Since the beginning of the year, we have been working with other UK based NGOs to navigate the Customs and taxation hurdles that have resulted from the new rules following Brexit. It is fair to say that the focus for HMRC and EU countries was, understandably, upon commercial goods. The implications for humanitarian aid were not considered until the issue was raised by the NGO community.

Whilst the customs and duties challenges are not yet entirely resolved, we have made significant progress and are now in a position where we can plan to resume aid deliveries to the refugees and asylum seekers in Greece.

Until the pandemic travel situation is resolved, we plan to continue with our container-shipment model rather than manned convoys, to ensure the much-needed aid reaches those that really need it.

Working with our in-country partners, we have established a ‘Needs List’ of the following items:

  • Men’s clothes (clean and good condition) particularly small and medium sizes.
  • New underwear for women, men and children (all sizes)
  • Blankets, large enough for a single adult.
  • Men’s shoes, most popular sizes are 40, 42 and 44. (good condition only and pairs tied together).
  • Sleeping bags, and weekend type tents

We know that you are all as keen as we are to resume our help to the NGOs on the ground and of course the refugees.

We are thankful that many of you have continued to fundraise during the lockdown and those funds are very much needed.  Please keep it going.

Let’s get back to business and hope that the worst of the pandemic (and Brexit) is behind us.