A campaign began on Tuesday to inform the refugees and migrants currently staying at the makeshift Elliniko camp in Athens about their imminent transfer to other accommodation over the next few days.
The information campaign is run by a team from the Migration Policy ministry, while representatives of the International Organisation for Migration are proceeding to record the needs of camp residents so that they can be transferred to the type of facility that meets their stated needs.
Ministry sources said the campaign to inform residents will continue until the end of the week, after which the transfer process will begin. They note that the transfer will be “gentle” and that provision of food and healthcare will continue normally until it is complete. They have not clarified, however, what will happen if any refuse to leave the facility.
Many of those currently staying at Elliniko are expected to be sent to a new hospitality centre set up in Thiva, on the site of a former textile mill that can take up to 700 people.
Since last week, the UNHCR has stepped up the transfer of vulnerable refugees from Elliniko to apartments and hotels in Attica, as part of the operation to evacuate the former airport camp. A total of 103 people that included families with small children and one-parent families have been transferred, as well as people needing medical or psychiatric support and victims of sexual or racial violence. In total, the UNHCR has transferred 420 individuals in the above categories from Elliniko to apartments and hotels since June 2016.
Based on the Refugee Crisis Management Coordination Body, there are currently 701 people staying at the Elliniko site, the majority being Afghan nationals.