HUFFINGTON POST

This Poignant Photo Perfectly Sums Up The European Refugee Crisis

Greece's northern border turned into a "sea of mud" this week.

Refugees continued to make the grueling journey to Europe this week, even as torrential rain swept Greece, turning the country's northern border with Macedonia into "a sea of mud."

On Thursday, Reuters photographer Yannis Behrakis captured this poignant photo of a Syrian refugee giving his daughter a reassuring kiss as he carried the child north through the rain-soaked landscape, step by painstaking step.

A Syrian refugee kisses his daughter as he walks through a rainstorm towards Greece's border with Macedonia, near the Greek v
A Syrian refugee kisses his daughter as he walks through a rainstorm towards Greece's border with Macedonia, near the Greek village of Idomeni.

The Associated Press described the scene Thursday in the Greek city of Idomeni, just steps from the Macedonian border where this father and child were headed:

...crowds gathered before dawn, using anything they could find — plastic sheeting, garbage bags, hooded jackets, even a beach umbrella — in a futile attempt to stay dry. Sneakers stuck in the mud. Rain dripped off hoods and caps. All were soaked to the skin.

Parents held their children aloft in the rain, to make sure the Macedonian police would see them and let them through checkpoints. Other mud-splattered children dragged luggage and stumbled into rain-filled potholes, climbing out crying.

Behrakis' heart-rending photo offers a glimpse into the hardship endured by two of the more than 381,500 migrants and refugees who have attempted to enter Europe by sea so far this year, typically aboard boats departing the Turkish coast for Greece.

This week, European Union leaders debated a proposal to relocate several hundred thousand refugees in order to address the crisis.

The plan, which calls for 160,000 refugees to be distributed among the EU’s 28 member states via mandatory quotas, was rejected Friday by the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. Denmark has also voiced skepticism.

On Thursday, President Barack Obama instructed his administration to prepare for a "significant scaling up" of the number of Syrian refugees admitted into the United States, beginning with at least 10,000 next fiscal year.

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