IFRC and ICRC urged "immediate, unrestricted access to all migrants, including at borders".
International aid groups say they are alarmed by the unfolding humanitarian tragedy at the Belarus border with European Union, calling for immediate access to all migrants at borders.
In a joint statement, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday the situation is set to worsen with the more serious winter weather to arrive.
“To protect people’s lives, health and dignity, as well as ease suffering and prevent further tragedy, all Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners and other humanitarian organisations need immediate, unrestricted access to all migrants, including at borders", Martin Schuepp, ICRC Regional Director for Europe and Central Asia said.
The statement said IFRC allocated more than $1 million (1 million Swiss Francs) "to Belarus Red Cross, Polish Red Cross and Lithuanian Red Cross, whose volunteers and staff are assisting thousands of vulnerable people with food, water, blankets and vital medical assistance."
According to the statement, all migrants, irrespective of their legal status, should have effective access to humanitarian assistance and medical assistance, as well as to protection.
Moved to a warehouse
The Belarus state news agency Belta reported on Thursday that migrants were moved to a heated, warehouse-like building about 500 metres (yards) from the border near Bruzgi, giving them the chance to rest indoors after many days in tents.
One of them, an Iraqi Kurd named Miran Ali, took video inside the warehouse and said Belarusian authorities said they wouldn't be forced to return home, causing the migrants to chant in gratitude, “Belarus! Belarus! Belarus!”
“These people are expressing happiness and optimism in this cold and ugly camp”, Ali said as he shot video of the chants.
They sat on blankets, most still wrapped in heavy jackets and raincoats.
In recent weeks, hundreds of migrants per night have tried to cross the frontier and have clashed with Polish troops at the border.
European countries accuse Belarus of having deliberately created the crisis by flying in migrants from the Middle East and pushing them to attempt to cross the borders illegally into Poland and Lithuania. Minsk denies deliberately fomenting it.