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Migrant camps on Greek island of Lesbos ‘miserable’

UNHCR Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi talks with migrants girls at Karatepe refugee camp during his visit on the northeastern Aegean island of Lesbos, Greece, Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2019. (Photo by AP)

Amina Taylor
Press TV, London

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has described conditions at the migrant camps on the Greek Aegean island of Lesbos as ‘miserable’ on a visit there on Wednesday. 

In 2019 Greece received over 65,000 people – an increase of 80% on the previous period, placing huge strain on the islands. 

whilst there was recognition that Greece had taken in more migrants than Spain, Italy, Malta and Cyprus combined in the previous year, Grandi was still critical of the conditions thousands of vulnerable people were in.

The UNHCR chief slammed the overcrowding, poor services, violence and long periods of wait which meant those made the dangerous crossing still had further obstacles to face.

Stories like that of Ibrahim who lost his eldest son in the war on Syria and is now desperate to give some sense of normalcy to his surviving children.

And still the thousands stuck in cramped conditions are the lucky ones, on the same day Grandi visited the Greek camps, four migrants died and up to 16 remain unaccounted for after trying to cross into Europe from North Africa on a small raft, according to the Spanish coastguard.

Before Wednesday's deaths, at least 1,136 migrants had already died or gone missing at sea this year after trying to make the crossing, according to figures from the International Organisation for Migration.

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