Another flight has landed in Germany, bringing with it 162 refugees who had previously been in Greek migrant camps. They are part of a contingent of recognized refugees that Germany agreed to relocate from Greece.
42 refugee families -- comprising 77 adults and 85 minors -- landed in the German city of Hanover on Wednesday (March 24), the German interior ministry announced in a statement.
Their cases for protection have already been approved by the Greek authorities.
The 162 refugees are part of a contingent of recognized refugees that Germany has agreed to relocate from Greece.
After a period of quarantine, the families will be shared between 11 different German states, including Bavaria, the cities of Berlin and Hamburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland Palatinate, Saxony-Anhalt, the northern state of Schleswig-Holstein on the border with Denmark and Thuringia.
Divided between German states
The division of the refugees will be made according to various criteria, including whether or not they already have family ties in a particular German state, or whether they have specific medical needs which could be better served in a particular place, stated the German ministry’s press statement.
The interior ministry said that since April 2020, it has already brought over 2,542 refugees, including this contingent.
In March 2020, the German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer made an agreement with the Greek authorities to accept 53 unaccompanied minors and 243 sick children and their immediate families. Then after a fire broke out in the migrant camp of Moria on the island of Lesbos in September 2020, the German government upped their agreed quota to include 150 unaccompanied minors who had been living in the destroyed camp as well as 1,553 families who had a right to asylum.
The UN migration agency IOM helps organize the flights and the German branch of the IOM tweeted that they were "proud" that their EU relocation work along with the UN refugee agency UNHCR in Greece and the UN children’s agency UNICEF had made a "new life" possible for "42 families with children."
The flight set off directly from the Greek island of Lesbos and landed in Germany in the afternoon. A couple of other flights, carrying similar numbers of refugees arrived in Germany in February and early in March this year.