Over the summer of 2023 there has been a sharp rise in arrival of asylum seekers on the Greek Islands. However, the response to transfer asylum seekers from the islands to the mainland results in temporary homelessness in the streets of Athens, shifting the crises from one place to another.
This response has been consistent for the past two years and whilst it relieves the pressure of overcrowded conditions on the islands, moving people to Athens and making them wait for transportation to mainland camps creates yet another problem, a ‘state of limbo’.
Due to the mainland camps reaching full capacity the ‘state of limbo’ means that people have to face days even weeks without shelter, food and hygiene supplies. Since this has become common practice by state officials, NGOs (Non-Government Organisations) in Athens have developed emergency response teams. These teams monitor when a sudden transfer of people from the islands to the streets of Athens are expected, they then provide interpreters and meet emergency needs such as food and sleeping bags.
Once people are eventually moved to camps it has been identified that there is a gap in their needs, as a lack of food provisions and cooking facilities forces them to rely on rations provided by camp management.
Displacing people from the island camps to the streets of Athens demonstrates a lack of preparedness and an appropriate response to mitigate deepening trauma of those who have had to risk their lives to arrive in Greece.
Due to this traumatic, ongoing practice of leaving people homeless in the streets of Athens, Attika is able to supply NGO’s with food to cook and distribute nutritious meals, provide sleeping bags to shield people from the cold and hygiene to prevent illnesses.
As this method of ‘dealing’ with the overcrowded conditions on the islands persists, we need sleeping bags, food and winter clothes as we are heading into colder weather. Attika urgently needs your donations to ensure that NGOs have the necessary supplies to respond effectively and efficiently please click here.