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Rapid push to build new housing for Moria camp migrants

Greek officials worked overnight to set up accommodation for thousands of migrants and refugees who spent a fourth night without shelter after a fire destroyed the Moria camp in Lesbos.

Athens, 12 September 2020 (dpa/MIA) – Greek officials worked overnight to set up accommodation for thousands of migrants and refugees who spent a fourth night without shelter after a fire destroyed the Moria camp in Lesbos.

Government aid organizations and NGOs distributed water and food, according to images shown on Greek television channel ERT.

Everyone has to go to the new housing, said Greek deputy migration minister Giorgos Koumoutsakos. “This is the only way we will be able to provide them with proper care,” he told Athens news channel Skai.

“The temporary camp must be finished as soon as possible,” Dimitris Patestos, who heads the Lesbos branch of Doctors of the World, an aid organization, told dpa.

But many of the migrants in Lesbos say they do not want to go to the cammp and small numbers held protests calling for “freedom.”

The temporary tent camp is based on land normally used for an army shooting range, only a few kilometres north of Mytilini.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Friday that he had been following the devastation from the fire at what was the EU’s largest migrant camp.

“The solution lies in caring for all people affected, especially the most vulnerable, starting with transferring the population to the mainland,” he tweeted.

Fears are also widespread of a coronavirus outbreak, as 35 migrants in Lesbos had tested positive for the virus. Police were only able to locate eight of them after the fire, according to official reports.

After the fire, 10 European countries agreed to take in 400 unaccompanied minors, with Germany and France each taking 100 to 150.

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