Lesbos, Greece, March 23, 2016 — On Monday evening the IRC informed the Greek coastguard that we would not transport refugees to the closed facility at Moria. We cannot knowingly participate in the transportation of some of the world’s most vulnerable to a place where their freedom of movement is in question.
We will continue to provide for refugees’ basic and protection needs at Kara Tepe camp and, should refugees land on Lesvos’ north shore we are ready to assist them with the essential services they need.
The IRC has been working on the Greek island of Lesbos since July 2015 delivering clean water and sanitation in several refugee transit sites and providing newly arrived refugees with much needed information about the registration process and essential services. We continue to provide specialized services to the most vulnerable refugees, including people with limited mobility and children separated from their families. In early March the IRC’s emergency response team was deployed to Northern Greece to assist with the response there. In the short term the IRC’s protection and environmental health team are responding at Idomeni, the informal refugee site on Greece’s northern border.
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 26 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.