Sixty out of the current 93 hospitality openings created in hotels for asylum seekers on the mainland will be closed in 2020 and the residents will be transferred to other facilities or will be included in the the UN Refugee Agency’s ESTIA integration program, Migration and Asylum Policy Minister Notis Mitarakis said on Thursday.
Mitarakis was addressing a training seminar of the 32 governors chosen for the existing temporary hospitality facilities in the mainland.
“It will be the first time that these facilities will have governors, who will report directly to the Greek State,” he said.
According to the minister, their selection was made based on their formal qualifications and on their ability to manage the facilities, build communication with the resident asylum seekers and the local communities.
In his address Mitarakis also told the new governors that 40,000 decisions issued by the Asylum Service during the lockdown will have to be distributed by them to the applicants.
The ESTIA program – known officially as the Emergency Support to Integration and Accommodation program – offers urban accommodation and financial aid to refugees and asylum-seekers in Greece and is co-funded by the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund of the European Union.
As of 25 May 2020, the total number of accommodation for refugees and asylum-seekers created through the ESTIA program was 25,503.