The UN Refugee Agency's Office in Greece (UNHCR) wishes to express its appreciation for the recent joint statement of the Alternate Minister of Citizen Protection, Mr. Ioannis Panousis, and the Alternate Minister of Migration Policy, Ms. Anastasia Christodoulopoulou, which recognizes and addresses a number of problems concerning the administrative detention of third country nationals in Greece.
The migration flow at sea increased dramatically in 2014 and large flows of migrants will continue in the Mediterranean in 2015. NRC and the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association calls for European and international solutions to avoid further humanitarian disasters at sea.
Joint statement by the NRC and the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association - January 2015
• Snow, rainfall, strong winds, and low temperatures affected Greece over the past three days, causing river overflow and landslides. Infrastructure, including ports, roads and railroads, as well as the electricity supply, were affected throughout the country, according to media. The weather conditions are expected to ameliorate starting 12 February and the ports have reportedly opened again.
IRAQ – Population Displacement
• The situation keeps deteriorating due to an increasing number of IDPs at the Arbat IDP camp in Sulaymaniyah, currently sheltering almost 2 800 families (16 500 persons), exceeding its total number by more than double, nearly tripling of its original capacity. Access to basic services becomes of utter concern. Urgent humanitarian assistance is needed.
• Heavy rains affected several areas of Zimbabwe in the last few days, causing floods mostly in Harare. Media reported several homes damaged and one person missing due to floods and ten people killed by lightning.
• In the next 48 h thunderstorms may affect several
• According to media, 3 February, due to the severe weather of the last two days, floods were observed in at least five counties of southern Albania. Fier and Vlore are the counties most affected. Media reported at least 1 700 houses flooded, 1 200 of them in Fier and 500 in Vlora.
The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
• The situation in the eastern part of the country is still serious. Issues remain with clean drinking water.
ATHENS, Greece, January 2 (UNHCR) – Eight Syrian and Palestinian men sit in an Athens basement and swap stories about their escape from the war in Syria and attempts to reach safety in Europe. Each refugee has a different tale to tell, but all share the common thread of desperation and danger faced in crossing to Greece.
• Heavy rain and snow affected several areas of southern Albania in the last two days, causing rivers to overflow and floods. Fier and Vlore are the counties most affected (according to media).
• Media reported hundreds of homes and roads flooded; no deaths reported (as of 2 February).
THE FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF MACEDONIA
• Heavy rains and snow melt caused severe flooding in the last few days. The situation is most alarming in the eastern part of the country along the river Bregalnica.
This is a summary of what was said by the UNHCR spokesperson at today’s Palais des Nations press briefing in Geneva. Further information can be found on the UNHCR websites, www.unhcr.org and www.unhcr.fr, which should also be checked for regular media updates on non-briefing days.
New UNHCR report warns against returning asylum-seekers to Greece
What began in 2011 in Syria as protests inspired by the Arab Spring has become an entrenched and bloody conflict that shows no sign of resolution.
The Greek authorities’ failure to adequately investigate the deaths of 11 Afghans who drowned at sea shows a blatant disregard for justice for the victims and their families and exemplifies their hard-line approach towards asylum and migration, said Amnesty International on the anniversary of the Farmakonisi tragedy.
Facts and Figures on the arrivals of migrants in Europe
What is smuggling of migrants?
To enter the EU, irregular migrants often turn to smugglers.
A new batch of urgently needed medical and relief supplies is leaving to the Ebola-affected region in West Africa today on board of the Dutch ship "Karel Doorman".
For the second time, as part of the coordinated European response to the Ebola outbreak, the Netherlands has offered to transport vital supplies free of charge. The vessel is carrying 1,500 tons of food for the World Food Programme (WFP) in addition to more than 50 vehicles, medical supplies and protective clothing for health personnel offered by Belgium, France, Germany and the UK.
L’Union européenne et ses États membres continuent de mobiliser toutes les ressources dont ils disposent pour contribuer à endiguer la plus grande épidémie d’Ebola jamais enregistrée.
Athens – Thousands of refugees arriving on the shores of Greece’s Aegean islands are being welcomed with a dysfunctional reception system and inhumane living conditions, according to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Greece and the European Union (EU) must urgently improve living conditions for refugees, migrants and asylum seekers, and offer them adequate medical assistance and protection.
| Overview |
Athens, Greece | AFP | Friday 11/28/2014 - 14:44 GMT
Some 200 Syrian refugees protesting in Athens on Friday asked to be allowed access to other European countries, fearing deteriorating conditions in crisis-hit Greece.
"Crisis-hit Greece alone cannot support the weight of accommodating war refugees," said Nander Halbuni, a representative of the Syrians who have been camping on Syntagma Square in central Athens for over a week.
Italy - IOM’s team providing assistance to migrants arriving in Europe by sea from North Africa and the Middle East recorded another 18 migrants reported missing, and presumed dead this week. The reports came from fellow passengers rescued by commercial and military vessels patrolling increasingly wintery and dangerous Mediterranean routes.
IERAPETRA, Grèce | AFP | Wednesday 11/26/2014 - 15:21 GMT
Around 700 migrants aboard a freighter that had been drifting in the Aegean Sea for two days began disembarking on the Greek island of Crete on Thursday, local officials said.
The migrants from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq, include "a lot of women and children", said Theodosis Kalantzakis, the mayor of Ierapetra.
The Kiribati-flagged freighter Baris was towed to the seaside town of Ierapetra after suffering engine failure on Tuesday.
CHANIA, Greece, November 26 (UNHCR) – Nineteen-year-old Doaa al Zamel fled her home in Syria in the hope of finding safety and a better future; she ended up desperately fighting for her life in the Mediterranean Sea and losing her fiancé.
She still relives the trauma of September 10, when an unidentified vessel rammed into the smuggler's trawler that was carrying Doaa and more than 500 other people, including many women and children, who dreamed of reaching Europe. The vessel quickly sank off the east coast of Malta; there were just 11 survivors.