Int’l Red Cross Federation withdraws from three migrant hotspots, after gov’t decision to take over

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) will stop providing services to the refugee and migrant hotspots in Attica’s towns of Ritsona and Skaramangas by the end of the month, it said on Tuesday.

The IFRC said the Greek state authorities have decided to take over health services in Ritsona (near Evia) and Skaramangas (the shipyward town west of Athens), where it runs clinics, by February 28. IFRC stopped providing health and mental care services at Nea Kavala, in northern Greece, on January 31.

IFRC said that it has been working in the three areas since March 2016. So far, the federation has provided over 90,000 primary health and mental care services, and trained almost 900 individuals at these hotspots as Red Cross volunteers.

IFRC head of office in Greece Ruben Cano hailed “the decision of the Greek government to assume responsibility for providing primary health care services to people who continue to live under difficult conditions at accomodation structures,” and called on authorities to “guarantee medicine, specialised medical staff and interpreter services at all accomodation centres.”