ActionAid statement on major fire in Moria refugee camp

Responding to reports of a major fire in Moria camp, Lesvos last night, ActionAid UK’s Head of Humanitarian Response, Mike Noyes said:

“The fire last night in Moria camp on Lesvos is the devastating culmination of months of progressive overcrowding, along with a lack of dignity, justice and hope for the thousands of refugees that have been trapped inside the wire fences of the detention camp.

“In the aftermath ActionAid’s team in Greece is providing emergency psychosocial support to displaced families and vulnerable women, assisting refugees who have lost their documents in the fire, providing information and interpretation, and assisting with erecting temporary shelters for those affected.

“This disaster is the result of the unjust EU-Turkey deal, in which the human rights of people fleeing war and persecution have been traded away at the political negotiating table. People have been abandoned with no hope for the future, and fear being pushed back to the horrors from which they have fled.

“Today, a leaders’ summit on refugees will take place at the United Nations in New York. Yesterday the UK Prime Minster acknowledged that things must change, but offered walls and barbed wire instead of safety and protection to those forced to flee their homes. The UK has been one of the leading donors in the Syrian humanitarian response; but we must do more than pay Syria’s neighbours to deal with the problem on our doorstep. The UK should recognise the reality that the scale of need exceeds the ability of neighbouring countries to cope, and take a leading role in developing a humane, coordinated and fair responsibility-sharing mechanism for refugees.”

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