Greece: EU announces new emergency support for housing
The European Commission announced a new support package to help Greece integrate refugees and migrants. The Emergency Support To Integration & Accommodation programme (ESTIA) was presented during a press conference on 27 July 2017. € 151 million out of the € 209 million total package will focus on mainstream accommodation and financial aid.
93.5 million euros are dedicated to refugee families and will allow them to live in rented accommodations in Greek cities. The rental project should help 30,000 vulnerable people move out of refugee camps by the end of 2017. It is to be implemented in cooperation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) which is in charge of finding 22,000 rental places, including 2,000 on Greek islands.
Another 57.6 million euros are earmarked for monthly allowances to asylum seekers and refugees through a special card which will also serve for food, medicine and transportation. The aim is to enable them to meet their basic needs with dignity.
The remaining budget will be allocated to humanitarian NGOs to complement existing projects aimed at addressing pressing humanitarian needs in Greece, including primary health care, psychosocial support, improved hygiene conditions, as well as informal education.
This new funding programme more than doubles the EU emergency support to Greece in the context of the "refugee crisis", bringing it to a total of 401 million euros.