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Anglicans urge governments to do more as refugees drown

by Hannah Tooley

26 Kurdish refugees from Iraq drowned off the coast of Samos Island in Greece, as they tried to cross to Europe from Turkey.

Ten of those that died were children according to Us, the Anglican mission agency.

Us international charity

Refugees are arriving on the Greek islands in their thousands and to date more than 200 people have drowned crossing from Turkey since the beginning of 2016.

Many medical issues are often found in those arriving on the island, and conditions like scabies can be caused by some the long journeys and cramped living conditions.

On Samos Island, the Anglican Chaplaincy in Greece, Us and Medical Intervention, a Greek medical organisation, have been working together to help those arriving each day. 

Medicine, soap, blankets and sleeping bags as well baby milk are given out and Us is calling on governments to act, rather than discuss the crisis, as more and more refugees die every day.

Us Global Relations Director Rachel Parry, said: "This tragic accident serves to further underline the shocking situations that are forcing people to make these inherently risky journeys.

"Desperate families choose to travel to Europe knowing the risks, but they have no other option.

"While governments are depriving refugee families of assets and closing borders, the loss of these Kurdish lives is yet another appalling tragedy; may it be a reminder that motivates governments into action, rather than falling on closed minds, cold hearts and unmoving policies. Change must happen, and happen fast."

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