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17 NGOs call on Min. Mitarakis to restore health coverage for migrants as more arrive at islands

Featured 17 NGOs call on Min. Mitarakis to restore health coverage for migrants as more arrive at islands

Seventeen humanitarian organizations on Tuesday sent a joint letter to Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarakis, expressing their concern about the thousands of asylum seekers and their children living in Greece and who do not have access to the public health system.

The organizations' most pronounced concern is the government's recent decision to stop granting social security numbers (AMKA) to newly arriving migrants.

They call on the minister to immediately restore AMKA numbers for all asylum seekers, or activate the temporary insurance and health care number for foreign nationals.

In their letter, the organizations also expressed their satisfaction for the government's firm commitment to seek an equal share of responsibility among EU states in managing the reception and distribution of asylum seekers.

The letter is signed by ActionAid, Arsis, Doctors of the World, the Danish Refugee Council, The Network for Children's Rights, The Centre for Research on Women's Issues 'Diotima', the Greek Council for Refugees, Elix, Hellenic League for Human Rights, the International Rescue Committee, HIAS Greece, HumanRights360, Bee Network, Praksis, Refugee Support Aegean, SolidarityNow, and Terre Des Hommes Hellas.

Asylum seekers on Lesvos, Chios, Samos reach 21,441

A total of 1,018 asylum seekers have arrived at Lesvos island from New Year's Day to Tuesday (Jan. 21), despite adverse weather conditions, authorities said.

During the same time, 127 people reached Chios and 346 arrived at Samos.

There are 21,441 people currently residing at asylum seekers' accommodations in the Mytilini area at Lesvos, including the Moria camp, while another 6,007 live in Chios and 7,519 in Samos islands.