March 4, 2020
Washington, DC – MedGlobal expresses deep concern about the recent attacks against humanitarians, including MedGlobal volunteers, and refugees in Greece.
MedGlobal has been working with Kitrinos Healthcare to provide medical services to refugees in the Moria Camp on Lesvos Island since 2018. It supports the only primary healthcare clinic in the camp by sending volunteers as well as medication and supplies. Healthcare services include emergency care, obstetrics, pediatrics and general medicine to refugees in Greece. Both organizations continue to support the healthcare system on the Greek islands, by sharing the burden of care for incoming refugees.
During the late hours of Sunday afternoon, unprecedented and unprovoked violence from protesters erupted as members of the MedGlobal and Kitrinos team were ending a clinical shift. As they proceeded back to their accommodation, their cars were attacked and many volunteers were left stranded overnight inside camp Moria. Fortunately, none of the volunteers were physically harmed. They have now been safely evacuated from the area, and Greek authorities have followed up on the situation.
Refugee and migrant arrivals to Greece have increased over the last several days. MedGlobal urges the prioritization of the protection and rights of refugees and migrants arriving in Greece, and the safety of organizations like MedGlobal and humanitarian workers on the ground. MedGlobal reiterates the commitment to continuing to serve refugees and vulnerable people in Greece and beyond. “Our priority is the protection and safety of our volunteers and the communities that we serve. Through our health work, we have been honored to work with good-hearted Greek people who have always been welcoming to refugees. We will continue to support refugees and new arrivals on Lesvos Island to the best of our ability, and unequivocally call for their dignity and protection,” said MedGlobal President Dr. Zaher Sahloul.
MedGlobal along with Kitrinos will continue to support health services for refugees in Greece. The medical clinic supported by MedGlobal and Kitrinos had been closed for three days due to the rising tensions, and MedGlobal expresses concern about the impact of continued closures to thousands of refugee families residing in the camp. MedGlobal urges authorities to continue to ensure that medical practitioners and humanitarians are allowed to continue their care for vulnerable refugees without interruption.