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.
“Helping people makes our heart feel full’: A refugee family in Trikala makes protective masks and uniforms for the local community
Towards ESTIA II: UNHCR welcomes Greece’s commitment to ensure the continuation of flagship reception programme for asylum-seekers
Types of Accommodation
- Apartments (97%)
- Buildings (3%)
- Islands (7%)
- Attica region (57%)
- Central Greece (7%)
- Northern Greece (20%)
- Western Greece (5%)
- Crete (4%)
As of 30 September 2020
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.