Half of Moria migrant camp population is women and children, NGO says


Around 50 percent of the refugees and migrants crammed into the notorious Moria reception and processing center on the Aegean island of Lesvos are women and children who need to be transferred to more suitable facilities, Elias Pavlopoulos, the general director of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) Greece, said on Thursday.

Describing the appalling conditions at the overcrowded camp on Skai TV, Pavlopoulos said that there is one toilet per 70 residents and one shower stall per 90 residents. He also warned of a surge in violence, including sexual assaults, saying that the women and children at the Moria camp need to be urgently transferred to safer facilities.

Pavlopoulos was especially critical of the care, or lack thereof, afforded to children at Moria, stressing the psychological strain of living in such conditions after surviving war and other hardships. He spoke of children as young as 12 years old inflicting self-injury and attempting suicide or having suicidal thoughts.

The MSF general director's warnings come in the wake of numerous critical reports from experts and activists concerning Moria and amid government promises to begin mass transfers from that camp to better facilities on the Greek mainland.

Estimates put the number of people crammed into the facility, which was built to accommodate some 3,000 people, at around 9,000 right now, with reports also suggesting that beyond inadequate sanitation and accommodation facilities, food is also a daily struggle, as resident have to queue for up to three hours three times a day for their meals.