Meer dan 12.000 migranten en vluchtelingen werden vorige week (8/09) dakloos door de tragische brand in het opvangkamp Moria op Lesbos. IOM roept de Europese landen en de EU op tot twee acties: dringend zorgen voor de onmiddellijke opvang en zorg voor de ontheemde migranten en vluchtelingen en tegelijkertijd een oplossing te vinden voor de lange termijn gebaseerd op Europese solidariteit.
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“While the priority right now is to address the immediate needs of migrants and refugees in Lesvos, more sustainable solutions are needed,” said IOM Director General António Vitorino.
This can be achieved through a stronger relocation system and a concrete show of solidarity from European States. We need more relocation commitments in these trying times while the EU establishes a more predictable and effective system based on responsibility sharing,” the IOM Director General added. IOM has reinforced its presence on Lesvos to respond to the needs of thousands of people left on the streets, including an estimated 4,000 children. Through EU-funded projects, IOM is also supporting efforts by Greek authorities to provide temporary accommodation facilities as well as mobile storage units and other technical equipment.
Due to the exceptional coordination efforts of IOM, UNHCR and UNICEF—and with the financial support of the EU--over 400 unaccompanied children were moved from the island to the mainland within 24 hours of the blaze in anticipation of their relocation to other European States. IOM, in coordination with the Greek government, receiving EU Member States, the European Commission, UNHCR, UNICEF and the European Asylum Support Office, has also facilitated the relocation of over 600 unaccompanied children and other vulnerable people to six other EU countries this year.
“There are many other children and families in need of this lifeline, and we urge more states to come forward and support ongoing efforts to de-congest the islands and assist Greece,” added Mr Vitorino
“The situation on the island remains tense. We understand the frustration of migrants and refugees who found themselves on the street overnight, as well as the challenges faced by local communities and the Greek Government.”
Over the weekend, thousands of migrants and refugees took to the streets protesting the current situation, which was met with a strong response from the Greek authorities.
“We appeal to all parties to show restraint to protect people from harm and avoid further complicating an already difficult situation,” said the Director General.
The Moria center was built to host some 3,000 people but was overwhelmed by the number of migrants and refugees reaching four times its intended capacity. The facility suffered fires and unrest in the past before it was placed under quarantine after at least 35 migrants tested positive for COVID-19.
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