Greek government accused of causing hunger crisis in refugee camps

WION Web Team
New Delhi Updated: Jan 24, 2022, 09:41 PM(IST)

File Photo: Migrants make their way at a makeshift camp next to the Moria camp, on the island of Lesbos, Greece.  Photograph:( Reuters )

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As per IRC estimates 40 per cent of camp residents have been denied things of basic need. This is because of the administration’s decision to halt food provisions

Greek authorities have been accused of prompting a hunger crisis in refugee camps, leaving people with no access to food. Martha Roussou of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), in a report by The Guardian said, "It is unthinkable that people are going hungry in Greece. Through no fault of their own they have fallen through the cracks and all because of a problem created by gaps in legislation and policy.”

As per IRC estimates 40 per cent of camp residents have been denied things of basic need. This is because of the administration’s decision to halt food provisions. 

“Teachers in local primary schools have reported children turning up to school without having eaten, without even a snack to see them through the day,” IRC said. 

In an open letter written to Greek and EU officials, a total of 33 humanitarian groups have demanded that food should be provided to all camp residents irrespective of their legal status. 

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Earlier in October, the Greek authorities were accused of the same. "Though practices differ from region to region, it is roughly estimated that 60 per cent of people living in camps do not receive food in the mainland," the 26 organisations, including the Greek Council of Refugees and the International Rescue Committee, said in a statement.

"Among those left hungry, 25 per cent are women (including pregnant women), single-headed families, 40 per cent are children, chronic patients, and patients with special medical and nutritional conditions. In some places, food is not even provided to those put in quarantine due to COVID 19," they added.

Athens’ migration ministry has rejected claims of a hunger crisis. Manos Logothetis, who oversees refugee reception, described the allegation as “nonsense."

“If a hunger crisis really existed there’d be riots and protests. We are in discussion with the EU commissioner every week and have reassured her that there is no issue with food, that everyone who is supposed to receive it, including the vulnerable and incapacitated, is getting support," he said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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