How we’re helping in Greece

Providing medical and humanitarian assistance to migrants and refugees

Greece 2019 © Anna Pantelia/MSF
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COVID update

In Athens, we collaborate with the 3rd Clinic of Internal Medicine of Athens University (NKUA-EKPA) by providing psychological support to frontline health workers, COVID-19 patients, and their relatives. We also made PPE donations (gloves, masks, face shields, antiseptic fluids) to vulnerable social groups. We prioritized support for the elderly, refugees, homeless people, victims of gender-based violence, detainees, and people with mental health issues. We also provided PPE to the airlifting department of the National Emergency Aid Center.

Learn more about how we are responding to the coronavirus pandemic in Greece.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) continues to provide medical services to migrants and refugees in Athens and other parts of the Greek mainland, as well as on the islands of Lesbos, Samos, and Chios.

What is happening in Greece?

Since the implementation of the EU-Turkey deal in March 2016, thousands of people on the move have remained trapped for an indeterminate period of time in five hotspots in the five Aegean Islands—Lesbos, Chios, Samos, Kos and Leros—and forced to live in inhumane and degrading conditions while they wait for a decision on their asylum claims.

During the second half of 2019, the humanitarian situation in the five reception centers quickly deteriorated. At the same time, the new Greek government approved a new, stricter law on international protection, which reduced the already limited ability of asylum seekers to obtain health care. The new law also means that minors can now be detained, and post-traumatic stress disorder no longer qualifies as a vulnerability. As a result, even extremely vulnerable people have to spend long periods living in precarious conditions, which exacerbates their medical and mental health problems.

consultations in 2019
mental health consultations

How we’re helping in Greece

Greek islands

In Lesbo, we ran a pediatric clinic outside Moria camp offering general health care and mental health support to minors, and sexual and reproductive health services to pregnant women. In Mytilene town, we treated victims of torture and sexual violence, as well as people with severe mental health problems caused by trauma in their countries of origin, on their journeys to Greece, or by the stress and insecurity of their situation in Moria.


MSF Projects in Greece

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In response to the massive increase in arrivals on Samos, we scaled up our activities. We installed a water and sanitation system for the people who live around the official reception center, providing them with clean drinking water and toilets. This is the first step in an intervention that will also involve the construction of showers, to prevent health problems associated with water shortage and poor hygiene. Near the camp, we run a day center offering mental health support and sexual and reproductive health care. Learn how you can best help in Greece and other countries.

Our services on Chios include general health care, sexual and reproductive health care, mental health support, social care and travel medicine for people at Vial camp, as well as cultural mediation services at the local hospital. We run two clinics in Athens to respond to the specific needs of people on the move. The first, a day center, provides sexual and reproductive health care, mental health support, treatment for chronic and complex diseases, social and legal assistance, as well as travel medicine for people planning to move on from Greece. The second offers comprehensive care to victims of torture and other forms of violence and is managed in collaboration with two other organizations, the Day Center Babel and the Greek Council for Refugees. It implements a multidisciplinary approach, comprising medical and mental health care, physical therapy, and social and legal assistance. Please donate to support our work in Greece and other countries around the world now.