UN Refugee Agency unveils plan to fix EU migrant crisis

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Mother and children waiting with other refugees to enter Vinojug reception centre at Gevgelija, in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, at the border with Greece. Photo: UNHCR/Mark Henley

Europe is "running out of time" on the migrant crisis, the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, warned Friday, before unveiling a plan to help EU member states manage and stabilize the situation.

Ahead of a key European Union heads of state meeting on Monday, UNHCR said that tens of thousands of people are now stuck in Greece with European borders all but closed to them.

Here's Daniel Johnson in Geneva.

Some 30,000 migrants and refugees are now effectively stuck in Greece, according to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR, and around a third of them are blocked at the border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

All the while, more desperate people are making the perilous crossing from Turkey to the Greek islands – two and a half thousand people arrived yesterday alone, UNHCR's Melissa Fleming told journalists in Geneva:

"Most of the people I spoke to were completely destitute, without any means to survive, completely dependent on the services that we could provide….They were asking, 'Why me? Why my nationality?' Particularly the Afghans, and, 'What do I do now?"

In an effort to break the deadlock, and ahead of a EU meeting with Turkey on Monday, UNHCR has unveiled a plan to help EU member states manage and stabilize the situation.

The six-point proposal calls for more support for Greece and for the creation of new legal channels to help refugees to travel to Europe safely, keeping them safe from people traffickers.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration: 1'03"

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