Greece: Doctors of the World supporting victims of Moria refugee camp fire

Montreal, September 9, 2020 – Doctors of the World is responding on the Greek island of Lesbos after a large fire at Moria refugee camp. 

Overnight, Greece’s biggest refugee camp was destroyed by the blaze, along with health and other facilities. More than 12,000 men, women and children are now homeless and in dire need of humanitarian assistance, while 37 people with confirmed COVID-19 are missing. 

Doctors of the World runs healthcare programmes at Kara Tepe camp, the overflow site for Moria on Lesvos. Our mobile health clinic is currently located outside the centre of Moria and our team – consisting of 22 medical and project staff – is assisting with efforts to identify potential victims and assessing the needs of those displaced by the fire. 

In Athens, our staff are preparing an emergency shipment of non-food items (tents, sleeping bags, COVID-19 protective equipment, hygiene kits and information materials), medicines and medical consumables (syringes, gauzes and antiseptics) to be sent to Lesbos, while also planning a more holistic response. 

We call on the Greek government, international organisations, civil society and ordinary citizens to safeguard the human rights of the people on the move. Refugees or migrants are first and foremost human beings. 



The situation in Moria is the consequence of the serious crisis of solidarity that the world is facing. The deplorable situation of the camp was known to the entire international community and in particular to all European leaders who preferred to turn a blind eye.

This crisis only confirms the ineffectiveness of the deterrent migration policies implemented in Europe and the Americas. Without coherent reception and asylum policies, such tragedies will continue to occur.

We call on European states to act as soon as possible and to receive these people, but also on other states, including Canada, to eliminate any migration policy that unnecessarily makes individuals more precarious and criminalized.



“Our team is outside Moria camp right now, assessing the damage in collaboration with the camp’s manager and the fire department. Our fears and anxiety for any victims are growing.” 

“Starting from Moria to Epano Skala (at the entrance of the capital Mytilene), people are sitting by the side of the road with the few belongings they could carry, once again fleeing for their safety.” 

“COVID-19 complicates things as it poses an additional challenge for health management. So far, the 37 confirmed cases of COVID-19 that lived in Moria are still missing.” 

  • Constantinos PetradellisDoctors of the World Greece’s field coordinator on Lesbos 


Media contact: 

Mélissa Cabana
Communication Senior Advisor
Doctors of the World Canada
Phone : 514-799-8985 


*For more information, please see MdM Greece’s press release or contact  

Published on 09/09/2020


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