ESTIA - A new chapter in the lives of refugees in Greece

UNHCR works with the Greek Government, local authorities and NGOs to provide urban accommodation and cash assistance to refugees and asylum-seekers in Greece through ESTIA, the Emergency Support to Integration and Accommodation programme,  funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union.

Urban accommodation provides a normal daily life for refugees and asylum seekers in Greece, facilitates their access to services, including education, and the eventual integration for those who will remain in the country. The host population also benefits from embracing diversity through peaceful coexistence as well as the renting of their apartments.

Cash assistance restores dignity and empowers refugees and asylum-seekers who can now choose how to cover their basic daily needs. It also contributes directly to the economy of the host community through the purchase of services and goods.

Stories

Learn how ESTIA supports the everyday life of refugees and asylum seekers in Greece

Greek exhibition gives Slovaks a sense of the refugee experience

February 25th, 2019
Acclaimed Greek photo exhibition goes on tour to Slovakia, a country with less experience of welcoming refugees. Source: UNHCR Central Europe By: Helen Womack in Košice,...

School opens doors to a new life for a refugee family in Greece

December 19th, 2018
Ashti and Dilpak Jamal fled Iraq with their two children, Mohamad and Sara. They found safety in Sindos, northern Greece, where they live in an...

Thessaloniki welcomes “Face Forward …into my home” art project

November 6th, 2018
Following its first successful presentation in Athens and its warm reception in Heraklion, Crete, the interactive art project Face Forward …into my home is hosted in Thessaloniki...

“Face Forward …into my home” exhibition travels to Heraklion, Crete

September 7th, 2018
The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens (EMST) in collaboration with UNHCR and the support of the European Commission's department for European Civil Protection and...

Statistics

Types of Accommodation

  • Apartments (95%)
  • Buildings (5%)

Achievements

Accommodation Places (total): 25404.
Hosted Population: 21616.
Accommodation Beneficiaries (since November 2015): 60175.
Cash Assistance Beneficiaries (assisted in August 2019) : 74349.
Cumulative number of Cash Assistance Beneficiaries (April 2017 - August 2019) : 128621.

Accommodation Locations

  • Islands (6%)
  • Attica region (56%)
  • Central Greece (8%)
  • Northern Greece (20%)
  • Western Greece (6%)
  • Crete (4%)

As of 31 August 2019


Factsheets

Monthly and weekly updates on the progress of accommodation under ESTIA

ESTIA Accommodation Capacity Weekly Update – 15 October 2019

October 16th, 2019
As of 15 October 2019, the total number of places for refugees and asylum-seekers created by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in the framework of...

Greece Accommodation update – September 2019

October 11th, 2019
By the end of September 2019, UNHCR had created 25,460 places in the accommodation scheme as part of the ESTIA programme. These were in 4,450...

ESTIA Accommodation Capacity Weekly Update – 8 October 2019

October 11th, 2019
As of 8 October 2019, the total number of places for refugees and asylum-seekers created by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in the framework of...

ESTIA Accommodation Capacity Weekly Update – 1 October 2019

October 2nd, 2019
As of 1 October 2019, the total number of places for refugees and asylum-seekers created by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in the framework of...

Multimedia

School opens doors to a new life for a refugee family in Greece

Ashti and Dilpak Jamal fled Iraq with their two children, Mohamad and Sara. They found safety in Sindos, northern Greece, where they live in an apartment under the ESTIA programme*.

Eager to make a new start and become a part of their community, all four of them go to school. Sara and Mohamad attend primary and secondary school respectively, Dilpak participates in language classes in the Blue Refugee Centre** and Ashti attends evening classes at a vocational high school.

In life, you need to keep learning. The Jamal family knows that and they are building their new life in Greece, with support from ESTIA programme.

*ESTIA programme is implemented by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and its partners, with funding by the European Commission.

**Blue Refugee Centre is run  in Thessaloniki by SolidarityNow and is supported by UNHCR, UNICEF and the European Commission.

Partners