UNHCR helping migrants living outside state facilities


An estimated 11,000 out of more than 65,000 migrants and refugees currently in Greece are living outside state-run facilities, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

The majority of migrants arriving in Greece from Turkey remain in state-run reception centers either on the islands or the mainland. But many slip through the net.

The Greek arm of the UNHCR has been working since last October on identifying and seeking to satisfy the needs of migrants living in squats and other accommodation.

According to its assessment, some 2,600 migrants live in squats in Athens and other cities, another 7,200 in apartments and hotels subsidized by the UNHCR, with another 1,100 sleeping in city parks or squares.

Municipal authorities in Athens have sought to help accommodate some of the migrants who are sleeping rough, but many are reluctant, keen to continue their journeys toward Western Europe.