Process to Relieve Overcrowding at Moria Hotspot Underway

FILE - In this Friday, May 4, 2018 file photo migrants and refugees wait outside the European Asylum Support Service offices inside the camp of Moria on the northeastern Aegean island of Lesbos, Greece. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, File)

LESBOS, Greece – The first 100 out of a total of 2,000 asylum seekers scheduled to leave the Moria refugee and migrant camp by the end of September left the island of Lesvos on Friday, on a ferry boat bound for Kavala.

Their destination is a new camp set up on the mainland, in the Volvi area in Thessaloniki, with a capacity to house about 1,200 people. Similar departures of up to 400 people at a time will take place over the coming week, on ferry boats heading to either Piraeus or Kavala, with the Volvi camp in Thessaloniki or the Katsika camp in the region of Ioannina as their final destination.

According to migration policy ministry sources, another 1,000 asylum seekers will depart in October to a third structure that will operate in the Preveza region.

The aim is that these mass transfers of asylum seekers belonging to vulnerable groups, along with the movements of persons who have completed the asylum process, will relieve overcrowding and lead to improved conditions in the main camp of the reception and identification centre of Moria.