Asylum seeker numbers drop for first time on Lesvos island camp

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The number of asylum seekers hosted in the Kara Tepe camp in Mytilene, Lesvos, has fallen to below 1,500 for the first time since opening reports the migration ministry.

According to Migration and Asylum Ministry official data, on Friday 8 April the number of asylum seekers hosted in Kara Tepe was 1.480, Another 155 people are hosted at structures for minors while no asylum seekers are hosted in apartments in the town of Mytilene.

The number of asylum seekers hosted on Chios island is 305 while 386 are hosted on Samos.

The total number of persons hosted on the islands of Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros, is 2,876.

As reported a month ago, a new voluntary scheme will see more than 5,000 asylum seekers and refugees from Greece relocated throughout Europe according to a recent announcement b the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) which aims to support vulnerable groups and enhance solidarity among European Union (EU) Member States.

The International Organisation of Migration (IOM)  in collaboration with EASO, UNHCR and UNICEF is supporting the Greek Government, the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum, the Special Secretary for the Protection of Unaccompanied Migrant Children and the General Secretary of Migration Policy in relocating asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection from Greece to other European countries.

The voluntary mechanism aims to prepare and relocate 5,200 vulnerable asylum seekers and beneficiaries of international protection, including 1,600 Unaccompanied Migrant Children (UMC) and children with severe medical conditions accompanied by their family members.

IOM is collaborating with its partners and other sub-contracted organizations (ARSIS, Merimna, METAdrasi, PRAKSIS, Syn-eirmos, Terre des Hommes, Solidarity Now, Zeuxis) to ensure that all the beneficiaries travel in a safe and dignified manner and to prepare them before departure with enhanced skills and information to ease their integration in the Member State of Relocation (MSR).The project is funded by the Directorate for Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission.

Meanwhile, nearly 10,000 refugees have come from Ukraine to Greece since the start of the Russian invasion on February 24.

In particular, 9,875 Ukrainian citizens have crossed the border, of whom 3,201 are minors.