Evacuate refugee camps to prevent a catastrophe in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic Tuesday March 24th, 2020
GCAP Europe together with 200 civil society organisations in Europe has signed an urgent appeal to the EU’s leading politicians and the head of the Greek government: “We urge you to evacuate the refugee camps and hotspots on the Greek islands immediately in order to prevent a catastrophe in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
COVID-19 makes evacuation, something civil society has repeatedly called for, even more urgent. There are 42,000 refugees in camps for 6,000 people. Europe must now act as swiftly as possible and conduct an emergency operation to transfer refugees on the Greek islands to appropriate accommodation – to protect the refugees themselves and also the local population and humanitarian aid workers. The consequences of a COVID-19 outbreak in the camps would be unthinkable. There is only one water tap for the 1,300 inhabitants of Lesbos’ Moria camp, and soap is unavailable. Families of five or six have to sleep crammed into three square meters.
It is still possible to sign the appeal on the website www.urgentletter.at