The Turkish Red Crescent has sent shipment of humanitarian aid to the Belarusian-Polish border to help ease the migrant crisis there, the aid group announced on Saturday.
A truck containing heaters, mattresses, blankets, pillows, sleeping bags, and hygiene kits left the metropolis Istanbul for Belarus.
New shipments will be planned in line with demand, said a statement.
Attending the humanitarian aid sending ceremony were Turkish Red Crescent Deputy General Managers Alper Kucuk and Ibrahim Ozer, as well as International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Secretary General Jagan Chapagain, and IFRC Europe Director Birgitte Bischoff Ebbesen.
Up to 2,000 people are waiting at Belarus’ Bruzgi border crossing into Poland without housing and in poor conditions as the weather grows colder.
Since August, the EU countries bordering Belarus – Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland – have reported a dramatic rise in irregular crossings.
More than 8,000 people have tried to enter the bloc via the Belarusian-EU border in 2021, up sharply from just 150 last year.
According to the EU, Belarus reaches out to potential travelers through seemingly official channels, including diplomatic missions and travel agencies, and lures them to Belarus by offering them visas. They are then allegedly guided to the EU border.
On Thursday, in response to the migration crisis, the EU imposed a new round of sanctions on Belarus, targeting among others its national airline and tourism companies.