(Idomeni, Greece) – Refugees who once lived in the makeshift Idomeni Camp in Greece on the northern border are now living in some old, nearby warehouses. International aid organizations have expressed concern about the state run camps, which were hastily thrown together. Refugees and aid workers alike feared that the new state-run camps weren’t actually read to house large numbers of people. Instead of letting themselves be transported to these camps after the government closed Idomeni, many fled to set up their camps elsewhere. Another concern of the refugees is that once they get to the state run camps, they’ll be stuck there for a lot longer than they’d like. Many havethe goal to ultimately end up in Germany or another EU country where they can find jobs and send their kids to school.
Around 4000 migrants and refugees have been transferred to the state facilities, according to the Greek Ministry of Migration. Many of these camps weren’t completely finished when they started transferring people from them to Idomeni. About 4500 people are still camping out in the Idomeni area. Many fled to Polykastro, Greece, which is fairly close to Idomeni. Some people are living in the hills surrounding Idomeni, while others have made their way to local warehouses.
The Greek government currently runs all the state run facilities. However, one site is run jointly with the United Nations refugee agency. The goal of these sites is to provide people shelter while they seek asylum and will hopefully be transferred to places that will help the build new lives. Many aid workers were completely taken by surprise that the government was building new camps. The government has maintained that they believed that the conditions in the makeshift camp at Idomeni were less than ideal. They believe that the state-run camps will give the people a better quality of life.