NGO condemns evacuation of refugees from Lesvos’ PIKPA camp

NGO condemns evacuation of refugees from Lesvos’ PIKPA camp

Humanitarian group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has condemned as “absurd” a government decision to transfer more than 70 vulnerable migrants and refugees from the PIKPA camp on the eastern Aegean island of Levos to the makeshift tent city of Kara Tepe, erected to replace the burned-down Moria camp last month.

“This morning, the minister of migration has taken a completely absurd decision of taking people living in PIKPA camp away from their home,” Stephan Oberreit, the head of MSF’s mission to Greece, said in a video message from Lesvos posted on the organization’s Twitter account on Thursday.

“This is absurd because the focus, the priority, should be the many vulnerable people living in the main camp of Lesvos and living in a completely inadequate situation,” he added, referring to the Kara Tepe camp, dubbed ‘Moria 2.0’ by critics condemning poor conditions at the facility.

“The priority of the government, of the authority, should be to focus to put these people in safety, either on the mainland or in other EU countries,” Oberreit added, calling on the government to “stop the chaotic management of the situation.”

According to local media, the evacuation of the last 74 residents of the PIKPA camp began on Friday morning.

The Migration Ministry announced its decision to move the residents of the camp – which operates under the supervision of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) – to the state-run Kara Tepe facility after a staff member at the PIKPA camp tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

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