Stronger cooperation needed to improve situation of refugees in Greece: UNHCR

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Children pose for a portrait inside the Kara Tepe accommodation facility. © UNHCR/Achilleas Zavallis

Joint efforts and strengthened cooperation are crucial for improving the situation of asylum-seekers and refugees in Greece, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has urged.

The agency issued eight recommendations on Monday aimed at putting in place a sustainable refugee response in the European country.

As of 20 March, only 10,000 asylum-seekers had left Greece for other European countries.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

The Greek authorities, the European Union (EU) and its Member States are being urged by UNHCR to ensure refugees and asylum-seekers have access to adequate care and support.

The goal for 2017 must be to ensure properly functioning systems are in place to deal with those in Greece and as well as those still arriving, the agency said.

Improving reception conditions is seen as a top priority.

It will help prevent and fight sexual and gender based violence, to which many vulnerable asylum-seekers, including women and children, are exposed to in the sites.

Steps also need to be taken to provide more housing opportunities in cities and to address the specific needs of unaccompanied and separated children.

UN Deputy Spokesperson, Farhan Haq, has more.

"The situation in Greece can be managed, said Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees, but would require moving from the current emergency response to a sustainable system."

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1'08''

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