On March 16, Monday, one child was found dead in following a fire at the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. The fire broke out in one of the containers in the camp on Monday afternoon, which was being used as a makeshift home for refugee families. Heavy winds in the region fanned the flames which was later brought under control by firefighters.
The Moria camp has a capacity of 3,000 but now houses over 20,000 people. This has led to several social and humanitarian problems. Incidents of fire and clashes between refugees and a section of hostile residents have also been reported on the island. The increased inflow of refugees from Turkey this month has further worsened the situation.
On Saturday, around a thousand natives in Lesbos’ main city of Mytilene organized a demonstration in solidarity with the refugees and the rescue volunteers. Demonstrators demanded strong action from the government to address the suffering of the thousands of people living in deplorable conditions in the refugee camps. On March 13, employees at the Moria camp had gone on strike to demand government intervention to improve the state of affairs.
Living conditions in these camps have become more suffocating with the recent spike in the inflow of migrants after the Turkish government opened its borders with Greece, allowing the over million refugees in Turkey to move out to Europe.
The sectoral committee of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) has demanded that the Greek government immediately help the struggling refugees on the islands. It also called for stricter action against the violent right-wing groups who are involved in intimidating and threatening the refugees and sympathetic natives.