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Finland to Accept 11 Underage Migrants From Blaze-Hit Lesbos Camp

© AFP 2023 / PANU POHJOLA / LEHTIKUVAMigrants queue in front of a refugee reception centre in Tornio,Finland (file)
Migrants queue in front of a refugee reception centre in Tornio,Finland (file) - Sputnik International
HELSINKI (Sputnik) - Finland will accept 11 underage migrants from the Moria migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos after the reception facility was destroyed in a large blaze, the Finnish Interior Ministry said on Friday.

"Finland has decided to help Greece by accepting 11 unaccompanied minor asylum seekers from the Moria camp, which was destroyed by the fire. In spring, the government decided to accept 175 particularly vulnerable asylum seekers from the Mediterranean region. Reception of 11 minor asylum seekers is part of the implementation of this decision," the statement said.

A huge blaze destroyed the overcrowded Moria facility in the early hours of Wednesday, leaving nearly 13,000 migrants without shelter. According to Greek media, the fire could have been caused by arson. The fire broke out after reports emerged that 35 residents of the camp had been diagnosed with COVID-19.

Following the blaze, the EU and the UNHCR have already announced their readiness to provide Greece with necessary support on the ground and help the country's government in dealing with the aftermath of the fire. In addition, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said that EU nations should help Greece, including by relocating refugees across the bloc.

On Thursday, a passenger ferry and two ships of the Greek naval forces were expected to arrive on Lesbos to provide accommodation for about 2,000 people. The rest of the migrants and refugees will receive tents. A four-month state of emergency has been declared on Lesbos after the fire.

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