IOM Monitors Migrant Flows into Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Posted: 
08/28/15
Themes: 
Refugee and Asylum Issues

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia - An estimated 1,500-2,000 migrants are crossing from Greece to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and on into Serbia every 24 hours. The trend is expected to remain and there is a real possibility that the flow could increase to over 3,000 daily.

FYROM and Serbian government resources already are overstretched and this week IOM allocated USD 53,500 from its emergency funds to support the protection of the most vulnerable migrants.

A rapid assessment was carried out by IOM in FYROM and Serbia to observe the main trends of the mixed migration flows and to simultaneously identify the main vulnerabilities and most urgent needs.

This showed an increase in the number of pregnant women and unaccompanied children travelling alone or in groups, as well as other categories requiring specific support and assistance. 

“I have been travelling for several weeks with my three children on a dangerous route, crossing the water to Greece by holding onto a tire. My husband was separated from us and is now in Turkey. We are hoping to reach Germany where we have family. For security reasons we are travelling in a group.”

- Syrian woman, 30 years old, interviewed by IOM

To support the governments in responding to this situation, IOM has deployed staff at border areas in Greece, FYROM and Serbia to monitor the flows and to support officials registering migrants crossing the borders.

It has also provided IT equipment to the Border Affairs and Migration Department of FYROM’s Ministry of Internal Affairs to automate and speed up the registration of new arrivals. It is also working with the department to devise an automated system to screen for vulnerabilities.

“Governments in the Western Balkans are doing their best to cope with the mixed migration flow. There is a clear need for solidarity and cooperation among all countries affected by the crisis, both inside and outside the EU, to provide support and to protect the rights of the migrants on the move, while maintaining safe borders,” said Gianluca Rocco, IOM’s sub-regional coordinator for the Western Balkans. 

FYROM Registered Arrivals, 19 June – 27 August 2015

Country of Origin

Number

Other demographic data

Syria

39,164

33,114 male
6,593 female
7,480 children (accompanied by a family member)
807 unaccompanied children

Afghanistan

2,258

Iraq

2,152

Pakistan

1,452

Palestine

603

Somalia

564

Bangladesh

332

Democratic Republic of Congo

305

Nigeria

165

Cameroon

154

Eritrea

142

Ethiopia

109

Other countries

594

Total

47,994

*** Source of Statistics: Ministry of Internal Affairs – number of registered persons that have expressed the intention to submit an asylum application between 19 June 2015 (start date of the registration process) and 27 August 2015.

For further information, please contact Ivona Zakoska at IOM Skopje, Tel. +389 2 30 88 100, Ext. 133, Email: izakoska@iom.int.

IOM staff aid migrants at the Greek-FYROM border. © IOM 2015
IOM staff aid migrants at the Greek-FYROM border. © IOM 2015