Brussels, March 25, 2020 (Caritas Europa). Amid the growing COVID-19 pandemic, Caritas Europa has joined 200 church and civil society organisations from all over Europe to call on the EU institutions and the Greek government to immediately evacuate refugee camps.

 

More than 42,000 people are currently living on the Greek islands in difficult conditions. Recommended measures like social distancing or frequent hand washing are impossible in an environment such as the Moria camp on Lesbos where, according to Médecins Sans Frontières, there is only one water tap for the 1,300 inhabitants.

 

Therefore, the organisations call on the EU Member States to show leadership and solidarity with Greece and to relocate refugees from the Greek islands, adding that relocation should first target unaccompanied children and the most vulnerable refugees.

 

Also, they urge the Greek government to restore access to asylum, which has been on hold since the beginning of March, with fair and efficient procedures.

 

Organisations and individuals are invited to join the appeal at urgentletter.at.