Winterization activities, in preparation for the harsh weather ahead, started on 18 October, to the benefit of 47,382 asylum-seekers in Greece. An estimated total of 109,513 winter items were distributed in 47 mainland sites and five islands. 234 containers were installed in various sites, including Katsikas, Nea Kavala, Filippiada and Alexandria. In Kara Tepe and Moria on Lesvos, installation is planned for November. The non-food items (NFIs) for the winter were distributed thanks to the financial support of the European Commission – Humanitarian Aid and donations by Zara and UNIQLO. Structural upgrades, such as heating are foreseen, whilst alternative solutions will be sought for places that do not have sufficient electric power-.
Due to environmental risks, the site at Kipselochori has been completely evacuated and the vulnerable asylum-seekers were accommodated in hotels and apartments. The opening of a new site at Ktima Iraklis in Pieria is expected, after infrastructural developments. Although the sites in Nea Kavala and Katsikas will eventually close, considering that winter may affect these locations as early as mid-November, some form of limited winterization is ongoing. In the meantime, UNHCR received requests from NGOs to intervene with winterisation in sites which were not included at the original list of 15 sites from the Ministry of Migration Policy (MoMP). UNHCR is following up, to adjust the level of intervention needed.