put before us an additional number of accommodated persons in the centers, which increased significantly within a couple of weeks, because all those on the territory of the Republic (of Serbia) had to be placed in the centers. We have requested assistance from European Union countries, and we are grateful that Slovenia has responded to the invitation,” Velimirović said when receiving the donation.

“This made us feel that others are also experiencing similar difficulties, and that they are sharing efforts to help us solve the problem, which now turns out to be global,” she added.

Primoz Krizaj, Head of Consular Section at the Embassy of the Republic of Slovenia, overseeing the handover of equipment to the Obrenovac Reception Center, concluded that “Serbia is keeping everything under control.”

Head of EU Delegation to Serbia Ambassador Sem Fabrizi also expressed his gratitude to Slovenia.

“This is Team Europe in action: with efficient coordination systems like the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, the EU institutions and agencies, the Member States, the European Investment Bank join their forces up to support friends in need and contribute to overcome the crisis”, said Fabrizi.

“Let me thank Slovenia for this donation. Thanks to its solidarity, several families among the most vulnerable ones will be able to sleep warmly at night without putting their health at risk during these difficult times of COVID-19.”

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism facilitates cooperation in emergency response, preparation and prevention between 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 the largest ever since the Mechanism was established.