UNHCR Regional Bureau Europe: Weekly Report (January 6, 2017 5:48 PM)

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 06 Jan 2017 View Original

Key Figures

Mediterranean
875
arrivals by sea in 2017

11
dead/missing in 2017

Trends of Sea Arrivals

Last week, 373 refugees and migrants crossed by sea from Turkey to Greece despite the winter weather, an average of 53 per day. This marks a slight increase from the 346 that crossed the previous week. The majority of arrivals were on Chios then Lesvos. By 31 December, 173,447 refugees and migrants had crossed the sea to Greece in 2016, with most arrivals having taken place in the first three months of the year. Most of those who travelled this route were from the Syrian Arab Republic (47%), Afghanistan (24%), and Iraq (15%) and they collectively accounted for approximately 86% of all arrivals by sea in Greece. In December, 1,662 refugees and migrants arrived by sea in Greece, an average of 54 per day, and marking a drop of 17% from arrivals in November. Compared to arrivals in December 2015, arrivals in December 2016 dropped 98% and arrivals by sea in Greece in all of 2016 dropped 80% from arrivals in 2015.

In Italy, 1,080 people arrived by sea last week. Most arrivals were the result of search and rescue operations, but five groups arrived autonomously; three departed from Tunisia and two from Turkey. These new arrivals during the last week of the year increased the total number of sea arrivals to Italy in 2016 to 181,436. Arrivals by sea in 2016 therefore marked an 18% increase in comparison to 2015 and a 7% increase in comparison to 2014. Most arrivals in 2016 were from Nigeria (21%), Eritrea (11%), and Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, and Gambia (each 7%). Other countries of origin included Senegal (6%), Mali (6%), Sudan (5%), Somalia (4%) and Bangladesh (4%). While arrivals in 2016 had increased significantly in November compared to 2015, in December arrivals dropped by 13% to 8,428 compared to December 2015.

Key Developments

Situation in Greece

Severe winter conditions and low temperatures were recorded throughout the country last week. In Attica, several sites saw significant snowfall. In an effort to mitigate the dire weather conditions, UNHCR completed the electrical power connection in Schisto outside Athens, and provided 98 electrical heaters so that all prefab houses and bathroom facilities in the site are heated. Insites assigned to authorities and other organizations, some improvement was recorded at the warehouse sites. In Sindos-Frakaport, four warehouse heaters are functioning and the warehouse doors are shut with plastic curtains while in Softex, the Ministry of Migration Policy is upgrading the electrical system and prefab units are now in place and in use. In western Greece, Katsikas and Faneromeni sites were fully evacuated for site rehabilitation on 30 December with the 166 people from Katsikas sent to three hotels arranged by Oxfam in Ioannina, Preveza and Igoumenitsa and those from Faneromeni moved to UNHCR’s accommodation in Athens and Thessaloniki. In Filipiada, UNHCR delivered two generators to stabilize the power supply on 28 December, which will be installed by Oxfam.

Cold and heavy rains also hit the islands. On Chios, most people residing in Souda were affected, especially those in tents. UNHCR is working with partners to install electric heaters in every accommodation unit at the Souda site. A group of 300 individuals formerly residing outside the site have been provided with winterized UNHCR family tents equipped with electric heaters. UNHCR’s team on Chios has arranged to send additional non-food items including thermal blankets and sleeping bags as well as 45 winterization kits and 100 plastic tarpaulins for those residing in tents.