Call to action to support the most vulnerable and still “invisible” people of our society
We, the Greek Forum of Refugees, are sending this call to action in order to support the most vulnerable people of our society amidst the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. We are calling out to all relevant authorities, organizations, businesses and individuals in the hope for them to join our efforts, by providing the necessary material and financial assistance to those that urgently are in need of it.
Being a grassroots association we always have direct communication with refugee and migrant communities, the refugee population that resides in camps and other facilities as well as individuals that give us, through their own voice, an extremely detailed picture on what is happening on the ground level.
The situation is multidimensional and there are aspects of it that remain invisible to the wider society. There are refugees and migrants that lost their job or cannot resume it because of the lockdown. In many cases, they have no claim to social benefits and employee protection, hence, they cannot provide anymore for themselves and their families. They are usually living in overcrowded rent apartments that they share with many other individuals and families and can no longer afford the rent.
There are even people that were living in so-called hotels or hosted by other refugee friends either in apartments, camp containers and tents or even official accommodation programs, a fair amount of people living in confined spaces, that are asked to leave the premises out of fear of spreading the virus. As a result many among them will find or have already found themselves and their families on the street. Apart from the above, there is also a more than considerable amount of people that are already homeless, exposed and cannot cover their basic needs.
The list goes on and on, and the circumstances are dire. We do not differentiate among refugees, migrants or the local population. Vulnerability knows no borders, race or religion and vulnerable groups of people should, finally, be taken under consideration in their entirety.
We hope that through our network, both national and European, we can proceed to gathering all the necessary materials and financial assets and help in a practical manner as many vulnerable cases as we possibly can.