NEW YORK (September 9, 2020) – 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.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. UNICEF USA supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.