Let’s discuss some quick facts about the refugee crisis:
· According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a refugee is “someone who has been forced to leave a country because of war or for religious or political reasons”.
· Many also refer to those fleeing as “migrants”. Merriam-Webster defines a migrant as “a person who goes from one place to another especially to find work”. Regardless of if you call them migrants or refugees, all of those braving the journey to a new country are leaving for specific reasons.
· Currently, the world is watching millions of refugees flee, creating the highest levels of displacement since WWII.
· Greece currently hosts over 57,000 refugees.
· In Greece, the unemployment rate as of March 2016 was 24.1%.
· As of June 25, 2016, there have been 90,769 arrivals by sea in Lesbos, the 3rd largest Greek island.
· Over 206,500 have risked their lives to reach Europe by sea in 2016.
· Many refugees take a multi step process to reach Europe: many will leave their homes in Syria, Iraq, or Afghanistan and travel to Turkey by land. Once they reach Turkey, many attempt to make the 4 mile journey between the Turkish port cities and Lesbos by boat.
· In 2016, there have been 2,510 deaths of refugees crossing the Mediterranean.
· The odds of being among the dead are 1 in 81.
· Since the outbreak of civil war in Syria in 2011, approximately 9 million Syrians have fled their homes. Over 6.5 million are internally displaced.
· The March 18th Accord was intended to stop the flow of refugees from Turkey into the EU. All refugees attempting to cross from Turkey will be returned to Turkey. This accord has left thousands of refugees trapped in Greece.