Europe Refugee Crisis

 

A DANGEROUS CROSSING


This year, more than 352,000 people have climbed into inflatable dinghies and unseaworthy boats in a desperate attempt to reach Europe. A quarter of them are from Syria, where civil war has forced more than half of the country’s population from their homes, including more than 4.8 million people into neighboring countries.

Among those who attempted the dangerous sea crossing, more than 4,700 people, many of them children, have died are gone missing. All of this follows a year in which more than one million refugees and migrants made the same journey through Europe seeking asylum. However, the closure of European borders has left many stranded in Italy and Greece. International Medical Corps is working in Greece to provide reproductive health care, clean water, sanitation, and hygiene, as well as gender-based violence services to refugees living in camps in Athens and northern Greece.

QUICK FACTS

  • More than 1 million refugees and migrants crossed the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe in 2015
  • More than 4,700 people have died or gone missing while crossing the Mediterranean since the start of 2016
  • In 2016 to date, over 352,000 refugees and migrants crossed the Mediterranean Sea, with 172,600 living in Greece.
  • International Medical Corps is on the ground in Greece and Turkey
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LATEST UPDATE


International Medical Corps teams are on the ground in Greece and Turkey, providing essential medical care and other services to refugees and migrants. Earlier in 2016, when the Balkans route was still open, International Medical Corps also worked with a local partner organization in Serbia to provide primary and mental health care services to refugees and migrants on their long journey seeking asylum in western Europe.

Today, in Greece, International Medical Corps is delivering reproductive health care for women, including ante-natal care, through mobile and static clinics in camps in and around the capital Athens. International Medical Corps is also providing clean water and latrines as well as hygiene education and items in camps in Athens and northern Greece and helping to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.

See also: 2017 Ethnographic Assessment of Psychosocial Needs of Children at Vasilika Camp

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The Importance of Psychological First Aid in Greece

In Greece, exhaustion is visible everywhere. A press conference held recently in Athens underscores the importance of first responders’ ability to provide support for acute emotional issues as they receive refugees who have endured long journeys to escape war and reach Europe.

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"In my eight hours with the team, two refugees succumbed to hypothermia. Though mild, their faces were ghostly grey and their bodies trembled. One was just a 14-year-old girl from Afghanistan who made the journey with her cousin."

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