Regional Refugee and Migrant Response Plan for Europe (January to June 2017)

Report
from UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Published on 30 Jun 2017 View Original

Overview

Arrivals in the Mediterranean from 01 January until 30 June 2017 total 102,847 (Greece, Italy, Spain and Cyprus, including arrivals to the Canary Islands and by land to Spain). This compares to 231,075 for the same period in 2016. In the first half of the year, 9,286 persons arrived in Greece by sea (158,377 arrived during same period in 2016, a decrease by 94%).

Over these six months, Chios recorded the majority of sea arrivals, followed by Lesvos and Samos. From 01 January to 30 June 2017, 83,752 persons arrived in Italy by sea (a 19 per cent increase compared to the 70,222 that arrived during the same period in 2016). Most arrivals to Italy departed from Libya and mainly originate from sub-Saharan African countries but also from Bangladesh and Morocco. Between January and June 2017, some 9,507 persons arrived in Spain , a 93% increase compared to the 4,936 that arrived in the same period last year. 6,524 persons arrived by sea and 2,983 (including 681 Syrians) arrived by land to Ceuta and Melilla. In total, 302 persons (ten boats) arrived by boat to Cyprus between January and June 2017.

Key achievements

Greece UNHCR’s Urban Accommodation Scheme, currently funded by the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), has benefited some 31,800 people since the launch of the programme. As of 30 June 2017, 17,852 places were available in UNHCR’s Urban Accommodation Scheme: in apartments (13,398 places), buildings (2,253), hotels (917 places),

Government-run shelter ‘Agia Eleni’ (508), facilities for unaccompanied children (718 places) and through a host family programme (58 places). Between January and June 2017, UNHCR supported the transfer of 5,585 asylum seekers from the islands to the mainland by coordinating transfers on the ground and covering the cost of transportation for those referred to UNHCR’s accommodation scheme and to sites in the mainland. UNHCR continued the gradual distribution of the UNHCR Greece Cash Alliance (GCA) cash cards, which by the end of July will be the only card used in Greece by asylum seekers. As of 30 June, UNHCR distributed 8,780 UNHCR GCA cash cards. In total, 33,413 people benefited from UNHCR’s Cash Assistance in Greece in June, both directly from UNHCR and indirectly from UNHCR-funded GCA partners.

New sites in Thiva, Serres, Drama and Kavala, rehabilitated with funding from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), were opened and allowed the beneficiaries, who were accommodated in temporary sites until then, to be settled in a protected environment. IOM, as the Site Management Support agency, is present on a daily basis ensuring safe and quality living conditions in these sites. From April to June 2017, 2,500 children benefited from IOM services, including transportation and distribution of school kits allowing them to access education.