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WHO ‘very concerned’ about migrants stranded in Belarus

By AFP
12 November 2021   |   1:26 pm
The World Health Organization said on Friday it was "very concerned" about the health situation of thousands of migrants stranded in Belarus amid a border standoff with the European Union.

A picture taken on November 11, 2021 shows migrants in a camp on the Belarusian-Polish border in the Grodno region. – Hundreds of desperate migrants are trapped in freezing temperatures on the border and the presence of troops from both sides has raised fears of a confrontation. (Photo by Leonid Shcheglov / BELTA / AFP) / Belarus OUT

The World Health Organization said on Friday it was “very concerned” about the health situation of thousands of migrants stranded in Belarus amid a border standoff with the European Union.

We urge “all states to protect the right to health of refugees and migrants along the Belarusian border, many of whom need medical assistance,” said WHO Europe director Hans Kluge.

“I am very concerned about the thousands of vulnerable people who are stranded in no-man’s land on Belarus’ borders with Poland, Latvia and Lithuania, at the mercy of the weather as winter fast approaches,” he said.

Hundreds of migrants, mainly Kurds, have been stuck for days on the Belarusian-Polish border in near-freezing temperatures, with aid groups warning of a looming humanitarian catastrophe.

At least 10 have died in the region, seven of them on the Polish side of the border, according to the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza.

Western states accuse the Belarusian government of luring them to the country and sending them to cross into Poland in retaliation for sanctions over Minsk’s crackdown on the opposition.

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