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ERC to establish a camp for Syrian refugees in Greece

posted on 19/05/2016: 1429 views

ABU DHABI, 19th May, 2016 (WAM) -- The Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, is setting up a camp for Syrian refugees in Greece, where the authority has initiated the necessary arrangements for the establishment of the camp as quickly as possible due to the refugees' conditions.

The move follows the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the support of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, and the follow up of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and ERC Chairman.

The directives of the wise leadership aim to enhance the role of the Emirates Red Crescent, under the leadership of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, in supporting the Syrian refugees.

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan has highlighted the UAE's commitment to its global humanitarian mission toward those affected by crises and disasters around the world, on more than one occasion, especially for those affected by the Syrian crisis.

An agreement, signed yesterday in the Greek capital, Athens, by Dr. Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi, ERC's Secretary-General, and Dr. Antonios Avgerinos, President of the Hellenic Red Cross (HRC), for building the camp, defines the framework of joint co-operation and commitment of each party in easing the suffering of Syrian refugees through the delivery of their life-saving needs from shelter, food and healthcare, to other basic services.

According to the agreement, the camp, located in Larissa city, 360km from capital Athens, will accommodate 2000 refugees in the first phase.

In a statement following the signing of the agreement, Dr. Al Falahi said directives of the UAE leadership were to support humanitarian and development initiatives being implemented by them for the Syrian refugees, and crowned the ERC's efforts to alleviate their suffering since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, particularly in host countries such as Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.

'The UAE's initiative to set up the refugee camp in Greece is an advanced step and a qualitative shift in its efforts to ease the suffering of the refugees. It also supports Greece's efforts to create better living conditions for tens of thousands of refugees trapped in Greece and are suffering from a severe humanitarian crisis,' he said, and noted that the refugee crisis poses a real, tremendous challenge to the international community and countries leading to Europe, mainly Greece, where thousands of refugees arrived following a risky sea journey.

'The ERC moved to Greece to protect refugees from the repercussions of seeking refuge. ERC teams held a series of coordinating meetings with Greek authorities and paid field visits to study the situation on the ground,' he added.

He said that practical steps had already commenced in setting up the camp which will house hundreds of fully-serviced makeshift shelter units, healthcare services, and entertainment facilities for families of refugees.

He noted that vast experience of the ERC in setting up such camps in Jordan and Iraq had drawn praise from refugees themselves and international organisations and this encouraged the Greek authorities to welcome the UAE initiative and provide every assistance to facilitate the construction of the camp.

Dr. Avgerinos expressed the gratitude and appreciation of the government of Greece to the initiative by the UAE which will support Athens' efforts to improve living conditions of the refugees.

He said the UAE was among the first countries that supported Greece's efforts in this respect and its initiative will provide significant support in its efforts to meet increasing requirements of refugees.

According to him, it is not unknown for the UAE to stand among the world key humanitarian donors in support of refugees across the world.

'Co-operation between the UAE and Greece will definitely make a remarkable difference in the life of refugees and services provided to them,' Dr. Avgerinos affirmed.

Highlighting the ERC's role in improving the living conditions of refugees, the HRC president emphasised that Greece would offer all technical and logistical facilities and services to enable the ERC to complete the humanitarian and developmental project which will have a positive impact on the welfare of the refugees. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –


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