#LeaveNoOneBehind: Prevent the Corona catastrophe now - also at the external borders!

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To meet this Coronavirus crisis, we need solidarity.

Coronavirus will hit especially hard for those who already have difficulties. That includes refugees at Europe’s external borders, as well as the homeless, and the old and the sick everywhere. The corona-crisis might distract us from the suffering of those seeking protection, but violence and humanitarian disaster continue. That’s why it is important to stick together, now more than ever.

The virus does not differentiate according to skin colour, religion or gender. COVID-19 affects us all.

For Europe to confront this pandemic in unity, overcrowded refugee camps must be evacuated quickly. The Greek mainland needs support in this, as do the people on the Greek islands. For far too long, we have been letting these citizens down.

Currently, on Lesbos’s Camp Moria alone, over 20,000 people live in a camp built to accommodate only 3,000. Quarantine, hand-washing or social-distancing are essential at this moment, but if you live in Moria, none of this is possible. These people are threatened with infection, faced with a lack of humanitarian care, and left to their fate. If the virus breaks out in such a camp, it will be almost impossible to stop it from spreading.

Anyone who does not act now will be complicit in the disaster that threatens those in need.

That is why we are now calling on the European Commission and on EU governments to ensure the following:

- Evacuation of the overcrowded refugee camps and provision of safe accommodation for migrants, where they can be protected from contracting and spreading the virus. The EU has room for humanity.

- Necessary quarantine and protective measures against coronavirus should be implemented everywhere to prevent the exponential spread of the virus. That includes refugee camps.

- Access to medical care for the homeless, refugees and all others.

- Through a European effort, humanitarian and financial support for the most affected areas, especially Greece.

- Access to asylum procedures and unconditional defence of the rule of law, including in times of crisis.

In order to achieve this, we will work together in the coming weeks to raise awareness, exert political pressure and collect money for aid organisations in a variety of ways. This call is the beginning of a journey. Society will prove that it can emerge stronger from this crisis - but only if we leave no one behind.