#1 Update from Lesbos: concerns over limited humanitarian access

The general situation in Lesbos is extremely tense and volatile following the fire that destroyed Moria Refugee Camp on the night between September 8th and 9th, pushing thousands of people towards Mytilini, in search some form of shelter. Living conditions are unacceptable and the area is patrolled by police and civilians, a factor that may provoke further tension.

 

 

While different humanitarian actors are present on the island, humanitarian needs remain largely unmet, mostly due to challenges related to increasing social and political tensions on the island that are limiting humanitarian access. The concern is particularly high with the lack of access to healthcare and the distribution of non-food items.

 

The high number of refugees on the island will remain a major factor of the crisis, should people not be allowed to move from Lesbos to elsewhere on the continent. INTERSOS started working with the other humanitarian actors present in Lesbos to identify and target humanitarian needs, areas and groups of people where aid is more needed, ensuring strong coordination of aid.

 

Access to electricity is one of the primary needs that emerged from the first assessment conducted by our team in Lesbos. Not surprisingly, the need for lighting is only the beginning; people also need internet connectivity and the possibility to charge their electronic devices.

 

Access to electricity means access to communication, which is a major concern during migration, when people who have been separated from their families and friends are isolated and, therefore, more vulnerable. This has been one of the key humanitarian challenge identified and targeted by our protection teams since the outbreak of the Syrian Refugee Crisis and our intervention on the Balkan Route in 2015.

 

Flavia Melillo
Flavia Melillo

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