In 2021, more than 84 million people were displaced. In 2022, this number will increase by millions, of others due to the war in Ukraine. Most refugees find safety in neighboring countries, but sometimes they have to travel longer. A very small part of the refugees eventually end up in the Netherlands.
During their journey, and in the Netherlands, we the Red Cross, are there to support them. We provide clean drinking water, shelter, food and medical and psychological assistance. Also, through our global Restoring Family Links network, we restore contact between family members if they lose touch due to conflict or during flight We help anyone, anywhere, whatever their situation is.
Ukraine to Poland
Lviv – Przemysl: 114 km
On February 23, the Russian army invaded Ukraine. An armed conflict continues to this day. The consequences of this conflict are disastrous: a major humanitarian crisis is unfolding. Millions of people have crossed the border into Poland, Romania, Hungary and Moldova. A well-known route is from Lviv in Ukraine to Przemysl in Poland. A total of 114 kilometres. The Red Cross provides support around this route with, among other things, clean drinking water, food and medical assistance. Psychological assitance is also very important. In Przemysl, the Red Cross has set up a medical aid station, where people receive much-needed first aid.
Humanitarian Service point in NL to reception location
Amsterdam to Geleen: 207 km
Most refugees find safety in neighboring countries, but sometimes they have to travel longer. Reception in the region is not always possible or safe. A very small part of them eventually end up in the Netherlands. The Red Cross helps refugees all over the world and also here. At this moment we help people who have fled for Ukraine and who arrive in the Netherlands. Together with municipalities, we provide support at more than 50 locations where refugees from Ukraine are warmly received. For example, we supplied 13,000 camp beds, distributed almost 9,000 hygiene kits and tranferd more than 2,550 refugees to an (emergency) shelter location.
This example route goes from the Humanitarian Service Point in Amsterdam to a reception location in Geleen. The Red Cross opened several Humanitarian Service Points in collaboration with the municipalities, the NS and security regions. At Amsterdam Central, Utrecht Central, Eindhoven Airport and the station in Amersfoort. Travelers from Ukraine are received at a Humanitarian Service Point, here they are given food and drinks, they can ask questions and sometimes they receive a short medical check. The Red Cross then helps them get in touch with family or acquaintances and tries to accommodate them as close to their network as possible.
Rural Damascus to Al-Hasakeh: 617km
It has been war in Syria for over 11 years, and it is one of the largest and most complex humanitarian crises in the world. In addition to the ongoing risk of conflict, Syria faces three other crises. Firstly, the country is suffering from an economic crisis with massive inflation. On top of that the COVID-19 pandemic is still present and only 4% of the population has been vaccinated. Finally, climate change is having increasingly serious consequences in Syria. For example, there is a huge drought in the north and northeast, which leads to water shortages and problems with electricity. The combination of these crises contributes to deteriorating living conditions and great insecurity for the Syrians. Today, 90% of the population in Syria lives below the poverty line.
Previously many people fled across borders, but now many people are displaced within Syria: 6.7 million Syrians, or 32% of the population, are 'internally displaced'. This route is an example of a journey that people make within Syria. Looking for safety elsewhere in the country.
The Red Cross is doing everything to help. The international Red Cross organizations provide support to the Syrian Red Crescent (the Red Cross in Syria). They reach about 5.6 million people every year with medical assistance, medicines, food, access to water and sanitation. In addition, we act in the conflict area as a neutral intermediary in armed conflicts. Both emergency aid and support to rebuild the country are and will remain essential. We will continue to help. Will you help too?
Libya to Sicily
Tripoli to Augusta: 658 km
The Central Mediterranean route from North Africa to Italy is one of the most active and dangerous routes for people fleeing to Europe by sea. Since 2014, the Central Mediterranean has become the deadliest sea route in the world, with at least 18,800 lives lost on this route between 2014 and 2021.
This route is about the journey between Libya and Italy. The people trying to travel through Libya come from different countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, and Tunisia. Libya is therefore an important transit and departure point. But also a country where it is dangerous due to instability and violence and where there are many concerns about the abuse of refugees and migrants. Under international law of the sea, rescued persons must be able to disembark in a safe place, which Libya is not.
Together with SOS Mediterranée, the Red Cross is sailing the Central Mediterranean route to save lives of people at sea. The teams on the ship provide first aid, medical care and psychological support to the rescued people. They also hand out food, dry clothes, blankets and toiletries.