The European Commission announced an additional 43.7 million euros in emergency support to the International Organisation for Migration in order to help Greece meet the housing and protection needs of the most vulnerable groups of migrants and refugees ahead of the winter.
The Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) that will receive this amount will channel it to buy emergency shelters for 6,000 asylum seekers and rapidly create temporary reception facilities such as hotels on mainland Greece that have shut down for the season. According to Athens-Macedonian News Agency, nine hotels in Attica, Evia, Chalkidona (Thessaloniki area), Veria, Serres and Porto Heli have already opened their doors to receive migrants and 1,800 applicants for asylum have been transferred to them from the Aegean Islands.
“The funding aims to offer decent housing and primary assistance services and protection to the most vulnerable migrants that are in Greece, mostly for the period of the winter and in parallel for the decongestion of the hotspots on the Greek islands,” said a European Commission announcement.
The specific amount is added to more than 1.6 billion euros given by the European Commission since 2015 to address the migration challenges in Greece.
Commenting on the funding, Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said that “the European Commission’s support towards Greece and all member-states facing migration pressures are and shall continue to be practical and constant.”