By far the highest number of refugees flee to and stay in their area of origin, meaning other parts of their own country or neighbouring countries. Therefore it is important to focus on care for refugees in their region of origin as one element in the holistic approach dealing with the refugee crisis. Within the CoR own-initiative opinion, the Rapporteur formulates proposals for improving the quality of the care for refugees in their region of origin, implying a stronger involvement of local and regional authorities of the host countries and a much more integrated approach between the direct care and the more structural social and economic development of the region at stake. In his opinion the situation needs a combination of crisis management and a longer-term approach, aimed at providing basic necessities and securing social cohesion as well as reducing refugees’ dependency on aid. The Rapporteur also proposes that measures must be taken and solutions found at local and regional authority level above all, because problems arise in the villages, towns and regions where refuges and host communities live, go to school, need assistance, work, seek work or act as neighbours.

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