Coronavirus strands refugee children


Coronavirus strands refugee children


Authors:  Marina Strauss, Max Zander | | 20 March 2020

A number of EU member states want to take in refugee children stuck in Greece. However, Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn now says the coronavirus pandemic has made that impossible.

Children walk over a bridge in the Moria migrant camp

Although the river has run dry, its bed is overflowing: Plastic bags, cardboard and plastic bottles extend as far as the eye can see. A young child, maybe six years old, wades through the garbage. Here, in the so-called "jungle," where makeshift huts crush up against one another and children play in the filth, the squalor of the Moria refugee camp is on full display.

This hot spot, located on the Greek island of Lesbos, has been the scene of Europe's largest humanitarian crisis for years now. A camp originally designed to temporarily shelter 3,000 people, it is now the cramped home of more than 20,000.

The situation is not much better on other islands in the Aegean. In all, some 42,000 refugees and migrants are currently stuck on Lesbos, Chios and Samos, and many have been there for more than a year. Now, the coronavirus pandemic threatens to make the situation even worse.