CHICAGO, IL – Zakat Foundation of America (ZF) is distributing ready-to-eat meals, hygiene kits, and clean, dry shirts amongst the refugees crossing the borders of Macedonia into Serbia. A representative leading ZF’s efforts at the Macedonia-Serbia border has reported on the dire conditions the migrants are facing, especially given the constant rain and inhumane treatment at the hands of border police.
Migrants of many backgrounds, such as Syrians, Pakistanis, and Africans, have been coming from Greece and passing through Macedonia, Serbia, and Hungary in hopes of reaching safety in Germany, which is expected to receive around 800,000 refugees by the end of the year. The migration has been described as the greatest since the Second World War and Europe’s worst modern refugee crisis. According to the UN, more than half a million refugees have already arrived on European shores in 2014 and 2015, and many more are expected.
ZF field representatives report that the recent days of rain have made it increasingly difficult for the refugees to continue moving forward. There is an immediate need for items such as raincoats and blankets made of durable aluminum for effective insulation as winter begins in the region. “They are begging for supplies to help with the torrential rainfall and cold weather here,” said a ZF representative on the ground in Macedonia. ZF is in the process of distributing these items along with food provisions, which will be vital as European governments prepare to reinstate internal border controls and establish immigration quotas.
As the refugee crisis continues to unfold, ZF will be maintaining and adding to its presence on the ground in order to continue to provide for the migrants’ most urgent needs. More information on this effort and on ways to contribute can be found at www.zakat.org.