TRENDS AND KEY FIGURES
In February, just under 3,900 refugees and migrants entered Europe via Italy, Greece and Spain, less than half the number that entered in January. With lower numbers of people crossing from North Africa to Italy by sea compared to last year, the route to Spain experienced the most movement of the three Mediterranean routes with over 1,500 arrivals, followed by the route to Greece with over 1,200 and less than 1,100 to Italy.
Thousands seeking safety from war and violence continue to arrive; conditions in reception facilities cause health problems
Monday, March 19, 2018 — “Two years ago the European Union and its member States failed thousands of people and compromised the very concept of asylum when they agreed and implemented the EU-Turkey deal, which allows the EU to return refugees and migrants arriving on the Greek islands to Turkey", says Konstantinos Antonopoulos, Policy and Advocacy Adviser for MSF UK.
ATHENS /NEW YORK, MARCH 17, 2018—Two years after the signing of a deal between the European Union (EU) and Turkey, Europe's cynical strategy to contain and return people seeking asylum has trapped thousands of vulnerable people in disastrous conditions on Greek islands, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today, calling on Greek and EU authorities to increase transfers to the Greek mainland.
MSF has been providing medical and humanitarian assistance to asylum seekers and migrants in Greece since 1996. In 2014, MSF expanded its activities in Greece to meet the needs of asylum seekers arriving on the Greek islands and mainland from Turkey. Since 2016, MSF medical teams in Greece have offered services including primary health care, treatment for chronic diseases, sexual and reproductive health care, physiotherapy, individual and group/family clinical psychological care, as well as psychiatric care, along with a comprehensive social support package.
This document provides detailed information on Temporary Accommodation Sites and Reception & Identification Centers (RICs) in Greece in order to allow for better planning and to address gaps where highlighted.
A. SITUATION ANALYSIS
Description of the disaster
On 15 November 2017, the town of Mandra, Megara and Nea Peramos, which are all towns in the West Attica region of Greece (approx. 30 min drive from Athens) were flooded.
Mandra – a town of 13,5001 inhabitants – was the most severely affected, where a wave of water suddenly rushed through the city, killing people, carrying away hundreds of cars, and devastating houses and property.
This month 600 people arrived by land and 1,600 by sea.
Reduced sea arrivals combined with the ongoing transfers of the Government and UNHCR to the mainland helped reduce the number of refugees and migrants on the islands to 11,270 people thus allowing conditions in the overcrowded reception centres to slightly improve. However, more needs to be done as protection risks remain high particularly for women and children. In the mainland and Crete, UNHCR provides 22,000 places in rented housing through municipalities and NGOs.
Reception conditions slightly improved as, since December, the population on the islands decreased by 12 per cent, sea arrivals dropped by 30 per cent and transfers continued.
The Government, with the support of UNHCR, transferred to accommodation facilities on the mainland over 2,100 vulnerable asylum-seekers, and 237 unaccompanied children.
Women and children continued to be at heightened risk of sexual and gender-based violence, while security remained inadequate at the reception centres.
TRENDS AND KEY FIGURES
Between 1 and 31 January 2018, over 8,000 people arrived via the Mediterranean to Europe, an 11% increase compared to the same month in 2017 during which over 7,200 arrived. Arrivals duing January comprised of 19% children, 13% women and 68% men.
- 229 residents in the site of Veria, as of 2nd of February 2018, all registered.
- 10 new arrivals were received throughout January from Samos and Evros border crossing. They were all provided with food and non-food items by NRC Shelter/WASH team.
- 2 residents departed spontaneously, 2 under accommodation scheme and 2 were transferred to other facility in the context of family reunification.
- Protection services, including Legal Assistance and Asylum Information are still provided by UNHCR, DRC, and EASO.
The ECDC Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR) is a weekly bulletin for epidemiologists and health professionals on active public health threats. This issue covers the period 4-10 February 2018 and includes updates on poliomyelitis, hepatitis A, seasonal influenza, rubella, measles, meningitis, mass gathering monitoring (Olympics) and yellow fever.
UNHCR particularly worried about the situation at overcrowded centres on the Aegean islands of Lesvos and Samos.
GENEVA – Reports of sexual harassment and violence at some overcrowded refugee reception centres in Greece are a cause for concern and one woman said she had not taken a shower for two months from fear of being attacked, UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, said today.
Summary of the situation
• 226 residents in the site of Veria, as of 31st of December 2017, including an unregistered family of 4.
• 21 new arrivals were received throughout December from Chios and Evros border crossing. They were all provided with food and non-food items by NRC Shelter/WASH team.
• 8 residents departed spontaneously and 13 under accommodation scheme.
• Protection services, including Legal Assistance and Asylum Information are still provided by UNHCR, DRC, and EASO.
Children on the move face a range of risks, lack protection and fall through the cracks during their desperate journeys through countries of origin, transit, arrival and return. Some 164,000 refugees and migrants, including 29,000 children, entered Europe in 2017, joining the 1.4 million people, including 360,000 children, who arrived in 2015-2016, and the 3.6 million people, including 1.2 million children, already hosted in Turkey.3 The Central Mediterranean was the most used route in 2017, with spikes of arrivals in the Eastern Mediterranean in the fall.
UNICEF and partners reached almost 150,000 children with child protection and psychosocial support services via a network of 55 safe spaces in 17 provinces – including 12 established in 2017.
More than 610,500 refugee children were enrolled in schools – a 25% increase over the end of the last school year in June. For the first time since the beginning of the crisis in Turkey, more Syrian children (61%) were enrolled in public schools than in temporary education centres.
2,700 people arrived by sea and land this month, and a total of 35,200 this year. The winter conditions, the overcrowding of reception centres and the inability of services to respond to the needs led to extremely poor hygiene, increased security and protection risks on the islands. The Government with UNHCR support accelerated efforts, transferring 3,195 people authorized to the mainland state-run sites, temporarily used hotels, and UNHCR’s rented housing. The latter, provides 22,000 places through municipalities and NGOs.
Working with Partners
The ECDC Communicable Disease Threats Report (CDTR) is a weekly bulletin for epidemiologists and health professionals on active public health threats. This issue covers the period 14-20 January 2018 and includes updates on influenza, yellow fever and salmonellosis.