The crisis is worsening with Macedonia slowing/stopping refugee migration. Tens of thousands of refugees are now in Greece and trapped. Now that Macedonia has closed its borders to refugees that desire to transit the country as they make their way to Northern Europe, the refugees are stuck and so are the Greek people. The refugees cannot move forward, northward into Europe and they cannot (will not and should not) return to their countries and the wars that displaced them. So they are just stuck in Greece. A report today reveals that those now trapped in Greece are mostly women and children: Refugees in Greece are Mostly Women and Children. During our Catholic Relief trip, about 65% of the refugees were Women and Children, that percentage now appears to be increasing.
CRS and its partners Caritas Hellas (Greece), Caritas Athens and other agencies are working to cope with the enlarging refugee population in Greece. The Greek people still facing severe austerity economic restrictions, are bearing increased refugee costs and with the largest coastline in Europe cannot stop the migration to their shores. They also feel a moral obligation to shelter those fleeing war and persecution by ISIS, which is something that should be felt by all nations, but sadly is not.
The time to act is now. Additional support of the refugees in terms of prayers, speaking the truth about their plight and providing financial aid to agencies in the region is needed. There will be a Refugee Forum at Holy Trinity in Peachtree City on Thursday, March 3rd at 7:00pm. If you are in the Atlanta area, you may want to attend. More information about the forum can be found here: Refugee Forum.