Some 500 Afghan and Syrian refugees, one-third of whom are estimated to be children, will be moved from a makeshift camp in Pedion tou Areos park in central Athens to a new location by the end of the week, Greek authorities said on Monday.
The new camp is being set up in Elaionas, an open allotment in western Athens that was donated for the purpose by the City of Athens. The municipal authority on Monday issued a statement confirming that it has made the space available to accommodate the refugees, who have been sleeping rough and surviving in unsanitary conditions for several weeks. However, it stressed that this should be treated only as a temporary solution and the relevant ministries and regional authorities should immediately address the long-term implications of the massive influx of refugees and migrants that has hit Greece since the start of the year.
According to reports, prefabricated houses have been donated by the military to form the main shelters in the allotment, which will be guarded by police. The refugees will continue to be clothed and fed by the nongovernmental organizations and local authorities who have been caring for them to date.