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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Another joint programme to assist refugees in Greece begins

Last week saw the beginning of another programme to address the refugee and migrant crisis, jointly funded by United Society (formerly USPG) and donations sent to the Anglican Chaplaincy in Athens.

Each week 400 meals provided by this Anglican project are distributed between two detention centres on the outskirts of Athens. In these centres irregular migrants are incarcerated for at least six months largely because their papers are not in order. The living conditions are grim. Representatives from United Society visited one of the centres recently. The authorities responsible for the centres and staff attached to United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNCHR) were heartened that such a programme could be made available - limited as it is. The (Roman Catholic) Sisters of Mercy are also providing a similar programme once a week. This programme will last until the end of April and then be reviewed.

The pictures are of Amigdaleza Detention Centre on the night when the first meals were delivered. It was a bleak night. A year ago, the Anglican Church was asked to help this centre when four inmates died during the coldest week of the year. It provided clothing, shoes, sleeping bags, blankets, toiletries and phone cards by means of a collection made within English speaking population of Athens.


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