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03.03.2020 18:57 News >> UN Refugee Body Decries Agony On Greek-Turkish Border

UN Refugee Body Decries Agony On Greek-Turkish Border

‘Incidents happening right now are inflicting more suffering to people who have been through a lot,’ says UNHCR spokesman.

The UN refugee agency on Tuesday "deplored" incidents on the Greek border that included the deaths of two people, while the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warned of using the issue as "a political tool."
"We deplore the incidents that are happening right now because these are inflicting only more suffering to the people who have been through a lot," said UNHCR spokesman Andrej Mahecic at a UN press briefing.
He was responding to a question on incidents after Greek security forces on Monday intervened to prevent the passage of migrants gathered at the border.
"We have been monitoring these developments in Turkey and in Greece, and we are offering our support to both countries," said Mahecic.
"As in all such situations, it is important that the authorities refrain from any measures that might increase the suffering of the vulnerable people," he added.
Earlier Tuesday, the Geneva-based IFRC warned that women, children, and men caught up in the ongoing humanitarian crisis at the land border between Greece and Turkey, in the Greek islands and the Aegean Sea, must not be "used as a political tool."
In a statement on the deteriorating humanitarian situation, IFRC President Francesco Rocca said: "It is unacceptable that children and families are exposed to tear gas and violence or have to risk their lives in the Aegean Sea.
"We will not be silent in the face of this dire humanitarian situation, which may become even worse in the next hours and days," Rocca said.
He said that EU member states need to respond in a spirit of solidarity to the recent increase in numbers of people seeking refuge at the EU's external borders.
At the UN press briefing, International Organization for Migration (IOM) spokesman Leonard Doyle spoke of the needs for basic needs of the migrants such as blankets, thermal blankets, food, and water.
"The most important thing for us is that there is an extremely serious situation for migrants and refugees, some of whom are living out in the open and who don't have sufficient aid.
"It is not the numbers, but the vulnerable women and children who are out on the side of hills," said the IOM spokesman.
"At the same time, there is a great humanitarian effort to help 950,000 displaced within [Syria's northwestern] Idlib where a humanitarian crisis is also unfolding," Mahecic added. -



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