UNHCR Revises Estimate of Migrant Arrivals to Greece

UNHCR(Greece) – Ar the beginning of the year, the UN’s refugee agency, or UNHCR, predicted that there would be “up to 1 million” refugees entering Greece this year in 2016. Now that the year is half over, the agency has revised its prediction saying that the number will edge closer to 248,000. So far, around 156,000 refugees and migrants have entered Greece and they predicted that another 92,000 more will follow between now and the end of the year.

It is believed that the diminishing numbers of refugees entering Greece has to do with the fact that many of Greece’s borders have been closed. For instance, the Balkan border closed in February of 2016 and the European Union and Turkey entered into a deal in March of 2016 where Turkey agreed to stop migrants who tried to enter Europe at their borders. Although the UNHCR maintains that the reports are accurate, they are quick to point out that their numbers can be revised if necessary. The report that they released also didn’t state what the predicted route the migrants would take in order to leave their countries would be.

Thousands of migrants and refugees live in makeshift and state run camps all over Greece. Recently, the government has been closing makeshift camps and bussing people to state run facilities, many of which have been newly completed. Morale amongst refugees and migrants has been fairly low because of the long wait times for asylum seekers. Many didn’t expect to be held in Greece for as long as they have. Other migrants have been reluctant to enter the state fun camps because they fear that they will not have mobility to leave Greece if the opportunity presents itself. Most refugees are eager to move elsewhere in Europe so that they can work and send their kids to school. Greece has been trying to figure out what to do about the refugees since they began arriving last summer in 2015.

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