“We can now say that Camp Moria no longer exists, no matter how bizarre that may sound.”
COVID-19 & the Blaze that Destroyed Camp Moria
Fires started in Camp Moria the late evening of Tuesday 8th September. Tension in the camp had already risen after the news of the first coronavirus infection on Wednesday 2 September, by this week 35 people had tested positive. After the camp had been in lockdown for months, and people were only allowed out of the camp under strict conditions, the camp was now completely quarantined, and everyone had to stay inside. There are reports that a number of refugees started to oppose the quarantine and this escalated overnight from Tuesday to Wednesday. Due to strong winds, the fire had free rein and a number of refugees made it difficult for the fire brigade, which prevented them from responding quickly and adequately.
Eventually, the entire central part of the camp was on fire, and residents had to flee outside. During the day on Wednesday the extent of the damage became clear, an enormous amount of destruction, everything in ashes. Only in the olive grove, the fields around the camp, were tents untouched. But on Wednesday evening, reports came in that this part was now also on fire, and eventually the last people had to flee.
What now? The Greek government declare a four-month state of emergency for Lesbos.
Some 13,000 people have become homeless and are stuck in the streets and fields around Moria. They are guarded by the police, who have blocked the roads to the capital Mytilini and other villages due to the risk of violence and the spread of coronavirus. A number of vulnerable groups have been housed elsewhere and the UNHCR is at work to install new tents. A food distribution point has been placed in the Lidl parking lot where food is distributed. The NGOs present are working hard to provide the people with the basic necessities of life, but the situation remains desperate and chaotic.
Join us in supporting those affected by this devastating fire
Working with our partners on the ground, we’ve been asked to support those affected by focusing on collecting 15,000 inflatable mattresses and the supply of hygiene products.
Many of you reading this have been faithful supporters of our ongoing work with the displaced people in Camp Moria. Thank you. Now that the situation has deteriorated unimaginably further, please can we ask you to join with us to continue to offer hope to the displaced people on Lesbos in this time of crisis by providing these basic necessities.
There are a number of ways you can get involved:
– You can donate the items above by ordering by ordering them on Amazon and have them delivered directly to our office in Birmingham.
– You can organise a collection with your friends, family, colleagues and neighbours to be collected by a member of our team.
– Or you could have a sort out of your own. Have you got any unwanted but perfectly usable items listed in the image below? If so, why not use them to support those affected by the recent fire in Camp Moria?
– To donate funds for inflatable mattresses, hygiene products, transport costs & the living costs of long-term volunteers by following the link below:
If you’d like to donate some of the items above or simply find out more info about our work, then please drop us an email at: firstname.lastname@example.org – we’d love to hear from you!