At least 10,000 refugee children have arrived in Sweden since the beginning of 2015 – a sharp rise from previous years – making it the EU nation with the highest number so far.
The crisis has touched the heart of many Swedes who have flocked to help by donating money, clothes and time to charity organizations across the country and Europe.
Now, a former Iranian refugee, who arrived in Sweden with his family in 1988, is making headlines with his contribution to the aid effort: a valuable 18 carat Rolex gold watch.
“The ongoing refugee catastrophe has touched him deeply and he has been feeling that he wants to make an effort. He bought the watch (…) last year, but now says that 'material things are not so important, if they can help',” read a statement from Stockholms Auktionsverk, the world's oldest auction house.
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The watch is up for grabs starting at 80,000 kronor ($9,629) and the funds will go to Save the Children's work to help young refugees.
“We hope that as many people as possible bid generously and far above [the starting figure],” said Stockholms Auktionsverk.
The International Organization for Migration has said that more than 430,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean to Europe this year, with 2,748 dying en route or going missing.
Sweden is expected to receive at least 74,000 asylum applications by the end of 2015.