Moria Camp Fire –Fenix Humanitarian Legal Aid Emergency Response and Appeal
Updated: Sep 13
On September 9th huge fires, fanned by strong winds, ravaged Moria Camp, destroying nearly everything. Moria camp is completely uninhabitable and the nearly 13,000 people have evacuated and have been sleeping outside. The area is controlled by police blockades as it is still officially under quarantine. This, coupled with unrest from part of the local population, who are also extremely stressed by the situation, has made it very difficult to reach vulnerable people for basic and essential assistance and put them into secure housing.
Photo 1 Moria Camp still smouldering © Karol Kras
We are currently pursuing urgent legal action on behalf of our disabled clients, especially those in wheelchairs, to address this concern. As the government announced yesterday during its first coordination meeting with international and national organisations, this is not a medical emergency, but a protection crisis. Fenix, as an essential organisation providing protection and legal services, has been going to the areas around Moria and Kara Tepe where people are sleeping on the streets. We are identifying people with high vulnerabilities, assessing their needs and providing specific services.
The situation remains a volatile emergency, with changes and new needs arising by the hour. Fenix remains flexible in our activities and is committed to collaborating with other actors to respond. We have been working around the clock.
In the first hours of the fire, we identified and attempted to contact as many of our clients as we could, particularly those who are most at-risk including unaccompanied minors, persons with disabilities and complex medical conditions, single women, and single women with children – particularly those who have survived sexual violence or domestic violence.
We assisted in the efforts to find unaccompanied minors, over 400 have now been evacuated from the island. Despite claims that they have all been found, it is not clear how many children are still missing, and yesterday Fenix has identified and assisted six additional unaccompanied minors.
We have tried to contact or find as many of our current clients as possible who were in Moria Camp. Our legal and protection team have comprehensive case files on our clients, this has allowed us to triage for those who urgently need medication purchased and delivered, such as catheters, burn cream, insulin, etc.
People are still sleeping outside on the side of the road and in fields, some are trapped in areas with very limited support or NGO access. Some clients reported that at midnight last night (10/09), they still had not received food.
Fenix volunteers have jumped in to support NGOs who are experienced in food distribution, and our protection team have been identifying our clients who are unable to reach distribution points, walking many kilometres to deliver food, medication, and baby formula.
Our legal team has pursued urgent legal action, drafting 5 claims in 72 hours on behalf of clients with disabilities asking the government to guarantee access to proper accommodation and medical attention. We need funds to recruit another Greek lawyer to our team to support our emergency legal efforts.
The Greek government has stated that people can move back into Moria camp, but at the moment they have nothing left and the ash and debris make the conditions impossible.
2020: A year full of crises
Human rights organizations, humanitarian workers, local islanders and asylum seekers themselves have been crying out about the extremely bad conditions in the camp for a long time.
There are significant needs right now, many of them unanticipated. We need flexible funding to both respond to the immediate emergency and ensure we have the resources to continue our services in the coming months, in an ever changing emergency.
Now, more than ever, the support of our partners will be necessary to provide increasingly vital assistance to the asylum seekers who lost everything. Thank you to all those who have supported us so far. Woman and child looking on to the ruins of Moria Camp © Karol Kras
We will continue to provide detailed updates on exactly how the funds are used.
Thank you to all those who have supported us so far. We will continue to provide detailed updates on exactly how the funds are used.
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