Many migrants and refugees are struggling to get by in Greece. The coronavirus pandemic has made things even worse, as many aid services had to close down or reduce their services. Here is a list of places you can still turn to, if you need food, shelter, medical advice, and the like.
Caritas Greece: The Catholic charity provides social support services to migrants and refugees. Their activities include the distribution of food and clothes as well as educational and psychological support services. The main office is in Athens, and 10 additional regional offices are spread throughout Greece. Contact them on Facebook -- CaritasHellas -- or call +30 210 52 47879.
- Caritas Athens also runs a program especially for refugees called the Caritas Athens - Refugee Program. Contact: +30 210 5246 637 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Praksis: This NGO helps people in need, like homeless people, migrants and refugees. They offer free of charge health care, accommodation, psychosocial support, hygiene kits, clothing and shoes, among other things. They are active throughout Greece -- mostly in the regions of Attica, and Central Macedonia, the islands of Lesbos, Chios and Samos and the greater Patras area. Contact them on Facebook or call +30 21 0520 5200.
- Lesvos Solidarity: The Lesbos-based NGO reaches out to refugees and locals and provides accommodation and support to people in need, including medical, psycho-social and legal support. Among other things, the organization runs the Pipka open refugee camp, a community-based space where vulnerable people are offered food, medical care, educational activities and more. Contact Lesvos Solidarity on Facebook or call +30 22510 62000.
Help for the homeless
Médecins du Monde (MDM) provides medical and social support to homeless persons in Athens and Piraeus. Teams of healthcare workers and mental health professionals provide counseling, medical care and also distribute clothing and food. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, MDM says its mobile teams are also distributing hygiene kits (soap, antiseptics, gloves, masks). Contact them on Facebook.
The Red Cross runs a homeless shelter in Athens. The number is 210 3313772 0 - 3 and it is located at Epikourou 34, Athens 105 53.
Many of the organizations mentioned above distribute food as part of their outreach.
Here are some additional centers that distribute food*:
- Caritas Athens Soup Kitchen: Food distributions continue despite the COVID-19 situation "but only for the delivery of food to the refugees, migrants and vulnerable persons that come to eat," Caritas Athens stated on Facebook. The distribution takes place at the Refugee Centre at 52 Kapodistriou Street, Athens. Contact Caritas Athens on Facebook or call +30 21 0362 6186.
- The Salvation Army runs centers in Thessaloniki and Athens where they offer humanitarian assistance through different programs, including a food delivery service for people in need. Contact them on Facebook or call +30 21 5501 6985.
- HOME Project: This organization helps refugee children who arrive in Greece alone. The move them from the streets, camps, police stations, or detention centers to shelters in Athens. The HOME project says it currently runs 11 shelters in the Greek capital.
Athens, 106 73 Greece
On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/HomeProjectOrg
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has expanded its activities in Greece in response to COVID-19. The organization is active on Lesbos and Samos as well as in Athens. Their activities include "vaccinating migrant children against common childhood diseases, providing sexual and reproductive healthcare, treating chronic diseases and providing care for victims of torture and sexual violence." Contact MSF on Facebook or call +30 21 0520 0500
- Medecins du Monde (Doctors of the World) scaled up activities for asylum seekers in the Kara Tepe reception center on Lesbos. They conduct information campaigns door to door, sharing health and safety measures to protect oneself against COVID-19. Their medical clinics within the camp continue to treat patients.
Medical care for people without documents
If you are in Greece without permission to reside, you do not officially have access to public healthcare services in non-emergency situations. However, several non-government organizations treat undocumented migrants, such as:
- Solidarity Clinics (KIFA): The solidarity clinics operate throughout Greece and are funded by NGOs and private donations. They offer free treatment and medicines to undocumented migrants as well as to people who have insurance but still cannot afford medication.
Open Polyclinics (run by Medecins du Monde):
Medecins du Monde runs medical clinics
called "Open Polyclinics" which are like the Solidarity Clinics. They
offer primary healthcare, psychosocial counseling and free medication to
anyone with limited or no access to the National Health System,
including undocumented migrants.
There are six Polyclinics, in Athens, Piraeus, Thessaloniki, Patras, Chania and Kavala.
Even though services were reduced due to the coronavirus outbreak, Medecins du Monde says they are still operating and providing services such as vaccination of children at the Polyclinik in Athens. For latest updates, also check their Facebook page.Contact Medecins du Monde:
12 Sapfous str. 105 53
T: 210 32 13 150
F: 210 32 13 850
29A Ptolemaion str. (pedestrian street), 546 30,
13 Karanaou str., 65 302