Greece August 2015
Greece is facing an unprecedented refugee emergency with new record arrival numbers, whilst the congestion on the islands further increased. The reception infrastructure, services and registration procedures are falling far short of needs. On all main entry points, substandard conditions result in serious hygiene, health and protection risks.
On 21 August, authorities of the former Yugoslavia Republic of Macedonia (fYRoM), temporarily stopped admitting refugees and migrants into their territories. Through collaboration of both border authorities, a system was established whereby border crossings take place in small groups, based on the availability of trains on the FYRoM side of the border. Due to increasing waiting times, on several occasions tensions escalated again. A transit centre will be opened early September.
UNHCR currently has 20 protection/field staff positioned at key entry points and provides interpretation services through its implementing partner METAction. In August over 17, 300 persons benefitted from individual or group information sessions by UNHCR.
A new “temporary accommodation site” was opened in Athens, with the capacity around 700 persons, offering essential services. UNHCR Site Planner closely assisted the Greek authorities by providing expert advice.
As of late August, UNHCR provided Basic Relief Items including 2, 700 sleeping mats, 6, 890 sleeping bags and 2, 250 hygiene kits, for distribution. 27, 000 units of bottled water and 5, 040 energy bars were made available to municipalities, local NGOs and volunteers.