Rift between ministry, UNHCR over Kara Tepe

Rift between ministry, UNHCR over Kara Tepe

Ties between the Migration Ministry and the Greek chapter of the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) have been strained following criticism by a senior agency official about a temporary reception center for migrants on the eastern Aegean island of Lesvos.

In comments last week in Geneva, UNHCR spokesperson Shabia Mantoo called for “urgent action and improvements… to avoid further deterioration of living conditions” for some 7,800 migrants living at the Kara Tepe camp.

Mantoo pointed to “critical gaps in drainage, water, sanitation, hygiene and health services” as well as “safety hazards and risks.”

A ministry official said that the facility might have shortfalls, having been set up hastily following the destruction of the Moria facility last month, but accused the agency of having “prejudiced policies” and of failing to fulfill its “repeated pledges” to help with infrastructure improvements. 

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