UAE camp for Syrian refugees in Greece opens

The camp in Athens is ready to accommodate migrants escaping the civil war in their country.

ABU DHABI // Emirates Red Crescent is ready to start welcoming Syrian refugees at one of two camps it is setting up in Greece.

Dr Mohammed Al Falahi, secretary general of the charity, said the camp in Athens was ready to accommodate migrants escaping the civil war in their country.

Another in the city of Larissa, about 360 kilometres from the Greek capital, will open on October 20 with a capacity for 2,000 people.

“We are very proud the Greek government officially asked the Emirates Red Crescent for aid, considering its experience with refugees and other services like building wells,” Dr Al Falahi said.

He said the Greek army, which oversaw the logistics, had been very cooperative.

The camps will be directly run by the Greek Red Cross under the supervision of the UAE charity. The sites were selected by the Greek government.

Dr Al Falahi said the total cost had not been confirmed. “We do not look at how much money will be spent if it serves humanity, especially Syrian refugees, who are very dear to us.”

The camps are equipped with health centres and general services, but “a camp remains a camp, even if we provide all methods of comfort”.

Other plans include housing, health and education projects for flood victims in Sudan, and in Mali for victims of conflicts and natural disasters.

“And soon a number of projects will be launched for those affected by the typhoon in the Philippines,” Dr Al Falahi said.

In the first six months of the year, the charity spent Dh81.7 million on projects in the UAE for 30,000 families, and Dh204.2m overseas.

Published: September 20, 2016 04:00 AM