Calais is, of course, only one of several places along Europe’s borders where refugees gather. Another is Lesbos, where some people making the dangerous crossing from Turkey in flimsy boats end up. Many don’t make it, and drown at sea. Conditions on Lesbos are appalling. The island cannot cope with the numbers of refugees arriving. A few volunteer organisations try to help as best they can, but provision is woefully inadequate.
“There are thousands of children here and their feet are literally rotting, they can’t keep dry, they have high fevers and they’re standing in the pouring rain for days on end. You have one month guys, and then all these people will be dead”.
Those were the final words of Dr Linda on the phone, a doctor that our volunteer organisations (Help Refugees and CalAid) had asked to fly out to Lesbos in response to an emergency cry for help from an overwhelmed volunteer on the ground…
The situation in Moria [a refugee camp on Lesbos] is utterly catastrophic. I’ve had people holding half dead babies up to me the whole day and we have nowhere to send them. All the NGOs are inside and doctors only rarely come out. Tomorrow will be a disaster, there are no dry clothes for anyone, no shelter, there are children sleeping in bin bags, no food, no blankets, no diapers for babies. No access to drinking water for the people at the back of the line, people will sleep in the wet and cold tonight in the open air, half the people will wake up sick, some will die.
You can read more here.
Want to help? How to Help Refugees has a list of all the organisations working on Lesbos, and information about how to get involved.