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In view of the challenge we face, we need many signs of solidarity. Small-mindedness or egoism cannot lead the way.
The coronavirus will especially hit those who already have difficulties. This includes the refugees at our external borders, the homeless, and the old and the sick. The corona-crisis might distract us from the suffering of those seeking protection, but violence and humanitarian disaster continue. That’s why it’s important to stick together, now more than ever.
The virus does not differentiate according to skin colour, religion or gender. Corona affects us all.
Therefore, we want to face this challenge together so that we can overcome this crisis while also upholding our values.
For Europe to confront this pandemic in unity, overcrowded refugee camps must be evacuated quickly. The Greek mainland needs support in this, as do the people on the Greek islands. For far too long, we have been letting these citizens down.
Currently, on Lesbos Camp Moria alone, there are over 20,000 people living in the camp, although it’s built to accommodate only 3,000. Quarantine, hand-washing or social-distancing are essential at this moment, but if you live in Moria, none of this is possible. These people are threatened with infection, faced with a lack of humanitarian care, and left to their fate. If the virus breaks out in such a camp, it will be almost impossible to stop it from spreading.
Anyone who does not act now will be complicit in the disaster that threatens those in need.
That is why we are now calling on the European Commission and the EU governments for:
- Evacuation of the overcrowded refugee camps and accommodation in places where they are protected from the virus. The EU has room for humanity.
- Necessary quarantine and protective measures against corona should be implemented everywhere to prevent the exponential spread of the virus. That includes refugee camps.
- Access to medical care for the homeless, refugees and all others.
- Through a European effort, humanitarian and financial support for the most affected areas, especially Greece.
- Access to asylum procedures and unconditional rule of law, also in times of crisis.
In order to achieve this, we will work together in the coming weeks to raise awareness, exert political pressure and collect money for aid organisations in a variety of ways. This call is the beginning of a journey. Society will prove that it can emerge stronger from this crisis – but only if we leave no one behind.
Start: 20. March 2020 – 7:30 pm
The coronavirus poses profound challenges for all of us. We can’t have much social contact, and we’re anxious about what the future will look like for us and our loved ones. But there are people who have no home in which to take shelter; no place where they can feel safe and looked after, no heating, not even a proper bed. We want to bring everybody’s attention to those people. This is why we say: #LeaveALightOn #LeaveNoOneBehind!