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Disease, despair spread through Greek migrant camps

Saturday, March 05, 2016 - 01:08

Thousands of frustrated migrants trapped in camps along a no-man's-land between Greece and Macedonia say they're losing hope, as aid workers warn squalid conditions are taking a toll on the most vulnerable residents. Diane Hodges reports.

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An estimated 13-thousand migrants are stranded in these muddy fields in Greece along the Macedonian border. The migrants are hoping to reach wealthier countries in central and northern Europe. But Macedonia's only allowing a small trickle in -- aid workers say just 187 people entered on Friday. This man, from the battle-ravaged city of Homs, says he's been here, waiting for passage, for two weeks. (SOUNDBITE) (English) REFUGEE FROM HOMS, SYRIA, ABDUL, SAYING: "We're suffering, all suffering here. We run away from the war, they doesn't want to let us to pass, I don't know what the situation. We need a solution." The squalid conditions are taking their toll. Many of the migrants, especially the children, are falling ill, according to Cecile van de Kontinenburg, with Medicins sans Frontieres. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES DOCTOR, CECILE VAN DE KONTINENBURG, SAYING: "When it's raining and they don't have shelter, they will be cold, they will catch a cold, they will catch respiratory diseases." The problems began when Austria imposed border restrictions, setting off a domino effect through the so-called "Balkan corridor." Until those restrictions are eased, the migrants may find these camps very difficult to escape.

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Disease, despair spread through Greek migrant camps

Saturday, March 05, 2016 - 01:08