Overwhelming Numbers of Illegal Immigrants Reaching the Shores of Greece | NGOs Reluctant to Help

[A recent report from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) found that Greece has more seaborne immigrants than any other EU country, with 68,000 new arrivals in the first half of 2015]

[… Kempson’s anger at these organizations is palpable, but it would be easier to understand the UNHCR’s actions if its numerous reports, appeals and press conferences had had a positive impact on the support being offered to Lesvos.

Some international NGOs do have a presence on the island: MSF recently offered a bus to ferry vulnerable refugees down to Mytilene (close to the refugee centre) and Amnesty International has released a report on the crisis which urged the European Union (EU) to rethink its current refugee relocation strategy.

These exceptions notwithstanding, international NGOs appear to have followed UNHCR’s example and taken on the role of passive observers.

Of 12 international refugee NGOs I contacted for this article, only 8 responded: 4 issued blanket denials of responsibility and 3 stated, off the record, that they weren’t interested in helping Greece.]




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