Serbia on Thursday asked the European Union for additional financial support to manage the migrant crisis and to resolve the problem of migrants on its territory, it was said in Belgrade.
The minister responsible for European integration in the Serbian government, Jadranka Joksimovic, sent a letter to the Director for the Western Balkans at the Directorate-General for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations of the European Commission, Genoveva Ruiz Calavera, drawing attention to the challenges facing Serbia because of an increased influx and longer stay of migrants on its territory and the urgency to secure additional financing to care for migrants and refugees, a press release from the Serbian government's media office said.
The letter highlights the need for additional support from the EU which would be secured from the MADAD fund, set up by the EU with the aim of supporting migrants from Syria and countries affected by the migrant crisis, including Serbia.
Should funding be approved for Serbia, the money would cover the costs of asylum centres that have had to increase their capacities due to the growing influx of migrants.
Serbia's letter describes activities conducted so far by the government to ensure adequate conditions to accommodate migrants and says that despite the Balkan route being shut down, the number of migrants entering the country is growing day by day, which "represents a special challenge requiring coordination of all partners and the need for additional financial support from the European Union."
According to the latest information, currently there are between 6,500 and 7,000 migrants in Serbia. Joint military and police forces patrolling the border with Bulgaria and Macedonia are trying to prevent illegal entries into the country.