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20.9.2015 | News

After closing the Hungarian borders, humanitarian organization MAGNA moves to Serbia

Hungarian-Serbian border, Asotthalom | MAGNA medics providing medical aid to children and their families on the run. Copyright by Martin Bandžák/MAGNA

Slovak humanitarian organization Magna Children at Risk (MAGNA) has taken over the full operation of the UNHCR camp in Hungarian Asotthalom located approximately 30 km from the border crossing in Rözske. Now that the Hungarian borders have closed, MAGNA is maping Serbian routes where it will be relocating its mobile clinic. MAGNA is providing medical and psychosocial aid, basic food, drinking water, hygiene kits, warm clothes and blankets. Half of the treated are children. 

MAGNA medics have so far treated thousands of people

On Monday alone, MAGNA humanitarian workers provided help to 1,500 people. In a fear of being stuck in front of the Hungarian borders, the refugees have been walking across Serbia without a break. Exhausted to death, people have been reaching the Hungarian border dehydrated, with wounds from walking too long. Most recently, the number of cases of hypothermia have been increasing, mainly in children and older people. Pregnant women are suffering from complications.  In the center, they have received water, food, blankets and first of all the most needed medical help. 

As the border closed, the police began to empty the camps full of children and their families. Refugees were put on trains headed towards the Austrian border. "Our staff have been ensuring that the police do not split families as they were doing over the past days", reports Martin Bandžák, Magna Children at Risk fieldworker. 

The Hungarian police forces had been tolerating the presence of humanitarian workers. That however changed yesterday after the state of emergency was declared. The camp in Rözske was ordered to be closed down by the police. A camp in Asotthalom operated by MAGNA that is located 30 km from Rözske is now the only one that remains in operation. 

Humanitarian workers have been operating in full deployment for one week now

Closing the Hungarian border changed the situation for MAGNA field workers who are now leading disussions with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) about relocation of its mobile clinic to the Serbian side of the border. 

Team MAGNA has been in the field for over a weak now. Our current personnel consists of 15 doctors and nurses, psychologists, social workers and volunteers. The team has also people who speak arabic, syrian and persian. 

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