Greece: Residents and refugees work together to rebuild Lesbos

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Monday, September 10, 2018
Greece: Residents and refugees work together to rebuild Lesbos

Author: Jessica Bateman | DW.COM |10 September 2018

Kwizera Ahmed Aimable, Adonis Zeivekis and Thierry Harbonimana in Lesbos

It's been three years since the picturesque Greek island of Lesbos was thrust into the world's spotlight, when around 3,000 people arrived on its beaches every day during the height of the refugee crisis. But although the hotels have emptied of journalists and visitors are once again strolling around the pretty harbor, the crisis hasn't disappeared. The notorious Moria camp, built to house 2,500 people but currently holding almost 8,000, has been declared "the worst refugee camp in the world" by aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres, with high levels of violence and children as young as 10 attempting suicide.

And it's not just impacting those housed there. Tourist numbers on the island remain 50 percent of what they were at their peak, many local businesses have closed, and petty crime such as theft has stoked community tensions. Local villagers, who were often first responders at the height of the crisis, have grown to feel bitter and ignored. As Panos, who runs a local food wholesaler, says: "The EU and the Greek government have turned this island into a warehouse of lost souls." Read more>>>