Lithuanians prepare aid packages for migrants

"I can't do much myself, so, that's the best that I can do, I try to help," said volunteer Domantas Zekas, working among piles of boxes of food, clothes and other supplies which are packed by whoever turns up on the day.

"What is most important is that the people get food," said Caritas coordinator Vaida Martuseviciute as she was helping to prepare the aid packages.

Last week, about 6,000 packages of food - tinned beef, beans and corn, instant noodles and cookies - were assembled by volunteers working in shifts.

The food is provided by organizations such as Red Cross, the International Organization for Migration and Caritas and packed in cooperation with Lithuania's border guards, who provided the garage and give the packs to guards patrolling the frontier.

Those guards welcome the chance to distribute the much-needed items to people returning to wait in the cold and fight hunger on the Belarusian side.

Over 4,000 migrants from Middle East and Africa have entered Lithuania this year and more turn up at the border all the time after flying into Belarus in what the European Union says is a crisis orchestrated by its government in retaliation for EU sanctions.

Belarus says the allegation is absurd.

Since early August Lithuania has pushed around 7,000 people back over the border which runs along sparsely populated woods and marshes; activists say this sometimes leaves vulnerable people in a desperate situation.

Just over 160 migrants have been allowed in on humanitarian grounds, which Lithuania defines as "real danger to health and life".

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