UNHCR: More needed for mi­grants

The agency says sit­u­a­tion in Greece is ‘dire’ as Lesvos mayor slams Mouza­las

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Gov­ern­ments along the Western Balkan route into the Euro­pean Union must do more to help mi­grants and refugees who are dy­ing in the cold win­ter weather rather than just vi­o­lently push them back from the bor­der, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said yes­ter­day, adding that the “sit­u­a­tion in Greece is dire.” “Chil­dren are par­tic­u­larly prone to res­pi­ra­tory ill­nesses at a time like this,” said UNICEF spokesper­son Sarah Crowe at a UN brief­ing in Geneva, while the UNHCR called for the trans­fer of some 1,000 peo­ple, in­clud­ing chil­dren, who are liv­ing out­doors in tents with no heat­ing on the is­land of Samos to shel­ters on the Greek main­land.

Mean­while, lo­cals on the is­land of Lesvos are re­port­edly dis­mayed by the pres­ence of the Lesvos, a navy ves­sel which has be­come a tem­po­rary shel­ter for just 40 asy­lum seek­ers. In a let­ter to Mi­gra­tion Min­is­ter Yian­nis Mouza­las, the is­land’s mayor, Spy­ros Gali­nos, called for the trans­fer of a siz­able num­ber of asy­lum seek­ers from camps on Lesvos in order to “fi­nally de­con­gest the is­land.” Gali­nos ac­cused Mouza­las of trans­form­ing the port into a re­cep­tion cen­ter and slammed what he de­scribed as the min­is­ter’s failed poli­cies which have had “tragic con- se­quences for the is­land.” De­spite the pres­ence of the ves­sel, mi­grants at the Mo­ria camp are re­fus­ing to move there as they pre­fer to re­main close to the nearby Asy­lum Ser­vice to get in­for­ma­tion and up­dates on their ap­pli­ca­tions. Due to the cold snap, some 235 of them are be­ing tem­po­rar­ily put up at ho­tels. More than 15,000 refugees and mi­grants are stranded at camps across the is­lands of the eastern Aegean.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.