One hundred unaccompanied refugee children and thirty adult refugees will be relocated to Finland, as agreed during a phone call between Alternate Migration and Asylum Minister Giorgos Koumoutsakos and senior Finnish Interior Ministry official Olli-Poika Parviainen.
Greece’s Migration Ministry announced that the relocation will start in the upcoming weeks.
In February, the Finnish Interior Ministry said it would take up to 175 asylum-seekers from camps in Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Malta “to alleviate the humanitarian situation” of refugees in the Mediterranean members of the European Union.
Tens of thousands of refugees and migrants, including thousands of unaccompanied children, are living in squalid conditions in overcrowded camps on several Greek islands after arriving from the nearby Turkish coast. Many more are housed in camps, apartments and other shelters across the mainland.
The government continues to reach out to other EU countries to help share the burden.
The Migration Ministry also announced that it had received a shipment from Austria of 60 specially adapted containers to be used for housing and medical facilities.
The containers were part of a pledge of 181 such units being sent to Greece by Austria.
Of the 60 containers, 40 will head to Samos island: 30 to decongest the dangerously overcrowded Vathy hotspot and 10 to replace recently burned down accomodation.
Each container has a surface area of 18 sq.m. and up to three may be attached to reach 40 sq.m. They are insulated and provide heating, air conditioning and electricity, while some include a bath.