Greece: Factsheet July 2017

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 31 Jul 2017 View Original

This year, 13,500 people arrived in Greece by sea and land. While living conditions for asylum-seekers have generally improved in the mainland, serious gaps remain in the overcrowded RICs of the islands where some people must remain for their asylum decisions. The poor conditions increase protection risks, including sexual and gender-based violence and lead incidents of tension and violence and contribute to tension. Children and the vulnerable are particularly affected. This month there was repeated tension and violence in Moria, Lesvos’ RIC.

Working with Partners

■ UNHCR supports the Government of Greece who coordinates the refugee response. The Office works with other UN agencies, international and national NGOs, state institutions, community-based organizations, refugee and host communities through sectoral Working Groups at the national and field levels.

Main Activities

ESTIA Accommodation and Cash Assistance

■ UNHCR works with the Government, local authorities and NGOs to provide urban accommodation and cash assistance to asylum-seekers in Greece, with funding from ECHO’s Emergency Support to Integration and Accommodation (ESTIA).

■ Cash assistance restores dignity and empowers asylum-seekers and refugees who can now choose how to cover their basic needs. It also contributes directly to the economy of the host community through the purchase of services and goods. This month, 33,445 eligible asylum-seekers received cash assistance in Greece from UNHCR, and the UNHCR-funded Greece Cash Alliance partners.

■ Also in July, UNHCR provided 18,427 places for the urban accommodation of vulnerable asylum-seekers and refugees. UNHCR works with the Government, municipalities and NGOs around Greece to house refugees in rented accommodation. The programme helps provide beneficiaries with a sense of normalcy and facilitates their access to services, including education, and their eventual integration for those who will remain in Greece. The host population also benefits from the rented accommodation.

■ This month, the municipality of Trikala joined the programme with 420 additional places, making it the fifth municipality after Athens, Thessaloniki, Livadia, and a consortium of municipalities in Crete.