Serbia has no more beds for migrants as bottlenecks build

News Hour:

Serbia’s centers for housing migrants are completely full, the U.N. refugee agency said, leaving more than a thousand facing a winter sleeping rough in the Balkan country that has become a bottleneck as the European Union sealed its borders.

At least 7,000 migrants mainly from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria are trapped in Serbia, many spending months in a country culturally and financially ill-equipped to care for them and where few of them want to stay.

Despite the official closure of the so-called Balkan route, which has eased pressure on rich nations like Germany, aid agencies estimate more than 100 new migrants are entering Serbia every day, while only around 20 are allowed to enter Hungary – Serbia’s only neighbor in Europe’s Schengen visa-free area, reports Reuters.

About half of those are children, and every 10th child is classified as unaccompanied, a spokeswoman for Save the Children told Reuters at an overcrowded Belgrade center where the international NGO encourages children to take part in activities to help them come to terms with their trauma.

Serbia has pledged to make 6,000 beds available and has reached almost that total but has appealed for more help from the European Union to help it ease the crisis.

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