CRS in Greece
In collaboration with Caritas partners, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is one of the leading agencies supporting vulnerable families arriving to Greece. Since 2015, CRS and Caritas partners have supported more than 180,000 asylum seekers and recognized refugees in Greece to meet their immediate needs and work towards self-reliance, including helping families buy essential items and live in safe and dignified homes. For families planning to stay in Greece, CRS and partners have expanded programming that provides pathways to employment and supports social integration, including child-centered activities.
Cash Assistance to Applicants for International Protection funded by the European Union’s Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF) and implemented by CRS and Caritas Athens. The project concerns the provision of financial aid to applicants for international protection on a monthly basis through a prepaid card, in addition to housing and food where provided. These provisions aim to meet the basic needs of the applicants as well as fulfill the state's obligation to provide material reception conditions in accordance with existing national and European legislation.
Beneficiaries are adults seeking international protection who live in camps, housing programs of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum, hotels and hospitality centers operated by international organizations, legal entities under public law, local authorities, as well as entities registered in the Greek and international non-governmental organization’s registry of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum.
Key activities under the project include printing, distributing, activating and loading the prepaid cards, providing an easy-to-use process for declaration of lost or theft, blocked cards and replacement requests, operating the telephone helpline and distributing relevant printed material in languages understood by the beneficiaries.
Employability support. Thanks to generous funding from UNHCR, CRS and partner Caritas Hellas provide in-person and remote support to link eligible participants with job opportunities in Greece. Recognizing the challenges asylum-seekers and refugees face to access safe and dignified livelihoods opportunities even after their residency in the country, CRS and Caritas have launched a portal to expand job matching across Greece.
Housing solutions and integration support. Thanks to generous support from International Organization for Migration (IOM), CRS partners with Caritas Hellas and Caritas Athens to provide refugees with support for safe and dignified accommodation in Greece. In addition to receiving monthly rental subsidies, CRS, Caritas Hellas and Caritas Athens offer integration courses in two learning centers – one in Athens and another in Tripoli. Families displaced from Ukraine are also eligible for the project.
Child-focused integration support. In partnership with Caritas Athens and ELIX, CRS supports children who currently live in Athens to build essential Greek language skills, increase their active participation in school, and facilitate their integration into Greek society. Caregivers receive support to better meet their children’s psychosocial needs and support their engagement in academic activities. The child-centric “Mikros Kosmos” project operates a learning center that provides daily Greek language, homework support and psychosocial activities for children ages 6-15 after school.
Contact the CRS Greece country program
+30 210 3638062
Country Representative: Jason Knapp
Balance Sheet 2021
Balance Sheet 2020
Balance Sheet 2019
Annual Report 2020 - Ekthesi Apologismou Drasewn 2020
Annual Report 2018 - Ekthesi Apologismou Drasewn 2019
Annual Report 2018 - Ekthesi Apologismou Drasewn 2018
Statute - Statute Katastatiko
Auditors Report 2019
People served: approx. 92,000 since program launch.
Size: 50,949 sq miles; slightly smaller than Alabama.
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CRS' History in Greece
CRS began working with Caritas Athens and Caritas Hellas in the summer of 2015 providing direct relief assistance such as food, medical care, hygiene, clothing, water, and counseling. Assistance expanded in November 2015 to provide safe spaces for refugees and migrants to gain information, access clean bathroom and shower facilities, and access referrals.
Since July 2016, as the population became more static, CRS and its partners have provided temporary urban shelter in refurbished apartment buildings. They also have cash cards and monthly cash loans for persons of concern living in government-run sites.
CRS has received funding from the START Network, the United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNCHCR), the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the O’Neil Foundation, Christian Aid, CAFOD, International Organization of Migration (IOM), Urban Innovative Actions (UIA), Ministry of Migration and Asylum of Greece (MMA) and other Caritas partners in support of the emergency relief, shelter, cash-assistance and protection programming implemented in Greece since 2015. CRS works in partnership with Caritas Hellas (Greece) and the diocesan partner Caritas Athens.