Another good article by The Guardian:
Winter is coming: the new crisis for refugees in Europe
From Lesbos to Lapland, refugees are bracing for a winter chill that many will never have experienced before. Some will have to endure it outside
Record numbers of migrants and refugees crossed the Mediterranean to Europe in October – just in time for the advent of winter, which is already threatening to expose thousands to harsh conditions.
The latest UN figures, which showed 218,000 made the perilous Mediterranean crossing last month, confirm fears that the end of summer has not stemmed the flow of refugees as has been the pattern in previous years, partly because of the sheer desperation of those fleeing an escalating war in Syria and other conflicts.
The huge numbers of people arriving at the same time as winter is raising fears of a new humanitarian crisis within Europe’s borders. Cold weather is coming to Europe at greater speed than its leadership’s ability to make critical decisions. A summit of EU and Balkan states last week agreed some measures for extra policing and shelter for 100,000 people.
But an estimated 700,000 refugees and migrants, have arrived in Europe this year along unofficial and dangerous land and sea routes, from Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Iraq, north Africa and beyond. Tens of thousands, including the very young and the very old, find themselves trapped in the open as the skies darken and the first night frosts take hold. Hypothermia, pneumonia and opportunistic diseases are the main threats now, along with the growing desperation of refugees trying to save the lives of their families.
Fights have broken out over blankets, and on occasion between different national groups. Now sex traffickers are following the columns of refugees, picking off young unaccompanied stragglers.
The United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, is distributing outdoor survival packages, including sleeping bags, blankets, raincoats, socks, clothes and shoes, but the number of people it can reach is limited by its funding, which has so far been severely inadequate. Volunteer agencies have tried to fill the gaping hole in humanitarian provisions in Europe.
Peter Bouckaert, the director of emergencies for Human Rights Watch, said that all the way along the route into Europe through the Balkans “there is virtually no humanitarian response from European institutions, and those in need rely on the good will of volunteers for shelter, food, clothes, and medical assistance.”
Meanwhile, most Europeans who are comfortably living in their nice, warm homes have turned their backs on all these people.
Most don’t demand any action at all from their politicians, whether local or international – and whether they feel distressed or not with the situation. Many don’t want to help the refugees, and a growing minority is even posting online comments to articles on the refugee crisis celebrating the fact that winter could kill them all if they are left outside.
Are we going to replay 1941 again and are Europeans going to employ a final winter solution to these refugees?
I saw a comment saying that France, England, and Germany spend about 5 billion each on toys per year. Yet, except for Germany, France and England are adamant about saying they don’t have resources to help no one, especially not to give refugees the minimum necessary for keeping them alive through the winter.
As the commenter said, this speaks volumes about the warped values in our Western world.
And we are all supposed to march along and agree to every kind of barbarity Western leaders create in the world…