UNHCR Greece Factsheet - September 2019 [EN/EL]
The spike in sea arrivals since May, mostly from Afghanistan and Syria in September, made conditions untenable in the reception centres. 10,550 reached the islands and 2,000 crossed Evros land border.
A fire in a housing container in Moria, killed an Afghan woman.
UNHCR continued to urge the authorities to move asylum-seekers out of the dangerously overcrowded reception centres.
Greek authorities finalized procedures for the relocation of 119 unaccompanied children to the UK. Similar schemes are needed to benefit some of the 4,616 unaccompanied children.
Working with Partners
■ UNHCR supports the Government of Greece who leads the refugee response, working closely with other United Nations agencies, international and national NGOs, regional and State institutions, municipalities, grassroots organizations, refugee communities and the local society.
Accommodation and Cash Assistance
■ UNHCR runs the EU-funded ESTIA accommodation and cash assistance programmes in cooperation with the Government, municipalities and NGOs.
■ UNHCR works closely with staff from State organizations to prepare for the transition of these programmes to the Greek authorities.
■ Apartments in cities and towns offer asylum-seekers and refugees greater dignity and independence. Children can go to school, while access to healthcare and other services is facilitated. It also helps the integration of those who will remain in Greece.
The host population benefits from the 4,450 apartments and 15 buildings that the programme rents in 21 cities and towns across Greece. UNHCR had 25,460 accommodation places in September.
■ UNHCR gave cash in the form of pre-paid cards to 74,994 asylum-seekers and refugees in apartments and sites. Cash allows refugees to choose what they need most. It is spent on food, goods and services, and contributes to the local community.
In September, almost 7.6 million euro in cash assistance will eventually be reinjected into the local economy.