Hundreds of Palestinian refugees are taking shelter in Greek migrant facilities, after they fled persecution and economic hardship. (File photo via social media)
Thousands of migrants and asylum seekers, including Palestinian refugees, have been facing an abject humanitarian situation in Moria camp, set up on the Greek island of Lesbos.
Palestinian refugee woman Umm Mustafa and her sightless son fled war-torn Syria after she lost her husband in the conflict and had her house and property entirely destroyed.
Umm Mustafa first fled Damascus to Idlib, north of Syria, before she illegally entered Turkey. She last landed in Moria camp, where she has been taking shelter with her son Mustafa, 14, and her 11-year-old child for six months.
The refugee said thieves crept into her tent twice and stole her mobile phone.
Her son Mustafa was born blind and cannot stand normal on his feet, which causes him severe backaches and asthma. The two children have not been enrolled at school.
The woman said she spends her day lining up for hours for food and toilet. She expressed wishes that her sons receive medical treatment and enter school.
The mother and her sons have gone missing following the fire that tore through Moria camp a few days earlier and displaced more than 12,000 people.
After the fires, Greek officials relocated more than 400 unaccompanied children to mainland Greece, according to CNN. But authorities have refused mass transfer off the island, despite the pleas of refugees. Officials promised to provide safe and sanitary conditions at the new tent encampment.
The Moria camp was built to house 3,000 people but at least four times as many people have been living there.
Authorities have lost track of 35 camp residents who had tested positive for coronavirus virus, Reuters reported. The displaced refugees have had no access to basic sanitation in the days since the Moria camp was burned.
The unsanitary conditions being endured by Moria's former inhabitants in the fields and streets of Lesbos has caused deep alarm.
"This is a health bomb. These people haven't even had access to water all these days, they cannot even wash their hands," Matina Pagoni, president of Athens and Piraeus hospital doctors' union, told Skai television.
Many of the asylum seekers in Moria described life there as being worse than much of what they had endured on their long, often painful journeys towards what they hoped was a better life in Europe.