One day after residents and officials from three eastern Aegean islands protested in Athens at the increasingly precarious and overcrowded conditions for newly-arriving migrants and refugees, humanitarian aid groups on Wednesday gave added voice to the concerns.
Speaking to the Guardian, Aria Danika, project coordinator of Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, MSF) on the island of Lesvos, said that entire families who recently arrived from countries including Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq were packed into small summer tents, under the rain and in low temperatures.
“In our mental health clinic we have received an average of 10 patients with acute mental distress every day, including many who tried to kill themselves or self-harm. The situation on the island was already terrible. Now it’s beyond desperate,” Danika told the Guardian.
On Lesvos, more than 6,500 people are stranded in facilities with a capacity of just over 2,300.
On Tuesday, the mayors of Lesvos, Chios and Samos, along with dozens of locals, traveled to the mainland to protest outside the Migration Ministry demanding the government take measures to reduce overcrowding.