Greece: MSF ends activities inside the Lesvos “hotspot”

The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has decided to suspend its activities linked to the Moria “hotspot” on Lesvos without further notice. The decision comes following the EU Turkey deal which will lead to the forced return of migrants and asylum seekers from the Greek Island.

“We took the extremely difficult decision to end our activities in Moria because continuing to work inside would make us complicit in a system we consider to be both unfair and inhumane,” said Marie Elisabeth Ingres, MSF Head of Mission in Greece. “ We will not allow our assistance to be instrumentalized for a mass expulsion operation and we refuse to be part of a system that has no regard for the humanitarian or protection needs of asylum seekers and migrants.”

By tonight, MSF will close all activities linked to the “hotspot” of Moria, including the transportation of refugees to the center and the water and sanitation activities and medical clinic inside it. MSF will continue to run its transit center in Mantamados where new arrivals are offered first assistance and its sea rescue activities on the northern beaches of Lesvos. MSF will also continue to run mobile clinics on the island of Lesvos for those outside of the hotspot location.

Since July 2015, MSF has provided medical consultations, mental health support, distributed relief items and conducted water and sanitation activities in Moria camp in Lesvos. MSF has carried out 24,314 consultations in the island of Lesvos, of which 12.526 in Moria. MSF psychologists have assisted 401 people through individual sessions and have conducted 584 group sessions with 3532 participants. Teams were also providing temporary shelter and transportation between the North and the registration centers of Moria and Kara Tepe in the South of the island. As of 13 March, MSF transported 12,952 new arrivals.

PHOTO: MSF – Alessandro Penso (Refugees and migrants walk along a muddy path, lined with rubbish as they wait to be registered at the Moria Reception Centre in Lesvos, Greece.)