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Refugee surge strains facilities at the Serbia -- Croatia, Bapska border.

BELGRAD (CyHAN)- The surge of refugees arriving from the south is straining facilities at the Serbia -- Croatia, Bapska border. The flow into Croatia is being managed to ensure that the Opatovac transit centre is not overwhelmed.

Recently, two days of rain and the increasingly cold weather have made matters worse for the thousands of refugees and migrants who are crossing into Croatia at this border point. There are often cases of separated children.

Reuniting them is a priority along with ensuring that families with infants and disabled people board the buses first. Serious hypothermia is a growing concern. UNHCR maintains a 24 hour presence at Bapska, Serbia.

Roni is from Syria, in the confusion of the crowd he lost his parents.

SOUNDBITE (English) Rana Ksaifi, UNHCR Protection Officer:

"I am trying to get him to point out, he is really smart kid, his parents. It has not been successful."

These refugees and migrants are waiting to enter Croatia, the process is slow.

Fifty people at a time board a bus to take them to the nearby Opatovac transit centre.

That means waiting sometimes for hours in the cold and wet. Frustrations abounds.

Conditions are difficult to bear, especially for the young and the old.

The long journey and hard conditions take their toll.

Fatima and her two children are from Aleppo, a city of chaos and destruction, she says. Still, she worried about making this trip.

SOUDNBITE (Arabic) Fatima, Syrian refugee:

"It's hard with two children. If I didn't have my uncle and siblings with me it would be too difficult. And it's cold, and the children as you know can't walk much."

UNHCR and its partners hand out blankets, food and water, but there are real concerns about the oncoming winter.

SOUNDBITE (English) Mahmoud Awad, UNHCR Protection officer:

"We need to have winterized tents that people can use as a waiting area to get some warmth to protect them from this weather condition."

Families with children and the most vulnerable are prioritized, but with the number of new arrivals at well over 6000 a day. They too have to wait.

UNHCR Protection officer Rana Ksaifi consols a very upset little Roni...his parents don't seem to be there. He is not alone, today seven children were separated from their families.

A decision is made to take Roni to the transit centre. The hope is that his parents went ahead of him.

As the nearby drop off point, the steady stream the refugees and migrants coming from Greece and Macedonia continues. For them there is no going back...even when conditions are dire as they are here

One bit of good news: Roni found his family.

STORY: UNHCR / SERBIA CROATIA REFUGEES

SOURCE: UNHCR

RESTRICTIONS: NONE

LANGUAGE: ARABIC / ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 22 OCTOBER 2015, BAPSKA, SERBIA-CROATIA BORDER

SHOTLIST:

1 Med shot, people waiting behind the fence

2. Med shot, UNHCR officer speaking on the megaphone

3. UPSOUND (Arabic) Rana Ksaifi, UNHCR Protection Officer:

"Has anyone lost a child call Roni ...lift your hand up....the mom is called Kawthar and the dad Fakhri."

4. Med shot, Roni in the arms of Rana

5. SOUNDBITE (English) Rana Ksaifi, UNHCR Protection Officer:

"I am trying to get him to point out, he is really smart kid, his parents. It has not been successful."

6. Various shots, Police and new arrivals moving towards buses

7. Wide shot, crowd chanting "open! open!"

8. Close up, boy shivering in cold weather

9. Tracking shot, collapsed man is taken away

10. Wide shot, tents in muddy terrain

11. Close up, little girls sleeping on her father's shoulder

12. Med shot, Fatima and her children

13. SOUDNBITE (Arabic) Fatima, Syrian refugee:

"It's hard with two children. If I didn't have my uncle and siblings with me it would be too difficult. And it's cold, and the children as you know can't walk much."

Med shot, Mahmoud speaking with a megaphone

14. Wide shot, old woman on blankets sitting in the field

15. SOUNDBITE (English) Mahmoud Awad, UNHCR Protection officer:

"We need to have winterized tents that people can use as a waiting area to get some warmth to protect them from this weather condition."

16. Wide shot, boy being helped down the mud bank

17. Med shot, Protection officer with Roni

18. Close up, Roni crying

19. Wide shot, Roni is taken away by UNHCR

20. Close up, child walking in the cold down the road

21. Various shots, refugees walking along foggy road

DURATION: 02:53

CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Date:Oct 24, 2015
Words:766
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