Description: The Programme “Supporting Organizations that assist migrant asylum-seeking population in Greece” (SOAM), was the major project under Asylum Programme GR05 under the EEA Financial Mechanism 2009-2014. The purpose of the programme was the management and implementation of a scheme to distribute EEA (European Economic Area) funds to non-government institution and International Organizations in Greece.
It was launched with the financial support of the Donor Countries Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway during a period when there was an urgent need for the establishment of more facilities supporting services in Greece for vulnerable asylum seekers such as unaccompanied children. The programme was managed by Financial Mechanism Office of EEA Grants in Brussels with the IOM-Athens as a Fund Operator in Greece; The Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI) was the responsible Donor Programme Partner. IOM-Athens drafted and published an Open Call for Proposals in order to select the NGOs who eventually ran reception centres for vulnerable asylum seekers, with particular emphasis on unaccompanied minors in Greece
Beneficiaries: The Programme supported Non-Governmental Organizations in Greece with long experience in the provision of services to migrant population. The direct beneficiaries of the Programme were the asylum seekers and more specific vulnerable groups such as unaccompanied minors, elderly people, single parents-families. Apart from accommodation and food the SOAM beneficiaries received medical care, hygiene supplies, legal counselling, interpretation, and psychosocial support.
Objectives: The Programme aimed at increasing the numbers of reception centres managed by NGOs for vulnerable asylum seekers, but also improving the living standards for their time of stay until their asylum applications are examined by the Greek Authorities. Additionally, the Programme promoted the cooperation among NGOs, Authorities and local communities.
Read more about EEA Grants/FMO here
Duration of funded activities: IOM managed the project from December 2012 until September 2017. The selected project promoters were NGO consortia that run 4 facilities- three in Athens and one in Patras, Peloponnese- from September and until the final day of programme eligibility, April 2017. SOAM project had an original budget of 4.9 million euro and was refinanced in order to secure maximum duration of the above mentioned facilities.