As the situation in Greece worsens, read our Office Administrator’s blog below. She spent time working on Chios, one of the islands on the Eastern coast of Greece which has seen thousands of people trapped there by the EU-Turkey deal.
We have heard that the situation is reaching breaking point so many times that it almost sounds like a cliche. I can assure you that this time, it is not. Doctors and journalists have been attacked by vigilantes, NGOs are being blocked from accessing the camps and both a warehouse and school for refugees have been set on fire. Moria camp on Lesvos, built for 2200 people is currently “housing” over 18,000. Vial on Chios, is also severely overcrowded. Vial, when I was there three years ago, was horrendous; a place that no human being should be forced to live. Now, I am told, it is even worse.
A few weeks ago, four years after the EU-Turkey deal, President Erdoğan of Turkey reneged on the deal and opened the Turkish side of the border to Europe. Thousands of people, fleeing conflict and persecution, are now trying to cross the border hoping to get into Europe and find safety. This, added to the increasing humanitarian crisis on the islands, are threatening to ignite an already volatile situation.
Whilst all this is going on, Europe is forgetting that at the heart of this all are people. Human beings who have sought sanctuary in Europe, fleeing things that most of us can only imagine. Europe Must Act have created a petition, which is fast gaining traction, calling for Europe to take responsibility for the situation and help to relieve pressure on the periphery islands by relocating people around member states.
You can add your voice to the petition here.