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UNHCR Revises Funding Needs of Greece, Western Balkans

© AFP 2021 / FABRICE COFFRINIA staff installs a UNHCR flag close to a logo of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) prior to the opening of a two-day United Nations conference trying to boost support for Iraqis who have fled violence, 17 April 2007 at the UN Office in Geneva
A staff installs a UNHCR flag close to a logo of UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) prior to the opening of a two-day United Nations conference trying to boost support for Iraqis who have fled violence, 17 April 2007 at the UN Office in Geneva - Sputnik International
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UNHCR revised the funding needs of Greece and the Western Balkans states coping with the influx of migrants, UNHCR spokesperson William Spindler said Friday.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) revised the funding needs of Greece and the Western Balkans states coping with the influx of migrants, UNHCR spokesperson William Spindler said Friday.

"UNHCR and humanitarian partners have redefined their engagement from a response primarily targeting people on the move, to focusing on a static population in Greece and on protection activities in countries in the Western Balkans. The financial requirements to implement the plan have been adjusted to reflect the change in circumstances," Spindler said in a statement published on the UNHCR website.

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According to Spindler, the needs still to be met are substantial and the most affected is the group with specific needs.

"Unmet needs remain significant, as living conditions in the sites in Greece, both on the islands and the mainland, have deteriorated as a result of congestion and the rapid nature in which sites were established on the mainland. The affected population includes many people with specific needs, such as unaccompanied or separated children, single women, pregnant or lactating women, the elderly, people with disabilities, as well as the sick and injured,"  Spindler  said.

Since the beginning of 2016, over 147,000 migrants have arrived in Greece out of a total of some 160,000 arrivals to Europe via the Mediterranean, according to the International Organization for Migration.

Macedonia closed its border with Greece to incoming migrants in February after other countries along the Balkan route had closed their borders, including Serbia, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia and Austria. The border closures have resulted in thousands of refugees being stranded in Greece, particularly along the border with Macedonia.

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