As of 30 September 2020, Greece counts 121,100 migrants and refugees – 98,200 in the mainland and 22,900 on the islands. Reception centers on the islands are overcrowded and conditions are dire with many refugees living in unsuitable tents or makeshift shelters. Medical assistance and WASH facilities are lacking. Women and girls face difficulties in safely accessing services. The five reception centres on the Greek islands designed for 5,400 people hosted more than 30,000 people during the summer.
Moria’s Reception and Identification Center and the olive grove sites around it were burned to the ground after 6 hours of wildfire on 08.09.2020. More than 12,000 individuals – the majority of them families and children – remained homeless. Thousands, including women with babies, children, the elderly, the sick, the disabled, fled in panic.
A new temporary site was set-up by Greek authorities that undertook the overall responsibility for the management and coordination of the humanitarian response, with the support of UNHCR and other international organizations. The new Kara Tepe site is located in an army’s former shooting range, next to the sea, on the main road that connects the city of Mytilene with Panagiouda village. The new camp was set in record time and it’ s massive: its hosting capacity exeeds 10,000 people (the biggest in Europe). Still, there are grave shotfalls such as regular electricity and water supply issues that have not yet been resolved, resulting into the camp’s conditions being extremelly challenging, especially in view of the upcoming winter.