UNITED NATIONS, June 10 (Xinhua) -- The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on Friday said that 670 million U.S. dollars are needed in 2016 to help refugees stuck in Greece and the Balkans, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters here.
So far, some 329 million U.S. dollars have been received from donors, Dujarric said at a daily news briefing here.
"Among refugees and migrants are many people with specific needs, such as unaccompanied or separated children, single women, pregnant or lactating women, the elderly, people with disabilities, as well as the sick and injured," he said.
The number of children among refugees has been on the rise, reaching 38 percent of the total arrivals from Turkey to Greece in 2016.
UNHCR added that although border closures and the European Union-Turkey agreement have cut the flow of refugees and migrants dramatically, those who have arrived in Europe still need help.
The latest appeal was intended to revise the regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RMRP), which was launched in January 2016 following the large-scale population movements registered throughout Europe in 2015, when 1 million refugees and migrants undertook the perilous journey across the Mediterranean Sea.
The vast majority crossed the Aegean Sea by boat from Turkey to Greece. Many lost their lives: in total, 3,771 people died or were reported missing in the Mediterranean Sea in 2015.
Despite worsening weather conditions brought on by the onset of winter, the movements did not subside during the first five months of 2016, with some 200,000 arrivals by sea from January to May 2016, including over 150,000 to Greece.
"These developments have had a significant impact on the numbers of refugees and migrants arriving, with a decrease in the number of people along the Western Balkans route and an increase in the number of people remaining in Greece," the UN agency said in a press release.
"While the measures adopted have significantly reduced the number of arrivals in Greece, over 57,000 refugees and migrants are currently dispersed across the country in several sites on the mainland and the islands."
"The financial requirements to implement the plan have been adjusted to reflect the change in circumstances," said the press release. "Unmet needs remain significant, as living conditions in the sites in Greece, both on the islands and the mainland, have deteriorated as a result of congestion and the rapid nature in which sites were established on the mainland." Enditem