Ten Thousand Migrants Crossed Greece’s Evros Border in 2018



More than 10,000 refugees and migrants have crossed into Greece illegally through the Greece-Turkey border at Evros in the first half of 2018, with Doctors Without Borders (MSF) sending extra staff to meet their medical needs.

So far, the number of migrant arrivals has already surpassed that of the total number for 2017, with the lack of the proper infrastructure in the area causing problems to both locals and migrants.

“Those who cross the border are held for some time in different facilities in the area, until the identification process is completed, having little or no access to health care,” MSF said in a press release.

The four-month program will offer primary health care at the reception and identification center in Fylakio, as well as in other centers near the border, given that state-run facilities in the region are understaffed, the NGO said.

On Wednesday, the European Commission provided emergency assistance funds amounting to €37.5 million under the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund program to improve reception conditions for migrants in Greece.

In particular, the Greek authorities will receive €31.1 million to support the temporary services offered to migrants, such as health care, interpretation services and food, as well as improvements in the reception and identification center infrastructure at Fylakio in Evros.

The additional funding will also contribute to the creation of additional places in existing and new facilities in mainland Greece in order to accommodate migrants transferred from the islands to the mainland.

It is estimated that over 3,000 people are not transported from the islands despite having the appropriate documents, as there are no hosting locations in existing structures. A further €6.4 million was allocated to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to improve reception conditions and provide support for hospitality facilities in selected locations in the mainland.