According to the latest available UNHCR data, more than 1,600 refugees have arrived in Greece since the beginning of 2017. Reception and Identification Centres on the Aegean islands are overcrowded and continue to face serious challenges due to the insufficient availability of resources and adequate shelters. Despite attempts to speed up the transfer from the islands to the mainland, the entire country is under pressure as the reception centres rapidly exceed capacity causing conditions to drastically deteriorate due to the harsh weather.
In this context, SOLIDAR member ASB Greece is focusing its energies on improving living conditions in the camps in the northern Greece by providing shelter, electricity and heating, psycho social and legal support, informal educational activities for adults, pedagogical activities, as well as primary medical care. ASB Greece operates in the Diavata Anagnostopoulou Camp and the Nea Redestos – Vassilika Camp, but previously had provided flooring for all the tents in Oreokastro camp, as a part of emergency winter support and is running a temporary shelter in a hotel for around 20 families with small children, pregnant women and vulnerable individuals. Projects run by ASB are implemented with the financial support of the European Commission Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) and German Federal Foreign Office. ASB’s implementing partners are ARSIS - providing psycho social and legal support, informal education activities for adults, and pedagogical activities with children in several camps and WAHA International, who is providing primary medical care in several camps and accommodation centres in northern Greece, under the project with ASB.
Against this background, SOLIDAR calls on the EU to redouble efforts to support the development of facilities on the mainland to bring reception conditions up to the standards set out in European law as well as to push Member States to speed up the implementation of the EU relocation mechanism which would alleviate the pressure on Greece and guarantee faster access by refugees to asylum procedures.
ASB Greece’s activities: