Refugee Crisis

Refugees overwhelmed with generosity in Vienna

Refugees overwhelmed with generosity in Vienna
Volunteers at Westbahnhof. Photo: Caritas
The efforts from NGOs such as Caritas and ordinary people who have volunteered to help and donate money, food and clothing has been overwhelming, as this UNHCR video footage from Westbahnhof railway station shows.

Austrian authorities say more than 18,000 refugees arrived by train in Vienna after crossing the Hungarian border over the weekend, after an agreement with Austria and Hungary to relax asylum rules. Most were aiming to travel on to Germany.

Young and old have descended on the Westbahnhof and Hauptbahnhof stations with a common goal – to help the exhausted refugees arriving from Hungary.

Organisers at the stations had to ask people to stop bringing some donations at the weekend as they had so many and not enough space to store them all.

Under the EU's Dublin Regulation, asylum seekers must register in the first EU member state in which they arrive. However, the protocol has been widely abused, as many of those who reached Hungary first arrived in Greece, where they failed to claim asylum.

Last week the German government said it is suspending the Dublin rule for Syrians who have travelled to Germany.

Crowds of refugees are still streaming across Hungary's border with Serbia and officials say thousands more migrants are expected to arrive in the next few days.

Follow the tweets from volunteers at Austria's main train stations to find out what donations are most needed here: