There are over 20,000 refugees living in camps on Lesvos and Samos, most of whom are women and children. The recent fire in Moria camp on Lesvos, and the Covid-19 outbreaks on both islands, have worsened conditions and limited services even further. Despite this, people's asylum and family reunification procedures are continuing. These are legal procedures and independent, expert assistance is therefore urgently needed to help people through them and, ultimately, enable them to leave the camps.
ELIL offers legal information and assistance to refugees on Lesvos and Samos, including unaccompanied children. However, in the recent fire that destroyed Moria camp, ELIL's field offices burned down. Over the coming weeks, we aim to rebuild our capacity on Lesvos and carry on our work on Samos. This will ensure that, in these challenging circumstances, refugees will continue to have meaningful access to legal assistance, enabling them to navigate the asylum process quickly and fairly.
ELIL has assisted over 11,000 people in the past 4 years and our work demonstrates how important access to legal assistance can be for refugees. Of those we have assisted, 74.5% have been granted asylum, compared to an average of 46.5% in Greece, meaning they are granted protection and do not have to return to face war, violence or persecution in their home country. We have also helped 1,000 people, including 300 unaccompanied children, be reunited with family members elsewhere in Europe.