The GRC, in its capacity as the umbrella organisation, is currently looking after more than 141 000 refugees in 490 shelters all over Germany. Over 25 000 full-time and volunteer GRC aid workers are in operation around the clock, supporting the nation, federal states and local authorities: Their duties are as follows: registration, support, medical care, a tracing service, counselling, food and first aid in emergency shelters, some of which have been spontaneously furnished or in specially deployed trains.
Support for the nation, states and local authorities with the accommodation of refugees
By order of the federal government the GRC National Headquarters has created accommodation for currently 4000 people, which will be increased to 10 000 places in accordance with the government order. These accommodation units are planned as holding camps, for the purpose of registration and the orderly onward transfer of refugees, for a period of one to three days. The GRC mobilized large amounts of relief supplies, such as cots, sleeping bags, blankets, and hygiene packs. The Canadian and American Red Cross Societies, for example, have provided 35 000 urgently needed cots that were transported to Germany by Lufthansa Cargo at cost price. The holding camps for refugees are currently being operated in Feldkirchen and Erding—in close collaboration with the German Army, the Technical Relief Agency (THW), the Bavarian Red Cross and the BRC branch societies of Straubing-Bogen and Erding. More than 172.000 people were taken care of in both the facilities ever since the first admission of refugees on 20th September 2015. About 82 volunteer workers of the Danish, Finnish, Canadian, Swiss, and the American Red Cross as well as the ICRC and unattached aid workers provide additional support.
Feldkirchen refugee accommodation camp
At the moment a capacity of 2 500 accommodation places is available at the Feldkirchen holding camp. 44 Red Cross delegates are currently deployed in Feldkirchen, including international support from delegates of the Danish, Finnish, Canadian, Swiss and American Red Cross organisations together with the ICRC. The team is supplemented by Technical Relief Agency personnel, about 80 soldiers from the German army and 15 unattached aid workers.
Erding refugee accommodation camp
The holding camp in Erding was opened on 19 October 2015. There are currently 19.000 places available in converted aircraft hangars and marquees. Gradual expansion to 5 000 places is in progress. 44 Red Cross delegates are coordinating the extension work of the waiting room in Erding and help the refugees. The Red Cross is supported by the 'Helping Hands' of the German army. About 80 unattached aid workers have been mobilised via the Bavarian red Cross district branch and are assisting with operation of the holding camp.
Faces of the Refugee Aid
Many international Red Cross relief workers, for example from Canada, Norway, the United States and Switzerland, are involved in Germany and support their local colleagues in refugee accommodations. Rachelle Cardes from Canada is an expert in psychological help who has worked in Afghanistan and Pakistan already. She reports about her engagement in Gäubodenkaserne close to Straubing in the Bavarian Broadcasting: “Especially teenager who are travelling by their own or women with children on their own are vulnerable in particular. We give them as much support as possible and help them to arrive in Germany.”The young Canadian appreciates the work of her German colleagues: “They do whatever they can and … this is fantastic”. Three young Syrians became volunteer workers themselves in Bavarian Feldkirchen: the brothers Ziad (21) and Alhajjar (16) as well as their longtime friend Sheri (18) from Damascus filled in as interpreters in the emergency room for refugees and thus provided valuable assistance for communication. Before fleeing their country they had studied Telecommunication (Ziad) and Electrical Engineering (Sheri).
Project Size: More than 20 million € at federal level
Funding: Federal German Government and donations
Partner: DRK-Landes- und Kreisverbände, Technisches Hilfswerk (THW), German Army