UNHCR appeals for urgent action over Samos migrant center

UNHCR appeals for urgent action over Samos migrant center

The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has issued an appeal for urgent action to address the "severe deterioration of the living conditions of refugees and migrants on Samos."

With an official capacity of up to 850 people, the center on the eastern Aegean island hosts some 2,000, the UNHCR said in a statement, adding that heavy rainfall last week "led to a situation of emergency."

Hundreds of migrants have been left in "small camping tents out in the open, with limited access to services such as toilets and showers, exposed to protection and security risks," the UNHCR said.

"There is no reason why vulnerable people and children remain homeless or in appalling living conditions," the UNHCR's representative in Greece Philippe Leclerc said.

The UNHCR stands ready to assist with alternative short-term accommodation for families and vulnerable asylum-seekers, such as use of hotels at special rates, in close collaboration with local and central authorities, the organization said.

The UNHCR also called for a redoubling of efforts to speed up the processing of asylum applications an the transfer of more migrants to the Greek mainland.

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