Emergency Support to Assist Most Vulnerable Migrants Stranded in Greece

Donor: Directorate General Migration and Home Affairs of the European Commission (DG HOME)

Duration: 1 May 2016 - 31 September 2017

Components:

  • Protection and assistance: 7 permanent/on-site and 9 mobile protection and assistance teams were deployed to provide support and services to beneficiaries in formal and informal sites located in Attica, North region and on the islands. Their activities included social, psychological and legal counseling, identification, direct assistance of vulnerable migrant cases, including referral to specialized care/administrative services, psychosocial activities as well as information and awareness raising activities on available rights and options, risks of SGBV, trafficking in human beings and smuggling. As part of the assistance, IOM equally has provided in camps where protection teams are present a bus transportation to the closest city, village and to medical appointments several times per week, ensuring the wellbeing of migrants and their contact with the Greek society.
  • Mobile medical teams in collaboration with Medicine du Monde, Greece: 5 medical mobile units have provided health services to migrants at open centers in Thermopiles, Ritsona, Oinofyta, Serres, Lavrio/Agios Andreas, where there was identified a lack of medical services. The mobile units were staffed by medical doctors, nurses, psychologists, social workers and cultural mediators.
  • Accommodation placements for vulnerable cases: In partnership with specialized NGOs that have relevant experience, as well as MDM Greece, IOM have supported the operation of accommodation facilities for UMCs and vulnerable persons. Among these: MDM facility for 60 vulnerable cases and shelter for 100 UMCs, Apostoli center in Athens (capacity 20 UMCs), Hellenic Red Cross Centre in Volos (capacity 48 UMCs), INEDIVIM shelters in Athens (capacity 70 UMCs girls and other vulnerable women) and Crete (capacity 25 UMCs) SMA shelter in Athens (capacity 17 UMCs). The facilities were located in Athens, Central, Northern and Southern Greece and provided beneficiaries with specialized accommodation and protection and assistance services, in order to help them overcome trauma and gradually integrate into local communities.
  • Protection interventions in sites and creation of safe zones for UMCs: In order to support mainstreaming of protection into a general camp management and cover the existing needs and gaps of basic needs in the sites, IOM has supported GoG as part of the camp management in absence of any other funds to provide for needed adjustments and urgent restoration works that might have put at serious risk the life of the migrant population in the camps. Targeted interventions for the creation of safe spaces are of high importance for the migrant and refugee children’s psychosocial wellbeing and health. Due to the high demand and the limited capacity in hospitality spaces, IOM in partnership with local NGO operated two safe zones in the sites of Ritsona (Attica) and Kavala (Northern Greece). Through this action, IOM covered the gap in child protection, provided targeted assistance to UMCs until their placement to EKKA designated shelters and mitigated the heightened risks of abuse and/or further harm UMCs face while living in site settlements.
  • Individual emergency assistance and NFI: As part of protection and assistance through the deployed multidisciplinary teams, IOM Greece has been covering a variety of individual needs from the basic ones (medical expenses, requests aimed at improving reception conditions of children) to the provision of documentation, transportation. As well as IOM has ensured basic needs and dignity of migrants and refugees, through procurement and distribution of NFIs, particularly of clothing kits and shoes.
  • Information and Social Inclusion Campaign: In order to support IOM efforts within the emergency response, IOM will conduct Information sessions and campaign, disseminate information brochures and leaflets, with the parallel use of social media outlets, printed media and awareness raising/information videos (7 videos). Videos/spots will increase awareness on migratory and refugee flows within the Greek society in order to promote co-existence and mutual understanding.

Objectives/Activities:

  1. Addressing general vulnerability of migrants and refugees in centers (temporary and long term) and informal sites.
  2. Ensuring health services for migrants in open centers.
  3. Reinforcing operational capacity of specialized service providers for unaccompanied migrants children and vulnerable migrants (including victims of trafficking, at risks, children, elderly migrants, migrants with health needs or migrants with disabilities)

Areas of action:

  • Attica/Central Greece: Malakasa, Oinofyta, Ritsona, Agios Andreas II, Thiva, Rafina Lavrio, Thermopiles, Athens urban area
  • Northern Greece: Derveni – ALEXIL, Derveni – DION (“Elpida”), Katsikas, Serres, Drama, Kavala, Thessaloniki urban area
  • Islands: Lesvos, Chios, Leros, Kos, Samos