As the influx of undocumented migrants into Greece continues unabated, exacerbating the overcrowding problems at reception centers, the United Nations refugee agency has dispatched an official to assess the situation.
The UNHCR’s representative to Greece, Philip Leclerc, was on Crete Friday and is expected to stay until Monday to evaluate the progress of a state-backed program to accommodate refugees whose asylum applications have been accepted.
The slow progress in the processing of asylum claims is a key reason for the overcrowding of reception centers, particularly on the islands of the eastern Aegean, which dozens of migrants continue to reach daily on smuggling boats from neighboring Turkey.
According to government data, a total of 1,421 migrants have landed on the islands of the eastern Aegean so far this month. More than 14,000 migrants are currently in facilities on the islands, a third of them on Lesvos.