Greek authorities say 139 vulnerable asylum seekers who lived in overcrowded Greek island camps have left for Germany as part of efforts to reduce overcrowding and move refugees to other European countries.
The group that flew from Greece on Wednesday consisted of children with serious health problems and their immediate families as well as 53 unaccompanied minors, the Migration Ministry said.
Unaccompanied minors are part of a program for 1,600 children and adolescents up to 18 years old who are in Greece without their parents or guardians to be resettled in other European countries.
Deputy Migration Minister Giorgos Koumoutsakos said the flight to Germany is the first resettlement flight after the fire at Greece’s largest refugee camp, the notoriously overcrowded Moria camp on the island of Lesvos . Authorities on Tuesday transferred nearly 1,000 refugees from the eastern Aegean islands to the mainland to reduce overcrowding in island refugee camps.
Officials said all adolescents and unaccompanied children living in camps on the islands or at Greece’s land border with Turkey had been transferred to appropriate facilities on the mainland.