Arrivals and Departures:
For the first time in 2016, there were no arrivals to the Greek shores on 23 March. However, 269 people were registered on the island of Lesvos. There was particularly poor weather during this period, which is likely to improve over the coming days. Based on media sources, 243 persons were apprehended/rescued on 21-22 March 2016 at Turkey’s land and sea borders.
Reportedly, a total of 49 people arrived from Bulgaria and eight from the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia through green borders. In addition, some 100 people left Sid towards the border with Hungary.
Condition of People:
Greek Minister of Health, Andreas Xanthos, visited the sites in northern Greece (Nea Kavala and Herso), as well as the makeshift settlements in Eidomeni. While Xanthos found the situation in Herso and Nea Kavala satisfactory, he highlighted the conditions in Eidomeni as ‘dramatic’ in light of the dire living conditions. He stressed the need for urgent increased coordination between relevant actors and the gradual evacuation of the settlements.
UNHCR teams visited the closed facilities on Lesvos to assess reception conditions and the profiles of the people present; mainly Afghan, Iraqi, and Syrian nationals amongst others. They continued to provide information sessions and to identify individuals with specific needs on both the islands as well as the mainland.
According to media and in light of the growing needs, the army began to provide food to people present at Piraeus Port as of 23 March.