Following Fire at Lesbos Refugees Camp, Thousands Are Still Without Shelter

Tags: Currents Crux, Faith, Pope Francis, refugee crisis, Refugees, World News

By Emily Drooby

After the fire in Moria, Lesbos, refugees were left with practically nothing. Many are sleeping on the streets. There are thousands of families who have been waiting for a new camp for days.

This, after a fire ravaged the largest refugee camp in Greece called, Moria, located on the island of Lesbos.

One refugee, who is unnamed, said, “You can see our situation. We don’t have any place to – there isn’t any toilet. There is not enough water, no food.”

Pope Francis does not forget his 2016 visit to the now vanished Moria camp. That is why when the fire broke out, he recalled that those who flee from war or hunger deserve a dignified hospitality.

“That a humane and dignified hospitality be assured to migrant women and men, refugees, and those who seek asylum in Europe,” he said. “I express my solidarity and closeness to all the victims of these dramatic experiences.”

Long before the fire, the camp has been plagued with reports of overcrowding and unsanitary conditions

About 12,000 people were living there before the fire, at least 4,000 of them children. Many were there after risking everything to leave countries like Afghanistan and Syria.

“We put our lives in danger to come here. We didn’t know if we were going to live or die when we went into the sea. We thought we were going to die. We crossed the border. We had heard that there was respect for human rights here, but since we arrived, nobody has helped us,” explained another unnamed refugee.

Six people have been arrested for starting the fires including two minors, all are Afghan nationals.

It has been over a week, and still thousands are left without shelter.

Footage shows hundreds of temporary tents set up by the United Nations Human Rights Council in an effort to help.

“What is needed? Access to water, sanitation, hygiene. Access to medical assistance, and all the immediate relief items,” explained Astrid Castelein, High Commissioner for Refugees for the United Nations.

Police are moving refugees into a new camp, but many are afraid to go, allegedly fearing more bad conditions.

Medical attention is also essential especially as the area continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.

A group from Doctors Without Borders, on the ground in Moria, say the fire made conditions much worse for their patients. They’re warning that people shouldn’t be put in another camp.

Katerina Sakellaropoulou, the president of Greece, acknowledges the overcrowding and is calling for help.

Germany has vowed to take in 1,500 refugees, while 400 unaccompanied children have been flown to shelters in northern Greece.