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Cold and damp add to EU migrant border woes

Monday, October 26, 2015 - 01:33

European leaders have agreed to cooperate on managing migrants crossing the Balkans but have offered no quick fix to a crisis that threatens to take more lives as winter sets in. Jillian Kitchener reports.

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There's an early winter chill in the air... but it's not stopping thousands of migrants on the border between Serbia and Croatia. They're determined to start a new life in Europe... like more than 680,000 other people who've gone before them, this year alone. But the onset of winter IS a concern for aid workers, like the UNHCR, who say registering people, according to EU law, will slow down the flow of migrants... Senior coordinator Francesa Bonelli says they're not equipped to deal with the bottlenecks, especially in frigid temperatures. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNHCR SENIOR CO-ORDINATOR, FRANCESCA BONELLI, SAYING: "... There are conditions very tough for particularly people with specific needs, and this is our worry that we cannot properly support and protect the people that are passing through in a dignified way." In an effort to solve the crisis, Germany, Greece and nine other governments have issued a pledge to work together. They agreed over the weekend to a 17-point action plan that includes UN-aided accommodation for 100,000 people, half of them in Greece. This man from Sierra Leone, who gave his name only as Ismail, says anything's better than the current situation. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MIGRANTS FROM SIERRA LEONE, ISMAIL, SAYING: "You know the world should find a better way to help people than this way." It's a crisis of unprecedented proportions... but European leaders say a solution is at least beginning to emerge.

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Cold and damp add to EU migrant border woes

Monday, October 26, 2015 - 01:33