Night of the Refugee runners raise more than 1.1 million euros
The thousands of participants in the Night of the Refugee have raised 1,140,070 euros for emergency aid to refugees worldwide. The first participant in the 40-kilometer walk arrived at the finish in The Hague on Sunday morning at 05:45 a.m., setting a new record, according to the organization.
Minister Liesje Schreinemacher (Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation) and Tineke Ceelen, director of the Refugee Foundation, gave the official starting signal at midnight at the Grote Kerk in The Hague. "Understanding and solidarity for refugees has increased in the Netherlands this year, according to research. The people who finish here after a long journey show that they want to 'stick out their legs' to help people on the run. That moves me and I am very grateful to them," says Ceelen.
The walkers raised money for acute emergency aid for refugees in Syria, Afghanistan, Mali, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland and Somalia. In the early evening of Saturday, the participants could also opt for a 20-kilometer walk in Utrecht, Nijmegen, Rotterdam and Amsterdam.
The organization took the warm night into account, providing extra water stations and salt and sugars for the runners. The organizers also made adjustments at the manned first aid posts because of the heat.
Reporting by ANP