Over a thousand refugees a day are arriving on Greek islands daily from Turkey— with more than half coming to the island of Lesvos. The conditions on the island are deplorable as local authorities are struggling to cope with the influx of people.
Georgios Makkos, a Greek photographer based in London, is documenting the crisis for Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières/MSF), an international aid organization that responds to humanitarian crises like this one throughout the world. MSF will be providing medical consultations for the refugees, as well as cleaning services and help improving water and sanitation in the Kara Tepe and Moria camps— two facilities that were created to handle the influx of refugees.
Approximately 5,000 people, mainly from Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, have arrived in Lesvos in the last few days, alone. The existing reception facilities can only accommodate around 700 people each, and both suffers from overcrowding, poor hygiene conditions and a lack of food, leaving thousands to fend for themselves.
Listen to the interview with Georgios Makkas here.
All photographs by Georgios Makkos for Médecins Sans Frontières/MSF (Doctors Without Borders)
How to help:
Contact local Greek Orthodox Church assisting the refugees
Donate to Médecins Sans Frontières/MSF or organize a fundraiser for the relief work on Lesvos.
Follow the “Help for Molyvos Refugees”, an organization set up by locals on Lesvos
Merkad Mehamad, 44 years old from Aleppo, Syria, is staying with his wife and 3 children in the Kara Tepe refugee camp on the island of Lesbos for 5 days. Every morning, authorities distribute one piece of bread for each family. Merkad has to share this bread with his 3 children and his wife.
Jeilan, 28 years old, from Aleppo, Syria, with her 4 years old daughter, stays in the Kara Tepe refugee camp on the island of Lesbos. She has already spent 5 days in the camp waiting for her papers to be issued by the police. ìI cannot believe that I am living in such conditions with my family,î she says. ìI used to be a teacher back in my country. My husband was an accountant. Look at us now! This is inhumane.î
A group of Syrian refugees near a camp fire in Kara Tepe camp. Since there is no electricity in the camp and the food is scarce people light fires to boil water for tea or to cook something.
Syrian refugees using empty cans of coke to boil water for their tea in Kara Tepe camp
A refugee family washes by the main road outside the Kara Tepe camp. There are few water taps in the camp
A makeshift camp in an abandoned warehouse outside Kara Tepe camp. Since the official camp is overcrowded with appalling conditions many refugees choose to camp outside of it.