The Oxfam aid organization has criticized conditions at a provisional tent camp for refugees and migrants on the Greek island of Lesbos, saying conditions are worse than they were at the original site that burned down.
Some 8,000 people, mostly families with children, are living in tents not fit for winter, Oxfam said on Wednesday in Brussels.
The charity sent staff to Lesbos, together with the Greek Council of Refugees (GCR), to assess the situation at the provisional site after a fire gutted the island's Moria camp in September.
"When Moria burnt down, we heard strong statements from EU decision-makers saying ‘No more Morias.' But the new camp is rightly dubbed ‘Moria 2.0,'" the organization said in the statement.
"The EU and Greek response following the Moria fire has been pitiful. Rather than relocating asylum-seekers to proper shelters where they would be safe, the EU and Greece have opted for another dismal camp at the external borders, trapping people in a spiral of destitution and misery," it added.
The aid workers criticized the Kara Tepe camp, saying the shelter was inadequate, there was hardly any running water, limited health care services and no access to legal aid. Some tents are only 20 meters (65 feet) from the sea and have no protection from the weather, they said.
Food is only provided once or twice each day but is insufficient and of poor quality, Oxfam said. Furthermore, there is hardly any running water, so many people bathe in the sea.
Also, there is no drainage or sewage system on the site that was formerly a military shooting range.
Oxfam appealed to EU countries to take in refugees from the Greek islands. It said the EU should also help Greece and aid organizations to equip the camps properly.
“The government plan also does not provide a durable and coherent integration strategy, in order to avoid simply transferring a policy-made problem from the island to the mainland. This also means that European governments need to work together and ensure effective relocation across member states for those seeking protection in Europe,” Oxfam stated.
It also called on Greece to bring people to the mainland as soon as possible and provide suitable accommodation.
Parts of the provisional camp in Lesbos have already been submerged by flooding due to October rains. A sudden downpour flooded part of the Kara Tepe camp, and 80 tents had to be replaced after the downpour.
Nearly a month after a fire gutted the notoriously overcrowded Moria camp, leaving nearly 13,000 homeless, some residents are far from happy about the conditions at the new, smaller facility nearby. Even if their old camp was known as "hell" or "the jungle," asylum-seekers on the Greek island of Lesbos say that their new site may even be worse.
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