Migrant Crisis: Support Arrives to Help Region’s Neediest Families

Migrant Crisis: Support Arrives to Help Region’s Neediest Families

By Brenda McWilliams-Piatek, MD Communications FedEx Express Europe

All photos courtesy of Zsofia Palyi for the Magyar Vöröskereszt

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According to @federation, 400K+ refugees & migrants have arrived in Europe this year. See how @FedEx is helping: http://3bl.me/7s43hk
Friday, October 2, 2015 - 10:00am

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Europe is as unique culturally as it is geographically, and the makeup of FedEx team members in Europe is no different. Alongside that diversity comes a common respect for cultural differences, as well as a desire to collaborate in the communities where we live and work.

Not far away from us, hardship is a way of life. War and civil unrest in Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East have led to an increasing flow of migrants arriving in Europe in search of a safe place to call home. The conflict in Syria, which began in 2011 and has since intensified, has driven hundreds of thousands of Syrian nationals to make an often treacherous journey for refuge in neighbouring European countries.  The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies documents some of the numbers here.

According to the IFRC, more than 400,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe since the beginning of 2015, trekking hundreds of miles by land and sea, often risking their lives to cross the ocean in the flimsiest of vessels. The numbers keep growing. Daily media reports continue to document tragedies striking migrants who try to reach Europe, and beleaguered communities working to cope with swathes of unexpected, and sometimes unwelcome visitors.

The most logical entry points for migrants entering Europe are often those countries whose economies are least stable right now, adding to the strain on resources. Not only do the people fleeing war-torn countries need help with food, shelter and emergency healthcare, but their unintentional host nations also need help coping with the influx of population, and assisting those who arrive on their shores.

This is why FedEx is compelled to help. Our global network reaches across Europe and beyond – serving over 50 countries in Europe and Middle East alone, with the help of more than 16,000 team members in the region. As this migrant crisis evolves, it will touch each of our team members and their families in some way.

On September 30, FedEx pledged $1 million of aid in response to the crisis. Over the next two years, this money will help the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies whose members work on the front-lines in Italy, Greece, Austria, Serbia and Macedonia, among other countries. FedEx has also shipped 24 pallets of essential medical supplies into Athens for International Medical Corps, a non-governmental organization (NGO) delivering emergency healthcare to those arriving on the Greek Islands. And, we continue to talk to other European NGOs on where our resources can have the most impact going forward.

FedEx is a global company committed to serving local communities in Europe and beyond. Working with our partner agencies, we’re committed to not only offering relief to the current crisis, but also helping to lift up Europe and its diverse nations long term.

[All photos courtesy of Zsofia Palyi for the Magyar Vöröskereszt]