NGOs say living conditions in Greek refugee hotspots are tragic

13 September 2018
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Nineteen NGOs have dubbed the living conditions in the refugee reception centres in Greece as atrocious, despite the promises made by Greek authorities to improve the facilities in the hotspots in the Eastern Aegean islands.

In light of these desperate conditions, the NGOs have once again called on the Greek government t implement more permanent solutions for the improvement of living conditions in terms of hygiene, food, health care and other matters.

“Despite the announcements by the Minister of Immigration Policy about thousands of new inland hospitality sites and decongestion on the islands, more than 17,000 people are crammed in despair at the Reception Centers in the islands, whose capacity is for only 6,000 people. Indicatively, the Reception Center of Samos has surpassed its hosting capacity by six times over”, the NGOs noted in a letter.

In Moria, on the island of Lesvos, where the number of refugees and migrants is more than 3 times its capacity and was recently dubbed the “worst refugee camp in the world” in a BBC report, the already explosive situation has deteriorated dramatically. No works have moved forward on a number of issues, despote the fact that EU funds have already been approved.

Drains in Moria do not work, and dirty water from toilets touches the tents and the mattresses of young children, while even worse, reports of incidents of sexual violence are rising, and according to surveys, the majority of people say they “feel no security at all”.

The letter also refers to tragic shortages of permanent staff posts as well as the continuous resignations of necessary nursing staff due to tragic working conditions. As a recent report says, “medical staff prefer to remain unemployed rather than work under such conditions.”

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