UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, recently supported the transfer of a family of six Palestinians from Syria. They were taken from the Reception and Identification Centre of Vial on Chios Island to an apartment in Athens, rented by a UNHCR partner.
Fadi, a shop owner from Aleppo, his wife Samah, and their four children aged from four to 15 years, spent six months in a container home, braving the coldest winter in the North Aegean in recent memory. In Athens, they will continue their asylum procedure and wait for an outcome that will allow them to be granted protection and a path to citizenship. Fadi and his family are stateless and have never enjoyed the rights taken for granted by citizens
‘I am tired to be considered illegal, I would love to have my refugee status and get a nationality at some point,’ Fadi told us recently. He dreams of being reunited with his two brothers, who live in Sweden.
UNHCR has supported some the transfers of some 7,000 asylum-seekers from the islands to improved conditions on the mainland since June 2016. To date, UNHCR in Greece has provided accommodation for close to 30,000 relocation candidates and vulnerable asylum-seekers under a programme funded by the European Commission and implemented in cooperation with a range of partners across Greece.