Making the cold weather warmer for 22 migrants

IOM joins the efforts to provide accommodation for 22 migrants amid cold wave in the cold weather. 22 migrants from Syria, Iran and Morocco were offered drinking water, heated accommodation facilities and other necessary services. 

The migrants were accommodated in Kapshtica Temporary Reception and Accommodation Centre, located in Devoll Municipality, southeast of Albania.  Last week the whole region suffered sub-zero temperatures and heavy snowfall. Due to this weather, the electricity was interrupted for more than three days in Devoll (, putting the local structures in difficulty to assist the migrants hosted in this Centre.   

Faced with the challenge to assist these 22 migrants, the Border and Migration Police officers closely coordinated with the local government, social services, International Organizations and NGOs to respond to immediate needs and ensure access to water and heating.

Migrants in Kapshtica Temporary Reception and Accommodation Centre

"Power outages, lack of water, freezing temperatures, snow and rain have hampered access to reception center facilities and created very hazardous conditions for all those in temporary center," explained the Chief of Station at the Kapshtica Border Crossing point. “We needed to find a quick solution for protecting them and ensuring humanitarian assistance.”

“It was already a difficult situation for the local community here, but for the migrants hosted in the Kapshtica Centre, the situation was severe as they were accommodated in containers. We were really worried for their lives,” said the Mayor of Devoll Municipality.

Faced with this situation, the Border and Migration Police reached out to IOM Albania. With a prompt coordination of all actors involved, the 22 migrants were moved from Kapshtica Temporary Reception and Accommodation Centre to Gjirokastra Centre, which had electricity and is better equipped to withstand harsh weather conditions.

The migrants were offered safe transportation to the other Centre and ensured access to necessary services to make their journey a bit warmer in the cold weather. IOM and its partners are making sure that the needs of all migrants are met, and they are treated with dignity. 

Transferring Migrants from Kapshtica to Gjirokastra Centre

According to the official data from Border and Migration Police, 207 migrants have entered Albania during January - February 2022 and processed by the Korça Regional Directorate of Border and Migration.  

The migrants were assisted through the sub-regional project “Western Balkan Joint Action Against Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Human Beings”, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark in cooperation with the Albanian State Police/ Department of Border and Migration Police. Through this project, IOM assesses the vulnerabilities of migrants, making sure rights-based and protection-oriented support to vulnerable migrants in mixed migration flows is provided

Reported by Alketa Gaxha, Project Coordinator IOM Albania.

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