EU warns of refugee ‘catastrophe’ as winter closes in

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union warned on Monday of a looming humanitarian “catastrophe” with tens of thousands of people traveling through the Balkans to northern Europe as winter closes in.


More than 770,000 people have arrived in the EU by sea so far this year, overwhelming border authorities and reception facilities. Many have made the arduous land journey on foot through the Balkans in search of sanctuary or work in countries like Germany or Sweden.


The EU’s 28 member nations have pledged to provide experts and funds to help manage the emergency, and to share refugees among them.


But the resources have been painfully slow in coming.


“The European Union must do everything to avoid a catastrophe as winter closes in,” Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn said after chairing the latest in a long series of high-level talks on the challenge. “We cannot let people die from the cold in the Balkans.”


Read More: News from The Associated Press.