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Society

UN Refugee Agency Rips Greece Over Lesbos Refugee Tent City

ATHENS – Greece's Migration Ministry, criticized over conditions in refugee and migrant camps holding some 100,000 people, including some 34,000 on islands, is upset over criticism from the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR.) 

 UNHCR spokesperson Shabia Mantoo called for “urgent action and improvements… to avoid further deterioration of living conditions” for some 7,800 migrants living at the Kara Tepe camp on the island of Lesbos.

Mantoo pointed to “critical gaps in drainage, water, sanitation, hygiene and health services” as well as “safety hazards and risks,” said Kathimerini about a tent city set up after the notorious Moria detention camp was set on fire in protest over a quarantine aimed at preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Some 12,500 people were left homeless for days, the European Union breaking promises to help and with only a handful of countries offering to take a relatively few people, unaccompanied minors and families.

A ministry official told the newspaper the tent city in which people will live through the winter  – it partially flooded in heavy rains – has some problems because it was assembled quickly.

But the official, who was not named, said UNCHR has “prejudiced policies” and had failed to meet its own “repeated pledges” to do more to help, although two dozen other activist groups said the Moria camp was unfit for humans while operating.

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