The new EU-Turkey deal changes everything and no one is certain exactly how, or the long range plan, if even there is one. And the circumstance is confusing, to say the least.
Boat arrivals have halted since a few days after the deal was agreed upon in March. With the agreement came, weeks later, the mass removal of most refugees from island camps to numerous camps on the Greek mainland. In many cases, refugees faced abrupt deportation by the European Union of refugees back to Turkey.
Greece is now challenged with it's many new mainland 'hot spots'. see graph from home page here Welcoming borders with Greece's neighboring countries and further receptivity into northern European countries are seeming to be a bleak opportunity for relocation of refugees. Greece now struggles with the burden of overcrowded camps and it's own weak economy.
The northern coastline of Lesvos had likely received over 400,000 refugees in 2015, due primarily to their exceptionally close proximity to Turkey's coast. Over 130,000 refugees arrived in the first 3 months of 2016.
Unimaginable. Post trauma stress is yet to be seriously considered .... in everyone.
Lesvos coped [barely] with processing this volume of refugee arrivals with the assistance of committed volunteers from around the world as well as independent organizations donating essential goods, long before the world’s NGO’s arrived on the scene.
Consider that the population of the entire island, not including the arriving refugees, is 85,000.
12 ft. high pile of life jackets, enough to fill many football fields
With the current lull in refugee activity, the volunteers, the various present NGO's, and the local greek communities are considering preparations for future refugee scenarios, addressing the of environmental current challenges of cleaning up the mountains of discarded boats and life jackets, and the plight of tourism revival.
Moria: One of three remaining refugee camps on Lesvos but the only one that is structured as a seriously over-crowded detention center.
At present, most groups now established throughout the island communities are uncertain about next steps. With the sudden shift in refugee presence, ‘Do we dismantle operations or do we keep a minimal presence on the island, suspecting a resurgence of refugee arrivals?