Home Emergency Management News UNHCR: Immigrant Crisis Looming for Greece

UNHCR: Immigrant Crisis Looming for Greece

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As the immigrant crisis continues to grow in Europe, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has warned of an "imminent humanitarian crisis in Greece."  

Currently, Greece is struggling to provide for the basic needs of the refugees in their three Athens transit centers that are already operating at full capacity.

So far in 2016, of the 131,724 people who have migrated, 122,637 have landed in Greece.  Many refugees are sleeping out in the open, and food, water, shelter and sanitation are in short supply and high demand.

Women and children

More than half of the Syrian refugees arriving in Greece are women and children fleeing from fighting in the north.

Adrian Edwards, spokesperson for the UNHCR indicated that Greece "cannot manage this situation alone" and asked that relocation efforts agreed to in 2015 by Europe are "prioritized and implemented" to reduce human smuggling risks and dangerous water crossings -- saving lives.

New camps not nearly enough

Greece's military has established two camps that are projected to hold a total of 12,500 people, not nearly enough for all the current immigrants.  The Red Cross also has teams in place to help assist migrants and indicated that additional efforts will be provided by the organization as they are needed.

The UNHCR also indicated that the more refugee student and work visas, private sponsorships, family reunifications, and humanitarian processing that is completed in a consistent and regular manner will help reduce the risks faced by these immigrants.

Kimberly Arsenault Kimberly Arsenault serves as an intern at the Cleveland/Bradley County Emergency Management Agency where she works on plan revisions and special projects. Previously, Kimberly spent 15 years in commercial and business aviation. Her positions included station manager at the former Midwest Express Airlines, as well as corporate flight attendant, inflight manager, and charter flight coordinator. Kimberly currently holds a master's degree in emergency and disaster management from American Public University.