INTERSOS, in collaboration to its Greek partner INTERSOS Hellas, deployed a team of 4 people to Lesbos, following the fire that devastated almost entirely Moria Refugee Camp on the night between September 8th and 9th.
Our staff is working to assess the more urgent needs and begin to provide assistance to the most vulnerable people. In this first phase, our intervention will focus on distributing emergency kits and providing direct support to families who have lost everything.
Eighty percent of the camp, that was hosting around 12,500 people, was destroyed by the fire. Although no casualties have been so far recorded, thousands of people were left without temporary housing and access to basic goods, dispersing into the surrounding streets and woods, seeking for shelter. Water supply and health facilities are lacking. The situation is chaotic and particularly tense: extremist groups are patrolling the streets of Mytilini and clashes between refugees and police have been reported.
The 400 unaccompanied minors present in the camp have been transferred to the mainland in Thessaloniki and, according to a Greek government announcement, temporary camps should be set up in Larsos and Lemonou, while ferry and two military ships should be made available to guarantee isolation for COVID-19 prevention.
In fact, the pandemic is further exacerbating the situation, as the entire Moria camp was in isolation before the fire due to the presence of 35 confirmed cases.