Wed, Sep 26, 2018 - Page 7 News List

IRC warns over mental health crisis on Lesbos

Reuters, ATHENS

Greece yesterday moved another 400 people from its biggest migrant camp as the International Rescue Committee (IRC) charity warned of a mental health emergency there, with 30 percent of people having attempted suicide.

The government, under pressure from aid groups and local authorities, has said it will transfer 2,000 people from Moria camp on Lesbos to the mainland by the end of the month.

In a report published yesterday, the IRC said asylum seekers in Moria, most of whom are Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan, were under “enormous mental strain.”

Citing testimonials of patients who have visited its own clinic on the island, IRC said that in addition to the 30 percent of people who had attempted suicide, about 60 percent had contemplated it.

Asylum seekers were living in conditions that did not meet humanitarian standards, IRC said, noting that 84 people shared one shower and 72 shared one toilet.

“The sewage system is so overwhelmed that raw sewage has been known to reach the mattresses where children sleep, and flows untreated into open drains and sewers,” IRC said.

Moria, in a disused military base, now holds nearly three times as many people as it was designed to, according to government figures, forcing hundreds to spill over in tents in an olive grove.

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