The European Commission has awarded €24.1 million to the International Organization for Migration to help migrant and refugee children in Greece. The money will be used to ensure that the children are provided with proper care in a safe environment.
The new EU Commission funds will provide up to 1,200 unaccompanied child migrants on the islands and the mainland with adequate medical and psychological care, interpreters, food and schooling. Some of the money will also be spent on supporting migrants who have agreed to return to their homeland under assisted voluntary repatriation schemes.
Over 7,000 children arrived on the Greek islands between January and August this year. Children now make up about a quarter of the migrants and refugees living in Reception and Identification Centers on the islands.
Conditions in the overcrowded centers have been repeatedly criticized. Refugee organizations have reported unsanitary conditions as well as frequent violence between residents and against women and children. The Greek government plans to relocate several thousand migrants from the island camps to the mainland.
Since 2015, Greece has received more than €1.6 billion to address migration challenges, according to the European Commission. A detailed breakdown of EU financial support to Greece can be found here.