23 March 2016

Greece Rallies to Refugee cause

As Greece evacuates its eastern Aegean islands under the terms of Friday's EU-Turkey agreement, the number of refugees on the mainland is climbing, straining official resources. Of the current refugee total in the country - just over 50,000 - 90 percent are spread between Athens and the northern border with the former Yugoslav Macedonia.

The army has been opening up disused military bases at a rate of two a week for the past month to house them, but lacks the manpower to care for them. Instead, an army of volunteers has poured into the breach to distribute food and clothing, and raise aid locally.

A coalition of the willing

A small army of international volunteers has also made itself indispensable, especially in Idomeni, where the need for manpower is greatest.

People have retained their generosity and humour and goodwill," says Phoebe Ramsay, a Canadian volunteer.