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Greece Aegean Islands Weekly Snapshot: 21 – 27 September 2020

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This week, 79 people arrived on the Aegean islands, an increase from last week’s 55 arrivals but a decrease from last year’s 2,868 arrivals during the same period. The average daily arrivals on all islands this week equaled 11, compared to 8 in the previous week.

Present Population on the Islands

Some 23,700 refugees and asylum-seekers reside on the Aegean islands. The majority of the population on the Aegean islands are from Afghanistan (47%), Syria (19%) and DRC (7%).
Women account for 21% of the population, and children for 30% of whom nearly 7 out of 10 are younger than 12 years old. Approximately 5% of the children are unaccompanied or separated, mainly from Afghanistan.

Shielding against Covid-19

To ‘shield’ the older and immune-compromised asylum-seekers from the risk of COVID19, UNHCR is currently prioritizing their transfer out of the island RICs into ESTIA apartments on the islands or the mainland and hotels on the islands. This week, 69 people were moved, of whom 68 to ESTIA on the island and 1 to PIKPA camp in Lesvos.

Entry Points by Sea

Crete received the highest number of arrivals (51), followed by Chios (25) and Samos (3). Lesvos and the Dodecanese islands received no arrivals This week, 323 asylum-seekers departed, once authorized by the authorities, from the Aegean islands to the mainland. Of those, 40 were transferred by the Government with the support of UNHCR to ESTIA apartments currently managed by UNHCR and the Ministry of Migration and Asylum (MMA).