An estimated 14,000 refugees are stranded at the northern Greek border with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Humanitarian workers on the scene described deplorable conditions with thousands of people stranded in muddy, wet conditions.
CNN is reporting that 40 per cent of the people at the camp are children and many have health issues.
“They are living in mud,” said George Kiritsis, spokesman for the Greek government’s refugee crisis response team. “It’s hard to feed and hard to support people medically.”
The refugees are stranded by FYROM’s decision to close its border to refugees in transit to northern European countries.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel criticized the move in an interview with a German public radio station Thursday, describing it as a unilateral action that put undue pressure on Greece, where as many as 42,000 migrants are now stuck without an onward route through Europe.
Meanwhile, US Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland visited the overcrowded refugee camp at Idomeni. Nuland also met Thursday with local government officials and representatives of non-governmental organizations to discuss living conditions at the site.
Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei also traveled to the region to bring attention to the crisis. He often uses Instagram and other social media (see photos below).
Weiwei told Aljazeera that “Europe is not giving refugees dignity or love.”