European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

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Refugee children stranded in Greece benefit from EU-funded safe learning and healing spaces. © IRC

What are the needs?

Greece has experienced an unprecedented influx of refugees and migrants. In 2015, while close to 857 000 people transited through the country, in 2016 nearly 172 000 arrived Greece by sea alone.

The closure of the border between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Greece in early March 2016 had the effect of leaving more than 63 000 people stranded in Greece – often without adequate accommodation, health coverage and access to education.

How are we helping?

Under a newly established EU emergency support instrument, the Commission has allocated €198 million for responding to the refugee situation Greece. Of this sum €186 million have been contracted to the Commission's humanitarian aid partners such as UN-bodies, the Red Cross/Crescent and NGOs. The Commission has identified four key priorities in Greece on which it is currently concentrating its efforts: shelter, cash, education and protection of unaccompanied minors (UAMs).

In addition, in-kind assistance has been delivered through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. Twenty participating countries have offered 185 000 items of material support to respond to the most immediate needs, such as tents, beds, sleeping bags, blankets, hygiene kits, power generators, water pumps, fire-fighting equipment and other specialised equipment.

The humanitarian and civil protection activities are closely coordinated with other EU assistance funded by Internal Security (ISF) and Asylum, Migration and Integration (AMIF).

Learn more about the joint humanitarian projects between UNHCR and the European Commission in Greece.

Last updated 16/06/2017