Tuesday night and Wednesday morning on the 9th of September, Moria Refugee Camp on Lesvos burned down. The Greek Government confirms that no deaths are reported, but 13 000 displaced persons are now without a roof over their head and have lost what little they had. Lesvos must be evacuated now!
Several fires began in Moria Refugee Camp on Tuesday night. A Drop in the Ocean has been working on Lesvos since 2015, and since spring 2019 with activities for unaccompanied minors inside Moria Camp. All our field workers are safe; however, 13 000 displaced persons have lost what little they had, and have now no place to go. More than 5 000 of these are children. Families forced to flee have spent the night along the road, on parking lots and fields. They do not have food or water.
“This was a predicted catastrophe, that we have warned about over and over again,” says Trude Jacobsen, Secretary General of A Drop in the Ocean.
This fire comes in addition to an ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, and Lesvos has now declared four months of state of emergency.
Greek News agencies report that the fire continued Wednesday night in the Olive Grove, an area around the fenced Moria Camp. People had to flee the flames that once again were destroying the refugee camp.
Unaccompanied minors taken care of
The areas where the unaccompanied minors used to live, and where A Drop in the Ocean has contributed with activities and psychosocial support, is totally damaged by the fire. According to the Greek Government all the unaccompanied minors are taken care of. Greek news agencies report that the children are tested for Covid-19 and transported by plane to the mainland. They will later be relocated to other EU-countries or refugee camps.
Thank you for the support!
We have experienced an enormous support in the last 24 hours. Many have initiated and supported Facebook fund raisings, donated money, or signed up as monthly donors. We are so grateful for the donations, and we are working around the clock to find out how to best support Lesvos and the ones who need it the most.
The situation on Lesvos is very chaotic and unclear. There have also been several reports on right-wing group attacking aid workers preventing them from accessing the areas where the refugees are located.
Norway needs to take its part – #50isnotenough
The Norwegian Government stated that Norway will accept 50 refugees from Lesvos, mainly Syrian families with children. As the situation is now, this is not enough. Norway can and must lead the way by relocating more refugees from Lesvos, also unaccompanied minors who are the most vulnerable. Norway has the capacity to do so. Previously, more than a hundred Norwegian municipalities have said yes to welcoming refugees.
Norway must take lead, so that even more European countries take their share of the responsibility. This is not solely the responsibility of Greece.