Migration Crisis: Weekly Snapshot (23-29 March 2020)



As Europe went into lockdown due to the coronavirus epidemic, the Greek-Turkish border at Evros saw the thousands of illegal immigrants retreat into Turkish territory and arrivals on Greek islands decline.

We continue our presentation of facts surrounding the migration crisis with the weekly snapshot of migrant and refugee arrivals on the Greek islands as provided by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.


This week, 56 people arrived on the Aegean islands, a decrease from last week’s 105 arrivals and from last year’s 362 arrivals during the same period. The average daily arrivals on all islands this week equalled 8, compared to 15 in the previous week.

Present Population on the Islands

Some 39,700 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

Lesvos received the highest number of arrivals (56), the Dodecanese islands, Samos and Chios received no arrivals.

This week, 218 asylum-seekers departed, once authorised by the authorities, from the Aegean islands to the mainland. Of those, 203 were transferred by the Government with the support of UNHCR to open reception facilities/sites and to ESTIA apartments currently managed by UNHCR.