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Greek Islands: Refugees

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 12th February 2020.

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Photo of Kate Green Kate Green Chair, Committee on Standards

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to assist international partners in improving the (a) living conditions and (b) processing of asylum applications of refugees on the island of Lesvos.

Photo of Christopher Pincher Christopher Pincher Minister of State

New migrant arrivals on the Greek islands are accommodated in Reception and Identification Centres ("hotspots") while they are processed in line with the 2016 EU/Turkey statement. Due to high numbers of arrivals, some of the hotspots are operating well beyond capacity and conditions for many migrants are poor. The United Kingdom continues to raise concerns about conditions on the islands in discussions with the Greek Government, most recently on 7 February by our Ambassador.

We are working closely with the Greek Government, who retain responsibility for the situation of migrants in the country. We remain committed to supporting Greece's efforts in dealing with the migration challenge including through providing interpreters to support the Greek Reception Service; a United Kingdom Border Force search-and-rescue cutter in the Aegean; and over £500,000 to support the humanitarian needs of migrants on the islands for the 2019/20 winter.

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