Europe is struggling to manage its worst refugee emergency since World War II. More than 500,000 people have crossed to Europe by sea and land so far this year. Many of those making the arduous journey are fleeing the civil war in Syria, now in its fifth year.
On September 23, EU nations agreed on a plan to relocate 120,000 of these refugees across the Union. Sixty-six thousand of them, who are now in Greece and Italy after making dangerous voyages across the Mediterranean, would be relocated in the next two months. Fifty-four thousand were to be relocated from Hungary, where they had reached after trekking across the Balkans. But after Hungary's opposition to the plan, the quota will now go to Italy and Greece.
Here is the break-up of how the EU nations will accept these refugees:
Here is a look at the routes through which the refugees are entering Europe.
The Syrian war has been going on for four years, but why is there a sudden spurt in flow of refugees to Europe?
|1||The war is not getting any better, causing those in Syria to leave and those in exile in Turkey to give up hope of returning home.|
|2||Though Turkey has taken in about two million refugees, it is not a place to settle as Syrians don’t have the right to work there legally. Also, electoral setbacks for the AKP – seen as refugee-friendly -- have made many Syrians nervous.|
|3||U.N. bodies working with refugees in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon and eastern Europe are running out of money, making camp conditions harsher.|
|4||People have finally saved up enough money to pay smugglers. Every individual might spend about $3,000 to get to Germany.|
|5||There is now a known route through the Balkans. Syrians had not been using it, but that changed late last summer.|
|6||EU countries spent all year debating and procrastinating about an appropriate solution.|
Here is how the refugees have spread themselves across the Europe till date. Data also show that more than half of the refugess are under 18 years of age.
A record 107,500 migrants crossed the European Union’s borders in July, far outstripping the previous monthly record of 70,000 in June, according to the EU border agency Frontex.
Source: Frontex, International Organization for Migration, UNHCR, Eurostat