Madrid Residents Help Stranded Asylum Seekers: El País

About 50,000 asylum seekers have arrived at the Madrid airport in 2019 and overwhelmed social service programs. The asylum seekers head to the police station and make appointments to begin pursuing international protection. As political leaders debate who bears responsibility for the asylum seekers, ordinary citizens struggle to look at a desperate human being and not assist. Hundreds have marched to demand a political solution and others provide blankets, food and clothing for people camping outside doors of municipal service centers, hoping for shelter. “Complaints from NGOs, solidarity networks, street protests and coverage by the national and international media have all helped the solidarity movement gain momentum,” reports Julia F. Cadenas for El País. “Now there are Excel pages and chat groups in which hundreds of people are addressing the questions of those seeking asylum, as well as organizing the day’s logistics.” The effort is three-prong with training and handbooks: food, support for long waits and lobbyin political leaders to take responsibility. The government suggests 95 percent of the applicants should expect rejection. – YaleGlobal

Madrid Residents Help Stranded Asylum Seekers: El País

Social media groups, parishes, NGOs assist asylum seekers, fill a gap left by politicians who don’t agree on who should assist hundreds needing social services
Julia F. Cadenas
Monday, December 9, 2019

Read the article from El País about Madrid residents providing aid to refugees.

UNHCR map listing arrivals of refugees and migrants in Spain, Malta, Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Bulgaria

Nonstop flow: Refugees, migrants and asylum seekers, as many as 20 percent children, continue to seek safe havens in Europe and statistics vary among organizations - and the UNHCR reports more than 110,000 Mediterranean arrivals as of December, with the top countries of origin as Afghanistan, Morocco, Algeria and Iraq; more than 1,200 are known to be dead and missing (Source: Operational Portal Refugee Situations)