Refugees, migrants risk death as bitter cold grips Europe

U.N. aid agencies are appealing to authorities in Europe to assist and protect thousands of refugees and migrants trying to survive the harsh winter weather that is gripping the continent. They say people in Greece and the Balkan states are most at risk.

Cecile Pouilly, spokeswoman for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, said Friday that her agency had transferred hundreds of people to better accommodations on the Greek islands of Lesbos and Chios over the past few days, but she noted that about 1,000 people, including young children, were continuing to live in unheated tents and dormitories on the island of Samos.

She said that UNHCR also has provided heated accommodations and relief items to more than 82 percent of the 7,300 refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants living in Serbia.

However, Pouilly said, more must be done. She says her agency has received disturbing reports of refugee and migrant deaths as they move across Europe.

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(Photo: (c) Clive Leviev-Sawyer)