Urgent Crisis: Devastating Fires Destroy Moria Refugee Camp


September 9, 2020

Last night, devastating fires tore through the overcrowded Moria refugee camp on Lesvos Island, Greece, burning the camp to the ground and forcing thousands of refugees and asylum seekers to flee.

The fire destroyed the health clinic MedGlobal supports, along with all of its medical equipment, supplies, and medicine in the clinic. Thankfully, our clinic staff, partners, and their families are safe. However, more than 12,000 refugees and asylum seekers who resided in the Moria camp are now again displaced, and were forced to sleep on the streets overnight.

This devastating fire occurred just one week after COVID-19 reached the camp. As of September 8, 35 people had tested positive for COVID-19 in the Moria camp. The residents of the camp were facing a strict collective quarantine because of the virus outbreak.

Abdul Hadi Shahud, the Operations Manager of Kitrinos Healthcare and Moria Camp Coordinator for MedGlobal, said, “This is the worst case scenario for refugees here. Thousands of refugees and asylum seekers fled the camp last night as it burned, and slept in the streets. We are worried about their health and safety, and concerned that COVID-19 will spread even faster now. This is an emergency.”

MedGlobal has been providing health care to refugees in the Moria camp since 2018 along with our partner Kitrinos Healthcare. The MedGlobal team is heartbroken for the refugees and asylum seekers who have been through this devastating fire, after having already faced displacement and years in the overcrowded and dire conditions of Moria camp.

This is a truly devastating crisis. MedGlobal is working with urgency to raise funds alongside Kitrinos Healthcare to continue to provide medical care for the residents of the Moria camp and support them in meeting their basic needs. While the health clinic is destroyed, MedGlobal is working to immediately support:

  • A mobile clinic using an ambulance on the ground, so that refugees and migrants from Moria camp can immediately access health care.
  • Vital medical equipment and supplies to replace what was lost.
  • Basic needs, including food and water, for those who have lost what little they had in the Moria camp fire.