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Aid for refugees

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Refugees in Greece: Every year, numerous refugees are stranded in refugee camps on the Greek islands, mostly under terrible conditions. Here they wait for a decision in their asylum procedure, which can drag on for months or years.

Help strengthens refugee aid on Lesvos: we support legal counselling for those affected in order to advance the fair and speedy processing of asylum applications.

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“I want my children to go to school and grow up in a free environment. There’s no going back for us.” says Ferahnouz, 33, a mother of three children from Afghanistan.

What is the situation like in Greece?

Refugees in Greece: Forgotten by Europe

After the Corona pandemic, the number of refugees arriving in Greece increased again: almost 19,000 new arrivals were registered in Greece in 2022. A large number of them have fled their home countries across the Mediterranean Sea to escape war and persecution - hoping for a life in safety.

The situation on the island of Lesvos is particularly dramatic: after the fire in the controversial Moria refugee camp in September 2022, 12,000 people became homeless overnight. Living conditions in the newly built camps are similarly bad: thousands of refugees live in cramped quarters. There is a lack of everything, especially relief supplies, clean water as well as medical care.

Fear is a constant companion for most people on the run. They have experienced terrible things in their home countries and are often traumatised. But the Greek camps offer hardly any protection and many of the refugees feel abandoned. The asylum procedures usually drag on for months or years, and the last bit of hope for a better life continues to fade.

How is Help providing support in Greece?

Help for refugees in Kara Tepe camp

Together with our long-standing partner organisation, we provide urgently needed help on Lesvos: We support the legal counselling of refugees in Kara Tepe by financing translators. In this way, we enable those affected to have their asylum applications processed more quickly and fairly, and thanks to the translation, we can clarify all legal questions.

The help of our partner organisation focuses on particularly vulnerable people such as women, children, people with disabilities and the chronically ill. Together, we initiate new perspectives for the people in the refugee camps.

Help has already been a strong advocate for refugees in Greece in the past: Mosaico House, founded by Help, offered single women and their children a safe home on the run. In the house in the heart of Athens, they found basic care, protection and psychosocial counselling.

Donors and partners:  ADH (Aktion Deutschland Hilft), GCR (Greek Council for Refugees)

Help in overcoming trauma

Sahir from Afghanistan came to Greece alone. Although he is a minor, he was falsely registered as an adult by the local authorities. After the fire disaster in the Moria refugee camp on Lesvos, he lived on the streets without any protection, while other unaccompanied minors were taken to a safe place and received psychosocial support.

Sahir's condition was very bad: he experienced severe violence in the past and was now suffering from severe stress due to his situation. The psychologist of our partner organisation diagnosed severe mental disorders in Sahir and referred the case for psychiatric care. Thanks to Help, Sahir is now able to cope with his traumas.

Through Help, Sahir also received relief supplies and legal support. The Greek team on the ground helped him get his identity papers. He recently found out that his brother lives in another European country. As an unaccompanied minor, Sahir can now apply for family reunification.

Pictures and videos

Facts and Figures

      • Up to and including July 2023, around 11,000 refugees have arrived in Greece, around 8,000 of them via the Mediterranean Sea. (07/2023)
      • In 2022, 12,758 refugees arrived in Greece via the Mediterranean Sea, 6,022 via land. 343 people have died or are missing in the Eastern Mediterranean. (07/2023)
      • Most new arrivals on the Greek islands are from Palestine (22%), Afghanistan (11%) and Somalia (10%). (07/2023)
      • Around 92,600 refugees and asylum seekers are currently living in Greece. (07/2023)

      Source: UNHCR

      • Together with our partner organisation, we support refugee children and families in the Kara Tepe refugee camp, the "new Moria" on Lesvos. We finance the translation of legal advice and thus enable asylum applications to be processed more quickly.
      • In 2017, Help opened Mosaico House in Athens as a place of integration and protection for 36 refugee women and children.
      • Prior to this, Help improved the situation of around 22,000 refugees in Greek main and transitional shelters.
      • 5,000 refugees received shopping vouchers to be able to afford basic necessities.
      • 2,300 people were trained in integration courses.
      • Help provided asylum legal counselling for about 2,900 asylum seekers and their relatives.

      Help-Mitarbeiter mit geflüchteten Kindern im Mosaico Haus in Athen

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      Support people in need in the Greek refugee camps. Every donation helps!

      IBAN: DE47 3708 0040 0240 0030 00
      BIC: DRES DE FF 370


      Simone Walter
      Do you have any questions about our work in Greece?
      Simone Walter
      will be happy to help you:
      +49(0)228 91529-39