UNHCR is working with the Greek Government and municipalities to accommodate people in urban areas where they can better access services and education. This increases the opportunities for self-reliance and for their potential integration in Greek society. The Urban Accommodation Scheme is a win-win solution for asylum-seekers and the local communities as it provides asylum-seekers with much needed normalcy, and delivers financial benefits to local communities at a time of economic hardship for many Greeks. Video on UNHCR Urban Accommodation available here.
Up to now, 27,742 people benefitted from the programme, which is in line with UNHCR’s out-of-camp policy and the Greek Government’s efforts to provide longer term solutions for refugees.
In April, UNHCR provided asylum-seekers with 17,081 places in its Urban Accommodation Scheme. This month, 1,250 places were added to the UNHCR Urban Accommodation Scheme. The municipality of Crete joined the Scheme with 750 places, and UNHCR completed renovations in Agia Eleni, Ioannina, providing 500 places to vulnerable people. The Scheme has been running successfully in the municipality of Livadeia, central Greece.
UNHCR also assisted authorities transfer 363 people in April from the Greek islands to improved accommodation in the mainland, and to UNHCR’s Urban Accommodation. Since June 2016, UNHCR has supported the transfer of 7,583 people.
In Attika, UNHCR helped transfer some 200 vulnerable people from the site of Elliniko to UNHCR Urban Accommodation in view of the site’s imminent closure.