Tánaiste and Childrens Minister to visit Greek refugee camps

Tánaiste and Childrens Minister to visit Greek refugee camps

Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald and Childrens' Minister Katherine Zappone are travelling to Greece today to see the effects of the refugee crisis first hand.

Over the next three days they will visit camps and speak with refugees, children, NGOs and Irish officials working with refugees, as well as senior Greek Ministers and their staff.

Minister Zappone said she is going to Greece to 'listen to the voices of the children'.

"Warlords, terrorists and human traffickers have put children in the front-line of this humanitarian crisis," she said.

"I am going to Greece to listen to the voices of children. I will also see at first hand the vital work of Irish volunteers on the ground.

"So far this year 112 lone children have arrived in Ireland – of which 66 remain in the care of my officials at the Child and Family Agency Tusla."

Speaking in advance of the visit the Tánaiste said: "The Irish Refugee Protection Programme is making real progress and I want to ensure that our efforts continue and indeed accelerate.

"This visit provides an opportunity to engage directly with the Greek authorities as well as people working on the frontline and to further demonstrate Ireland’s commitment to playing a full part in International efforts to resolve this crisis.

"It is also about offering people fleeing war and devastation the chance to rebuild their lives in Ireland."

By the end of 2016, it is expected that 400 people will have arrived or been cleared for arrival to Ireland from Greece under the EU programme. 



This is in addition to Ireland’s intake of programme refugees from Lebanon under the resettlement strand of the IRPP.

Ireland has committed to take 520 Syrian refugees in 2016. Some 507 refugees are already in Ireland and the balance will arrive in the coming days. Ireland has further committed to take another 520 programme refugees in 2017.

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