Friday, August 7, 2015

Migrant 'chaos' on Greek islands (UN refugee agency)

The refugee crisis on three Greek islands near Turkey is "total chaos", the UN refugee agency UNHCR says.

Accommodation, water and sanitation are all inadequate for the many asylum seekers on Kos, Chios and Lesbos, the UNHCR says, calling it "shameful".

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras said the problem "surpasses" Greece's abilities and asked for EU help.

The UNHCR says nearly all new arrivals in Greece are refugees from the wars in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The organisation's European Director, Vincent Cochetel, said facilities for the refugees on the Greek islands were "totally inadequate", after a 750% increase in migrants arriving this year, compared with the same period last year.

He said 124,000 had arrived in Greece so far in 2015, including 50,000 in July alone...


1 comment:

  1. Greece says cannot handle migrants; UNHCR calls crisis 'shameful'...

    Greece's infrastructure cannot handle the thousands of people landing on its shores from places like war-torn Syria and Afghanistan and needs European Union help, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Friday.

    "Now is the time to see if the EU is the EU of solidarity or an EU that has everyone trying to protect their borders," he said after a meeting with ministers dealing with the influx.

    The United Nations refugee agency called on Greece to take control of the "total chaos" on Mediterranean islands, where thousands of migrants have landed. About 124,000 have arrived this year by sea, many via Turkey, according to Vincent Cochetel, UNHCR director for Europe.

    "The level of suffering we have seen on the islands is unbearable. People arrive thinking they are in the European Union. What we have seen was not anything acceptable in terms of standards of treatment," Cochetel said after visiting the Greek islands of Lesbos, Kos and Chios.

    Greek authorities must "lead and coordinate the response", said Cochetel, a 30-year UNHCR veteran. "I have never seen a situation like that. This is the European Union and this is totally shameful."


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