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,  co-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

“Crete has embraced us” – Five refugee girls and their parents start a new life in Heraklion

September 25th, 2020
Alisar Bakri, 8, on a swing at the garden of her home at Heraklion city in Crete. “I really like going...

“Helping people makes our heart feel full’: A refugee family in Trikala makes protective masks and uniforms for the local community

July 27th, 2020
© UNHCR / e-Trikala It has been three months since Safar started making protection masks for COVID-19. So far, he has...

Towards ESTIA II: UNHCR welcomes Greece’s commitment to ensure the continuation of flagship reception programme for asylum-seekers

July 15th, 2020
Athens, 15 July 2020 – The Ministry of Migration and Asylum, the European Commission and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, signed today in Athens a...

Compassion is human nature – New ESTIA campaign

December 31st, 2019
Compassion is human nature. This is why the ESTIA programme stands by those who have fled their homes and the people who welcome them.  ...

Statistics

Types of Accommodation

  • Apartments (97%)
  • Buildings (3%)

Achievements

Accommodation Places (total): 27930.
Hosted Population: 21616.
Accommodation Beneficiaries (since November 2015): 71109.
Cash Assistance Beneficiaries (assisted in May 2020) : 82239.
Cumulative number of Cash Assistance Beneficiaries (April 2017 - May 2020) : 188858.

Accommodation Locations

  • Islands (7%)
  • Attica region (57%)
  • Central Greece (7%)
  • Northern Greece (20%)
  • Western Greece (5%)
  • Crete (4%)

As of 30 September 2020

Factsheets

Monthly and weekly updates on the progress of accommodation under ESTIA

Greece Cash Assistance – December 2020

January 5th, 2021
In December, 70,445 eligible refugees and asylum-seekers (38,715 families) received cash assistance in Greece, in 118 locations. Since April 2017, 193,355 eligible individuals have received...

ESTIA Accommodation Capacity Weekly Update – 7 December 2020

December 8th, 2020
As of 7 December 2020, the total number of places for refugees and asylum-seekers managed by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in the framework of...

Greece Cash Assistance – November 2020

December 5th, 2020
In November, 72,089 eligible refugees and asylum-seekers (39,395 families) received cash assistance in Greece, in 120 locations. Since April 2017, 191,975 eligible individuals have received...

ESTIA Accommodation Capacity Weekly Update – 30 November 2020

December 1st, 2020
As of 30 November 2020, the total number of places for refugees and asylum-seekers managed by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in the framework of...

Multimedia

2015-2020: ΕSTIA offers a home of compassion for refugees

In 2015, UNHCR, in cooperation with the Greek Government and with co-funding by the European Union, initiated the implementation of the ESTIA accommodation programme in Greece. By the end of 2020 the programme had provided support to more than 70,000 asylum-seekers and refugees, with the assistance of Municipalities as well as national and international NGOs. In 2021, the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum is fully assuming the management of the programme. Today, more than 20,000 asylum seekers are living in rented apartments in Greek cities through ESTIA having gradually access to services, education, and also the labour market and building true bonds with the local societies.

*Through ESTIA, the Emergency Support To Integration & Accommodation programme, asylum-seekers are provided with housing in apartments and financial support. In Heraklion city the programme is implemented by UNHCR in collaboration with Heraklion Municipality and the Heraklion Development Agency, and is co-funded by the European Union.

Partners