Support arrives for hundreds made homeless by Greek island refuge fires

Assistance has been stepped up to asylum seekers on Lesvos island in Greece after they were left homeless by fires at the large and overcrowded centre where they’d been living.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR said on Monday that it had pitched hundreds of tents on the island to provide emergency shelter to 2,200 people, a fraction of those left homeless by fires at Moria camp.

Some 12,000 people – including thousands of children – had been sheltering there until a series of fires beginning last Tuesday devastated shelters and common areas.

The majority have been forced to sleep out in the open, on road, car parks and beaches while they wait for aid.

The UN agency has been offering support to the authorities and bringing in core relief items for 6,000 people on Lesvos.

In a statement, UNHCR noted that the situation showed the need to alleviate overcrowding, improve security, infrastructure and services in all five reception centres on the Greek islands.