Today, UNHCR Greece and the Municipality of Thessaloniki signed an agreement on the creation of 700 accommodation places for relocation candidates and vulnerable asylum seekers. “Thessaloniki is a good example for other municipalities, and in the future we hope to find even more places than we have today” said Philippe Leclerc, Representative of UNHCR in Greece.
The agreement forms part of INHCR’s effort to enhance the reception capacity for asylum seekers in Greece, following the request of the Greek authorities. In 2016, 20,982 places were created by UNHCR with funding from the European Union, namely 982 more than the original target of 20,000. The Municipality of Thessaloniki was a crucial partner in this effort.
Today marks the continuation of the good partnership between the Municipality and UNHCR into 2017. This extends to the neighboring municipalities of Neapoli-Sykies and Kalamaria. As in 2016, the Municipality of Thessaloniki will collaborate with the NGOs Arsis, Praxis, GCR, HLHR and YMCA, who shall provide social services, legal information, interpretation services and counselling both individually and in groups, creative and physical activities classes and psychosocial support.
UNHCR continues to support the Greek authorities by providing more than 19,089 accommodation places for relocation candidates and vulnerable asylum-seekers, funded by the European Union. At the same time the UN Refugee Agency hopes that all refugees currently living in open accommodation sites will be gradually transferred in other accommodation places, such as apartments, where they will enjoy better everyday conditions.