Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein provide EUR 7,632,000 to finance new accommodation places for 1,000 unaccompanied children and vulnerable asylum seekers in Greece until 2024. The funding is provided through the EEA Grants Asylum and Migration programme for Greece operated by SOL Crowe in collaboration with HumanRights360.
Five organizations with substantial experience in supporting vulnerable refugee and asylum seekers in Greece have been contracted to provide the accommodation places.
The projects selected are the result of an open call process implemented under the EEA Grants Asylum and Migration programme for Greece. Initial evaluation and scoring was carried out by a team of independent scorers and the selection process was completed with the participation of all stakeholders involved, including the Financial Mechanism Office in Belgium, acting as Programme Operator and UDI in Norway acting as Donor Programme Partner.
The projects will enhance vulnerable asylum seekers’ path to independence, encouraging their transition from supported living in facilities to inclusion in the local communities, as well as their path to return and re-integration to their countries of origin. The projects aim to support the functioning of national asylum and migration systems and safeguard the rights of asylum seekers.
An overview of the selected projects follows:
- Implementing actor: International Rescue Committee Hellas I Project: FUTURA – For the Transition of Unaccompanied Children to Adult Life” Programme I Project budget: € 1,722,661
The project aims to provide 10 “Supported Independent Living” (SIL) apartments in Athens, with a capacity of 40 places to accommodate asylum seeking unaccompanied children aged 16 years old and above. IRC will provide quality accommodation and a holistic package of individualized support services to at least 120 UAC over 33 months.
- Implementing actor: Doctors of the World, Hellenic Delegation I Project: “One step forward – Housing structure for women asylum seekers and especially for mothers with children” I Project budget: € 994,875
The project will be implemented in the center of Athens and its aim is to operate a new long-term open accommodation centre for single women or mothers with children, with focus on pregnant women, women with serious health problems, SGBV victims, VoTs etc., supported by individualized services for 175 women and their children for 30 months.
- Implementing actor: “ARSIS – Association for the Social Support of Youth” I Project: “DIAPLOUS” I Project budget € 1,615,058
The project addresses the lack of adequate accommodation places and services for unaccompanied minors (UAMs) and women victims of violence and their children in Greece, by establishing 77 accommodation places in Northern Greece. The project foresees 12 apartments for unaccompanied minors close to the safe zones of Lagadikia, Diavata, Agia Eleni, Drama and Kavala, new accommodations places in the house of Arsis shelter in Thessaloniki and up to 4 apartments for vulnerable women in the urban area of Thessaloniki. In total, the project aims to cover 308 persons during 20 months of implementation.
- Implementing actor: Association for Care of Minors I Project: “HOUSE2” I Project budget: € 1,074,903
The project aims to establish a new long-term accommodation center for 16 unaccompanied minors (UAMs) in the center of Athens. It foresees the establishment of an innovative type of shelter of 12 unaccompanied boys at the age of 6-12 years old and two unaccompanied underage mothers with their children. In total, 96 persons will be supported within 35 months of implementation.
- Implementing actor: METAdrasi I Project: “Transitional Hosting Structures for Unaccompanied Minors in Samos & Chios” | Project budget: € 2,224,503
The project foresees the funding of two shelters in Samos and Chios. The organization’s approach to shelters is that they are a transit family: they offer a safe home while helping children prepare for adulthood. The project aims to support in total 280 persons in 40 months.
Representing the EEA Grants donor states, Mr. Frode Overland Andersen, Ambassador of Norway to Greece and Cyprus, states: “Assisting Greece in supporting vulnerable asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors is an important priority for us. Norway and the donor countries currently contribute EUR 33 million to various projects on asylum and migration in Greece. An important aspect of our support is to assist Greek authorities directly in their efforts to handle migration. Expert staff and strategic advice are offered through amongst others the Norwegian Directorate for Migration (UDI). Working with Greek authorities and assisting Greece on migration is a priority for us and the developments over the last few months has shown that this effort remains acute and timely”.
Epaminondas Farmakis, Director of the EEA Grants “Local Development & Poverty Reduction” and “Asylum and Migration” programmes, emphasizes that “the projects we are announcing today, along with all the programmes implemented in the period 2019-2024 in Greece, aspire to contribute to a more fair system of protecting the most vulnerable asylum seeking groups and especially the children. We hope that more projects like these as well as increased relocation efforts to European partners will provide a more sustainable approach to the vulnerable populations in Greece.”
Charilaos Faltsetas, on behalf of the Fund Operator said: “Assigning the role of the fund operator to SOL Crowe and HumanRights360 is an honor to us, but at the same time a challenge to successfully meet the goals by exceeding our expectations. Our basic principles are transparency, independence, and integrity. At the end of the Programme, we want everyone, first and foremost the Donor Countries, to feel that all funding have been used to the maximum extent. These principles were also followed during the procedure of the open call and all our operations.”
More about the EEA Grants in Greece:
The EEA Grants represent the contribution of Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein across 15 countries in Central and Eastern Europe and aim at reducing social and economic disparities and promote social and economic development. The donor countries have allocated EUR 116,7 m to Greece for programmes and projects to be implemented until 2024. From 1994 onwards, Greece is a beneficiary country of the EEA Grants with more than 180 million euros allocated to important projects and interventions, in areas such as the environment, health, innovation, empowerment of the most vulnerable populations, the reduction of economic inequalities and many more.
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