26Jun2022

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Category: Greece

Greece

Greece Mission Update 12/1/2015

12/1/2015

Hi all,

We we worked a big boat this morning that may have been overloaded with as many as 250 Kurds. You can see the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTxYwLGl1Y0

Later, while we were at Lighthouse beach, we saw the big Greek navy ship go by. With binoculars we could see refugees on the aft deck. We raced off for the harbor only to find they were heading for the customs dock down the coast, so we raced over there. We got there just before the ship did and were able to help the Afghans.

We briefly helped back at the harbor after dinner with a small group.

It is clear that the agreement with Turkey is not going to stop the flow for some time though it has slowed considerably. The Turks will have to make life awfully enticing to make the refugees want to stay. How much can 3 billion  for 2.2 million refugees do?

We stopped by Oxy camp before returning to the hotel but nothing was happening there. Basel was then off to pick up Sharif at the airport.

Brian

Greece

Greece Mission Update 11/29/2015

This is an update sent to us by one of our Greece mission volunteers. His next post will be posted immediately after this, with photos taken just yesterday.

 

11/29/2015

Hi all,

Lively day today with lots of boats. It was the first time that the new team was all together. The first boat that we met was along the road to Scala. The weather was beautiful but the refugees came ashore wet and shivering.

We then went farther down the road where other boats were arriving but there were plenty of volunteers there. As we were about  turn around and head to the harbor, our Greek lifeguard friends shouted, “Stop that car!” A small pickup was leaving the scene and we gave chase. It was some locals who had stolen a refugee’s backpack. We overtook and stopped them and the lifeguards gave them a tongue lashing.

The bulk of our day was spent working two groups brought to the harbor by the Coast Guard. Their boats were taking  water so of course they were soaked. One guy had been in the water alone for over an hour and was found by chance.

The end of the day was spent with a shift at Oxy camp but Nick and Olivia just saw a couple of kids there with Tarek translating. We filled the time until the end of the shift sorting meds.

Regardless of the agreement with Turkey we don’t expect things to quiet down…

That’s all for now

Brian

GreeceHumanitarian AidRefugees

Urgent Appeal: SCM to Provide Humanitarian Aid in Greece

URGENT: Donate to our Emergency Greece Fund

Update on 9/22/2015: Please see click here to read our team’s final report regarding Lesvos –  SCMGreeceAssessment

Update on Greece 9/2/2015:

SCM is calling on all supporters, humanitarians, past-mission volunteers and the international community for assistance. After an initial report by our team in Lesvos, Greece we are more than ever concerned for the well-being of refugees who have made it this far. Basic necessities such as shelter, sanitation, access to food/water are needed ASAP. To be quite frank, this has been heartbreaking for all of us as personal accounts of extremes taken in an attempt to reach safety are heard and pictures of drowned children on shores circulate. It is even more heartbreaking for those who continue to experience it. We are pleading for a show of humanity. This is a direct action to help immediately…so we may ease the pain of those we seek to help.
-SCM Team


At the start of September, SCM will be traveling to Greece with a small team to access the situation in the Greek Islands and provide humanitarian and medical aid. We have teamed up with a local NGO who have been on the front lines intercepting refugees from the beaches; working with a limited number of volunteers and supplies. SCM is currently collecting funds to provide emergency supplies such food, water, blankets and limited medication on the ground and in person during this upcoming trip.

In July of this year alone 50,242 individuals entered Greece’s borders by sea in pursuit of safety, which is more than all of 2014 combined. According the UNHCR, roughly 82% are of Syrian-origin, with the remainder from Iraq and Afghanistan . The total number of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean this year has reached a staggering 264,500 with roughly 160,000 landing in Greece and 2,300 lives lost in the journey.
The islands of Kos and Lesvos are seeing the majority of refugees touch base on their beaches. After a terrifying voyage, a very limited number of local NGO’s and Greek nationals are scrambling to accept them with food, water, and emergency supplies. Unfortunately, the UN reception centers are located across the islands. This leaves the refugees with anywhere from a 40-70 kilometer trek on foot to be processed by the UN . A local NGO, METAction has been attempting to provide travel assistance during this journey. For others, it depends on the kindness of Greek nationals.

The reception centers in place are often in unofficial locations such as parks, stadiums, fields and in one case in Kos- a police department. The UN has recently opened a new processing center in Eleonas, Athens which is available to house 700 refugees at capacity . This reception center is the most developed in all of Greece in response to the refugee crisis, but is still lacking basic medical and humanitarian assistance. Greek nationals have personally taken it on themselves to assist with food, shelter, and water in unofficial centers although they are struggling themselves with the harsh economy.

Although Greece is ultimately doing its best, its lack of infrastructure is felt by the refugees who wish to move on to other European countries due to a lack of resources and stability.  SCM will be doing what it can to help, with your support leading the way.

donate

Sources:

[1] Numbers of refugee arrivals to Greece increase dramatically. 18 August 2015. UNHCR. http://www.unhcr.org/55d32dcf6.html

[2] Number of refugees and migrants arriving in Greece soars 750 per cent over 2014. 7 August 2015. UNHCR. http://www.unhcr.org/55c4d1fc2.html

[3] Athens accommodation site opens for new arrivals in Greece. 20 August 2015. UNHCR. http://www.unhcr.org/55d5dc5f6.html