From 2-5 March, a field visit took place on the island of Chios in Greece. With a total of 53.000 inhabitants and having received more than 120.000 refugees since January 2015, Chios belongs to the islands of the Aegean sea affected by the refugee crisis.
A delegation of representatives of ALDA, the Council of Mallorca & the Fons Mallorqui of Solidaritat i cooperacio, had the opportunity to visit the island and meet the stakeholders, institutions, NGOs, volunteers groups and local population, active in the management of the refugee crisis.
The level of cooperation and coordination among all the actors on the island of Chios proved to be very high, working jointly & managing successfully the refugee crisis until now, adapting constantly to the situation. Providing shelter, medical care, food, guidance & many more, the Local Authority and the actors on the island have adopted a proactive & inclusive approach to address the situation. The involvement of and support from the local population is remarkably high as well. “We are doing our best to help the refugees and are also thankful to all the international & national stakeholders active on Chios, as well as the local population, who despite the difficult times the country is going through, demonstrate a great sense of solidarity & support to the refugees fleeing war. We are ‘victims’ of the successful management of the refugees crisis in Chios. Only a few people hear about the island with regards to the refugees”, said a representative of the Municipality of Chios.
There are still numerous challenges, needs and gaps on the island that require ongoing efforts. The Municipality is also facing the challenge to meet the needs of its inhabitants as well as manage the refugee crisis on the island, which has become an overwhelming challenge. THe Municipality counts mainly on its own financial resources and the presence & support of international organizations, NGOs & the local population.
In cooperation with the Municipality of Chios and ALDA, the Conseil de Mallorca & the Fons Mallorqui have confirmed their willingness to support the island’s local authority, inaugurating a new link of decentralized cooperation. The areas of support will be in:
- Emergency help & interventions (medical assistance to the refugees, etc)
- Waste management (eg: more than 120.000 lifejackets are present on the island – the poor quality of the materials makes it difficult to recycle)
- Support to the local authority in the daily management of the ensuring a balance between the needs of citizens & refugees issue needs
The interview with the President of the Council of Mallorca, Mr Miquel Ensenyat:
See pictures HERE.
For more information or interests in supporting the crisis, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
(Special thanks to Gemma Puri for the interviews)