UNICEF statement on children affected by the Moria camp fire on Lesvos Island, Greece

UNICEF expresses its deepest sympathy for the refugees and migrants affected by the fire in Moria camp on the Island of Lesvos, Greece, and stands ready to help address the urgent needs of more than 4,000 children, particularly 407 extremely vulnerable unaccompanied minors.

UNICEF thanks the local authorities and front-line responders who have worked overnight to address the crisis. The coronavirus pandemic makes it all the more complex and critical to implement a swift and safe response.

With our partners, we have transformed the UNICEF Tapuat Child and Family Support Hub, which is nearby Moria camp, into an emergency shelter. This can temporarily accommodate the most vulnerable people, including unaccompanied children, pregnant women, and others with critical needs, until alternatives are identified. More than 150 unaccompanied children are now sheltering there.

UNICEF’s priority is to secure the immediate safety and protection of children, in coordination with Greek Government, the Special Secretary for the Protection of Unaccompanied Minors, local authorities and our partners in the UN and NGO community. Last night’s events serve as a strong reminder of the urgent need for a child-sensitive, humane EU Pact on Migration that respects children’s rights to adequate protection and services across Europe.

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