UNHCR Urges Swift Resettlement of Migrants from Greek Islands Due to Harsh Winter Conditions

Saturday, January 7th, 2017
Last Update: 17:06

On Friday the United Nation’s refugee agency (UNHCR) urged authorities to speed up the relocation of over 15,000 migrants, saying that they are living with inadequate heating supplies to keep them warm in the overcrowded camps on the Aegean islands.

At a press conference in Geneva, UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards said that the situation is dire and urged the quick resettlement of migrants to either facilities on the mainland of Greece or other EU countries.

“Even with recent efforts to improve matters, conditions at many sites on the islands remain very poor,” Edwards said.

“The need for better protection will become all the more acute this weekend when temperatures on the islands are expected to drop. We are worried.”

Greek authorities vowed to improve the conditions in the camps last week and aid workers have been providing electric heaters and insulation, as well as distributing additional thermal blankets and sleeping bags to migrants at the camps, but Edwards pointed that more needs to be done as temperatures this week dropped to -0 degrees Celsius in some parts of the country.

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