World powers respond to worsening refugee crisis in Europe

  • People make their way to a temporary holding center for migrants behind the border between Serbia and Hungary in Roszke, Seps. 12, 2015. At least four countries Friday firmly rejected a EU plan to impose refugee quotas. 
  • The early morning in a temporary holding camp for migrants near the Serbia, Hungary border, in Asotthalom, Sep. 12, 2015. The UN refugee agency warned that Hungary faces a bigger wave of 42,000 asylum seekers. 
  • A Syrian girl holding a teddy bear rests on the ground next to her mother near a makeshift camp for asylum seekers, after crossing the Serbian-Hungarian border near Roszke, Sep. 12, 2015. 
  • Refugees wait to cross the border from the northern Greek village of Idomeni to southern Macedonia, Sep. 12, 2015. The EU will assess the economic costs of the crisis to see if nations need more lenient budget rules. 
  • Refugees arrive in Lesbos Island, Greece on Sep. 12, 2015 after crossing the Aegean sea in aim to reach European countries. 
  • Refugees arrive in Lesbos Island, Greece on Sep. 12, 2015 after crossing the Aegean sea in aim to reach European countries. 
  • Hungarian soldiers watch migrants walk through the gap in the razor wire fence in Roszke, Hungary on Sep. 12, 2015. 
  • A refugee reacts when he arrived in Lesbos Island, Greece on Sep. 12, 2015 after crossing the Aegean sea in aim to reach European countries. 
  • Refugees arrive in Lesbos Island, Greece on Sep. 12, 2015 after crossing the Aegean sea in aim to reach European countries. 
  • Refugees arrive in Lesbos Island, Greece on Sep. 12, 2015 after crossing the Aegean sea in aim to reach European countries. 
  • Migrants who arrived from Serbia get on a bus to be taken to a reception centre at a collection point near Roszke, Hungary on Sep. 12, 2015. More than 160,000 refugees have entered Hungary so far this year. 
  • A volunteer-interpretor directs the crowd as migrants and refugees are allowed by the police to board trains at the Keleti Station, in the Hungarian capital Budapest, on Sep. 12, 2015. 
  • A woman carries her baby while crossing the border between Serbia and Hungary in Roszke, southern Hungary, Sep. 12, 2015. Hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees and others are still making their way slowly across Europe. 
  • A Syrian refugee feeds milk to his daughter after they arrived on a dinghy, from Turkey to Lesbos island, Greece, Sept. 9, 2015. The head of the European Union’s executive says 22 of the member states should be forced to accept another 120,000 people in need of international protection who have come toward the continent at high risk through Greece, Italy and Hungary. 
  • Hungarian police officers secure the bus that will take migrants near the border line between Serbia and Hungary in Roszke, southern Hungary, Sept. 9, 2015. Hungarian authorities on Tuesday began busing weary migrants to a nearby registration center, defusing some tensions at Hungary’s southern border with Serbia. 
  • A young boy reacts moments after refugees from Syria and Iraq arrived at a refugee center in Champagne-sur-Seine, near Paris, France, Sept. 9, 2015. France is ready to take in 24,000 refugees as part of European Union plans to welcome more than 100,000 in the next two years, the French President said on Monday, dismissing opinion polls showing public opposition to the move. 
  • Syrian refugees jump into the sea near the port of Mitylene on the northeast Greek island of Lesbos, Sept. 8, 2015, while waiting to get on board a ferry traveling to Athens. The island of some 100,000 residents has been transformed by the sudden new population of some 20,000 refugees and migrants, mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Hungarian police officers stop a group of migrants near a temporary holding center for asylum seekers in Roszke, southern Hungary, Sept. 8, 2015. Hungarian police stood by as thousands of migrants hopped cross-border trains Sunday into Austria, taking advantage of Hungary’s surprise decision to stop screening international train travelers for travel visas, a get-tough measure that the country had launched only days before to block their path to asylum in Western Europe. 
  • Refugees are smuggled through fields and forests in an attempt to evade the Hungarian police close to the Serbian border on Sept. 8, 2015 in Roszke, Hungary. Many migrants fear that if they are forced to officially register and have their fingerprints taken, it will stop them being able to move freely out of Hungary and further into Europe. 
  • A migrant falls over a child as he tries to escape from a collection point in Roszke village, Hungary, Sept. 8, 2015.
  • Refugees buy tickets at the port of Mitylene on the northeast Greek island of Lesbos to get on board a ferry traveling to Athens, on Sept. 8, 2015. This island of some 100,000 residents has been transformed by the sudden new population of some 20,000 refugees and migrants, mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. 
  • Migrants run away from a temporary holding center for asylum seekers in Roszke, southern Hungary, Sept. 8, 2015. Hungarian police stood by as thousands of migrants hopped cross-border trains Sunday into Austria, taking advantage of Hungary’s surprise decision to stop screening international train travelers for travel visas, a get-tough measure that the country had launched only days before to block their path to asylum in Western Europe.
  • Migrants run from police as they escape from a collection point in Roszke village, Hungary, Sept. 8, 2015.
  • A child sleeps in his mother’s arms at a temporary holding camp for migrants and refugees close to Hungary’s border with Serbia in Roszke, Hungary, Sept. 8, 2015. Hungary’s prime minister Viktor Orban says he wants to speed up construction of a fence meant to stop migrants on the southern border with Serbia, a project which has missed two previous deadlines.
  • Migrants who had arrived on a train hours earlier play football in the courtyard of the former city administration building that is their new home in Wilmersdorf district on Sept. 8, 2015, in Berlin, Germany. Berlin authorities have created accommodation for at least 2000 people in recent days in a hasty effort to shelter expected migrants.
  • Hundreds of migrants guarded by police walk several miles along rail tracks towards the town of Szeged after breaking away from a collection point close to the Serbian border on Sept. 8, 2015, in Morahalom, Hungary. Thousands of migrants crossed into Hungary today from Serbia near Horgas. Since the beginning of 2015 the number of migrants using the so-called ‘Balkans route’ has exploded with migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey and then travelling on through Macedonia and Serbia before entering the EU via Hungary.
  • Migrants try to locate family members who were separated from each other on the other side of a Hungarian police line while attempting to board a train bound for Vienna, Austria and Hungarian police at the Keleti railway station on Sept. 8, 2015, in Budapest, Hungary.
  • Migrants stop for awhile when walking to Kos, Greece, Sept. 8, 2015.
  • A refugee mother dresses a boy at a migrant collection point near Roszke village of the Hungarian-Serbian border on Sept. 8, 2015. Around 167,000 migrants have entered Hungary illegally so far this year, with most crossing the border around the Roszke area.
  • Migrants and refugees arrive on a dinghy after crossing from Turkey to Greece as another one approaches the coast of Lesbos island, Sept. 8, 2015. The island of some 100,000 residents has been transformed by the sudden new population of some 20,000 refugees and migrants, mostly from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Refugees are transferred to a train bound for another city, shortly after their arrival in Munich, Germany, Sept. 8, 2015. The European Union has struggled to cope with the surge of people entering the bloc, with countries taking different approaches to the new arrivals and leaders pinning the blame on each other.
  • Hungarian police officers search for migrants in a corn field near a temporary holding center for asylum seekers in Roszke, southern Hungary, Sept. 8, 2015. Hungarian police stood by as thousands of migrants traveled on cross-border trains Sunday into Austria, taking advantage of Hungary’s surprise decision to stop screening international train travelers for travel visas, a get-tough measure that the country had launched only days before to block their path to asylum in Western Europe.
  • Refugees come ashore near the village of Skala Sikamineas on Sept. 8, 2015 in Lesbos, Greece. More than 230,000 people have landed on Greek shores this year, pushing the island of Lesbos to its limits.
  • Refugees and migrants wait to pass the borders from the northern Greek village of Idomeni, to southern Macedonia, Sept. 7, 2015. The country has borne the brunt of a massive refugee and migration flow of people heading into the European Union.
  • Refugees arrive at a short-term housing facility for arriving migrants and refugees in Spandau district on Sept. 7, 2015, in Berlin, Germany. Berlin authorities erected the new tent camp, now with a capacity for 1,600 people, last week in a hasty effort to deal with new migrants, at least 300 of whom arrived by bus early this morning and more are expected today and in coming days. Approximately 20,000 migrants, mostly traveling via Hungary, arrived in Germany by train in the last 48 hours and a further 10,000 are expected today.
  • Refugees and migrants who crossed from Turkey aboard a dinghy approach the coast of the northeastern Greek island of Lesbos, Sept. 7, 2015. Greece’s caretaker government, appointed ahead of elections Sept. 20, says at least two-thirds of the estimated 15,000-18,000 refugees and economic migrants stranded in “miserable” conditions on the Aegean island will be ferried to the mainland in the next five days.
  • Hungarian police officers push back migrants at collection point in the village of Roszke, Hungary, Sept. 7, 2015. Police used pepper spray on a crowd of migrants attempting to break through a cordon at Roszke, on Hungary’s border with Serbia, on Monday, a Reuters witness said.
  • A policer officer hits a man with a baton as he tries to maintain order while migrants wait for trains at a temporary camp near Gevgelija, Macedonia, Sept. 7, 2015.
  • Migrants stand around a fire in a makeshift camp at a collection point in the village of Roszke, Hungary, Sept. 7, 2015. Hungary has no plans to shoot at migrants trying to cross its new southern border fence and is open to talks about European quotas for taking in refugees once the frontier is sealed off, Prime Minister Viktor Orban said.
  • A refugee fleeing the war in Syria holds an infant upon his arrival at the Kokkinotrimithia refugee camp, West of Nicosia in Cyprus, on Sept. 6, 2015, a few hours after a group of refugees was rescued as their boat ran into trouble overnight off the east Mediterranean island. The 114 people, including 54 women and children, had been aboard a small fishing boat about 40 nautical miles from the southern Cypriot port of Larnaca at the time they struck trouble, said a source in the island’s Joint Rescue Coordination Centre.
  • Migrants sit in the car of an Austrian citizen, a member of a group of volunteers who decided to transport migrants from Hungary to Austria, pictured in central Budapest on before their departure on Sept. 6, 2015. A convoy of Austrian vehicles reached the Hungarian capital on Sunday.
  • Migrants wait to cross the border with Austria near the town of Hegyeshalom, Hungary, Sept. 5, 2015. Austria and Germany threw open their borders to thousands of exhausted migrants on Saturday, bussed to the Hungarian border by a right-wing government that had tried to stop them but was overwhelmed by the sheer numbers reaching Europe’s frontiers.
  • Migrants line up in front of a police bus at the Hungarian-Austrian border in Nickelsdorf, Austria, on Sept. 5, 2015. They arrived from Budapest after Austria announced in the early-morning hours that it and Germany would let them in.
  • A woman holds a placard reading in French “Failure to assist a person in danger #Not in my name” on Sept. 6, 2015, during a rally in support of Syrian refugees at the place de la Comedie in Lyon. Germany and France have agreed that the European Union, facing an unprecedented influx of migrants, should impose binding quotas on the numbers member states take in, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sept. 3, 2015.
  • A migrant passes by a tree after arriving at the border station between Hegyeshalom, Hungary, and Nickelsdorf, Austria, Sept. 5, 2015, as hundreds of migrants came from Budapest as Austria in the early-morning hours said it and Germany would let them in.
  • Migrants arrive on a special train service from Austria to Saalfeld, Germany, Sept. 5, 2015. The refugees will be taken to accommodation in Saxony, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia Saalfeld by bus.
  • Migrants arrive during heavy rain at the Hungarian-Austrian border in Nickelsdorf, Austria, on Sept. 5, 2015. They arrived in buses provided by Hungary’s government from Budapest as Austria said in the early-morning hours that it and Germany would let them in.
  • Police officers distribute fruit and juice to migrants at the Bicske Railway Station, in Bicske, 35 kms west of Budapest, Hungary, Sept. 4, 2015.
  • A girl blows soap bubbles at the Keleti train station in Budapest, Serbia, Sept. 4, 2015. Hundreds of migrants frustrated at being stuck at two train stations in Hungary set off on foot for Austria on Friday, one group forming a line nearly a half-mile long as they streamed out of Budapest, the other breaking out of a train near a migrant reception center and then running toward the West after overwhelming police.
  • Migrants struggle to board a train at the railway station in Budapest, Hungary, Sept. 3, 2015.
  • A woman sits on a train as hundreds of migrants left the Keleti Railway Station in Budapest, Hungary, Sept. 3, 2015. Over 150,000 migrants have reached Hungary this year, most coming through the southern border with Serbia. Many apply for asylum but quickly try to leave for richer EU countries.
  • Hungarian policemen stand by the family of migrants as they wanted to run away at the railway station in the town of Bicske, Hungary, Sept. 3, 2015. A camp for refugees and asylum seekers is located in Bicske.
  • Migrants rescued off the Libyan coast peer out a gate of the Siem Pilot Norwegian ship to get the first sight of the Sardinia island as they sail in the Mediterranean sea towards the Italian port of Cagliari, Sept. 3, 2015. Russia says the United Nations Security Council is discussing a draft resolution to address Europe’s migrant crisis, likely by authorizing the inspection of suspected migrant ships.
  • Watched by a Hungarian police officer, migrants, who were originally heading for the Hungarian capital Budapest, are seen in a bus after they were rounded up by police on M5 speedway near Szeged, some 170 km southeast of Budapest, Hungary, late Sept. 7, 2015.
  • A large group of migrants, mainly from Syria, walk on the highway moving to the north Sept. 7, 2015, in Denmark. The migrants want to reach Sweden to seek asylum there. Some of the migrants arriving in central Europe continue to other countries, as local authorities across the continent are trying to accommodate the rising tide of refugees.
  • A Syrian woman covering her face with a scarf, as migrants for Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan take a break in the park next to the main railway and bus station in the center of Belgrade, on their way to EU through Serbia, Belgrade, Serbia, Sept. 7, 2015.
  • Refugees crossing the border between Macedonia and Greece, near the town of Gevgelija, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Sept. 6, 2015. The Gevgelija-Presevo journey is just a part of the journey that the refugees, the vast majority of them from Syria, are forced to make along the so-called Balkan corridor, which takes them from Turkey, across Greece, Macedonia and Serbia to Hungary, the gateway to the European Union.

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More than 59 million people have been forcibly displaced since the end of 2014 due to the ongoing war in Syria, with children making up more than half of that number, according to the United Nations. 

The heartbreaking scenes of refugees fleeing Syria, notably 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, whose body washed up on a beach in Turkey after drowning along with his 5-year-old brother and mother as they tried to make their way to Greece, have shone a harsh spotlight on a problem that goes far beyond Syria.

The war in Syria, which began in 2011, is reportedly the world’s single-largest driver of displacement. In excess of four million Syrian refugees are already living in neighboring countries, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The vast majority are living in refugee camps.

The massive influx of migrants triggered frustration, after hundreds escaped from a temporary camp on the Hungary-Serbia border on Tuesday. Police tried to contain them, but were overwhelmed by the large numbers at the Roszke camp in the far south of the country. Others are travelling to northwards of Budapest and the Austrian border. 

On the Greek island of Lesbos, an estimated 20,000 refugees have swarmed the country after crossing the Mediterranean. Thousands there are reportedly sleeping on the street, amid blistering weather conditions and no access to facilities and potable water

World powers, including the United States, are taking up the charge to resettle some ten of thousands of Syrian refugees, as European countries continue to grapple with the massive surge of migrants fleeing war and instability in the Middle East and Africa.

The Obama administration said Thursday that it’s willing to assist at least 10,000 Syrian refugees in the next fiscal next year. Lawmakers from both sides in Washington have criticized the government’s response, given the country’s size and economy.

 “It’s clear there’s a significant need,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters. “[Many refugee] camps are starting to reach capacity, and that’s why you’re starting to see people … whose needs are not being met in these areas now considering traveling even further to places like Europe.”

Fourteen Democratic Senators had asked President Obama to aid at least 65,000 refugees in the coming year, NBC News reported.

Other countries, including Germany and Venezuela, have promised to take in 800,000 and 20,000 refugees, respectively, according to The New York Times. France pledged to welcome 24, 000 over two years, and Britain 20,000 over five years, the paper reported.

—NBC News’ Carlo Angerer, Bill Neely and Alastair Jamieson contributed reporting to this article.

For more feature photography, go to msnbc.com/photography

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