Arrivals increased in August to 3,600 people arriving mainly to Samos, Lesvos, and Chios. The majority were from Syria and Iraq, while 62 per cent are women and children.
Asylum-seekers are staying amidst deteriorating conditions in overcrowded sites on Samos,
Lesvos, and Chios despite UNHCR transfers to the mainland doubling this month.
As national authorities assume full management of services in the hotspots,
UNHCR called for further robust action and urgent deployment of more staff.
Conditions in the mainland are generally improving as the Government is closing temporary sites and people are moving into housing. However, arrivals peaked this month when 6,000 people this people arrived by sea and land. Border reception centres became critically overcrowded, conditions deteriorated and protection risks increased including of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).
Between January and September 2017, close to 140,000 refugees and migrants arrived on European shores. Although two-thirds of them came through the Central Mediterranean Route, the Eastern Mediterranean Route has recorded a recent spike in sea crossings to Greece (including 4,239 children in three months) coupled with new arrivals through the Western Mediterranean Route and the Black Sea.
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MSF calls on authorities to immediately relocate asylum seekers on Greek islands to the Greek mainland
Conditions in the mainland are generally improving. The Government is closing temporary sites and more people are staying in rented housing.
However, increased sea and land arrivals land arrivals of 4,200 people this month accentuated the overcrowded conditions in island and border reception centres leading to alarming conditions and slower asylum procedures.
Visiting a health clinic in a foreign country is always daunting – particularly if you don’t speak the language or understand the system. Mohammad and his family, Syrian refugees who live in a migrant camp just outside Athens, found exactly that when they needed support for complex health problems.
A dramatic increase in the numbers of refugees arriving to the Greek islands is creating high levels of overcrowding, leading to squalid living conditions.
Arrivals to the islands are now at their highest rate since March 2016.
Trapped in refugee camps, up to 16 people are forced to sleep in five-person tents while babies have to sleep on the floor.
This level of overcrowding puts children at immense risk. There have been reports of violent outbreaks in some camps, including abuse against children.
This year, 13,500 people arrived in Greece by sea and land. While living conditions for asylum-seekers have generally improved in the mainland, serious gaps remain in the overcrowded RICs of the islands where some people must remain for their asylum decisions. The poor conditions increase protection risks, including sexual and gender-based violence and lead incidents of tension and violence and contribute to tension. Children and the vulnerable are particularly affected.
Some 2,249 people arrived on the Aegean islands in July with the majority being Syrian and Iraqi. 60% of the new arrivals on the islands are women and children.
The transitional period intensifies problems on the islands where some asylum-seekers must re main for their asylum decisions. Overcrowding and poor conditions persist.
This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Cécile Pouilly – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today's press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is concerned by the deteriorating situation on Greece’s eastern Aegean islands. The number of new arrivals, which accelerated in August, is putting pressure on overcrowded reception facilities and hampering efforts to improve conditions.
This summer, the European Commission and the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Regional Office in Brussels signed a Direct Agreement for the implementation of the project REHEALTH 2 which aims to test the further use of the Personal Health Record - a tool designed to integrate migrants and refugees in EU health systems.
Some 2,000 people arrived on the Aegean islands in June with the majority being Syrian and Iraqi. 55% of the new arrivals on the islands are women and children.
Problems persist on the islands where some asylum-seekers must remain for their asylum decisions. This results in overcrowded ‘hotspots’ and poor conditions.
Efficient coordination and delivery of certain services that affect the lives of asylum seekers during the transition period can be further improved.
Refugees International Field Report
By Izza Leghtas
An estimated 11,000 people arrived in Greece in 2017. The living conditions for many asylum-seekers have improved and the Government is gradually closing sites, including Elliniko.
Yet problems persist, particularly on the islands where some asylum-seekers must remain for their asylum decisions.
This results in overcrowded ‘hotspots’ and poor conditions.
The situation increases tension and protection risks, including sexual and genderbased violence. Vulnerable asylum-seekers and children are particularly at risk.
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