Lesbos refugee camp 'overwhelmed' by recent arrivals from Turkey

Greek island plans emergency meeting after 'overwhelming' influx of arrivals at Lesbos refugee camp
2 min read
23 September, 2019
Local authorities on the Greek island of Lesbos are set to meet to discuss plans for dealing with arrivals migrants from Turkey.
The Moria refugee camp is currently at four times its intended capacity [Getty]
Security and municipal services on the Greek island of Lesbos will hold an emergency meeting on Monday after administrators of a refugee camp said they were overwhelmed by the number of arrivals from nearby Turkey.

The camp at Moria on the Aegean Sea island began turning away new arrivals Friday as the number of people at the site exceeded 12,000, four times its intended capacity.

The rapidly rising numbers - the highest entering the European Union - have created the worst crisis on the island since the massive influx of refugees into Europe four years ago.

The government has promised tougher sea patrols and said it would seek additional international support including resources from the EU border protection agency Frontex.

Refugees at the Moria camp have long complained of frequent brawls, which can turn deadly, poor-quality food, absence of schooling for children, poor-quality health care and sub-standard hygiene conditions.

The camp is overflowing with rubbish and sewage and there is one toilet for every 72 people.

Most refugees suffer trauma from the conflicts they have experienced and there is a near-total absence of psychological support. The dismal situation in the camp fuels conflict and has led refugees, including children, to attempt suicide.

European states have in recent years struggled to deal with inflows on migrants from Asia and Africa, with the issue becoming a prominent humanitarian concern.

According to the latest official numbers, there are more than 26,600 asylum seekers in overcrowded camps on Lesbos, Chios and Samos, the Greek islands at the forefront of the migrant influx.

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