Greek Migration Ministry rejects claims by NGOs over food and money for asylum seekers

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All asylum applicants in housing units on the Greek islands and the mainland receive "three meals and drinkable water" as of October 1, the Migration & Asylum Ministry said on Monday.

Responding to a statement by 26 NGOs on inadequate food and delays in financial aid to asylum applicants, the ministry also said special provisions were made for specific groups such as people suffering from diabetes and infants.

The ministry added that from now on they will be receiving financial aid at the end of the month rather than the beginning.

It also responded to questions about housing of individuals whose refugee status has been established, and those who have been rejected, both of whom are remaining in facilities but not receiving food. The ministry noted the following:

- Those whose asylum applications were rejected are obligated to leave Greece. "Alternatively, they have the choice under a Hellenic Police decision to be transferred to pre-departure detention centres." For their departure from Greece, it said, "there are special subsidised programs with the help of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and Frontex, which they are informed about constantly."

- Those who have been granted refugee status "do not have a right to remain at the facilities for those applying for asylum, and must depart."

As the ministry explained, "They have the right to work and may ask for aid given to support them," while they also have access to the Helios program that the ministry is implementing with the help of the IOM, and is funded by the European Commission."

The Migration & Asylum Ministry also mentioned that additional programs to held recognised refugees' integration, with funding from the Recovery and Resilience Fund.