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After Moria fire: Germany to accept 150 unaccompanied migrant children

After Moria fire: Germany to accept 150 unaccompanied migrant children

After Moria fire: Germany to accept 150 unaccompanied migrant children

Germany will accept up to 150 unaccompanied migrant children after the devastating fire at the Moria refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos. This was announced by Interior Minister Horst Seehofer on Friday. 

Seehofer: Moria is a “special humanitarian emergency”

The largest refugee camp in Europe, Moria, was destroyed by fires on September 9, in a suspected arson attack. A number of countries are now stepping in to help the approximately 13.000 migrants who have been left without shelter. Seehofer announced at a joint press conference on Friday that Germany had agreed to contribute to a number of relief measures. “This is a special humanitarian emergency,” he said.

He emphasised that the most important thing was to provide on-site help, to provide people with shelter and supplies again. The Greek government has already submitted a list of requirements for this, and organisations in Germany and elsewhere are working hard to provide as much of the requested aid as possible.

10 EU countries to accept 400 unaccompanied migrant children

In addition, 10 EU countries have agreed to open their borders to the approximately 400 unaccompanied minors currently quartered in the Moria camp. These children will be divided equally between the countries, with Germany and France taking “the majority”. Seehofer estimated that Germany would receive between 100 and 150 unaccompanied minors. This first step is to be followed by a further one which will concentrate on families

The city leaders of ten large municipalities in Germany - including Bielefeld, Düsseldorf, Cologne, Freiburg and Potsdam - had previously written to Chancellor Angela Merkel and Seehofer, declaring their willingness to accept refugees. In a joint letter, they appealed to Merkel and Seehofer to pave the way for this. 

EU Commission working on new asylum policy

As a third point, Seehofer emphasised the importance of a pan-European solution. Seehofer said that the “non-solution” in the negotiations on a common European asylum policy had led to the current catastrophic situation on Lesbos.

On September 30, the EU commission is due to present a new proposal on EU migration and asylum policy, designed to better protect the EU’s borders, create solidarity among EU countries when dealing with asylum seekers, and provide more aid in developing countries to ensure that fewer people need to leave their homes. “Moria is a very strong reminder for us about what we need to change in Europe,” said Margaritis Schinas, the vice-president of the Commission. 

Abi

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Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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