Greece: Lesvos-Moria nightmare for thousands of refugees


Over a week after the fire that gutted the Moria camp on Lesvos, formerly housing some 13,000 refugees, little had been done to address the problem.

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"Thousands of refugees, including children, elderly, pregnant women, young mothers and persons with chronic illnesses, are living through a nightmare eight days following the fires and destruction of the Reception and Identification Centre (RIC) of Moria on Lesvos. The omissions of the Greek State as regards the provision of necessary humanitarian support to the fire victims are unprecedented, against the backdrop of a striking absence of humanitarian care and intensifying crackdown on the population.

Approximately 7,000 refugees confined in the area between Moria, Panagiouda and Kara Tepe remain without help and without basic means of subsistence. They sleep on the floor where they can, on the road, in cardboard boxes, in the field, in playgrounds and cemeteries, without access to running water, toilets, food and bottled water or health care. We witnessed exhausted young mothers unable to breastfeed their babies, a woman in advanced pregnancy sleeping on the concrete and washing in the sea, diabetic persons running out of medicine, infants without milk and others in those conditions. In the meantime, 5,000 people have entered the new camp under ongoing construction on a former shooting range. We remind that, beyond the establishment of the camp location, the legal status of the new facility has not yet been defined. Therefore there has been no definition of the authority competent for its management.

Based on communication with refugees and visits outside the temporary facility, Refugee Support Aegean (RSA) has verified that conditions do not meet the minimum standards of dignified living under Greek and international law: the facility is in essence a rough tent camp with closely spaced tents, without running water or stable electricity, with only one water tap, while residents have no access to sanitary services and facilities beyond a few chemical toilets and no access to health care. The number of positive COVID-19 cases in the new camp has reached 135, according to media reports."

Full article: Lesvos-Moria nightmare for thousands of refugees (Refugee Support Aegean, link, emphasis added)

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