The Irish Red Cross has released a further €100,000 from its Migration Crisis Appeal to help migrants in Greece cope with plummeting temperatures.
More than 27,000 winter kits for babies, children and adults have been distributed to those arriving at the Greek islands and mainland and those sheltering in transit camps. Cold and wet weather remain a major concern throughout the country.
Since the start of this year, more than 30,000 migrants have arrived in Greece, an estimated 1,800 arrive daily. In parts of Greece, Red Cross rescue team are providing assistance to migrants as they arrive on shore. Whilst staff and volunteers continue to distribute food and non-food items, offer basic health care and first aid and reunite families.
John Roche, Head of International at the Irish Red Cross, spoke of the risks people continue to face on the migration trail despite winter weather, “It is vital that we are able to shelter and clothe those who are still arriving. Just last week a five year old girl and two women died of hypothermia after a gruelling journey across the Aegean Sea.”
Upon arrival at the islands, all migrants must register with the authorities in order to travel to the mainland and onwards to other countries, with documents issued by the Greek police. Once they are registered, virtually all continue by ferry primarily to Athens and Kavala. From there, they travel through the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and Hungary towards northern Europe.
An additional €100,000 was released in 2015 from the Irish Red Cross Migration Crisis Appeal for emergency relief activities in Greece, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia and Italy. Donations to the appeal can be made online at www.redcross.ie or by calling 1850 50 70 70.