As European leaders seek to deal with what an EU (European Union) representative called the worst refugee crisis since the Second World War, The Salvation Army is responding across the continent, providing practical, emotional and spiritual support.
According to the IOM (International Organization for Migration) more than 360,000 refugees and migrants have crossed the Mediterranean Sea in the first eight months of 2015 – already 140,000 more than in the whole of 2014. Around 245,000 have landed in Greece and a further 116,000 in Italy. Records show that more than 2,700 refugees have died trying to reach Europe.
The Salvation Army in Europe believes it has an ethical and humanitarian responsibility to provide support to individuals and families fleeing their countries of origin. Some activities and programmes for refugees are already well established but in recent months The Salvation Army has stepped up its support and also started new activities in several European countries.