IsraAID Responds to Moria Refugee Camp Fire, Lesbos


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September 9, 2020

The Israeli NGO has worked with refugees in Lesbos since 2015

09 September 2020. For immediate release:

IsraAID will provide emergency relief – including shelter equipment, such as sleeping bags and tents, hygiene items and Psychological First Aid – to refugees in Lesbos, Greece, following the devastating fires at Moria Refugee Camp. Moria is the largest refugee camp in Europe, home to more than 12,000 refugees – around four times its official capacity. The fires, which started overnight, have burnt down at least 70% of the camp and were still ongoing today.

IsraAID has worked with refugees on Lesbos since the ongoing Mediterranean refugee crisis exploded in 2015. From 2015 to 2018, the humanitarian aid agency provided emergency medical care to refugees as they arrived on the island’s north shore. Since then, IsraAID’s team has focused on supporting refugee children on the island through education and psychosocial support.  

The fires exacerbate an already-difficult humanitarian situation on Lesbos, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic hampering efforts to provide urgent aid. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, IsraAID’s team has been providing remote support for children through the “Secret Garden Educational Center,” the organization’s educational facility near Moria. In the past week, 35 refugees in Moria tested positive for COVID-19, leading to increased restrictions on movement and quarantine measures.

Yotam Polizer, IsraAID’s CEO, said:

“The images and reports coming out of Moria Refugee Camp today are truly devastating. We are deeply concerned about the wellbeing of the camp’s 12,000 residents, who are left to pick up the pieces, with nowhere to go. IsraAID’s team will launch its response at the earliest opportunity, ensuring we can continue to support the refugee community on Lesbos now, at a time of dire need.”

Donations to support IsraAID’s emergency response can be made through the IsraAID Emergency Response Fund.

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