August saw 1,050 arrivals recorded mostly to Lesvos island bringing the total arrivals in 2020 to 12,000.
UNHCR reiterated its concerns over credible reports of pushbacks and stressed the need for Greece to investigate the incidents and ensure effective protection of asylum-seekers and refugees. Over 820 unaccompanied children in the reception centres remain at risk. UNHCR supports Greece with care arrangements and by strengthening support systems for unaccompanied children.
COVID-19 Prevention and Response
UNHCR assists the Greek Government’s prevention and response to COVID-19 in the reception centres by increasing water and sanitation capacity, providing core relief and hygiene items, installing health units for screening and isolation, distributing additional cash assistance, facilitating information dissemination through helplines and interpreters and enhancing its coordination role with UN agencies, NGOs and authorities.
UNHCR protects the population at high risk of COVID-19 complications in the island reception centres – where it is difficult to apply social distancing measures – by moving them to safer accommodation. Since mid-March, UNHCR has moved 1,843 people.
On the islands and in Evros, UNHCR has provided 55 medical units for screening and isolation as well as 198 portable units for hygiene and sanitation, including chemical toilets, showers and hand washing stations.
UNHCR has provided over 174,700 hygiene items such as soap and baby care kits, 63,800 core relief items, such as blankets and sleeping bags, as well as more than 251,300 personal protective equipment for front-line workers.
UNHCR facilitates access to quality information for asylum-seekers via helplines, interpretation, the HELP website, podcasts, radio spots, a YouTube channel. UNHCR also assists refugee communities offer help to residents in the island reception centres.
UNHCR and partners running non-formal education centres ensure that classrooms are adequately equipped, distances are observed, and children can learn in a safe environment.