The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall met refugees benefitting from UNHCR’s ESTIA accommodation programme on the Greek island of Crete. They visited the village of Archanes on the slopes of Mount Giouhtas and met local dignitaries and staff from the Heraklion Development Agency, which is implementing the ESTIA programme for UNHCR in Crete.

The Royal couple learned how the EU-funded scheme is housing the most vulnerable refugees and met families from Syria and Iraq, some of whom survived traumatic sea crossings and near-death experiences.

ESTIA has aided more than 45,000 refugees and asylum-seekers across Greece since it was launched in early-2016. In Crete, more than 800 people have benefitted, living in 150 apartments in Heraklion, Chania and Sitia.

Both refugees and UNHCR spokespersons said they believe the visit would help bring attention to their situation.

There are currently an estimated 51,000 refugees and migrants in Greece.