17 January 2018
ATHENS, Greece/UNITED NATIONS, New York – Over two years ago, Greece became the centre of a refugee and migration crisis, with hundreds of thousands of people streaming into the country, many of them risking death to escape war, persecution and deprivation. In 2016 alone, some 173,000 people arrived in Greece, overwhelming local communities and resources.
Sea arrivals continued mainly to Lesvos and Samos, but decreased this month to 2,300 people. The majority came from Syria and Iraq, and 59% were women and children.
The situation remains difficult for asylum-seekers staying under unhygienic conditions in border reception centres. 178 people at high risk are hosted in UNHCR-rented hotels for the winter.
The Government accelerated transfers to the mainland and UNHCR supported some 3,200 asylum-seekers, mainly vulnerable or families authorized to move.
Plans in place to help protect 3.8 million vulnerable individuals from harsh weather this winter, but programme currently only 63 per cent funded.
Sitting in the single, unheated room that serves as their home in a run-down neighbourhood of the Lebanese capital Beirut, Samira and her husband Hussein have a familiar sense of foreboding at the prospect of their sixth winter in exile since fleeing the conflict in neighbouring Syria.
Over 167,000 refugee children benefitted from a conditional cash transfer for education (CCTE) payment for attending school regularly in preceding months – a 22% increase over the September payment.
Between April-November, UNICEF and NGO partner ASAM distributed almost 41,800 protection vouchers to more than 18,800 vulnerable refugee families in six provinces, benefitting over 57,700 children.
Summary of major revisions made to emergency plan of action:
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 10-16 December 2017 and includes updates on diphtheria, influenza, Salmonella and cholera.
In Lesbos Camp, Neglect Threatens Women’s, Girls’ Safety, Health
(Athens) – Greek authorities are failing to provide adequate protection for women and girls living in government-run, European Union-sponsored facilities for asylum seekers on the island of Lesbos, Human Rights Watch said today.
Sea arrivals continued mainly to Lesvos and Chios, but decreased this month to 3,200 people. The majority came from Syria and Iraq, and 62% were women and children.
Amid dropping temperatures tensions amplified and living conditions further deteriorated for asylum-seekers in border reception centres with limited access to services.
The Government intensified transfers to the mainland and UNHCR supported some 2,130 asylum-seekers, mainly vulnerable or families authorized to move.
This factsheet provides a summary of the activities that the ICRC carries out for vulnerable migrants and their families in Europe and Central Asia. It explains our approach and describes what we, together with National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, do to help protect and assist migrants along migration routes in Europe and Central Asia.
- 225 residents living in the site of Veria, as of 31 November.
- 3 new arrivals were received throughout November from Lesvos and Evros border crossing. They were all provided with food and non-food items by NRC Shelter team and Bridge.
- 12 residents departed spontaneously and 3 under accommodation scheme.
- Protection services, including Legal Assistance and Asylum Information are still being provided by UNHCR, DRC, and EASO.
- IRC is still handling PSS and CP. All WP / SGBV or any other protection referrals are referred to UNHCR.
Concerns for hundreds of unaccompanied children sleeping rough in Greece this winter
NGOs launch roadmap for handover of refugee response to Greek Government
More than 2,000 unaccompanied children are on the waiting list for safe shelters in Greece, according to a new report by 12 organisations. The chronic shortage of accommodation for children is just one of the gaps in services that is worsening as the Greek Government prepares to take full control of the refugee response.
In 2015-2016, when the influx of refugees trying to escape from conflict and persecution and seek asylum in Europe was at its climax, the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) and SOLIDAR launched the common project “From Europe to local: Migrating solidarity”, which aimed at analysing the crucial role that civil society organisations all over Europe played in offering assistance, support and comfort to migrants wishing to integrate in European societies.
Summary of the situation
Between October 2016 and September 2017, countries of the European Region reported 15,941 confirmed measles cases; 86% (n=13,712) of these cases were reported in 2017. In this period, the highest incidence was reported in Romania (252.4 cases per 1 million population), followed by Italy (82.4 cases per 1 million population) and Tajikistan (77.3 cases per 1 million population). In 2017, there were 20 measles deaths, including 10 reported in Romania.
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 3-9 December and includes updates on influenza, Listeria monocytogenes IVb, measles, MERS-CoV, plague, poliomyelitis, rubella, and yellow fever.
3,800 people arrived by sea and land this month, the majority of whom from Syria and Iraq. On the islands, the heavy rain worsened further the living conditions for asylum-seekers
Protection risks increased in the overcrowded RICs as hygiene and security deteriorated, putting children and the vulnerable in particular danger. The Government decided to increase transfers of those eligible to accommodation in Government-run sites and UNHCR apartments in the mainland and Crete with UNHCR’s support.
Working with Partners
The Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan (RMRP) for 2017 outlines the intended operational response and financial requirements for the response to the large-scale population movements registered throughout Europe since 2015. The response is primarily designed on the basis of protection-related concerns and humanitarian imperatives.
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 healthcare, treatment for chronic diseases, sexual and reproductive healthcare, physiotherapy and mental healthcare. Today, MSF provides medical services in the wider area of Athens, in Epirus, as well as on the islands of Lesvos and Samos.
Tuesday, December 5, 2017 — For the second consecutive winter, Greek authorities are trapping thousands of men, women and children on the Greek islands leaving them on the brink of a humanitarian emergency, warns the medical and humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF). In response to this crisis, MSF is scaling up its emergency humanitarian intervention and is calling on EU and Greek authorities to open the islands and immediately move people to the mainland.