New EEA grant for reception centres for vulnerable migrants and asylum seekers in Greece
14.12.2012 Members of the European Economic Association (EEA), Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, have agreed to provide a grant of 4 million € to provide support to Greek NGOs to run reception centres for asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants. The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Greece will be responsible for the management of the fund over the next three years.
The new fund forms part of the 20.9 million € pledged by EEA to improve asylum conditions in Greece. The focus is on the areas outside of Athens, where NGOs will be able to apply for funding under the scheme from January 2013, and will be encouraged to work alongside local authorities. Earlier this year, the EEA also provided funding (2.2 million €) to UNHCR in Greece in order to assist in the implementation of the government’s “National Plan for Migration Management”.
This action forms part of a trend of increased funding to Greece for the purpose of reforming its asylum and migration systems. In September 2012, the European Commission released a proposal aimed at increasing the co-financing rate for actions supported by the European Refugee Fund, European Integration Fund and the European Return Fund to countries facing economic difficulties, of-which Greece is one.