After the fire in Moria, refugees were left with practically nothing. Many are sleeping on the streets. There are thousands of families who have been waiting for a new camp for days.
Of these, there are about 4,000 children who, in their short lifetime, have not experienced a normal life, only misery.
This is happening in 21st-century Europe.
“We put our lives in danger to come here. We didn't know if we were going to live or die when we went into the sea. We thought we were going to die. We crossed the border. We had heard that there was respect for human rights here, but since we arrived, nobody has helped us.”
“You can see our situation. We don’t have any place to – there isn’t any toilet. There is not enough water, no food.”
Meanwhile, the UNHCR is setting up another refugee camp for the most vulnerable people.
“What is needed? Access to water, sanitation, hygiene. Access to medical assistance, and all the immediate relief items.”
Medical attention is critical because the coronavirus pandemic threatens the health of all these people as well. If they are having trouble accessing food, it's easy to imagine that it's harder for them to obtain masks or maintain proper hygiene.
Pope Francis does not forget his visit to the now vanished Moria camp. That is why, when the fire broke out, he recalled that those who flee from war or hunger deserve a dignified hospitality.
“That a humane and dignified hospitality be assured to migrant women and men, refugees, and those who seek asylum in Europe. I express my solidarity and closeness to all the victims of these dramatic experiences.”
Some countries have responded to the humanitarian tragedy in Moria. Germany will take in 1,500 of these refugees. The rest of Europe, for the moment, has turned its back on Greece, which is hosting these thousands of human beings in need.