Moria Refugee Camp

  • A fire broke out at Greece’s overcrowded migrant camp of Moria on the island of Lesbos.
  • In the Greek island of Lesbos is the Moria refugee camp, constructed for 2,000 people but now with a population of more than 12,000 men, women and children.
  • It has become a place of violence, deprivation, suffering and despair.
  • Lesbos, which lies just off the Turkish coast, was on the front line of a massive movement of refugees and migrants to Europe in 2015-2016.
  • Due to the coronavirus pandemic, since March 1, all migrants reaching the island have been quarantined away from the camps.
  • In the Moria camp, aid groups have warned that social distancing and basic hygiene measures are impossible to implement due to the living conditions.
  • Wildfires fanned by strong winds were also burning in two other areas on the island.
  • Lesbos was Europe’s busiest crossing point in 2015-16 for illegal migration during a massive westward movement of refugees, many fleeing war in Syria and Iraq and travelling through Turkey.
  • After that wave of migration, Greece set up camps on Lesbos and four other islands, helped with European Union funding, and more recently also set up a network of camps on the mainland.