Justin Byworth, World Vision Brussels' Executive Director, said: "Children fleeing war-torn countries are now shivering in the cold after having arrived on Europe’s doorstep. Countries like Serbia, Greece, Lebanon or Turkey, among so many others, are now trying to respond to unprecedented needs as winter hits.
“EU leaders need, now more than ever, to work together on a European response to protect children on the move. They have the opportunity and the power to prevent unnecessary suffering. They need to stand by countries of first entry, like Greece, so they don’t have to shoulder on their own all the responsibility for managing overcrowded reception sites.
“So far, only around ten percent of 106,000 refugees that the EU agreed to relocate from Greece and Italy have been transferred to other Member States. That’s not enough.
“The EU has promised to relocate people from the Greek islands, but there are still hundreds of children trapped in unbearable conditions. Leaders need to step up and take urgent action, and recognise that everyone has a part to play.
“We work inside Syria and Iraq where many refugees are coming from, and know the horrors many children and their families have escaped.”
World Vision works to protect people from cold weather around the region, including heating for families in Jordan, assistance for refugees in Lebanon, and distribution of thousands of blankets and mattresses in the Aleppo countryside.
Notes to editors
World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organisation dedicated to working with children, families and communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. It works in close to 100 countries in most regions of the world including Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Asia Pacific Region.
World Vision Brussels’ office represents World Vision members in 12 European countries, including 10 EU member states, as well as the wider international World Vision partnership.
For more information or an interview, please contact Ludovic Wahis, Policy and Communications Officer, World Vision Brussels & EU Representation, +32 (0) 2 274 18 67, Ludovic_Wahis@wvi.org