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GREECE/2019/Communication Package Greek Islands


MSF has been engaged on the humanitarian response on the Greek islands for more than four years. Since March 2016 - when the EU and Turkey agreed on a policy to contain asylum seekers on the Greek islands to determine if they could apply for asylum in Europe or had to be returned to Turkey - thousands of people had to wait months, or even years, in appalling humanitarian conditions in overcrowded centers with their health and mental health conditions deteriorating as a result. What was a crisis of reception due to the inadequate response, became a humanitarian crisis deliberately created by the European policies of containment.

The MSF International President Christos Christou visited Greece at the end of November (19-22 Nov) to see the situation of asylum seekers and refugees trapped on the islands of Lesbos and Samos.

We use this opportunity to increase attention on the systemic issues that we observe in Greece – for us a symbol of the collective failure of European states in responding to the current global displacement - and to push our messages to European stakeholders and audiences.
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