Red Cross doubles support in Greece as thousands await their fate

Publié: 2 juin 2016 9:35 CET

By Caroline Haga, IFRC

Over 50,000 people, primarily families, are stranded in Greece awaiting their fate pending decisions on asylum and EU relocation. The Red Cross is significantly scaling up support to help ensure adequate care and better living conditions for tens of thousands of vulnerable migrants stranded in camps across the country.

“The Hellenic Red Cross has been responding to humanitarian needs since the onset of the migration crisis. Our focus is now to ensure adequate care and improved living conditions in camps where tens of thousands will live for an indefinite period of time. People need decent living conditions, enough food, access to medical care and psychosocial support and most importantly - information,” said Angelica Fanaki, Head of operations for the Hellenic Red Cross (HRC).

Helping the exhausted and traumatised

In addition to providing medical care, food and emergency supplies in twelve camps across Greece, addressing growing psychosocial support needs, reconnecting family members, and improving hygiene and sanitation will also be prioritized.  

“We are particularly concerned about the well-being of those who have already faced so much - 60 per cent of whom are women and children. Our Red Cross teams working across Greece witness daily how the uncertain situation and dire conditions impact people’s physical and mental health. We will be prioritizing health care and psychological support to help those exhausted and traumatized,” said Simon Missiri, IFRC Regional Director for Europe.

The Hellenic Red Cross, supported by the IFRC and National societies from across Europe, has supported more than 300,000 migrants since the onset of the crisis. The Red Cross has distributed more than 900,000 relief items including food parcels, water, hygiene kits, baby items, and sleeping bags; provided medical care, first aid and psychosocial support to more than 100,000 people; helped rescue and provide first aid to 42,000 people and helped more than 11,000 people to reconnect with their loved ones.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) recently more than doubled its Emergency Appeal to 28.7 million Swiss francs to continue providing critical humanitarian aid in Greece.