Since the beginning of the refugee crisis in 2015 Muslim Charity along with its partners has provided assistance to incoming refugees in Lesvos Island and Athens by providing essential items like sleeping bags, canned food along with other humanitarian support. To date thousands of refugees have received humanitarian assistance in Kara Tepe and Moria camps in Lesvos Islands as well as the Oinofyta and Thermopiles refugee camps in Northern Greece.
Earlier this month, Muslim Charity invited all of its donors who had contributed to the Refugee Crisis Europe appeal to accompany a Muslim Charity delegation to Greece and oversee the humanitarian work being done thanks to their generous donations. The delegation visited Greece from 1st to 4th November 2016 and alongside visiting the work being doing by Muslim Charity’s partner organisations, a visit to the Oinofyta and Thermopiles refugee camps was conducted where Muslim Charity provided non-food items (sleeping bags, warm clothing, winter raincoats) and other logistical support for the refugees in need.
Muslim Charity has partnered with Médecins du Monde (Doctors of the World) in Greece to provide non-food items and medical support to refugees in Greece. At Muslim Charity we understand and appreciate the efforts of the Greek government and civil society organisations in assisting the refugees and people in need despite the difficult economic situation the region finds itself in. As a British charity we are extending our hands of support to Médecins du Monde in their great humanitarian initiatives of provide essential health and other services to meet the needs of people affected by war and crisis.
On Friday 4th November 2016, a joint press conference by Muslim Charity and Médecins du Monde was held at the Islamic Art Museum situated in Central Athens for the Greek and international media.
Speaking at the press conference Mr Kanakis Nikitas (President of Médecins du Monde) stated, “We are greatly appreciative and thankful to Muslim Charity and their donors from the UK who have contributed towards the humanitarian assistance of refugees in Greece. The cooperation between Médecins du Monde and Muslim Charity is not just positive for the refugees but is also important as it breaks the stereotypes growing in Greek society with regards to Muslims and we therefore are proud of this partnership.”
Mr Maroof Pirzada (UK Director of Muslim Charity) commented, “Having visited refugee camps over the past two days, our delegation has heard the harrowing stories of death, torture and terror as refugees with their children and families migrated from war-torn regions in search for safety. From within these stories, we also found sentiments of hope for a better future particularly from the young children and we hope to return to the UK and convey these messages to our donors and stakeholders.”
Although the government of Greece and civil society organisations are making all the efforts, the needs for the protection of refugees and access to services are beyond the available resources. Thousands of refugees are still stranded on Greek islands and there is limited safe and acceptable accommodation to host asylum-seekers pending their decision. With the complete closure of the main Balkan route there is need to provide basic services to the stranded refugees across Greece, therefore, Muslim Charity is making its efforts to raise awareness and funds for the refugees in Greece. Muslim Charity is planning to extend its cooperation with Médecins du Monde to provide primary health care and other necessary services for refugees in the future.