August 31, 2018 / 9:03 AM / 8 months ago

Situation at "boiling point" at Greek refugee centre, UN says

GENEVA, Aug 31 (Reuters) - The United Nations refugee agency called on Greek authorities on Friday to speed up the transfer of eligible asylum-seekers to the mainland, saying the situation at an overcrowded reception centre on Lesbos island was “reaching boiling point”.

Lesbos, not far from Turkey in the northeast Aegean Sea, was the preferred entry point into the European Union in 2015 for nearly a million Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis, who still comprise about 70 percent of a far lower rate of new arrivals, it said.

More than 7,000 asylum-seekers and migrants - a quarter of them children - are crammed into shelters at the island’s Moria reception centre, built for 2,000, Charlie Yaxley of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told a briefing.

“There are an increasing number of people presenting with mental health problems, the response and treatment is woefully inadequate.” (Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay; editing by John Stonestreet)

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