As Greece struggles with the mass exodus of immigrants from Turkey at its border in Evros, arrivals to the country via the Aegean islands has decreased by more than half as reported by the following data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for the period 09 – 15 March 2020.
This week, 397 people arrived on the Aegean islands, a decrease from last week’s 865 arrivals but an increase from last year’s 267 arrivals during the same period. The average daily arrivals on all islands this week equalled 57, compared to 124 in the previous week.
Present Population on the Islands
Some 40,900 refugees and asylum seekers reside on the Aegean islands. The majority of the population on the Aegean islands are from Afghanistan (49%), Syria (19%) and Somalia (6%).
Women account for 22% of the population, and children for 34% of whom more than 6 out of 10 are younger than 12 years old. Approximately 14% of the children are unaccompanied or separated, mainly from Afghanistan.
Entry Points by Sea
Kea island received the highest number of arrivals (190), followed by the Dodecanese islands (93), Lesvos (52), Samos (37) and Chios with (25) people.
This week, 1,203 asylum-seekers departed, once approved by the authorities, from the Aegean islands to the mainland. Of those, 308 were transferred by the Government with the support of UNHCR to open reception facilities/sites and to ESTIA apartments currently managed by UNHCR.