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Aid for stranded refugees - Idomeni

News and Press Release
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Thousands of refugees are stranded at the Greek-Macedonian border town Idomeni. Our Caritas colleague Rino Pistone called the situation on the ground "a humanitarian disaster."

As more and more countries are closing their borders or only sparsely let refugees go through, thousands of men, women and children from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran and other countries are crammed together on the Greek-Macedonian border.

"This is the toughest part of my trip so far," says 17-year-old Hassan. "22 days ago I left Syria, fleeing the bombs. And now I am sitting here waiting for days. I am bored and it is sometimes difficult to keep myself warm. Especially at night it gets so cold I cannot even feel my hands anymore."

80,000 food aid packages

Caritas colleague Rino Pistone agrees: "At night the temperature drops below zero Celsius. Especially for those who already have had to live through terrible circumstances, being forced to stay here causes a traumatic experience on top of that. I get very emotional from what I am witnessing here."

Pistone leads the aid efforts for the refugees in Idomeni by our sister organization Caritas Greece. Every day, along with 20 volunteers, he provides clothes and bags full of cookies, fruit and bottled water. "So far we have distributed 80,000 food aid packages, 4,000 raincoats and more than 2,000 backpacks. We have also placed 40 chemical toilets and 5 showers."