The Hellenic Red Cross (HRC) sent 6.5 tonnes of humanitarian aid to the islands of Kos for the needs of the estimated 375 migrants and refugees that were recently found adrift at sea of the island of Crete before they were rescued by Greek authorities.
HRC President Dr Antonios Avgerinos confirmed that a truck containing the aid, which includes clothing, footwear and sanitary items, departed for Kos on Wednesday.
According to sources in the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum, about 250 people out of 375 who have been transferred to the Kos Reception and Identification Center are Pakistani or Bangladeshi.
Also, 112 people are from Afghanistan, while among the passengers of the ship are citizens from Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt.
Also, according to Minister for Immigration and Asylum Notis Mitarakis, 140 people declare themselves minors and “we have asked the International Organisation for Migration to go to a medical level that specialises in calculating age.”
Regarding the incident with the ship, which broke down while it was in international waters near Crete, Mitarakis stressed that “Greece was mobilised immediately because the ship was in the Greek search and rescue area” and the Greek Coast Guard “began to tow the ship to the Dodecanese, where there is a reception structure.”
At the same time, he described that Greece launched a double effort to inform Turkey and the EU, however, “Turkey refused to take back the ship – although it is clear that it started from Turkey – and from the EU we did not have any specific possibility of support.”
RESOURCE | ABOUT THE HELLENIC RED CROSS /GREEK RED CROSS
The Hellenic Red Cross was founded on 10 June 1877 by the initiative of Queen Olga. Since the very first moment of its establishment it was recognized by the International Committee of Red Cross and today is an equal partner of the family of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. During its long history course, it remains devoted to the international humanitarian principles and to the generous voluntary contribution towards people.
The Hellenic Red Cross is the biggest non-governmental organisation in Greece with a complex task that is based on voluntary work and on direct response to the citizens. It is always active aiming to alleviate human pain in times of war and peace, to support wounded, patients, refugees, elders, people facing economical difficulties and people from all vulnerable parts of society. Its work is connected to constant alert, solidarity and altruism and is the synonym to non profitable offer and selflessness.
The main purposes and objects of the Hellenic Red Cross are the following:
- In times of war: offering both assistance and reinforcement of the Army Medical Personnel, nursing care for the wounded and the sick along with protection of the prisoners of war, civilians and war victims.
- In times of peace: providing both care and support to the victims of natural disasters and epidemics, and also developing humanitarian activity either autonomously or in collaboration with the State and other social institutions.
Since 1877, the Hellenic Red Cross continues its humanitarian task taking care of the most vulnerable parts of the society of the country. In cooperation with other institutions, governmental and non, the Hellenic Red Cross stands beside every person, family or group that faces difficulties without setting any racial, national or economical boundaries to its activities. At the same time, whenever need rises abroad, the Hellenic Red Cross takes action always in collaboration with the other National Societies by sending international aid.
Following profound humanitarian ideals and the sense of responsibility, the Hellenic Red Cross was and still is present in the most important historical moments of Greece and internationally too, and continues to perform complex humanitarian work always having as its main object human being and always respecting Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law.
(Source: Hellenic Red Cross)