ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- A senior U.N. refugee agency official is urging Greek authorities to "wake up" and do more to deal with a burgeoning number of refugee arrivals that has become a full-blown humanitarian emergency.
UNHCR Europe Bureau Director Vincent Cochetel says more than 109,000 people have arrived in Greece since the beginning of the year, most of them fleeing war in their homelands.
He told a news conference Friday that Greek officials need to take charge and "get serious" about building more centers to provide shelter, food and other services to meet people's basic needs.
Cochetel said the UNCHR is aware of Greece's acute financial crisis, but authorities must tackle the situation as if it were a "natural disaster."
He said some Greek islands receive up to 1,000 new arrivals each day.