Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Thousands Flee Fire at Refugee Camp in Greece

This past Monday, around 4,000 individuals were evacuated from the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos after a fire ravaged the site.

Over 50 UNHCR refugee housing units were destroyed, with the potential to house over 800 people. Although 30 people were injured, none were killed and UNHCR is providing replacement tents for those left homeless from the blaze. Over 95 unaccompanied children were escorted to the Pikpa reception site nearby, according to the UNHCR. 

For hundreds of thousands of migrants escaping the war in the middle east, Lesbos is often their first stop. Although Lesbos holds a capacity of 3,500 refugees, they are currently sheltering 5,300. This over capacity points towards poor living conditions, which in turn fuel a feeling of uncertainty and doubt amongst refugees. 

Greece will continue to shelter refugees from the Middle East, in a national effort to advocate for human rights. As one islander said, "We are monsters if we don't do this -- why should we be given a prize for being human beings?"
-Nicole Simos

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