The year 2015 was tainted by the biggest refugee crisis faced by humanity after World War II. To date, 1,362,807 refugees and immigrants have crossed the Aegean Sea in dinghies in an attempt to get to Europe, hoping for a better life.
Greece has experienced the biggest number of arrivals. From January 2015 to this date 1,028,508 persons have arrived in total, with Lesvos, just 8 nautical miles from Turkey and a resident population of 85,000, receiving in 2015 alone 504,407 refugees and immigrants. The Mediterranean turned into a watery grave, where 8,425 persons, amongst whom hundreds of children, lost their lives in shipwrecks and capsized boats.
On a global scale, in 2015 “the nation of the displaced”, i.e. people who are forced to leave their homes, exceeded for the first time 60 million people, rising to 65.3 million.
In March 2016, the closed borders, aiming to prevent the further movement of people towards Europe, the EU – Turkey agreement and other policies left more than 60,000 people stranded in Greece. They now stay in camps, detention centres, abandoned buildings and makeshift camps all over Greece.
ActionAid has been responding to the refugee crisis since September 2015. More specifically:
- 82,000 refugees received information in their own language from our interpreters and cultural mediators.
- 12,778 women visited the Day Centres
- 10,749 dignity kits with essential items were distributed to women refugees.
- 11,205 winter core relief items were distributed to refugees.
- 3,803 psychosocial support sessions were provided to refugees by ActionAid’s psychologists and social workers.
- 3,841 cases, including 2,929 vulnerable ones, were referred to other organizations and agencies.
- 2,096 women participated in our empowerment activities at the Day Centres.